Mary Alice Reporting – The general operating budget for Tuscarawas County has been approved by the Board of Commissioners.

After weeks of meeting with department heads, during Wednesday’s meeting, the 2023 budget was agreed to at $30 million.

Commissioner Kerry Metzger explains that the county’s revenue coming in is $31 million; however, the difference of $1.8 million is kept as a carry-over into the next year as a fail-safe in the event of an unexpected disaster or circumstance.

“We’ve always followed the rule that you should have at least sixteen percent of your previous year expenditures set aside for carryover. We, in the past, have added an additional two percent. Can’t look at just the current year. We have to think that there’s a cumulative effect down the road [and] finance may not be the way they were.”

One big approval was a salary increase for the non-bargaining employees at 4.5%.

Metzger notes that capital projects, at $800,000, were listed for several agencies including the Tuscarawas Dog Pound for a roof replacement and additional fencing, with technology updates across all departments and county lot paving.

“Traditionally, we’ve tried to rotate our sheriff cruisers. This year, we’re going to purchase five additional cruisers. We’re looking at purchasing SWAT night vision equipment for the sheriff [with grants being considered].”

One area of concern is foster care. Metzger says that has progressively increased over the years with care in Tuscarawas County, for approximately 120 kids a month, costs $5.5 million, as the county is the biggest contributor followed by state and federal.

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