Greene County has a $6 million surplus in its 2023 budget, a necessary cushion for major planned construction projects, officials say.
The county budgeted expenses of $59.2 million, up from about $56.5 million last year, and the projected revenue is about $65.4 million.
The county is undertaking a massive project in the new $60 million Greene County Jail this year. Construction is expected to start in June or July, and most of the expenses associated with the jail will come in 2024 and 2025, County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said.
Last April, the county issued $30 million in sales tax-funded bonds to partially fund the jail, which the county must repay at $1.7 million annually, including in 2023. Additional funds come from $10 million in revenue replacement from the American Rescue Plan Act, and the rest from the county’s cash reserves.
“Having those dollars in reserve, having those dollars available, is paramount to the success of our county,” Commissioner Tom Koogler said in December.
By far, the biggest chunk of Greene County’s general fund money is going to the sheriff’s department, at $18 million: $2.4 million towards administration, $6.4 million for law enforcement and $9.3 million toward corrections.
Nearly 90% of the office’s budget goes to salaries, Sheriff Scott Anger said Thursday, with the remaining 11% accounting for operating expenses.
A major focus for the sheriff’s office in 2023 is recruiting and retaining officers. The department has been successful with hiring new deputies for law enforcement roles, Anger said, but remains short in corrections. Part of this is attributed to lack of appropriate facilities, Anger said.
“We’re always looking for people to work in corrections,” Anger said. “I think we’re doing as good as we can in this environment.”
Other construction projects the county is taking on this year include demolishing the former Greenewood Manor, renovating the exterior of the Greene County Courthouse, renovating spaces for the Board of Elections and opening the new Media Room on Ledbetter Road.
Greene County is also preparing for a $36.5 million upgrade to the intersection between U.S. 35 and Trebein Road in Beavercreek Twp. Much of the funding comes from the State of Ohio’s Transportation Review Advisory Council at $29.2 million. Greene County is responsible for 20%, or $7.3 million of the construction costs. Construction is expected to start in March this year.
The Greene County Engineer has a $15.1 million budget for 2023, $10.7 million of which is for road and bridge maintenance, construction and improvements, and $1.3 million for capital improvements, and another $2.6 million for bridges.
In addition to their operating budget, Greene County has committed all but $2.5 million of its $33 million from the American Rescue Plan Act, and will have the balance committed by the end of 2024, Huddleson said.
About the Author