The Press Newspaper
A sluggish economy took its toll on revenues, causing the Wood County Board of Commissioners to approve 2012 general fund appropriations of $37.1 million – a little more than $1million less than 2011 appropriations and the lowest since 2006.
While sales tax revenues have been positive, other revenue sources – property taxes, investment income, and the local government fund – continue to decline, the commissioners note in the county’s annual report.
“In spite of all the negative news about the economy, we remain optimistic about the future of Wood County, and our ability to provide excellent services,” the commissioners write.
The sales tax – a bright light in the county’s revenue collections – reached $16.4 million, a 5.75 percent increase from 2010.
Investment income for 2011, by contrast, was just over $1.58 million – a decrease of more than 24 percent from 2010.
The commissioners began 2011 with a beginning cash balance of $12.8 million.
Tom Blaha, executive director of the county’s economic development commission, credited the long-awaited opening in February 2010 of the $175 million CSX Intermodal Terminal in Henry Township for creating nearly 300 jobs.
The Department of Job and Family Services joined departments from six other counties to implement a new call center called Collabor 8.
Wood and Knox counties piloted the initiative to assist consumers interview for benefits, report case changes, and receive status updates.
The commissioners used the report to say farewell to Alvie Perkins, who announced his retirement in December as a commissioner after 25 years – longer than anyone else to hold a commissioners seat.
“Through his tenure, he was involved in many significant issues and changes to Wood County government. These include construction of the County Justice Center, the Sheriff’s office, the Job and Family Services building, the Dog Shelter, the Fuel Maintenance Facility, the Health Department building, the restoration of the Courthouse exterior, relocation of the old jail for use as the Records Center and Law Library, construction of the Courthouse Atrium, creation of the Northwestern Water & Sewer District, creation of the Wood County Economic Development Commission, participation in the County Comprehensive Plan as a member of the Planning Commission, and more,” the report says.