County awaits arbiter's decision

WARREN — The new president of   the Trumbull County board of commissioners said setting the county’s budget will be among the highest-priority items facing the body early this year.

Commissioner Paul Heltzel, elected by his fellow commissioners during a reorganization meeting today, said the three will likely finalize the budget in February or March, after the county budget commission certifies the amount of money the county will have available in 2007.

Heltzel said an arbitrator’s decision on a contract with employees in the sheriff’s department will have a significant impact on the county’s finances, so some decisions will have to wait until after the arbitrator’s ruling has been made within a couple weeks.

Other significant matters to come in 2007 include renovation of the Park-Porter building downtown for the county’s Department of Job and Family Services and One Stop jobs office and changes to county offices.

For instance, officials must decide whether to renovate or build a new dog pound and whether to take over a former Trumbull Metropolitan Housing Authority facility on Niles Road to house the county’s Emergency Management Agency and Vehicle Maintenance Department.

Heltzel said water and sewer issues will continue to dominate county business in 2007. He said new commissioner Frank Fuda should be of assistance in such matters because of his success in working on water problems while a member of Niles City Council.

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