Below is the full article written by Sue Kiesewetter for the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Trustee Pat Hiltman has one word to describe Liberty Township’s proposed 2012 budget: austere.
“That’s the theme for 2012 – and (it will) carry forward,” Hiltman said.
Total revenues in the 2012 budget are estimated at $19.6 million, which includes $10.6 million for operations – lower than 2011’s estimated operating revenue.
Administrator Dina Minneci said she expects local government dollars from the state to decline in 2012 and be gone by 2013. Those dollars had averaged $650,000 over the past five years.
Projected expenses for 2012 are $20.4 million, about $1 million higher than the 2011 estimated expenses. Contributing to that increase include health insurance increases, a newly established $14,000 payment to the Butler County Emergency Management Agency, contract provisions and large capital expenses including some postponed from this year.
Despite the dismal outlook for 2012, no layoffs or service reductions are planned for the year, said Caroline McKinney, township spokeswoman and economic development director.
“We absolutely have to squeeze every nickel and dime,’’ said trustee David Kern.
Carryover and reserve funds will make up the difference between revenues and expenses.
Trustees are expected to approve a final budget at a special meeting called for 8 a.m. Dec. 30 at administrative offices.