Clinton County nears budget go-ahead


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. talks budget with the Clinton County commissioners on Wednesday.

Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. talks budget with the Clinton County commissioners on Wednesday.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

WILMINGTON — It appears Clinton County’s government will have almost the same size budget approved for 2018 as it adopted for this year — $14.5 million in General Fund expenses.

Last year, Clinton County commissioners approved a $14,527,000 General Fund budget. As of Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Clinton County Commissioners, the pending 2018 General Fund budget comes in at $14,534,000 or $7,000 more, said Clinton County Commissioners President Kerry R. Steed.

With a $14.5 million budget, $7,000 is a statistically small increase, Steed said, especially given an increase in employees’ medical insurance costs.

“A lot of the thanks go to the elected officials, because everybody was asked to come in with a decrease. And for the most part everybody walked in the door and they had one,” Steed said Wednesday.

County government offices were asked this fall to cut non-personnel spending by 10 percent for their 2018 budgets, and to keep the expense of wages the same as this year.

On Wednesday commissioners met with the sheriff and his chief deputy to see whether the sheriff’s office and jail operations — which have the largest budget in the county because they are 24/7 operations — could modify their department’s budget so the overall county budget could attain a near match with last year’s overall budget.

Commissioners asked Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. whether he would agree to cut $80,000 in non-personnel costs with the understanding that commissioners would be amenable to OK a transfer of funds within the department to cover any costs that may arise due to the $80,000 reduction.

Fizer agreed to the proposal, and received public thank-you’s from each of the three commissioners.

Commissioners expect to vote on a county budget next week.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. talks budget with the Clinton County commissioners on Wednesday.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/12/web1_DSC_0270.jpgClinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr. talks budget with the Clinton County commissioners on Wednesday. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

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