Carrie Blackmore Smith reports:
Last year, The Enquirer asked leaders of Southwest Ohio’s 15 largest communities – including West Chester and Liberty townships – how much they anticipated spending in 2013 and what else residents might expect.
A year later, we found out if they came in on budget and their forecasts for the coming year.
Most report they’re in better shape now than they were a year ago, when communities – particularly townships – were reeling from a series of cuts by the state to local governments. Delhi Township has weathered a 70 percent cut to its general fund – the fund that pays for day-to-day operations – from 2011 to 2013. Other townships saw their revenues slashed by more than half.
For many of these communities the figure includes money that passes through the township to local school districts.
• Projected spending: $19,828,557
• Actual spending: $19,868,203
• Difference: $40,000 more
Liberty Township spent about $40,000 more than officials originally anticipated. Last year officials said the township was “in maintenance mode” with no township-led projects or changes in spending planned. Residents will be asked to renew a 5-year, 3 mill police levy in May.
The township led the region with the most new housing permits last year at 255 – nearly double 2012, according to the Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati and township officials. All sorts of permits were up last year, said Administrator Kristin Bitonte..
West Chester Township
• Projected spending: $50,351,641*
• Actual spending: $46,141,670
• Difference: $4,209,971 less