Saturday, November 6, 2004

Cheviot budget cuts under way



By Kevin Aldridge
Enquirer staff writer

CHEVIOT - Curbside leaf pickup and recycling services will be among budget casualties after defeat of the city's first attempt at a tax increase since 1980.

Mayor Sam Keller said Friday that all nonessential city services will be reviewed. Cheviot is facing a projected $130,000 general fund deficit this year and a larger one in 2005.

Keller said city officials were counting on the 4.25-mill operating levy to help replenish the general fund, which is about $4 million annually. Voters defeated the levy - which would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home an added $103 a year - by 63 votes.

As a result, the city has put limits on overtime, suspended leaf collection service and stopped drop-off recycling. A quarterly garbage fee of $8 has been discussed.

To control overtime costs this winter, Keller said city streets would be salted and plowed only during normal business hours.

Cheviot City Council held an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss the cuts and brainstorm ways to generate additional income. Council members began the process of placing another levy on a special ballot in February. But city officials said even if that levy passed, they wouldn't collect any money until early 2006.

In the early 1990s, Cheviot faced a similar financial crunch and charged a $5 garbage fee to make ends meet. But residents placed a referendum on the ballot and got the fee repealed.

Keller said some council members are reluctant to bring the fee back.

"I would tend to favor it because it gets us out of the hole immediately," Keller said. "We would do away with the fee if the levy passes in February."

E-mail kaldridge@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
County's election cost: $6M
Jurors checked for criminal past
Search report clears officer
Scouts build, plant crosses for U.S. soldiers who died
More steps, fewer calories

IN THE TRISTATE
Buses come, go at 2 schools
Program helps residents pay fuel bill
Union Twp. backs cops in shooting
Local survivors: 'Take charge'
Cheviot budget cuts under way
Sessions guide Jewish girls to teen years
New home for Hoxworth center
Growth frustrates Warren Co. officials
Rural v. city politics divides government
Trustee charged with possessing child porn photos
Voting machine error gives Bush 3,893 extra votes
Bloomfield kids will meet 'Booger' author
Springfield Twp. to open firehouse
Event honors five women for service, perseverance
Local news briefs
Neighbors briefs
Public safety briefs

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Memory of mom in students' hearts

LIVES REMEMBERED
Sandra Hoemmelmeyer was cheerful voice on Enquirer phone
May Orton Westheimer, 82, was volunteer, philanthropist

KENTUCKY STORIES
Don't go buy that lion yet
Man with artificial heart dies
Developers pointing fingers
Patton's lover: I'm broke
Commute sentence, letter requests
Gov. Fletcher forms energy task force
Lucas wishes now that he'd kept seat
College expo gets students planning
Kentucky briefs