Post-meeting release 11/20

Commissioners approve a $17.4 million General Fund budget for 2019

Capital Improvement Fund budget discussion to continue during work session next week

[Tiffin, OH Nov. 20, 2018] – Seneca County Board of Commissioners approved its General Fund and most of its non-General Fund budget for 2019 Tuesday morning.

Certified revenue by the budget commission for next year is $17.8 million, while budgeted expenses are to be about $17.41 million. County Administrator Stacy Wilson was working to finalize some figures with Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday, but the figure is not likely to drastically change. Commissioners agreed to approve the budget as long as the finalized figures from the sheriff’s office kept the expenditure number close to the same.

The budget includes three-percent raises for employees but does not include any increase in funding to economic development partners. The county could still agree to fund increases for Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership and Fostoria Economic Development Corp., but no decision has been made.

TSEP currently is funded at about $17,000 and FEDC currently is funded at about $8,750 for next year. Both could be in line for more funding, but discussions are to continue before any decisions are made.

The non-General Fund budget also was approved, except for the Capital Improvement Fund line. The commissioners held a one-hour budget hearing regarding capital projects Tuesday. At the one-hour mark of the hearing, the board had to stop the hearing to start the regular meeting. A continued capital projects hearing now is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, so more potential projects can be discussed.

Some of the projects being considered include work in the County Services Building, the RTA building, within the county’s fleet of vehicles and at the county museum.

One project to be funded next year through the Capital Projects Fund is the purchase of new voting machines, on the heels of a mandate from the state secretary of state’s office. The price of the machines is unknown, but the county has put aside $500,000 for the purchase. The state also is to contribute about $640,000 for the machines. The machines also come with a roughly $60,000 annual maintenance fee.

The capital fund has about $259,000 available for some of the proposed projects.

In other business, the board agreed to intervene as a neutral party in the Ohio Power Siting Board application process related to the Seneca Wind Project. The board also intervened as a neutral party in the process for the Republic Wind Project.

In other action, the board discussed the possibility of establishing electric vehicle charging stations and potential uses for a $50,000 grant from the Ottawa-Sandusky-Seneca Solid Waste District. Commissioners also agreed to move forward with temporary fixes to two boilers in the courthouse annex. Next year, the boilers will be completely replaced and thus will be much more efficient. The cost is about $70,000 for the replacement and the changes are to be included in the Capital Improvement Fund line.

During appropriations, the board approved all of the requests from yesterday’s release except for the $114 supplemental appropriation on behalf of the sheriff’s office for JMHC planning. The appropriation is likely to be reintroduced next week.

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