Council opposes proposed Local Government Funds reductions

HUBER HEIGHTS — Monday night, the Huber Heights City Council expressed its concern about a potential reduction in Local Government Funds proposed in the Ohio Senate budget bill.

According to Huber Heights Finance Director Jim Bell, the city presently receives $375,000 from the county fund. He also said the city receives $77,500 directly from the state, but noted that portion could be cut by as much as 70 percent.

He said this cut would go into effect, if passed, on July 1. He said the loss for the second half of this year could be up to $23,500. For 2016, he said the loss could be $54,000 and for the first half of 2017, it could be a loss of $30,436. The two year combined loss could be $108,000.

Bell said this would be another hit as the city has had “significant hits” in the past. He said the city now collects an estimated $453,000 compared to $800,000 to $900,000 a year a few years ago. He said this seems to be “terribly unfair.” He said one step of action could be to notify state senators and house members that the city is not happy with this possible cut.

City Manager Rob Schommer said that the letter would need to be sent this week as it comes up for vote on June 30.

Council member Jan Vargo said she was in favor of sending word to elected officials in Columbus that this “has really gone too far.”

“Cutting Local Government Funds a few years back really hurt a lot and maybe we didn’t scream enough…,” she said.

Council voted to add this concern to the agenda and authorized the city manager to draft a letter encouraging state leaders to not support the proposed changes.