County commissioners against funding change

Seneca County Commissioners spoke out against a Local Government Fund distribution change that would take money away from 54 counties, including Seneca.

Commissioners received a letter from Larry Long, executive director of County Commissioners Association of Ohio, explaining the LGF proposed change, and asked the commissioners to write state officials opposing the proposal.

“We don’t feel that this new distribution formula serves us well,” Commissioner Holly Stacy said.

The proposal is being promoted by Sen. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, and it would make Franklin County’s formula for LGF distribution the default formula, according to Long’s letter.

The proposal would require all counties to receive 30 percent of the undivided LGF. The letter stated 54 of the 88 counties, who receive more than 30 percent, would experience a reduction in LGF funds.

Seneca County receives 45.79 percent; if the proposal is approved, the county would lose more than 15 percent of the undivided LGF.

Board President Jeff Wagner said this proposal would go into the state’s budget, House Bill 59, if approved.

Commissioners are expected to pass a resolution of opposition and send letters to state senators and representatives including Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont and Rep. Jeff McClain, R-Upper Sandusky.

Also during the meeting, Wagner said Bryan Glover, executive director of the Seneca County Commission on Aging, informed him the commission is to sell its downtown building, located at 10 Riverside Drive.

The commission is to move to the Somerset area, which is by Autumnwood Care Center, Wagner said.

Commissioners agreed to delay a decision about replacing phone systems in some county-owned buildings.

County Administrator Stacy Wilson said Tuesday was the deadline for a $5,000 rebate offer, but Stacy and Wagner agreed it was best not to rush into a deal because of an impending deadline.

“You hate to pass on a good deal, but I hate to see us rush into this,” Stacy said.

The systems would have cost the county $24,000 after the rebate, but commissioners agreed to ask other departments for help in paying for the new phones.

Wilson said most departments were not able to contribute any money toward the phone systems.

In other business, Marty Stansberry of New York Life Insurance spoke to commissioners about the county’s life insurance plans offered to its employees.

County Auditor Julie Adkins said she is concerned there are only two employees who use New York Life already. She also said similar plans have been offered to the county, but did not end up being as straightforward as the vendors promised.

Also during the meeting, commissioners received eight bids for a bridge replacement project.

County Engineer Mark Zimmerman’s estimate for the project was $1,485,547.99. The low bid was $959,434.10 and the highest bid was $1,379,000.

Zimmerman is to review the bids and make a recommendation to the board.

In new business, the board approved:

An appropriation adjustment of $899.94 within the General Fund retroactive to April 25, 2013.

A resolution approving the point and pay agreement for the Seneca County Juvenile and Probate Court to utilize the acceptance of credit cards for court fines and fees.