County taking cost control measures

By Anna Bolton - [email protected]

XENIA — Commissioners met via teleconference April 23 and discussed cost control measures the county has put in place during the health crisis.

As the meeting opened with public comment, Spring Valley resident Gary Kirkpatrick asked — via an earlier email to the board clerk — how the county was saving money during a time of lost revenue.

“We immediately implemented a hiring freeze. We have frozen most all travel, definitely in-person travel, still doing a few webinars and that sort of thing. We are looking to cancel or postpone several large capital improvement projects that we had approved in this year’s budget,” County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said. “And we’re asking all offices and departments to limit non-essential spending throughout the year. I’ve already had conversations with department heads and elected officials about potential impact to the 2021 budget as we look to budget hearings later in the fall here.”

According to Huddleson, Greene County Auditor David Graham estimates $8 million of revenue will be lost in the county.

“That will continue to change, depending upon how long this shutdown lasts and what the bounce-back will look like, especially with sales tax, which is more than half of our revenue on an annual basis,” Huddleson said. “We’re going to continue to do what we have to do and spend what we have to spend but anything that we can delay until we know the full impact of the revenue loss, we’re going to delay.”

Also during the meeting, the commissioners approved the establishment of a new fund for grants received by Greene County Domestic Courts. The Ohio Supreme Court awarded the court the 2020 Remote Technology Grant, which will be used to purchase equipment, software and materials to help the court function remotely. The grant award totals $66,922.13.

The board also approved a supplemental agreement allowing Greene CATS to apply for $4,602,269 in funding through the federal CARES Act in anticipation of revenue loss.

Sanitary Engineering Department’s water treatment plant expansion moved forward as two-thirds of the board selected Arcadis U.S., Inc. out of Cincinnati to act as the project’s owner’s advisor. Commissioners Tom Koogler and Dick Gould voted yes while Commissioner Bob Glaser voted no.

The board approved Terran Corporation to provide design and program management support for installing, upgrading and maintaining ground water wells for the department. Commissioners also authorized the department to apply for a $3,900,000 design loan for the project.

Meetings are livestreamed at 1 p.m. on Thursdays at Public comments to the board concerning items on the agenda may be made during this time by submitting comments or questions to the clerk at [email protected] by 10 a.m. the day of the meeting.

By Anna Bolton

[email protected]

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.

Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.