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Mahoning officials OK 2021 budget

$258,000 higher than this year

YOUNGSTOWN — Because of COVID-19, the Mahoning County commissioners did not have traditional budget hearings this year.

Department heads normally sit down with the commissioners at a public meeting to discuss their budget. But this time, county Administrator Audrey Tillis held those conversations with the departments.

On Tuesday, the commissioners approved budget amounts for 2021 that are very similar to the amounts approved for 2020.

The allocation for the county’s general fund, which pays for departments such as auditor, treasurer, courts and clerk of courts, is $30.3 million for 2021 — $428,300 more than the $29.8 million approved last year.

The allocation for the criminal and administrative justice fund, which pays for the sheriff’s office, coroner, county prosecutor’s office and county 911, is $36.9 million for 2021 — $170,000 less than in 2020.

The total for both funds is $67.2 million for 2021 — $258,300 more than 2020.

The county does revise appropriations during the year and revised its 2020 budget upward by about $5.3 million during 2020 — to about $72.3 million for the general and justice funds.

Commissioner Anthony Traficanti noted Tuesday that the commissioners have sophisticated and effective telecommunications equipment in their meeting room at the courthouse now that would have enabled the commissioners to hold budget hearings remotely there if the equipment had been available earlier.

Tillis said there will be an opportunity for department heads to meet with the commissioners in January or February to discuss any specific items they sought in their budget that they did not get.

Most departmental budgets are about the same as last year, Tillis said.

The sheriff’s office, the largest department in the county, has a budget of $22.9 million this year and a budget of $23.3 million in 2021.

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