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Three Years of Budget Cuts total nearly $10 million

By Tami Flenner
Released/Published: Feb 18, 2011

CANTON, Ohio — 

Over the last three years, the administration and city staff have worked diligently to reduce costs by $10 million.

 

ADMINISTRATION/ELECTED OFFICIALS

•    Management, Civil Service employees, Elected Officials, AFSCME 2937,
      AFSCME 3449 increased their employee health care contributions, co-pays
      and deductibles
•    Reduced overtime by roughly $1.4 million over the last two years   
      for employees in the General Fund
•    Reduced number of city cell phone users and the number of Blackberries.
•    Reduced number of employees with city vehicles and city take-home vehicles
•    Eliminated pay phones
•    Outsourced management services for the Civic Center
•    Outsourced management services for Munson Stadium
•    Merged the position of Human Resource Director with Compliance Director
•    Reduced over 70 full time equivalent employees over the past two years
•    Implemented hiring freeze and controlled hiring upon necessity
•    Wage freezes and step increase freezes for all non-bargaining unit employees
•    Longevity freeze for all non-bargaining unit employees
•    Furloughs for elected officials, management and non-bargaining unit employees
•    Furloughs taken by CPPA
•    Used bond money to pay down bond debt instead of spending on new items
•    Refinanced debt with lower interest rates
•    Buyout incentive
•    Negotiated concessions from each of the five unions
•    Zero raise for AFSCME; CCPA; FOP
•    All Youth Development cost paid through Community Development budget
•    Reduced management positions in Police (FOP – Sergeants, Lt. Captain)
•    DMV service and repair cost paid from 4502 Motor Vehicle Capital for both General
      Fund and Street Funds
•    Increased/started traffic patrol for Police Department
•    Pay Police and Fire pension debt with Recreation Bond proceeds which normally
      came from General Fund
•    Obtained Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds
•    Received millions from State and Federal funds for roads and bridges
•    Utilized the forfeiture fund to pay overtime and insurance cost
•    Revised fees for the use of off-duty police officers and cruisers from $8 to $20.  
      Since the Ordinance was originally passed in 1979 general maintenance and fuel
      costs to service these cruisers has risen exponentially.
•    Rate increases in Sanitation, Water and Sewer Departments
•    Unredeemed checks of approximately $119,000 returned to general fund
•    Changed the way we plow and salt roads to conserve costs
•    Reformed the Sanitation Department by raising rates, changing routes and
      eliminating call-backs
•    Moved Capital funds, Enterprise funds and Development Funds to cover
      cross-over costs
•    Restructured and contracted out Canton Connection to save over $30,000
•    Adjusted summer food program to save $35,000 per year
•    Reduced number of police dogs
•    Created Jobs-for-US program to bring tax revenue without costly service expenses
•    Creative business annexation (business is charged in-city water rates in exchange
      city receives income tax of business employees; business receives a reduction if
      Canton city resident are hired)
•    IPMC total reform of department and process
•    Professional service contract with individual as CBO & Plans Examiner one position
      saving cost on vacation, comp time, longevity, vehicle
•    Increased fees for Building Department, Parking meters and EMS service
•    Reduced the number of Fire Department runs with trucks following EMS calls
•    Bid and received grants for energy efficient upgrades to city buildings
•    Obtain grants to replace lighting with LED lighting to reduce electric costs
•    Purchased used vehicles/trucks rather than new (Sanitation)
•    Reduced travel by over 70 percent in the General Fund over the past two years
•    Reformed process in Water Department – restoring plants and fixing leaks in
      system
•    Eliminated concert in the park
•    Closed down ice skating rink
•    Health Department increase employees share of PERS
•    Judges in 2008 increased court fees and fines
•    All “capital outlay” type expenditures paid through Capital Fund per section 181 of
      the City of Canton Codified Ordinance with regard to expenditures for such items
      as acquisition of equipment etc. to be fiscally prudent these expenditures could or
      should be paid from the 4501 where it is perfectly legal to pay these expenses
•    Vacated Director of Communications
•    Vacated Receptionist position in Mayor’s office

