Commissioners pass $233 million appropriations budget for 2015

CommissionersBATAVIA, Ohio (Nov. 21, 2014)  – The Clermont County Board of Commissioners approved an appropriations budget of $233 million for 2015 during their Nov. 19 session. The appropriation covers the county’s General Fund and all other funds under the budgetary control of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC).

The budget reflects increased General Fund operating revenues of $50.9 million, compared to $49.7 million in 2014. That reflects an uptick in sales tax revenue, according to Sukie Scheetz, Director of the Office of Budget and Management. The county is still below its peak year of 2007 when it had $53.3 million in operating revenues, she said, noting that the county has not fully recovered from the effects of the recent recession.

Commissioners outlined some priorities for the 2015 General Fund budget, which include:

• Opening approximately 50 additional beds in the Adult Detention Center
• Continued funding of the Community Alternative Sentencing Center, which provides treatment to substance abusers in lieu of jail time
• Salary increases for county employees averaging 2.35%
• Restoration of some previously unfunded sheriff’s deputy positions
• Continuation of economic development plans
• Continuation of the currently approved capital plan

Other large functional areas include Health and Human Services, $65.5 million, primarily funded through federal dollars and tax levies; and Environmental and Water Resources, $45.7 million, primarily funded through fees.

Commissioners expressed confidence in the 2015 budget.

“This balanced budget allows us to continue to live within our means, but still target certain priorities for Clermont County,” said Commissioner David Uible, President of the BCC.

“We’re seeing companies starting to expand again, and they will bring additional jobs and revenue to Clermont County, which will help our budget outlook even more in 2015,” said Commissioner Bob Proud, Vice President of the BCC.

Added Commissioner Ed Humphrey: “During down years, we have managed  taxpayers’ money prudently. It’s encouraging to see some revenue growth again.”

Ohio law requires that county budgets be balanced.