While a draft of the 2017 general fund budget was presented by the Highland County Board of Commissioners last week, the board does not expect to approve a final budget until next week.
The commissioners’ draft outlined how the $9.81 million previously authorized by Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley would spread across the county’s general fund offices, which include the county administrative offices, the sheriff’s office, and offices associated with the courts. The draft was then to be reviewed by those offices.
On Wednesday, commissioners said they had heard nothing from the offices on the drafted amounts each one had to work with for 2017.
“I think we have been fortunate to work through it,” commission president Shane Wilkin said of the budget and the reduction from this year’s general fund budget compared to last year’s.
The projected amount for general fund offices is nearly $200,000 less than the 2016 general fund budget. Fawley said previously that was because of a decrease in permissive sales taxes from medical equipment paid for by Medicaid that as of July 1, 2017 can no longer be collected.
Wilkin said that commissioners are still working through some non-general fund items for the 2017 budget, but he anticipates that the board should be able to take action on a final budget at next week’s regular meeting on Dec. 21.
In other business, Wilkin said closing on the refinancing of the Justice Center is expected to occur by the end of December. The board previously approved moving forward with refinancing the remaining balance on the building, $1.83 million, at 1.9 percent interest versus the current 2.62 percent interest. Wilkin said that will take the payments from about $350,000 per year to about $333,000 per year.
In honor of his 40 years of public service, a gathering will be held for commissioner Tom Horst as he prepares for retirement. The “Roast & Toast” event will be 2-4 p.m. on Dec. 30 in the Highland County Common Pleas Courtroom.
The Highland County Board of Commissioners meets each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on the second floor of the county administration building, 119 Governor Foraker Pl., Hillsboro. The meetings are open to the public.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.