The following is the latest installment of Mayor Jim Boroff's monthly updates on city issues.
Speaking of Summer Splash, the day was a huge success. The weather almost cooperated, being warm and sunny most of the day. The only glitch came with the rain during the band concert in the evening.
The city thanks National City Bank for sponsoring Summer Splash. The free ice cream especially was appreciated by those in attendance. We also extend our gratitude to the Columbian and Calvert bands for their performances. The rain certainly did not dampen their enthusiasm.
The National Machinery Foundation donated $20,000 for this school year's crossing guard program and an additional $20,000 for each of the next two school years. This was in response to our need to drastically reduce the number of intersections that were to be covered by the guards. The donation will allow us to staff the nine most critical intersections, ensuring the safety of our young students.
All in all, almost $62,000 has been received this year from various sources which are to help offset expenses on a variety of levels. Every donation is greatly appreciated.
As this phase in nearing completion, the administration already is planning the next leg of the process. We are exploring our next target as being the downtown area. Given the interest in pursuing commercial development in the business district and the proximity of that area in regard to our current sewer work, it makes sense to focus our attention there.
Indeed, it will be perhaps the most challenging phase of our comprehensive plan and perhaps the most expensive but it has to be done sometime. Therefore, I have asked our engineering firm, Jones & Henry, to begin assessing the logistics and to start crunching the numbers so we can determine just what we will be undertaking.
If there are going to be construction projects in the downtown area, we might as well be making our own improvements at the same time, thus minimizing the inconvenience to businesses and residents alike. Preliminarily, we are estimating this phase of the separation will not begin before the spring of 2012. In the meantime, we will be investigating any and all grant and small interest loan programs that will maximize our finances.
The next few weeks will be spent meeting with them individually to trim expenses to the minimum. By the first week of October, the administration will have a preliminary budget from which we will be presenting the information and other pertinent data in a series of hearings to City Council and anyone else who is interested. Each hearing will focus on one or two departments, depending upon the complexity of their finances.
Once the hearings are completed and additional comments and suggestions are assimilated, a proposed 2010 budget will be presented to City Council at its first meeting in November. At that time, it will be referred to the Finance Committee for their recommendations.
It is my hope this process although much more arduous and time consuming will result in a better understanding of our financial condition and how we can best cope with the economic demands and constraints that next year is promising to bring. So far, we are keeping our heads above water, and it is my intention to do everything we can to keep us that way.
If you have any questions about any issues facing the city, please feel free to write to me in care of 51 E. Market St., Tiffin, or
e-mail me at email@example.com. I am happy to speak with anyone who has concerns, suggestions or questions about the city. You may call my office at (419) 448-5401 or stop by without an appointment. To ensure I am available, please call ahead.
Jim Boroff is mayor of Tiffin