CITY COUNCIL

•    Pay cuts for Council Members
•    Froze employee wages
•    Assumed increase in health care premiums
•    Implemented furloughs for staff
•    Eliminated all travel
•    Replaced lighting in Council Chambers    
•    Reduced paper costs
•    Reduced postage costs

BOARD OF HEALTH

• Board of Health covers 19 percent of the required 24 percent PERS payments. The
   employee pays the remaining 5 percent
• The Board of Health has increased the employees contribution to the health care
   system
• Implemented a HVAC maintenance contract resulting in substantial savings in repair
   and maintenance of the system
• Since 2008 the Board of Health has reduced its GRF funded staff by approximately
   three FTE out of a total of approximately 60 FTE
• The Board has altered fee structures for vital records, travel clinic, TB clinic, and
   other areas resulting in an approximate 12 percent increase in income
• The nursing department has started to participate in a MAC billing program that has
   resulted in an increase in funding for nursing programs of approximately
   $16,000 per quarter (as of the last billing period)
• Changed the travel policy to match the current State of Ohio travel policy resulting
   in a decrease in overall travel cost
• Implemented changes in cell phone policy so that cell phones are no longer provided
   to key staff
• As a result of careful management of the GRF budget, the Board of Health was able
   to return over $143,780 to the GRF in 2010


BUILDING AND CODE ENFORCEMENT

•    Eliminated Building Inspector Tech position
•    Reduced Building Electrical inspector to part-time
•    Eliminated Customer Service Clerk position
•    Reduced mailing/printing/letterhead/copies/registration/customer letters/permits
      by using e-mail instead of US mail
•    Reduced office cleaning
•    Returned six vehicles
•    Increased permits due to fee schedule change
•    Increase in zoning permits due to fee schedule change
•    Anticipated increase in revenue due to new property maintenance code

BUILDING MAINTENANCE

•    Replaced over four hundred 300-watt incandescent lamps in City Hall, Civic Center
      and Sears Building with 86-watt compact fluorescent lamps reducing energy
      consumption yet increasing light quality
•    Replaced 100-watt incandescent lamps in non-dimmable fixtures with 27-watt
      compact fluorescent lamps
•    Replaced burned out magnetic ballasts with new electronic ballasts and converted
      T-12 fluorescent fixtures to T-8 fluorescent fixtures
•    Reduced the number of lamps and ballasts in some of the light fixtures through
      out City Hall and Sears Building
•    Initiated an ongoing program to replace and convert obsolete pneumatic HVAC
      controls in City Hall to more efficient electronic controls that are monitored
      by computer allowing for more efficient operation of HVAC units with added option
      of auto start/stop and night setback in relation to space and outside temperatures
•    Monitored and adjusted boiler burner Controls in City Hall and Civic Center
      to insure efficient operation and clean fuel burn
•    Replaced leaky valves and steam traps City Hall and Civic Center to prevent
      steam heat loss
•    Monitored and maintained thermostats to recommended levels to prevent
      over cooling and over heating of occupied space
•    Maintained and installed timers and photo sensors for outdoor lighting to prevent
      unnecessary operation during daylight hours
•    Initiated a maintenance work order program, which will allow more efficient
      planning and scheduling of repairs and maintenance, thus reducing travel
      time and fuel consumption and vehicle wear and tear
•    Reduced Building Maintenance Department work force by three laborers and
      one boiler Operator

CIVIC CENTER

•    Carry a just-in-time inventory
•    Bid out supplies to ensure locking in the best rates.
•    Adjust HVAC settings and keep lights off in non-working areas when possible
•    Use non-profit groups at Center events vs. City employees resulting
      in more efficient use of manpower and cost savings
      (i.e., do not have to pay PERS, workers comp, etc.)
•    Recycle cardboard related products
•    Continue to share equipment/resources with Cultural Center for the Arts

COLLECTIONS

•    Low lighting policy during summer months for Service Building
•    Share equipment and personnel with Water and Street Departments
      on an as need basis
•    Provide annual pavement repair service to the Water Reclamation Facility
•    Maintain Safety Program

