GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved appropriations for 2019 during its last scheduled meeting of of the year.
According to figures provided by Darke County Auditor Carol Ginn, the county will appropriate an estimated $68.8 million, including more than $22.5 million in general funds and approximately $46.3 million in outside funds.
Ginn said the 2019 appropriations represent a decrease of about $1.5 million versus 2018 appropriations. As well, the county expects to receive $2.1 million less for its general fund than it received in 2018.
“Darke County only has a 3.3-mill levy,” she said. “A lot of the other counties [in Ohio] have outside voted millage that covers their child services, that covers their 9-1-1 services. We don’t have any of those, so your general fund is covering everything you have to cover.”
The expected decrease in revenue to the county general fund resulted in a 10-percent cut across all county agencies going into 2019.
While the board attributed much of the decrease to the estimated loss of $800,000 in revenue from the federal government’s elimination of sales tax on Medicare and Medicaid, the commissioners said there were more elements to the shortfall, including cuts in local government funds and the State Indigent Defense fund.
“We’ve had numerous [losses] throughout all different departments. We lost some here, we lost some there, what have you,” Commissioner Mike Rhoades said.
“One of these days we’ll have to find a line in the sand, and say, ‘Hey, we’re providing these state-mandated services, but you’re only giving us this much,’” Commissioner Matt Aultman said.
As well, the commissioners approved an amended engineering agreement with Mote & Associates for design services for a separate exterior security entrance structure and security lighting for the Courthouse. The county will pay upwards of $37,000 for the engineering, with bidding for the project tentatively scheduled to begin in January. The construction phase is slated for February through July 2019.