TIFFIN — 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 Zoom information is the same as it was for the previous two meetings. 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, as they continue to monitor new information about how the pandemic has affected tax revenues.
The board’s plan, which started being implemented last month, 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 commissioners also closed the Seneca County Museum until the fiscal situation improves.
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 an April 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.
County Administrator Stacy Wilson also said some utility costs could lessen with many offices not being open on Fridays. The commissioners decided to move forward with these cuts due to sobering financial data from the state.
As of April 25, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services had reported 1,057,486 unemployment claims over the previous six weeks. This figure is more than 341,000 claims higher than the combined total of 2018 and 2019.
In new business, the board is to consider:
- A $527.02 supplemental appropriation to the Impaired Driving Enforcement Program Fund.
- A $14,588.03 supplemental appropriation to the Maintenance and Repair Fund for equipment.
- A $19,012.66 supplemental appropriation to the General Special Projects Fund for a grant.
- A $20,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for supplies and COVID-19 expenses.
- A $20,000 supplemental appropriation to the General Fund for contract services related to COVID-19 expenses.
- A contract with Ward Construction for the 2020 Chip Seal Project. The Leipsic-area company bid $522,620.30 for the project on April 16.