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Commissioners to continue budget discussion in online meeting

TiffinOhio.net Staff

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TIFFIN — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners is to meet at 10 a.m. Thursday for a digital meeting through Zoom.

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 last month.

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/98623272576.

Residents also can download the Zoom meeting app and join with meeting ID 986 2327 2576. 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.

The major topic of discussion is to be the county’s budget. The county’s General Fund revenue is expected to take a hit because of COVID-19.

This led to the board formalizing a budget reduction plan last Thursday that includes a 20-percent decrease to salaries and wages in the General Fund. All of this followed the decision by the county’s budget commission to cut projected revenue by $2 million.

The budget commission, which is made up of the county auditor, prosecutor and treasurer, meets again in early May and could revise revenue estimates. The commission made this call because members expect decreases in all or most of the county’s top five revenue-generating lines, in addition to varying changes across all other lines.

Sales tax, property tax, casino tax, ICE and jail housing and local government funds all could experience varying levels of reductions compared to the initial 2020 projections. The commissioners approved a resolution Thursday giving direction to General Fund departments to make several cuts to meet this budget shortfall.

Decreases include zeroing out travel budgets and halving supply lines. The commissioners also are instituting a hiring freeze, are re-evaluating and canceling many contracts and are not undertaking any capital projects without support from grant funding.

The board also sent a letter Thursday to department heads and elected officials that strongly urges a countywide four-day workweek. The adverse economic impact of this health crisis has been felt by many across the country and the world, including record numbers of unemployment claims across the state.

For the week ending April 4, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) reported 226,007 initial jobless claims to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, which is the second straight week that more than 200,000 new claims were filed by Ohioans.

The number of initial jobless claims filed in Ohio over the last three weeks stands at 696,519. To put that in perspective, 364,603 initial jobless claims were filed in 2019.

In other business, the commissioners are to open bids for the 2020 Chip Seal Project.

In new business, the board is to consider:

  • A $134.60 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund, and a fund transfer in the same amount to the Help America Vote Act Fund.
  • A $45,000 supplemental appropriation to the engineer’s Maintenance and Repair Fund.
  • Setting time, date and place to receive bids for the Village of Bloomville Sidewalk Replacement Project.
  • Setting time, date and place to receive requests for proposals for the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services.
  • Setting time, date and place to receive requests for proposals for the Seneca County Department of Job and Family Services for non-emergency transportation services.

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