Citing better sales tax numbers than in previous years, Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley advised the county commissioners Wednesday that the general fund budget for 2020 would be $10.6 million, a small increase over last year’s budget of $10.3 million.
Britton said work was progressing on finalizing the budget, adding that there are “a few things to tweak.”
“For the most part, all of the elected officials have done a great job on their budgeting,” Britton said. “We should have that wrapped up soon.”
He gave much of the credit in the budget process to commission clerks Nicole Oberrecht and Mary Remsing, whom he said he had been working closely with him on completing next year’s county budget.
“Between our three heads, and take mine out, we’ll get there pretty soon,” he said.
Offsetting the increase in sales taxes was a slight decrease in local government funds, which Abernathy described as being an annual problem.
“Those funds are slowly coming back under the DeWine administration,” Fawley said. “Hopefully they’ll get to the point where they’ll be even better.”
Clinton Davis announced his resignation as coordinator of the Highland County Recycling and Litter Prevention program at the Highland County Community Action Organization, and gave commissioners a progress report of the agency’s accomplishments in 2019.
He said he was taking a position of executive director at the Lancaster-Fairfield Community Action Agency.
“It’s exciting for me, but a little bit sad to be leaving in the middle of a lot of things here that I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have been in,” Davis said. “It’s been really good to get to be here to work in the community and be a part of the work going on.”
Davis said he would start his new job on Dec. 16, and that his last day in the Hillsboro office would be Dec. 13.
Abernathy announced the formation of the new Highland County Community Foundation, designed to work with the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio to assist with various projects and initiatives through grants.
“They encouraged us to form a foundation here since we’re a part of their region, and also eligible for funds that they have,” he said. “There was really no direction as to who could be on the board, but I thought it would be good to have direction from members of every community in Highland County.”
Abernathy said the inaugural board members by region are Susan Davis, Hillsboro; Ron Coffey, Greenfield; Shawn Priest, Leesburg; Marty Bailey, Lynchburg; Kara Juillerat, Mowrystown; and Robert “Mick” McLaughlinand Abernathy both representing the county at large.
The board’s first meeting will be announced soon, Abernathy said, and would feature a presentation by Heather Keesee, vice president of Local Impact for the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio.
Under discussion Wednesday, commissioners accepted a quote of $3,425 from Biggie, Inc. of Sabina for the purchase of a new cap and extendable flooring for a truck used at the Highland County Dog Pound.
A quote of $36,500 was accepted from Herdman’s Pole Barns for construction of a new building to be used for storage at the Rocky Fork Lake Sewer Plant.
In other matters, eight resolutions were approved Wednesday, with seven being line item budget transfers and another authorizing a list of items to be removed from service at the Highland County Airport.
The five contracts were accepted:
• Two contracts between commissioners, the Highland County Sheriff’s Office and Stanley Convergent Security Systems, described as a renewal of an ongoing service agreement for maintenance of door locks at the Highland County Justice Center, and the other authorizing the installation of new digital surveillance cameras at the facility.
• Two contractual service agreements between commissioners and Pro-Kill for insect protection at the Hi-TEC Center and the county probation department.
• One contract involving the commissioners and the Highland County Community Action Organization’s Home program for a homeowner written agreement.
Duncan reminded everyone that the next commissioners meeting has been rescheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 3 p.m.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.