Clark County approves more than $200 million 2024 budget

Clark County has approved a $233.9 million budget for 2024, allocating large sums of money for the county sheriff’s office, building upgrades and community and economic development.

The budget, which county commissioners approved Wednesday, consists of $61.4 million for the General Fund and $172.5 million for other funds. This is an about $8.1 million increase from 2023′s $225.8 million budget.

The largest expense is about $27 million that will go to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, up from $19 million last year. The sheriff’s office regularly has the highest expense, with it running several agencies, including the Clark County Jail.

This about $7.8 million increase comes with almost $17.4 million in operating personnel and operating expenses.

The Emergency Management Agency received about $1 million.

The Board of Clark County Commissioners oversees 10 Clark County departments with about 100 employees funded through the county’s general fund, as well as the budgets of 13 Clark County elected officials.

County administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said at a commission meeting the county is working to replace and update elevators throughout its buildings. The 2023 budget still has some funds left to replace the two front elevators in the county Municipal Court building.

Hutchinson said the county plans to replace the elevators used to transport those who are in custody as well. These cost about $350,000 per elevator with inflation recently bringing the price up from $200,000.

Buildings and grounds received almost $3.5 million in the 2024 budget.

The budget also includes about $460,000 in capital projects for county departments.

The Clark County Department of Reentry received about $500,000, part of which will fund a full-time administrative assistant position, department director Brooke Wagner told commissioners. This person will help Wagner with tasks like data collection and reporting required when the department receives grants, which will reduce the time it takes to apply for more grants.

Credit: Jessica Orozco

Credit: Jessica Orozco

The department has interns from Wittenberg University but these are not permanent positions.

“Having a person in the office every day, 40 hours a week for people when they come in I think would be really helpful,” Wagner said. “I have a lot of community meetings, so I’m walking in and out and sometimes my one specialist ... will be at Job and Family Services maybe with a client and then one will be in the conference room, so if somebody does come in, we don’t actually have anyone to greet them.”

Once American Rescue Plan Act dollars are fully spent, the department will have to be funded by other means, like through the OneOhio Recovery Foundation, a nonprofit that works to address the opioid epidemic across the state.

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