12/28/2007 (10:29 am)

County allocates funds for 2008

Filed under: bank, business, finance, news |

YOUNGSTOWN — Mahoning County Sheriff Randall Wellington didn’t get all the money he wanted from the county’s general fund for 2008, but he said he’ll be able to compensate for the shortfall.

“I think it was fair,” he said of the $18 million the county commissioners on Thursday granted him from that fund for next year. The sheriff had requested $19,694,520 for 2008, but said he expects he can cover the difference with some of the $4 million to $5 million he expects to receive for housing federal prisoners in the county jail he operates. The county gets about $69 a day per federal prisoner housed in its jail.

At $18 million, the sheriff’s budget will consume nearly 30 percent of the county’s $60,110,000 general fund budget for 2008 — by far the largest chunk of the county’s general fund.

The county commissioners received $67,986,332 worth of requests from county department heads, but trimmed that amount by almost $8 million to come up with next year’s budget for the general fund, which is the county’s main operating fund. General fund spending this year is expected to total about $58.8 million.

The only department besides the sheriff’s department to consume a double-digit percentage of the general fund is the juvenile court, whose budget covers that court’s probation and clerk’s offices and the round-the-clock operating costs for the juvenile detention center.

The juvenile court sought $6,691,252, but got $6.2 million, which was slightly more than its 2007 budget. That court consumes about 10.3 percent of the general fund.

“We went through that with a fine-toothed comb, and I’m pretty much satisfied at this point faxless payday loans. There could be adjustments made down the road,” Commissioner David Ludt said of next year’s budget.

In other action, the commissioners approved a $22,442 final payment on Chase Bank’s lien on Oakhill Renaissance Place, the former Forum Health Southside Medical Center. The county bought Oakhill last year in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and now houses its Department of Job and Family Services there.

The bank’s lien on the property stemmed from the principal and interest on the $100,000 loan it made to keep Oakhill operating during last year’s bankruptcy proceedings. The rest of that lien was paid off by the county’s $75,000 purchase payment for the former hospital and monies from a bank account and rental income left over from Oakhill’s former owner, the Southside Community Development Corp.

Commissioners also approved a wage reopener, which will give 3 percent pay increases to 303 civilian employees and deputies in the sheriff’s department belonging to Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141, effective Jan. 1. Annual full-time pay ranges between about $24,000 a year for cadets and $41,120 for top-level deputies.

Also passed by the commissioners was a resolution to cooperate with the Ohio Department of Transportation on turn-lane additions to improve traffic flow at the intersection of Tippecanoe Road, U.S. Route 224 and Lockwood Boulevard. The road construction job is scheduled to be advertised to potential bidders next spring. ODOT will pay the entire cost. Traffic will be maintained with lane restrictions during construction.