Commissioners to continue budget discussion during digital meeting Thursday
[Tiffin, OH April 28, 2020] – The Seneca County Board of Commissioners is to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday for a digital board session.
The commissioners are encouraging residents to join them in the online meeting through the application Zoom, in light of the state’s Stay at Home Order that went into effect in March.
To maintain maximum accessibility, the meeting will be recorded, archived and streamed live through Zoom. Residents can join the meeting by computer or mobile device at the following link: https://zoom.us/j/92595230790.
Residents also can download the Zoom meeting app and join with meeting ID 925 9523 0790.
For those who would rather call in and listen to the audio of the meeting while it’s occurring, they can dial (646) 558-8656 and use the meeting ID. This meeting information is the same as last week’s meeting.
The session also will be streamed live on the Seneca County Commissioners Facebook page.
During old business, the commissioners are to continue discussing the county’s budget.
The board’s plan, which started being implemented two weeks ago, includes 20-percent decreases to salaries and wages in the General Fund to help meet the shortfall created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The cut in salaries is coupled with the zeroing out of travel budgets and the halving of supply budgets. The commissioners also instituted a hiring freeze, are in the process of re-evaluating and canceling many contracts and are not planning to undertake any capital projects without outside funding.
The board’s initial goal for the General Fund is to cut about $2 million from this year’s budget.
This plan was formulated following the Seneca County Budget Commission reducing its General Fund revenue projection for 2020 by $2 million earlier this month.
Nearly $2 million in cuts were formalized by the approval of a resolution during last week’s session.
As a result of these decreases, many county offices now are shut down on Fridays until further notice.
If you have questions about any office hours, please contact the office in question.
These changes don’t include added revenue from other sources, including $76,000 from the state through the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. Wilson also said some utility costs could lessen with many offices not being open on Fridays.
The commissioners decided to move forward with cuts due to sobering financial data from the state. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, as of April 18, the state has seen 964,566 jobless claims over the previous five weeks. The total for the past five weeks is about 250,000 more than the combined total of the past two years.
In other business, the board is expected to discuss a task force that was formed to reboot the Seneca County economy. The group met via digital call this week to discuss how businesses might react to state orders related to COVID-19. Gov. Mike DeWine announced that starting on May 1, regulations and restrictions of Ohio’s Stay at Home Orders will be slowly repealed. The goal of the task force is to consider what options there are for re-opening local private and public entities. Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer heads the group.
In new business, the board is to consider:
* A $50,000 supplemental appropriation for unemployment expenses.
* A fund advance repayment to the county from the Wolf Creek Ditch Project Fund to the General Fund.
* Accepting the Contract with Transportation Equipment Services Corp. for Two (2) eight-passenger four-wheelchair vans on Behalf of the Seneca County Opportunity Center.
* Authorizing Commissioner Shayne Thomas to sign the 2021 Workers Compensation Group Retrospective Rating Plan between the county and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.