The City of Tiffin is
facing a budget battle. With nowhere else to cut, the city may go without a
pool and Fourth of July fireworks this summer.
In 2012, the city saw an
increase in new revenue from income tax collections – over $200,000. But the
state is cutting $1 million in funding, and a city levy failed in November.
"A $1 million cut to our
budget was about 8 percent of our entire operating budget," said Tiffin Mayor
Aaron Montz. "It might not seem like a lot to a city, but [for] a city the size
of Tiffin, it's a substantial amount from our budget."
With the city fire
department already down a third from full-strength, and the police and public
works departments also receiving recent layoffs, recreation is now at the top
of the list.
"You look at everything
and you say, ‘Well, can we afford to lay off another fireman and policeman?'
No, we cannot," Montz said. "I would rather have more police patrolling our
streets, keeping our streets safe, and also have more firemen in the firehouse
saving lives than a swimming pool."
But the mayor said he isn't
giving up yet. Since both the pool and fireworks display are popular in Tiffin,
the city is collecting donations and fundraising. If $30,000 can be raised, the
pool can stay open. Another $12,000 will save the fireworks.
"I truly believe that this
community has really shown that it pulls together in a time of need, and I
think they're going to do it again this time, and we'll get the money raised,"
There is a May 1 deadline
to have the money raised for the pool, and a June 1 deadline for the fireworks.