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES

•    Reduced staff by not replacing first shift supervisor and not replacing two
      Mechanics on light duty
•    Replaced heaters with more efficient heaters
•    Monitored heat levels in the garage to help with gas bill
•    Working on replacing lights with more efficient lighting
•    All diesel vehicles oil changes from two hundred-fifty hours to three hundred hours,
      saving one oil change per diesel vehicle a year, at an average of
      two hundred-fifty dollars per year per diesel vehicles
•    Saving forty dollars per tire on new recap tires
•    Replaced old garage doors with new insulated doors
•    Very productive on low pricing on parts
•    IT write new service program to save on yearly fees

ENGINEERING

•    Raised Sanitary Sewer tap-in-fees
•    Enforcing contractors to pay a fine when failing to obtain permits
•    Process of initiating storm water management permit fees
•    Implemented utility inspection fees per city ordinance
•    Pursuing secured grants to offset the cost of projects and reduce operating
      expenses (nearly $40 million since 2005)
•    Reviewed all utility bills for accuracy
•    Installed energy saving lights in all fixtures; to date we are saving
      about $50,000.00 annually
•    Reduced Engineering Department by four employees due to retirement.
•    More design in-house
•    Reduced overtime
•    Shutting off lights
•    Adjusting thermostats
•    Water coolers and drinking fountains on timers
•    Turn of roadway lighting of SR 62 from April to November for a savings of
      roughly $15,000 annually

FIRE

•    Reduced personnel from 177 in 2008 to 153 in 2011
•    Combo-companies so that the same personnel can provide two services,
      Fire and EMS
•    Decreased annual overtime by over 52 percent since 2008, equals
      to $468,839.00 annually
•    Took layoffs in 2009, 2010, equals $177,486
•    No uniform allowance in 2010 equals $224,900
•    Reduced budget expenditures by over 9 percent since 2008, equal to $1,311,539
      in savings for 2010 vs. 2008
•    Stark County Fair savings from not manning the fair with EMS equals $3,500
•    No new vehicles purchased – estimated cost for two medic units, a fire engine
      and a Battalion Chief’s car saved $1,278,600
•    The Fire Department has continued to generate a substantial amount of revenue
      while down-sizing and budget reductions have taken place; Medic revenue in 2010
      was $1,755.449; MVA collections in 2010 was $17,327.
•    Received over $4 million in grants. Largest being the Safer Grant at $3.44 million
      which pays for salaries and benefits for 26 firefighter/paramedics

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

•    Changed our off-site storage service/facility saving $5,488 per year
•    Changed Internet provider saving $285/month and improving Internet performance
•    Cut overtime in general fund (employees use flex time or comp time when possible
      to avoid overtime costs)
•    Turned in four Blackberries and one cell phone, saving over $1,185. 
•    Replaced GroupWise email with
open source email, a free product, saving
      approximately $13,000/year
•    Open source email allows us to receive email and calendars to our cell phones
      for free via the Internet, eliminating a special server with yearly fees of $1,500
•    Worked with vendors to save on maintenance fees: paying for our spam filter
      software yearly instead of monthly saves $610/year
•    Paid for three years of service for antivirus software, saved $6,900 
      (equivalent to getting 1 year free) 
•    Using free software that will allow our technicians to take “remote control” over a
      server or employee’s PC to help troubleshoot a problem. This saves time and gas to
      drive to a building to resolve some issues, and allows problems to be resolved sooner 
•    Developed software in-house to help departments operate more efficiently and save 
      annual software maintenance or licensing fees 
•    Use free software to create PDF documents without the cost of buying Adobe or other 
      software in most cases. This can also save paper by allowing departments to create 
      a PDF document to email or store on the network instead of printing 
•    Built two open-source imaging servers (from old recycled pc's) to support 
      the Tech Staff's needs for reloading pc's/laptops of the same make/model
•    Systems Planning Board implemented a policy requiring any technological 
      purchase to be reviewed by the IT Department
•    We continue to host and maintain the city’s web site in-house
•    We created our own Content Management System to aid departments in easily
      updating their own pages and improve site security 
•    Use free open-source backup software saves on cost of software and support fees
•    Continue to recycle/reuse older PCs in place of purchasing new servers for 
      various open-source (free software) projects. Open-Source will lead 
      to additional savings in maintenance & licensing fees
•    Continue to recycle components of older equipment to repair PCs, printers, 
      etc throughout city departments
•    Continue to implement free network structure software to replace 
      Novell Netware. When completed, this will allow us to save $13,000 on Novell
      licensing fees and over $7,000 on Novell-specific backup software

