Clark County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on 2020 budget this week. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Clark County expected vote on $195 million budget on Wednesday

The Clark County Commission is expected to vote Wednesday on a roughly $195 million budget, including nearly $49 million in general funds, for 2020.

The total budget includes paying for expenses like county building upkeep, job and family services, and criminal justice agencies like the sheriff’s office and the courts.

The proposed 2020 budget as of Friday afternoon is about 6.5% higher than 2019’s $183 million budget, Clark County Administrator Jennifer Hutchinson said.

Using Ohio’s public records laws, the Springfield News-Sun has requested documents that would give a more detailed look at the proposed budget. Those documents have not been provided yet.

About 65% of voters approved a levy to raise money for United Senior Services in November 2018. The 1.4-mill additional levy costs the owner of a $100,000 home approximately $49 per year. The levy was projected to generate about $944,000 extra a year for the USS.

When the levy was passed, United Senior Services Director Maureen Fagans said the money would go towards helping seniors. For example, she said, the additional revenue will cover costs to meet growing demand in-home services such as meal delivery and providing personal care aides.

Read more on the levy: Clark County voters approve levy for United Senior Services

“United Senior Services is showing an increase, almost double, in their amount of income,” Hutchinson said.

This year’s proposed budget doesn’t feature any significant proposed project, Hutchinson said.

Last year the one major project the commission approved was $5.2 million over multiple years for a renovation of the interior of the A.B. Graham building.

The more than 100-year-old building had previously undergone an exterior renovation that included replacing windows and roof repair, but the construction moved inside in late 2018. Renovations on the building are scheduled to be completed around June of this year.

Read more on the renovations at the A.B. Graham building: Renovation of historic Clark County building will be ‘gut job’

“There is not a big significant project this year. This year we are more focused on maintenance and keeping up the buildings and vehicles,” Hutchinson said.

The largest expense found in the 2020 budget is about $14.8 million that will go to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office regularly has the highest expense as it runs several agencies under it, including the Clark County Jail.

Clark County spokesperson Michael Cooper said some of the sheriff’s office funding will go towards improving the jail. Last May, a jail assessment and feasibility study found numerous critical issues within the Clark County Jail.

“We are going to take some of the funds and start to make those improvements little-by-little over the next couple of years,” Cooper said.

Cooper said this year the county is looking into replacing existing aluminum windows and replacing elevators.

The Clark County Commission meets on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. on the 5th floor of the Clark County Municipal Court building located at 50 E. Columbia St. in Springfield. Meetings are open to the public.

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