‘Gap’ between projected Clinton County 2019 revenues and expected spending


Steed: Can be bridged with cash reserves

By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



Elected officials, heads of county government departments and their associates assemble Wednesday to hear what commissioners have to say about the 2019 General Fund budget. The officials are looking at a handout in which commissioners give guidelines, a timeline and a deadline on the departments’ upcoming requests for funds.

Elected officials, heads of county government departments and their associates assemble Wednesday to hear what commissioners have to say about the 2019 General Fund budget. The officials are looking at a handout in which commissioners give guidelines, a timeline and a deadline on the departments’ upcoming requests for funds.


Gary Huffenberger | News Journal

‘Legacy Fund’

Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods said Wednesday that the county and the Clinton County Foundation are “really, really, really close” to an agreement on the Foundation’s cost to administer an endowment fund containing money associated with the sale of the former county-owned hospital. The Foundation originally stated it was not willing to negotiate its 1 percent fee, according to Woods, but later sent another letter with a fee schedule based on the amount of the investment account. The county commissioner said there are two more small tweaks to make to the proposed agreement. However, there will still be a couple more steps before applications can be accepted: Spelling out the process to apply for funds, and appointing an advisory board to review the applications. But finalizing an agreement with the Foundation will by followed by a first deposit of funds which will then begin earning a better rate of interest than presently is the case. Creation of the new fund will generate interest income for local projects, and the money will be awarded after a competitive application process.

WILMINGTON — A commissioner foresees “a little bit of a gap” between the amount the county receives next year in revenue and the likely level of expenditures in 2019, but he anticipates the gap will be bridged by spending some of the county’s cash reserves.

Clinton County Commissioner Kerry R. Steed led a budget discussion Wednesday when elected officials and heads of county government departments assembled to hear what commissioners want them to prepare for individual meetings concerning 2019 departmental budgets.

According to a mid-August estimate by the Clinton County Budget Commission, the total General Fund revenue projected for 2019 is $14.6 million. On Wednesday, Steed said he anticipates county spending for next year to be in the range of $14.7 to $14.9 million.

“That puts us at a little bit of a gap,” said Steed.

This year’s Clinton County 2018 General Fund budget, approved in December 2017, was for $14.5 million.

During the meeting, a county staffer who works in financials for one of the departments asked about the 0.5 percent local sales tax that rolled off the books at the end of September 2016.

Steed responded there is a balance that needs to be struck in regards to revenue and expenses, and the county was fortunate to have built up its carryover. The three commissioners at the time felt it was important to spend down that carryover and so they did not renew the sales tax, he said.

When the carryover balance approaches the recommended level as a rainy-day fund, that will potentially be the time to reconsider the sales tax, said Steed, pointing out he is only one of three commissioners and next year will bring a new commissioner to the board.

For his part, Steed sees a probable need for such a sales tax discussion “coming up very soon.”

One budgetary increase commissioners cannot prevent in the 2019 county budget is a 3 percent pay increase for corrections officers at the Clinton County Jail. These workers have a union, and their collective bargaining agreement — contract — calls for a 3 percent increase at the start of calendar year 2019.

Because of considerations of fairness, it is the intent of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department to seek a 3 percent increase for all its other employees, too, which includes the deputies, said Col. Brian Prickett with the sheriff’s office.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

Elected officials, heads of county government departments and their associates assemble Wednesday to hear what commissioners have to say about the 2019 General Fund budget. The officials are looking at a handout in which commissioners give guidelines, a timeline and a deadline on the departments’ upcoming requests for funds.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2018/10/web1_budget_handout-1.jpgElected officials, heads of county government departments and their associates assemble Wednesday to hear what commissioners have to say about the 2019 General Fund budget. The officials are looking at a handout in which commissioners give guidelines, a timeline and a deadline on the departments’ upcoming requests for funds. Gary Huffenberger | News Journal
Steed: Can be bridged with cash reserves

By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com

‘Legacy Fund’

Clinton County Commissioner Brenda K. Woods said Wednesday that the county and the Clinton County Foundation are “really, really, really close” to an agreement on the Foundation’s cost to administer an endowment fund containing money associated with the sale of the former county-owned hospital. The Foundation originally stated it was not willing to negotiate its 1 percent fee, according to Woods, but later sent another letter with a fee schedule based on the amount of the investment account. The county commissioner said there are two more small tweaks to make to the proposed agreement. However, there will still be a couple more steps before applications can be accepted: Spelling out the process to apply for funds, and appointing an advisory board to review the applications. But finalizing an agreement with the Foundation will by followed by a first deposit of funds which will then begin earning a better rate of interest than presently is the case. Creation of the new fund will generate interest income for local projects, and the money will be awarded after a competitive application process.