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New Carlisle unhappy with local split of state money

New Carlisle believes the split of local governments funds awarded to local entities from the state is unfair. Jeff Guerini/staff
New Carlisle believes the split of local governments funds awarded to local entities from the state is unfair. Jeff Guerini/staff

The Clark County Budget Commission has approved the formula for local government funding from the state for the next three years but New Carlisle city leaders aren’t happy with the way the money is split.

The commission — which consists of Clark County Auditor John Federer, Clark County Treasurer Steve Metzger and Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson — unanimously approved the split for the next three years at its meeting on Aug. 25.

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Springfield is expected to receive about 48 percent, or about $1.58 million, of the total $3.2 million in local government funds awarded to Clark County by the state government. Clark County will receive about 42 person of the allotment, worth about $1.4 million.

The remaining money is split up between 18 entities in Clark County, which includes townships, villages and park districts.

The formula has been in place since 1989, Metzger said. German Twp. absorbed the village of Lawrenceville when it disbanded, said Dave Crew of the Clark County Auditor’s Office.

“I don’t think we’ve ever really had any objections to it,” Metzger said. “We have an objection because the state keeps cutting it and when you cut it, everybody gets less.”

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The county is using an alternative formula for the funding, not the statutory formula set by the Ohio Revised Code, Crew said. It’s unclear how the money would be split using that formula, he said.

New Carlisle receives about 0.7 percent of the overall funding, worth about $23,000 annually over the next three years, according to the resolution. It will examine the other formula in the future, New Carlisle City Manager Randy Bridge said, although it’s possible that could mean less money for New Carlisle.

“No one knows what those numbers are going to turn out to be,” Bridge said.

The New Carlisle City Council will likely perform its own investigation into the formula, Council Member Bill Lindsey said. He believes the rest of the townships and villages will agree.

The city council isn’t doing its job if it’s not fighting to get a larger allotment for the city, Lindsey said.

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“We’re not going to let this sit,” he said. “In just looking at the numbers, it doesn’t look fair to me as a citizen, as a county citizen and as an elected official. I know everyone has to protect their own little entities and that’s what we’re trying to do is to protect and get more if we can to increase our share of the pie.”

The city of Springfield, Clark County and a majority of all the other entities must all agree to change the formula, Federer said. Elected officials can’t waste taxpayer dollars by fighting for something that’s a moot point, Federer said.

“We want to look into it from an education standpoint,” he said. “But if one person is just screaming bloody murder, they can’t change it. One vote can’t change it.”

The commission wants to create a one-page document for local elected officials on how the formula was set back in the 1980s, Crew said.

“We want to explain and educate about how the formula was derived and how your slice of the pie was arrived at,” he said.


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