Sheriff's department to get money
Revenue from the county's sales tax is greater than officials had estimated.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON -- Columbiana County commissioners are coming up with about half the additional money the sheriff says he'll need the rest of the year.
Commissioners agreed Wednesday to earmark about $225,000 to help pay for sheriff's department salaries and expenses in coming months.
More money could become available for the department later in the year.
Sheriff Dave Smith asked for $520,000 extra in July because his department was running out of funds.
Commissioners made the decision Wednesday to give the department more money, after being told by Auditor Nancy Milliken that she estimates they will have about $600,000 more to spend this year for general fund needs.
Revenue: The money will come from revenue expected to be earned by the county's 1 percent sales tax now through year's end.
When the county adopted its 2001 budget in January, it factored estimated sales tax revenue of about $4 million into the $12.1 million spending plan. But the estimate was a conservative one, officials said.
Commissioner Dave Cranmer explained that the $600,000 additional spending authorized Wednesday is based on a recent reassessment of sales tax revenue.
The sheriff's department was allocated $1.3 million at the beginning of the year, less than it originally requested.
Smith was unavailable to comment on the additional money his department is to receive.
Although final figures have yet to be worked out, the balance of the $600,000 will mostly go toward paying to house prisoners at the county jail and paying for health insurance for county employees, Cranmer said.
Sewer lines: In other business, commissioners said they are trying to obtain funding to pay for extending county-owned sewer lines to the Winona area sometime in the next year.
They have received a nearly $600,000 federal loan and a nearly $400,000 federal grant for the $1.5 million undertaking.
Commissioners said they are seeking additional state and federal dollars to fund the balance.
Any loans obtained must be paid back through sewer rates and assessments charged to those benefiting from the sewer, commissioners said.
How much the rates and assessments will be is undetermined.
Sewer lines will be extended from a county-owned sewage treatment plant on state Route 172 near Guilford Lake about two miles north to Winona, an unincorporated area in Butler Township.
About 100 homes and businesses in Winona need a municipal sewer system because many of them have faulty septic systems that are posing a pollution risk, county officials say.