Mansfield City Council approves 2023 budget by 8-0 vote
Mansfield City Council passed the final budget for 2023 without issue at its Tuesday meeting.
The vote was 8-0 to approve the budget, which came in at just under $170 million, or $30 million less than the temporary budget.
At the most recent City Council meeting, Finance Director Linn Steward said the city received $2.7 million more in income tax than it did in 2021. She added there is enough cash in reserve to cover ongoing negotiations with support staff.
The police and fire departments always take up a fair portion of the budget, but city police are getting a couple of grants to help.
Council approved a $55,452.02 grant for body-worn cameras. Also, the METRICH Enforcement Unit will get an $84,935.98 grant for covert operations.
Both grants are through the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services. There is no match for either grant.
During a public affairs meeting before the regular session, Jotika Shetty made a presentation about a city housing study. She is the executive director of Richland County Regional Planning.
"It has been a year in the making," Shetty said of the first housing needs assessment and action plan in 15 years.
Study: Mansfield has low quantity of affordable housing
She said Mansfield has a low quantity of affordable housing, with 24% of renters described as "severely cost-burdened."
Still, Shetty said what came through in the study was the community's pride. She said the full study is available at rcrpc.org.
Council also honored one of its own, by voting to add the name of Walden "Butch" Jefferson to Johns Avenue between Harker Street and Longview Avenue.
Jefferson, 72, served as fourth ward councilman for 16 years. He passed away in January of last year.
"Butch was one of the most high-spirited advocates," said Aurelio Diaz, the current fourth ward councilman.
Councilman Phil Scott served with Jefferson.
"Butch would be very unhappy with this fuss we're making over him, but I think it's well-deserved," Scott said.
In other business, council voted to enter a lease with Rex Holdings LLC for Hangar 534 at Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport. The lease is for 10 years.
"This is what we like to see, more hangars rented at the airport," Scott said.
Dave Remy, public works director, added, "It's brand new."
In other business, council:
Entered a contract for providing natural gas for use at certain city-owned facilities. The contract will not exceed three years.
Entered a contract not to exceed $67,740 with Stryker Corp. for preventative maintenance of EMS medical equipment. The bill was a late addition to the agenda. Fire Chief Steve Strickling said the quote would expire at the end of the month, and he expected the cost to increase in the next quarter.
This article originally appeared on Mansfield News Journal: Mansfield City Council approves 2023 budget by 8-0 vote