Miami County approves $106M overall budget, including raises for some workers

The Miami County Courthouse in Troy seen from the air in downtown Troy.   TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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The Miami County Courthouse in Troy seen from the air in downtown Troy. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

TROY - The Miami County commissioners approved the county’s 2021 spending last week, including 3 percent pay increases for general fund employees.

The 3 percent salary hike is the same given in contracts negotiated earlier with the county’s union employees in the sheriff’s office and the countywide Communication Center.

Even with those increases, the general fund budget is projected at $38.2 million, 4.4 percent less than this year. The overall appropriations for all county funds, including the general fund, were set at more than $106 million.

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“I don’t think people realize how much money flows in and out of this office,” Miami County Commissioner Ted Mercer said. “It’s a big business.”

The 2021 general fund appropriations, approved Dec. 17, are less than this year for several reasons, Commission President Jack Evans said.

This year’s budget included high dollar projects such as the completion of the $3.6 million county Courthouse Plaza Renovations project and security enhancements, such as updated security cameras and the opening of security checkpoints at the county Courthouse and Safety Building.

In addition, county elected officials and department heads in many cases reduced spending for next year based on commissioners’ request to carefully watch spending and identify cuts because of financial uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Evans said.

Projects included in the 2021 budget include a new county fuel island facility to replace the aging fueling systems at the county engineer’s department and maintenance of the historic courthouse.

Sales tax revenues this year were up by more than 10 percent over last year, despite concern about the impact of COVID-19. People were spending extra unemployment benefits and sales of RVs in the county were brisk, Evans said.

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The receipt by the county and other local governments of CARES Act money due to COVID-19 also was a plus financially, he said. That money was used by the county for $3.4 million in wages and benefits; nearly $1 million for grants to small businesses and nonprofits; and another $55,000 for building cleaning, personal protective equipment and touchless fixtures.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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