Rayland officials are taking the right approach to an expected deficit in the village's 2013 general fund budget.
They plan to ask voters in November to approve a new property tax levy to provide more money - but at the same time they are investigating options to cut spending.
Like many other local governments in Ohio, Rayland is facing a budget crunch. Current estimates are the general fund budget, covering services such as police protection and street lights, will require $210,351 next year. Only $192,500 in revenue for the fund is expected, however. That has prompted village officials to consider a 3-mill levy proposal.
It is important to note that most of the village's funds - those such as water and sewer, for which residents pay fees for service - are in good shape. It is only the general fund that appears to need help.
At first glance the projected 2013 deficit, $17,851, does not seem like a lot of money. But for Rayland, with a population of slightly more than 400, it is a substantial sum.
Options such as cooperating with neighboring Tiltonsville on police protection or reducing the number of street lights are being considered by Rayland officials.
They should pursue such ideas, both as a contingency should the levy be rejected and to give voters an idea of what may be lost in that eventuality.