Harrison County budget approved

CADIZ – The Harrison County Board of County Commissioners signed off on the general fund budget for 2014. The board approved the 2014 general fund and special fund budgets Wednesday.

The $3.918 million expenditure budget represents an 11.5 percent increase from last year.

According to board chair Don Bethel, half the increase can be attributed to rising employee costs.

The remainder of the $447.189 increase over the 2013 budget total of $3,460,528 is due to increasing appropriations requests from the county court, sheriff and commissioners.

“We feel it is important that the money we have be spent wisely,” Bethel stated. “The board also feels that the safety and security of the citizens is a priority, and we feel that the budget reflects that.”

Due to some funding issues, several of the special revenue accounts for the board will not be used in 2014, and that money is added to the general fund budget causing the increase,” said the board chairman as the board’s budget will increase to $1,255,359.70 from $1,103, 428.64 last year.

The sheriff’s budget will increase from $695,674.15 last year to $784.575 for 2014. The Common Pleas budget climbed from $153,487.64 in 2013 to $208,817. County Court increased from $100,000 to $150,500 and Clerk of Courts rose from $128,618.62 to $155,388.79.

Bethel pointed out that Monroe County has a population of under 15,000 and their 2014 budget is over $5 million.

Harrison County Engineer’s Office Business Service Officer Doug Crabtree requested the yearly renewal of the Force Account. Resolution 1-14 allows use of county employees and property and purchase such materials as are necessary in the construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, or repair of roads, bridges and culverts.

Crabtree also asked the board to approve the first road use agreement for 2014 with American Energy Utica for 0.5 miles of CR 20 in Nottingham Township. Ryan Dean of American Energy explained to the board that the road would be used from SR 799 but assured them he had video of the entire road to document its condition.

The board also approved a temporary RUMA for crossing the Conotton Creek Trail near L.J. Smith. Agreement 2-14 contains a provision for covering the trail with wood and mats during any crossings. There will be caution signs for riders and walkers on the trail, and a crossing guard will be on hand for equipment movements over the path.

Commissioners motioned to accept a quote from Physio Control, Inc. in the amount of $5,750 for a two-year technical support and service agreement for eight Lifepak defibrillators.

The board accepted the resignation of social worker Benna Kelley. The Director of the DJFS Scott Blackburn said that Kelley had been rehired in September but was leaving the department. Due to the recent interview process, the board decided to accept Blackburn’s recommendation of Tessa Culberson, who had originally applied for the vacant position in the fall.

Palmer may be reached at mpalmer@timesleaderonline.com.