SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Inflation and supply chain issues have been rough on all of us. Local governments are trying to work around their budgets to get what they need.
The city of Salem has been working on a $6.7 million budget since last October. At that time, they had an idea inflation was coming.
“But nobody was projecting 8 to 9 to 10 percent,” said Joe Cappuzzello, Salem’s safety and service director.
Cappuzzello handles over $5 million of the budget for the police, fire and street departments. They bought different vehicles for some of those departments this year but have had to dip into money they usually use for other things.
“Well, it would have more things in the budget. We could use that excess money for that. We had to take away from other line items in the budget,” Cappuzzello said.
For example, a fully equipped police cruiser used to cost them almost $50,000. Now, it’s almost $10,000 more.
“We just ordered another one. We’re looking closer to the mid to high 50s — 57, 58,000. So, we’re talking 15 percent,” Cappuzzello said.
They do get some help from the state but supply chain issues are also causing problems for the city.
“We ordered a street sweeper last year, at the end of the year, $290,000 street sweeper. Thought we were going to get it in March. Now we’re being told, getting pushed back. Now we’re looking at mid-December,” Cappuzzello said.
Cappuzzello says even though it’s taking this long, there’s no point in looking for supplies elsewhere.
“You can go to another supplier, another distributor, another manufacturer — they all have the same problems and it’s just certain pieces,” Cappuzzello said. “You just scratch your head and wonder what happened two years ago. How we went from being fine and now we can’t get any major product for purchases we’re trying to make.”