By TIM YOVICH
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
HUBBARD -- The city of Hubbard ended 2000 on sound financial footing, although one official has his eye on a possible drop in revenue this year.
"We were very pleased with the outcome overall," auditor Michael Villano said of the city's first comprehensive annual financial report.
The report was compiled by Villano and includes the 2000 state audit that doesn't contain any citations or findings against the city.
The general fund was nearly balanced in 2000 with $2,614,514 in revenue and $2,619,438 in expenditures.
What Villano views as possible trouble, however, is a decrease in income-tax revenue in May, compared with revenue in May of last year.
The city took in $540,340 through May 2000. For the same period this year, the tax has generated $512,539. A June comparison is not yet available.
Villano attributes the decrease to a general downturn in the economy. He has alerted the administration and council.
"I'm not concerned at this time about running into a deficit," he said, noting that could change.
General fund expenses increased from $2.3 million in 1999 to $2.6 million in 2000.
Where money went: Villano attributes that increase to $118,304 to upgrade the city's computer system, $105,750 as a down payment on a $284,000 firetruck, two police cars that cost $40,030, 3-percent employee raises and $110,257 for street resurfacing.
In his report, Villano said the city exceeded all expectations despite the loss of the community's largest employer.
Delphi Automotive Systems, which employed 714 people and generated $200,000 annually in income taxes, closed its Hubbard facility.
In an effort to encourage new ventures, the city has secured tax abatements by working in 2000 with the Regional Economic Development Office in Youngstown and the Trumbull County commissioners.
United States Can Co., the city's second-largest employer, added 20 jobs with an investment of $3.8 million.
J.P. Marsh and Co. added 17 jobs with a $368,000 investment, and Lighting Products Inc. purchased the former Delphi plant.
Lighting Products agreed to create 135 jobs in three years and retain 35 workers with an investment of $6.2 million.
With an additional $5.2 million investment, the report notes, Lighting Products' payroll will increase $3.2 million.
Loan: The city has also secured a $1.1 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to either build a new police headquarters or remodel the current aged structure.
Aside from commercial development, residential construction has increased.
In 1996, valuation of residential building and remodeling was $1.9 million. That figure increased in 2000 to $2.9 million.
Villano plans to generate a comprehensive report yearly.
Anyone who wants a copy of the 2000 report can contact his office in the administration building.