Highland County Board of Commissioners President Jeff Duncan said during Wednesday’s regular meeting that the county is coping better on sales taxes than some of the surrounding counties, noting that sales tax receipts showed a 2.8 percent increase over the same time last year.
“We were concerned about what our sales tax figures would be due to the coronavirus,” Duncan said. “That’s good news for the county. That’s been a concern for us and those receipts are always two months behind, so those are receipts for March.”
In exact numbers, Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley said the increase amounted to $15,810.30, and was quick to point out that the numbers reflected collections received before Ohio’s stay-at-home order was issued.
Fawley also thanked the citizens of Highland County for supporting their local businesses, noting that only about one-fourth of Ohio’s counties saw increases in their local sales taxes from the previous year.
He said that the sales tax figures from April, May and June, which will be available in June, July and August, respectively, would give a more accurate picture of the county’s economic situation.
Mark Current from the Highland County Community Action Organization Inc. appeared before commissioners for the second public hearing into applying for Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) grants.
“On the basis of the partnership between the city of Hillsboro and Highland County, the maximum that the county can apply for is $400,000, and the city can apply for $300,000,” Current said. “Without this partnership, neither could get that much money, so this of benefit to both.”
The minimum goals of the CHIP program locally, which he said are always exceeded, include seven repairs and four rehabs for city homeowners, and five repairs and three rehabs for homeowners throughout the county.
He indicated the funding sources would be derived from:
• HOME Investment Partnership Program, which is designed for rehabs for homeowners with income of 80 percent or less of the Area Median Income (AMI).
• Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding of rehabs and repairs for homeowners with incomes of 80 percent or less of the AMI.
• Ohio Housing Trust Funds (OHTF), which will fund repairs for homeowners with incomes of 50 percent or less of the AMI.
Following Current’s presentation, commissioners approved Resolution No. 20-85, which gave their consent into entering into the joint CHIP Joint Partnership agreement with the city of Hillsboro.
In other matters, a total of five resolutions and five contracts were approved Wednesday morning.
The resolutions dealt with budget transfers, reimbursements, appropriations and the joint partnership CHIP agreement between the county and the city of Hillsboro.
The five contracts that commissioners moved to accept included the 2020 Chip Seal program for the county between the county engineer and Miller-Mason Paving Company; a lease extension between the engineer and Sentry Electrical Group, Inc.; a juvenile court subsidy grant agreement for fiscal year 2021; a child support contract between the commissioners, prosecutor and the Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA), effective through March 31, 2021; and a communications grant for the sheriff’s office in the Ohio 9-1-1 local sub-grant program between the commissioners and the Ohio Department of Commerce.
They also issued a letter of support for Alternatives to Violence for safety and Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) funding.
Commissioners also expressed their condolences to the Parr family on the death of local radio icon Willard Parr, who passed away Monday at the age of 94.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.