What do commissioners have planned for this year?

Cary Ashby • Jan 5, 2018 at 4:00 AM

The Huron County commissioners plan on being “more proactive” with capital improvement projects this year.

“We didn’t do as many capital projects last year,” Commissioner Terry Boose said after Thursday’s meeting. “We are going to be more proactive.” 

The focus will be on roofs and parking lots. Commissioner Skip Wilde said some of the parking lots haven’t been touched for 20 years.

Pete Welch, county director of operations, has provided recommendations to the board as part of a five- to 10-year capital improvement plan. 

Boose said two of the larger projects to consider are the old jail and sheriff’s office (located at the intersection of Seminary Street and Whittlesey Avenue) and the East Main Street building that housed the Northern Ohio Antique Mall.

“We have to figure out what we’re doing with that building,” Boose said, referring to 22 E. Main St.

Also, the commissioners eventually want to move Senior Enrichment Services (SES) and the Huron County Veteran Service Commission out of the building they share at 130 Shady Lane. As he earlier told the Reflector, Boose said Thursday the facility is old and “falling apart.”

SES, which isn’t a county agency, has a planning committee about the situation.

“They have looked at several properties in town,” Boose said. “It’s not a dead issue. They are moving forward with it. … They are looking at grants and foundations.” 

Another goal for the commissioners is finalizing the county budget. 

“We want to get the budget done by the end of March,” Boose said.

Related to the budget, Huron County stopped getting sales tax from Medicaid as of July 1. Boose said that means there will be about $780,000 the county won’t be receiving in 2018, however, the state has agreed to provide nearly $720,000 in compensation for a year.

“We don’t know what happens after that,” he added.

Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach earlier said the “county set a new level of sales tax collected in 2017.” While discussing the sales from September, he noted this happened despite the fact the county didn’t receive sales tax on Medicaid payments on nursing homes from the federal government since July 1.

When it comes down to it, Wilde said he and the other commissioners will need to look carefully “at every single month” of sales tax in making the final budget. Boose added that the board will have to be careful “so we still have a sustainable budget.”

In other county news, Wilde expressed a concern Thursday about the subcontractor responsible for hauling away waste from the landfill and leaving trash on the floor of the facility — which isn’t allowed. Welch, who plans to meet with Commissioner Joe Hintz and an Erie County commissioner, said Erie County is in its fourth year of a contract. 

“The hauling contractor is not able to keep up with the waste with the equipment they have,” Welch told the Huron County commissioners Thursday. “From what I understand, they are having contractual issues. … We are at the last straw with them.”

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