Commissioners keep an eye on county finances

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By Carol McIntire


Carroll County Commissioner Jeff Ohler addressed the county budget during the Aug. 27 meeting, after having time to review information presented during the Aug. 24 meeting.

“I am hearing noise we are in a better position than we are planning for,” Ohler noted, referring to the remainder of the 2020 budget and carryover into the 2021 year.

He acknowledged real estate and sales tax income are both above expectations, but his concern is income from the other remaining sources.

“We’ve received $1.7 million in revenue from those other sources through July of this year. I don’t think we can rely on historical data to predict what we will receive though the rest of the year.

“I also don’t think we should jump to conclusions about the budget. We should just stay the course and be very conservative in our thought process.”

Commissioners previously asked county general fund office officials to reduce their 2020 budgets by 10 percent. Through that process, Ohler said the budget was reduced from $10.5 million to $9.9 million.

Wendy Dillingham from the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio (CEBCO) shared news on the 2020 health insurance premium.

The county will see a 9.9 percent increase in the premium, which Dillingham said translates into about $300,000 over the 2021 year.

She provided options for other plans as a savings possibility.

Commissioner President Bob Wirkner noted the county has employees on the county insurance program who belong to a union, which typically resists change.

She also suggested a spousal rider which requires spouses of county employees on the insurance program who have insurance available elsewhere to move to those plans.

Ohler said he will check to determine what share of the $300,000 increase belongs to offices funded by the general fund.

The deadline to change plans is Sept. 18.

In other matters, commissioners:

-AGREED to send a letter of intent to purchase solar-generated electricity to the county prosecutor for review.

-AGREED to accept bids until 9:30 a.m. Oct. 5 for the sale of a vacant lot located at 88 W. Main St., Carrollton.

-APPROVED a change order for the Sr. Friendship generator project, extending the completion date 90 days.

-APPROVED the hiring of Laiten Carter at the Department of Job and Family Services at the rate of $21.50 per hour.

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