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Columbiana County ends year with $4.7M carryover

LISBON — Commissioner Mike Halleck noted the county ended 2021 on a good note. Revenues were up more than expected, which Halleck said was not different than other counties in the area. As in 2021, the county’s general fund ended with a carryover balance of nearly $4.7 million.

At their yearend meeting, commissioners had transferred $4 million into a reserve balance capital project fund, which now contains nearly $8.3 million. During that meeting commissioners had also transferred $1.2 million from the general fund to escrow II general fund, where they have $4.2 million. Another escrow general fund also contains $4.2 million.

Commissioners also had moved $500,000 into the government services building fund, which is being used to pay down the building constructed on Dickey Drive where the board of elections, jobs and family services and veteran’s administration are housed. During last weeks meeting, Halleck said the loan on that building has been reduced to only $6 million remaining to pay.

In 2022, the commissioners are looking at some projects. One will be additional work at the Columbiana County Jail, after completing a renovation project in the minimum-security area in 2021. The next work will allow the inmates at the jail to be further segregated so 35-40 women staying at the jail will have more space due to COVID-19 concerns. Toward that project, the commissioners approved $3,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for Howells and Baird to begin design work.

Halleck, who was chosen as chairman for 2022, announced Commissioner Roy Paparodis will be overseeing the new project at the jail, while Commissioner Tim Weigle will be heading up a project for a possible building to store records for the county’s departments. Currently most of the records are being kept in the basement of the county jail, an area running out of space.

In other matters:

— The commissioners approved the grant contract between the Beaver Valley Power Station in Beaver, Pa. and the local Columbiana County EMA. According to EMA Director Peggy Clark, the EMA updates an the emergency plan and trains in case of a radiological emergency at the plant. The BVPS provides the county EMA with a grant, which in 2022 will total $238,863. The amount will increase to $246,384 in 2023.

–Following an executive session, the commissioners approved a wage reopener with the children services division of Jobs and Family Services, employees represented by the United Steel Workers union. The final two years of the contract with give employees a 5 percent increase each year. Additionally, they will be given the new Juneteenth holiday.

— Commissioners reappointed Paul Lease of Salem, Jim Armeni of Salem and Greg Lipp of Rogers to the planning commissioner board for three-year terms.

— Commissioners also approved an ARPA expense of $50,000 for Germ Control Solutions to spray and disinfect the buildings against COVID-19.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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