Scioto County on its way to recovery

December 13, 2012

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

With the Juvenile Detention Center deficit of $827,611.41, out of the way, Scioto County has traded its red pens in for black pens as it digs out of state-sanctioned Fiscal Emergency status.

At Thursday’s meeting of the Scioto County Planning and Supervisory Committee meeting, Chris McCoy of the State Auditor’s Office reported the unexpended balance of the county’s General Fund through November is at $1,894,019.94 thanks mainly to an increase in sales tax revenue.

“There’s excellent news to report this time around,” McCoy told the committee. “The outstanding deficit is no longer in existence. I think that’s excellent news.”

The county had projected permissive sales tax revenues to be $10,350,000, but through November revenues are already at $10,072,982.04 with a month to go. That puts the county at 97.32 percent of its projected revenues for the entire year.

Another plus is the county’s contract housing figures. Contract housing figures are based on jail occupation revenue from other counties. Projections had been to receive $750,000. However, through November, contract housing revenue was at $787,653.26, or 105.02 percent of projections.

The numbers that jumped out at everybody on the committee were the figures from “other revenue.” Projected to be $10,000, that figure ballooned to $426,454.70 thanks mainly to the county finally closing on the Infra-Metals property. Scioto County Commissioners Chairman Skip Riffe said the county has received a check for almost $414,000.

An amended certificate of $64,550 was approved to cover a shortage in the Sheriff’s salary fund and Riffe asked for the approval of the park manager to apply for an Ohio Department of Natural Resources Major Works Project grant to build a new playground at Burke’s Landing.

The cost of the playground would be approximately $116,356, which would be 75 percent reimbursable making the county’s actually obligation at around $29,000. That was quickly approved as Chairwoman Sharon Hanrahan was complimentary of the project. McCoy said he had not had time to factor those monies into the 2013 recovery plan, but would amend it to reflect those figures.

Riffe talked about the fact that the meeting would be his last, since newly-reelected Mike Crabtree would take over as Commission chairman in January. Riffe then turned his attention to outgoing Commissioner Tom Reiser, who had served on the committee since it’s inception.

“I think Tom pointed us in the right direction,” Riffe said. “It has really been Tom who has steered us in the right direction.”

Reiser thanked the committee for working closely with him, and Crabtree pledged to continue to work to get the county completely back on track fiscally.

The committee has accepted the 2013 recovery plan, but the county must still come up with a five-year forecast to complete their work.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com