POLICE

•    Decreased overtime expenditures by over $800,000 since 2008
•    Flexed schedules for departmental personnel, both sworn and civilian
      to avoid overtime
•    Used Federal Forfeiture Funds, Law Enforcement Trust Fund and various grants
      to pay for overtime as provided by law
•    Revision of the Patrol Division staffing policy per contract negotiations,
      which minimizes overtime worked by supervisors on the shift.
•    Utilizing “light duty” work status when possible to yield increased productivity
      and avoid minimum manning overtime.
•    Due to revamping over time for the Hall of Fame a decrease of 48,226.40
      in overtime occurred compared to 2008
•    Used the State Bid Contract when purchasing vehicles and purchased components
      separately
•    Used multiple vendors to get the best price and paid an independent installer
      to set up new cars with our new components
•    By using this process, 21 vehicles in 2009 and 12 in 2010 had a combined
      savings of $100,000
•    Used State Bid Contract pricing through multiple vendors for ammunition
•    Saved on outside printing by making adjustments to paper reports (NIBRS)
•    Assumed duties of the Police Fleet Manager in 2010 due to a retirement in DMV
•    Moved the bullet-proof vests from the General Fund expenditures to capital
      expenditures, saving approximately $400 per vest
•    Eliminated film processing fees
•    Provided a full-time officer to the city Park Department allowing the
      Park Department to save $84,446.92
•    Used Federal Forfeiture Funds for matching funds for the CAD/RMS project
      (25 percent) match in the amount of $20,444.39; SWAT ammunition for training
      and duty rifles; all departmental telephones were paid through the grant,
      except the Chief’s; training and travel
•    Charged vendors for security
•    Use of grants for maintenance contracts saving; CAD/RMS system canceling half
      of the year in 2011 will save $31,860 for 2012 a savings of $63,000;
      canceled MDT service with Jackson Township which save over $100,000;
      canceled a maintenance contract with B&C Communications for maintenance
      on light bars and cruiser equipment that saved over $10,000
•    Law Enforcement Education Fund was used to pay over $8,000 of travel
      and training and 2010
•    Evaluated and cut every possible area, leading to a reduction
      in over $28,000 in other accounts budgeting
•    Retirements and the non-replacement of personnel have saved a significant
      amount of money in the Police Department.  Not replacing 2011 retirements
      all will save the city almost $600,000
•    COP grant reimbursed the city $659,784.87 in 2010 and will bring in another
      $487,303 in 2011
•    2008 Regular Solicitation Byrne Grant - $3,585 for technology updates
•    2009 Recovery Byrne Grant  $5,240.85 for technology updates and $51,837.07
      to cover directed patrol overtime
•    2009 Stimulus Byrne Grant - $81,777.56 for a new CAD/RMS system for
      city-wide use
•    2009 Regular Solicitation Byrne Grant - $116,608.25 for updating our fleet
      with in-car computers
•    The Weed and Seed grant covered $82,499.63 in overtime reimbursement
•    Traffic Enforcement Program reimbursed the City $12,082.96 for overtime
•    OVI Task Force brought in $29,988.85 in overtime reimbursement
•    Bullet Proof Vest Partnership cover $1,439.99 in 2010

SANITATION

•    Implemented the A, B, C route plan in the summer of 2010
•    Single stream recycling, reducing manpower on recycle routes

STREET DEPARTMENT


•    Discontinued populating the "split shifts" enabling us to get
      by with fewer employees.
•    Using fewer employees for snow and ice control efforts on overtime basis
•    Avoiding the use of overtime on double-time days (7th day premium)
•    Secured and took advantage of a Solid Waste District Grant which provided
      a revenue stream the past two years for recycling wood/tree/brush debris.
      Set up a program in which dumpsters were placed on service center grounds
      to capture this waste... Previously we transported this to the dumpsite.
•    Reduced the number of days we have the workshop cleaned from five to two
•    Discontinued the practice of working overtime for grass cutting at start of season
•    Reduced the Street Department by four (4)
•    Ceased operating the Ice Skating Rink, saving set-up, shut down
      and maintenance costs

