Commissioners discuss budget concerns, other items


By Kelsey Kimbler - kkimbler@registerherald.com



EATON — During their meeting on Monday, April 13, Preble County Commissioners discussed a revenue and expenditure report for March from Auditor Lavon Wright.

Commission President Denise Robertson questioned a column entitled “2020 Estimated 2020 Amended budget” which has the beginning fund balance as $6,038,379.76 and the ending fund balance as $3,023,464.62. She compared it to the column entitled “2020 YTD Balance 3/31/2020 NORM (ABNORM)” which has an ending fund balance of $7,189,354.91.

Commission Clerk Kim Keller explained, “It the difference between cash and appropriations. Currently, the cash is seven million, however, appropriations versus budgeted expenditures is only going to leave you three million at the end of the year. There’s a difference.”

Commissioner Chris Day added, “So their projection revenue was only [$11,044,661.50] and we budgeted [$14,059,576.64]?”

Keller told him he was correct. To date Preble County has $7,189,354.91 in cash.

According to Keller, there was another budget commission meeting scheduled for later in the week.

“Guessing what our budgets are going to do is like guessing what the pandemic is going to do,” Commissioner Rodney Creech said.

Robertson said it is more “predictable” in that it is going to hit everybody’s budget. She asked what their plan was moving forward. She recommended sending a letter out to elected officials saying they’re monitoring the situation and warning them of “the other shoe dropping.”

“We don’t know what the shoe looks like, we don’t know how big the shoe will be,” she said.

Creech recommended sending a letter out after they met with the budget commission.

“Right now we would be sending a letter out and we wouldn’t even know what we’re saying,” he said.

Robertson countered, “We can say we know something is coming.”

However, Creech said the elected officials already know that, and he wants to send a letter with detail and information.

Robertson asked if they were calling the budget commission in to talk on Monday, April 20.

Day said he believes they should communicate with the elected officials. Keller added, they might want to let the elected officials know they’re looking at the situation and planning to meet with the budget commission to discuss further.

“Right now, it looks like somebody else is leading your parade, instead of you guys,” she said.

“I think we need to communicate with the elected officials and let them know we’re looking at this. We know what the State’s projected, we’re trying to figure out where we’re going to be, but we’re definitely going to see a decrease in revenue. What that is, I don’t know,” Day said. “We need to be proactive instead of reactive.”

Creech argued sending a letter doesn’t mean being proactive or reactive. He believes they should wait to send a letter out until after meeting with the budget commission.

The board agreed to reach out individually to elected officials and meet with the budget commission the following week.

In other news:

•Preble County resident Jerry Wick spoke to commissioners again regarding his ongoing complaint with Sewer District Six (SD6) and Preble County Public Health.

•The board discussed Job and Family Services Director Becky Sorrell’s response on the agreement for disinfecting services she sent to the Commission Office the week prior. The board had pulled it from the agenda for further discussion after requesting a response from Sorrell.

Commissioner Creech explained, the services have already started and Sorrell was intending to use her own funds for the agreement. However, he contacted Health Commissioner Erik Balster for his opinion. According to Creech, Balster said “the more you can clean the better,” but indicated that even hospitals are not contracting for disinfecting services twice a week.

Commissioner Day added, “If somebody is affected by this and you are in the same general vicinity all day, it is going to transfer.”

“You don’t want to discourage cleaning, but technically they’re doing more than hospitals are doing, from what Erik [Balster] told me,” Creech said. “$7,000 is a lot.”

Day added, they would be better served if each person cleaned their own work station.

Kim asked if they should send the agreement back to Sorrell.

“What is she going to do then?” Robertson asked.

“She’ll pay for the time she’s already had them out there and then she just won’t — I don’t know,” Keller said.

Commissioners:

•Authorized payment to the Treasurer ($2,000), JFS ($2,046), and Felony Subsidy ($1,635).

•Authorized participation in ODOT winter contract for road salt for the Preble County Engineer.

•Authorized an expenditure of $13,132 for purchase of a Towmaster TC-20 Trailer for the Preble County Engineer.

•Authorized an expenditure of $3,314.85 for the purchase and installation of three new Dell Optiplex 5070 computers for the Treasurer.

•Approved a resolution establishing a new fund, Remote Technology Grant, for Juvenile/Probate Court.

•Approved a resolution establishing a new fund, Video Arraignments, for Common Pleas Court.

•Noted receipt of and approved a legal ad, bid specs and bid form referencing Preble County Raised Pavement marking bid for the Preble County Engineer.

•Noted receipt of and approved a legal ad, bid specs and bid form referencing Christman Covered Bridge repair project bid for the Preble County Engineer.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the Phone System Maintenance Agreement with Doss Business Systems, $2,500, Job and Family Services.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the Child Placement Agreement with Hittle House, $50,000, Children Services.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the Bridge Load Rating Services Agreement with Me Companies, Inc. DBA IBI Group, $18,000, Preble County Engineer.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the Bridge Load Rating Services Agreement with Smolen Engineering, LTD, $4,800, Preble County Engineer.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the 2020 Small Paving Project agreement with Wagner Paving, Inc., $97,625, Preble County Engineer.

Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse, unless noted otherwise.

By Kelsey Kimbler

kkimbler@registerherald.com

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH