Mayor Aaron Montz proposed merging Tiffin Tomorrow with the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. to save the city money under his 2014 city budget.
The $10.8 million budget proposal was the topic of a special City Council meeting Wednesday night.
Montz said the budget was created with an assumption that no pay raises would occur next year, including longevity raises.
He also added two employees for Tiffin-Fostoria Municipal Court to the budget, along with raising the court employees' work week to 37.5 hours and adding additional expenses, specifically for use of the copier and postage.
Montz also said in next year's budget, county employees are to pay 20 percent of health insurance. He also expects a 10 percent increase to the overall insurance cost starting in February, and that percentage might grow. He cited the federal health care law as the reason for the increase.
Montz said that under the budget proposal, additional funding is to go to the parks system and for the purchase of a street sweeper, and an additional $100,000 is to go to capital improvements to work on street paving.
Council had Montz go through the budget and explain the changes made for 2014, including a proposed increase of $15,000 for SIEDC. Montz said due to the growth in Tiffin, he felt council should restore cuts made to the SIEDC budget in the past.
He said the additional funding would be used to help pay for a part-time employee who is to focus on downtown development. The Tiffin Tomorrow-SIEDC merger also would cover costs for that worker.
In addition, Montz said he believes the city pool is to be managed by the YMCA next year.
At this time, $20,000 is budgeted as the city's portion for pool maintenance for 2014, but Montz said he hopes some of that can be returned to the city. He based that hope on a carryover of donations from this year and the YMCA's efficient management.
Also in the proposed budget is funding for the hiring of additional part-time, seasonal parks employees.
Council discussed adding into the budget funding to allow the city to become an associate member of the Main Street Ohio program. After discussion, council decided to add $1,000 to contractual services for the one-year membership.
He also proposed a budget line for a $15,000 increase to shade tree planting and removal in order to purchase new benches, bike racks and planters for downtown.
He said the city also has applied for a grant to purchase trash cans made from recyclable materials.
There also is to be no increase in police or firefighting staffing under Montz's proposed budget.
He said the decision was made for two reasons.
"We do not know what that health care increase is going to be for insurance costs, and we also do not know what the final numbers will be as far as employee raises this year," he said. "It's very hard for us to add on additional staffing until we know what we're facing as far as wage increases for employees once negotiations have been completed."
Those negotiations are scheduled to take place before the end of the year.
He also proposed a $5,000 increase to the police vehicles line for the purchase of two SUVs for the police department.
Montz also proposed setting aside $10,000 in the budget for a celebration for Tiffin's bicentennial in 2017.
Also included in the budget proposal was $10,000 for the 2014 fireworks display.
Montz also reported that income tax revenue is expected to be 4 percent higher next year.