 

WATER DEPARTMENT

•    Awarded non-repayable Ohio Public Works Commission grants and subsidized
      low interest loans for the renovation of the water treatment plants and the
      replacement of an aging water distribution main. The total resulting savings
      to the department is approximately 3.8 million dollars
•    Changes in billing for water haulers has been implemented – the haulers are
      now charged a transaction fee, and are billed a flat rate with no bulk discount.
      This has resulted in an increase in revenue of approximately $37,000 per year
•    Implemented a $3 late fee on the utility bills. In its first year, this fee has resulted
      in an increase in revenue of approximately $120,000
•    Reduced staff members via attrition by five employees, resulting in a total savings
      of approximately $330,000 per year
•    Purchased generic toner instead of name brand, thereby saving the department
      several hundred dollars per year
•    The amount of fluoride used in the water treatment process has been reduced
      by 10 percent, thereby saving the department approximately $10,000 per year
•    Various energy savings equipment has been installed as part of the plant
      renovation program. These include: high efficiency motors, pumps and valves
      resulting in improved control and more economical operation of the system.
      The light bulbs were also changed to the new energy efficient bulbs and light
      switches were changed to the auto off/on type
•    Leak detection program has reduced the unmetered water loss by approximately
      5 million gallons per day. This equates to a savings on power and chemicals
      costs estimated at $300,000 per year

Water Reclamation Facility (WRF)

•    Four percent budget reduction in 2009
•    Four percent additional budget reduction for 2010
•    Two take home vehicles were eliminated in August 2009
•    Two cellular phones were eliminated in August 2010
•    Furloughs in 2010 saved WRF $5,347.68
•    One employee was off over 800 hours (FMLA) without pay saving WRF $14,106.85
•    Replaced lights in Primary, Secondary and Thickener galleries with
      more energy efficient fixtures; total of 32 300watt incandescent fixtures
      to 32 175watt HID (high intensity discharge) fixtures
•    A 400 watt-HID fixture was added in the West Filter Basement, which allowed
      two other 400 watt, HID fixtures to be de-energized during normal operations
•    Florescent light fixtures in Administration Building offices are being
      replaced with more energy saving bulbs as older ones fail
•    Compact florescent light (CFL) bulbs have been installed in the
      Administration Building hallways and restrooms
•    Installed motion sensors in the RAS Building, Solids Handling lunchroom,
      Chlorine Analyzer room and Administration Building garage
•    Eliminated 16 hours overtime weekly by eliminating scheduled Saturdays
      for both the Maintenance Electrician and the Millwright Mechanic positions
•    Replaced Millwright Mechanic Leader position (due to retirement) with
      a Millwright Mechanic at a lower cost
•    Perform annual preventive maintenance on all transformers; building roofs,
      cathodic protection, cranes and incinerators thereby reducing maintenance
      costs over the lifetime of the equipment
•    Eliminated approximately 3 million gallons per day of inflow, which resulted
      in reduced electrical costs and chemical usage
•    Installed 20 motion sensors in tunnels for 230 lights and changed each light
      to 13watt CFL’s
•    Changed dissolved oxygen control strategy
•    Installed an additional smaller hp aeration blower, which resulted
      in a savings of 300hp 24/7/365
•    Changed out boilers in the Administration and Maintenance Buildings
      with higher efficiency units
•    Rebuilt four raw pumps to increase efficiency thereby decreasing the number
      of pumps needed in operation
•    Replaced eight Primary Sludge Pumps with more efficient models, which resulted
      in less electrical, and maintenance costs via gear motors and extended life
      with adjustable stators
•    Replaced four Mechanical Bar Screens, which resulted in less maintenance
      and reduced labor costs
•    Replaced 150hp motors on plant effluent pumps with premium high
      efficiency motors
•    Three pickup trucks were replaced with utility carts thus saving fuel accordingly
•    Decreased polymer usage and reduced electrical usage by replacing the polymer
      system (multiple mixers and gear motors) with 2 energy efficient units
•    Auctioned 19 items that saved over $130,000 in demolition costs and resulted
      in revenue of approximately $14,000
•    Eliminated Chief Operator position.