No one appeared for the
county’s official budget
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
LISBON — The Columbiana County commissioners plan to have the 2008 appropriations done by Nov. 1.
The commissioners announced their plans Wednesday after a hearing on the 2008 budget began and ended in the same minute.
No county officials or members of the public appeared to comment.
The county is estimating it will have about $18 million to work with next year. County officials, however, asked to spend $21 million next year.
County finances will be up slightly next year because of a 0.5 percent sales tax the commissioners enacted earlier this year. It will bring in about $4 million for a full year. The county also is collecting a 1 percent sales tax.
Because of the on-again, off-again taxes in recent years, however, county budgets have been tight. As a result, appropriations for a year often are not set until well into that particular year.
Having appropriations set by Nov. 1 will save the county time and money, said Commissioner Jim Hoppel
When temporary appropriations are used to start a new year, county workers have to enter the temporary figures into the computer system and then replace them later with the final appropriations.
What will likely happen
Hoppel, chairman of the commissioners, said he expects the panel will meet with individual officeholders about their appropriations between now and November.
Hoppel said the commissioners may also try to have a meeting with officials to at least suggest an alternative method of dividing the money, an idea offered by Commissioner Daniel Bing.
Bing has been certified by the state as a mediator. Other counties have used forms of mediation during meetings with officials, who vote to determine priorities.
Having all offices rank capital improvement projects or other spending can help officials see the big picture and work together.
Bing said the idea of such a meeting will be discussed.
Hoppel said the county still has some outstanding bills, including about $900,000 to CiviGenics, a private company that runs the county jail.