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Commissioners continue budget talks, formalize nearly $2 million in reductions

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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From left: Commissioners Mike Kerschner, Shayne Thomas, and Anthony Paradiso

The Seneca County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Thursday morning that formalizes about $2 million in budget reductions.

During the meeting, which was held digitally through Zoom and Facebook Live and included about 60 participants, the board continued budget discussions.

The board’s plan, which started being implemented last week, includes 20-percent decreases to salaries and wages in the General Fund to help meet the revenue 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 was to cut about $2 million from this year’s budget. According to the approved resolution, the number for General Fund cuts was $1,909.728.48. This does not include other savings, such as utility costs being lowered as many offices are closing on Fridays for the foreseeable future.

The county also is expecting to receive about $76,000 from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation as part of the agency’s rollout today of $172 million in dividend checks to Ohio’s public employers.

The resolution formalizing budgetary reductions was necessary because the Seneca County Budget Commission reduced its General Fund revenue projection for 2020 by $2 million earlier this month.

As a result of these decreases, many county offices announced last week that they would shut down on Fridays until further notice. One office that will remain open is the Seneca County Board of Elections, so staff can continue to run this month’s Presidential Primary Election.

If you have questions about any office hours, please contact the office in question. Many employees and offices are willing to be flexible on days and hours to help residents complete the necessary county business.

In other business, the commissioners discussed a committee that is forming to start discussions of rebooting Seneca County’s economy. The group, which is chaired by Seneca County Health Commissioner Beth Schweitzer, is to begin meeting soon and will include public and private sector leaders. The members of the group will begin planning how the county can successfully re-open businesses and will work on interpreting and implementing the state’s orders as the March Stay At Home Orders are loosened.

In new business, the board approved:

  • A $10,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for supplies on behalf of the Seneca County Board of Elections. The funding is provided by the state to help with supplies for next week’s election.
  • A $300 supplemental appropriation to the Children Services Fund for travel and expenses.
  • A $2,228 supplemental appropriation on behalf of the Seneca County Recorder, to remedy a clerical error. No new money is to be appropriated.

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