Monroe County budget studied

WOODSFIELD – General fund requests received for the 2014 budget from Monroe County departments were up $300,000 in comparison with this year’s figures, according to discussion Monday at the county commissioners’ meeting.

The requests totaled $5,564,568.68, and the estimated revenue for the general fund for 2014 is $4,779,064.85.

All other requests in addition to the general fund amounted to $15,959,527.13 while the estimated revenue in that area is $15,963,387.71.

Jeanette Harter, who handles finances for the commissioners, presented the departments’ requests for the 2014 tax budget.

Commissioners approved a motion to accept the requests of $21,524,095.78.

In other matters, Prosecuting Attorney James L. Peters was at the meeting concerning a $34,952 grant for the victim witness advocate program, and it was signed by commissioners. The funds will be used basically in the prosecuting attorney’s office for personnel, supplies and utilities.

Three representatives from the Monroe County Care Center were present, and Greg Johnson gave a financial update concerning the center for May.

The care center administrator, reporting on personnel and other matters, said the center has a new medical director, and he is Dr. Ron Williamson of Woodsfield.

Commissioners received an estimate from Rossiter Painting for painting their offices. Sheila Turner, the commissioners’ clerk, is to check with that company in regard to times and dates which will be convenient for this work to be done. Commissioners also discussed times when it would be convenient for this work in regard to their schedule.

A letter has been sent by commissioners to Lou Jannazo, chief of project development for the Ohio Rail Development Commission, expressing the county’s support of the grant application made by Hannibal Real Estate LLC for track rehabilitation at the Hannibal Industrial Park.

Noting the county is absolutely delighted that rail service has been restored to Monroe County through the collaborative efforts of Hannibal Real Estate LLC, the Ohio Terminal Railway Co. and the Ormet Railroad Corp., commissioners added, “We believe that the restoration of freight rail service into Monroe County is a strong driver for economic growth and will both sustain and create new jobs in Monroe County.

“The railway provides Monroe County with a viable transportation hub/port at Hannibal, and Monroe County believes that there is strong evidence to show that robust logistics lead to robust economic growth.”

Commissioners went on to note that county hasn’t received any funds from the Ohio Rail Development Commission, and they are aware that significant private capital has been injected to restore railroad service. “We therefore believe that providing grant funds to restore and rebuild side tracks at the Hannibal Industrial Park will be beneficial to the economic development within Monroe County.”