Mary Alice Reporting – The operational budget for Tuscarawas County has been approved with appropriations at almost $25 million.

Over the past several months, each county department presented a 2021 fiscal budget for review.

Commissioner Chris Abbuhl says that the anticipated revenue is on par with the set appropriations and points out that an 18% revenue carryover was possible to help fund potential capital projects or for debt service reductions.

“So, we balanced our budget for this year. If it hadn’t been for the CARES Act dollars it would have been a different story. We were able to save some of the cost of the general fund to be able to use for the 2021 budget.”

The general fund covers services run through the county, such as the commissioner’s office, auditor’s office, and other county agencies.

Abbuhl notes, for 2021, the budget is on good standing; however, for fiscal year 2022, effects could be seen more related to lost revenue sources based upon the economy and if businesses are doing well.

“We do know, for one thing, that our sale tax has done very well but out interest revenue has really dropped dramatically and our casino dollars have dropped so we have to look at a variety of sources that support the general fund.”

He adds that, from the different budgets, there is always a capital need in some departments to replace items or conduct bigger projects.

“Part of the responsibility of the commissioners are making sure we maintain all of our buildings and that we keep everything current. We have a roof replacement that will be done on the Child Support and Enforcement Agency and we have equipment, like the cruisers for the sheriff’s department. Those are things that we have to look at each year cause some things are on a rotation.”

Out of the budget, the Board of Commissioners approved that department non-bargaining employees would see a 2.5% pay increase.

Additionally, out of the $4 million in CARES funding, $300,000 went into grants for small businesses and non-profits and $50,000 was allocated to the Tuscarawas Job and Family Services Office for specified programs, including rental assistance.

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