The Highland County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Wednesday morning urging state legislators to take action regarding an estimated $807,000 loss in Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) sales tax revenue for the county.
As previously reported by The Times-Gazette, commissioners learned last summer that the federal government will no longer allow sales taxes on Medicaid-funded MCOs, resulting in substantial revenue losses for both the state and the county.
According to a brief on the state budget website, a federally approved replacement plan proposed by the state offers temporary assistance to affected counties in what board of commissioners president Shane Wilkin described as an attempt to “wean the county off” its Medicaid MCO sales tax dependency.
Wilkin said the plan allows the state to balance its budget at the cost of the counties, and is not a viable solution to the revenue losses, which Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley said would take effect in July of this year.
According to Wilkin, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio recently suggested commissioners around Ohio pass the resolution, which urges legislators to take immediate action in finding an “equitable solution” that addresses the funding issues of both the county and the state.
In other business, commissioners passed a resolution allowing the Rocky Fork Lake Area Safety and Advancement Project (RFL-ASAP) Joint Steering Team and Economic Development Subcommittee to retain Development Strategies Group LLC to develop an implementation strategy for the project.
As reported by The Times-Gazette, the initiative is funded by an $800,000 grant to improve the economy and fight crime in the Rocky Fork Lake region.
Also Wednesday, Heidi Devine, recycling outreach specialist for Highland County, told commissioners the deadline to apply for the Highland County 2017 Recycling Grant is May 1. According to a release, municipal corporations, villages, townships, state colleges, park districts, health districts and nonprofits can apply for the $5,000 grant, which covers costs associated with solid waste and recycling activities.
Devine also announced there will be an electronics collection event at Premier Grain in Leesburg Saturday, Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to noon. Electronics such as computers, non-CRT monitors, VCR players and cell phones can be turned in for disposal at no cost. Televisions and CRT monitors are excluded. A tire collection event will also be held Saturday, Aug. 19 from 8 a.m. to noon in the Highland County Bureau of Motor Vehicles/Job and Family Services parking lot on State Route 62 in Hillsboro. The first five passenger tires per vehicle can be disposed for free; after that, there is a fee. Commercial businesses and dealers are excluded.
For more information on recycling, contact Devine by calling 937-509-2899, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In another matter, commissioner Jeff Duncan said the Highland County Courthouse will soon have new custom-made wooden double doors similar to the ones the courthouse had decades ago. Duncan said the Highland County Historical Society used old photos to get an idea of what the doors looked like, and the county is using a contractor to replicate them.
Wilkin said the commissioners have been in communication with the City of Hillsboro about possibly installing a fountain on the courthouse square.
Commissioners also approved several financial resolutions, as well as a proclamation declaring the month of April Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Wilkin noted their next meeting will be held later than usual at 11:30 a.m. next Wednesday.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.