During a recent Fayette County Commissioners’ meeting, there was a regularly-scheduled conference call involving local elected officials to discuss updates pertaining to COVID-19.
During the call, the commissioners discussed expected revenue shortfalls for 2021 and requested a 25 percent decrease from departments for the general fund.
The previously sought after reduction for the general fund budget was 20 percent. Different elected officials’ offices were in the process of taking part in budget cuts in different ways, including by cutting employee hours in efforts to avoid full layoffs later on. As previously reported, Fayette County depends heavily on sales tax for revenue which has been impacted by the pandemic, and the cuts were being made in efforts to be proactive, according to the commissioners.
“We’re ahead of the game. Some counties — they haven’t even taken any cuts. They want to see how much the sales tax is before they get excited and start cutting,” explained commissioner Jim Garland. “The state is off 25 percent already. We still don’t have actual numbers, but our county is so dependent on sales tax, we think it’s going to be closer to 30 percent of a reduction in sales tax.”
Garland continued to explain that even as stores reopen, the numbers won’t bounce back overnight, and that the community should still take precautions when shopping to keep from spreading or taking home the virus. Certain ways to do this are by washing hands, sanitizing, wearing masks, and just being “smart” about it.
“We want people to live in this town, we don’t want them to pass away,” said Garland.
They also discussed how a Shared Work Plan has been implemented for employees, which is a voluntary layoff avoidance program through the state.
According to Garland, this program helps offset the hours of employees that have been cut, and the county is now a member of it.
Information on Shared Work Ohio can be read at www.ccao.org/wp-content/uploads/JFS-20142-Shared-Work-Ohio-Guide.pdf.
In other recent business, per the recommendation of Fayette County Engineer Steve Luebbe, two different bids were accepted.
The first bid from Cox Paving was accepted for the Fayette County and Township Paving Program. The second bid accepted was from A&A Safety, Inc. for the Fayette County Pavement Marking Project, which is federally funded.
Four bids for a Danville Road Bridge Replacement project were accepted: Axis Civil Construction, Complete General Construction Company, D.G.M., and Eagle Bridge Company. The bid from Axis Civil Construction was accepted.
A contract was entered into with A&A Safety for the Fayette County Raised Pavement Marker Project.
A 60-month lease agreement for postage equipment through the Ohio Department of Administrative Services was entered into with Pitney Bowes, Inc. for the use in the Fayette County Building Department, Fayette County Administration Building, and Fayette County Courthouse.
Per the recommendation of Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, a quotation was accepted from P&R Communications Service in the amount of $7,415.79 for a new GPS for a Spectracom Time server and non-penetrating roof mounts for the new Fayette County Jail.
Stay with the Record-Herald weekly for more updates from the Fayette County Commissioners. The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located at 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House and their office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at 740-335-0720. Condensed minutes from the meetings are available on the county website.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.