Despite facing a relatively tight budget, the Wood County commissioners plan to have preliminary engineering and permit work for bridge projects completed this year, Doris Herringshaw, a commissioner, told the Lake Township trustees Tuesday.
Herringshaw said the commissioners have allocated about $300,000 this year from the county’s share of casino tax revenue to pay for the preliminary design work. The county engineer’s office will contract with private firms for the work.
She said having the preliminary work complete will allow the county engineer to “pull them off the shelf” when construction dollars are allocated to the county.
“The commissioners’ desire is to assist the engineer with his bridge replacement program by having bridge engineering complete and ready to go when construction funding becomes available,” Herringshaw said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation has budgeted funding for the replacement of five bridges in the county.
An amendment to the state constitution that authorized casinos in Ohio also imposed a tax on their revenues that is disbursed on a per capita basis among all 88 counties.
Herringshaw noted the construction of a warehouse/distribution facility by Home Depot in Troy Township is progressing and the inspection fees and permits to date have been about $200,000, allowing the county’s building inspection department to retain employees who otherwise may have been laid off.
To help contain personnel costs the commissioners didn’t replace an employee in the planning commission office and have delayed filling the vacant solid waste director position while the state’s solid waste law is being overhauled.
Herringshaw said Joe Fawcett, assistant county administrator, has been handling many of the administrative duties of the solid waste management district.
Ken Rieman, who was the district’s first director, retired about a year ago.
Herringshaw also told the trustees the county as recently as 2008 was earning about $4 million annually from interest income. Last year it was closer to $800,000.
Herringshaw, of Bowling Green, was appointed to a seat on the board of commissioners left vacant when Tim Brown was elected to the state legislature. She is one of three candidates to file petitions for the May Republican primary commissioner election. Kristi Kennelly and James Matuszak, both of Perrysburg, will also be on the Republican ballot.
Andrew Newlove, Bowling Green, is the only candidate for commissioner on the Democratic ballot.
Three incumbents, Mike Sibbersen, county auditor; Alan Mayberry, common pleas court judge, and David Woessner, probate court judge, are unopposed in the Republican primary.