The Wood County Commissioners heard requests for $1.39 million in funding from two agencies and an increase of $8,500 from a third.
Representatives from the board of elections, dog shelter and Wood Soil and Water Conservation District attended Tuesday’s commissioners meeting to explain their requests for funding for 2023.
Terry Burton, co-director of the board of elections, asked for a bump in the agency’s salary appropriations by $5,701 to equalize co-director Julie Baumgardner’s pay with his pay.
Baumgardner said salaries for elections workers will go down as the number of elections in 2023 drops; however, contract services are going up by an estimated $33,000.
“All of those services, we have to have. … there’s nothing in there we can get rid of,” she said.
They also want to add new carpet, paint the office and move the cubicles.
“It’s getting a little dirty, it’s getting a little dingy downstairs,” Burton said, estimating that the carpeting dated to the early 1990s.
County Administrator Carri Stanley asked for a tour of the office.
Baumgarder also said the agency’s appropriation request of $968,181 included $125,000 for new voter sign-in pads.
Dog Warden Jodi Harding said salaries are estimated to increase $4,175 in 2023 while supplies decrease by $3,000.
There also are expected decreases in dog park supplies (there were many mutt mitts left over from last year), kennel supplies and contracted services.
However, Harding is expecting spending an additional $5,500 on dog park equipment, to replace some dilapidated parts in the middle yard.
Her goal is to get a deputy trained in animal control, and the uniform line item is up in order to purchase new bullet proof vests.
“There is nothing huge in our request,” said soil and water Administrator Jim Carter.
He asked that the county match the $240,000 anticipated from the Ohio Department of Agriculture as well as a 3% increase in appropriations over the current year.
The $8,532 is a cost-of-living increase, Carter said. Total expenses for 2023 are anticipated at $573,776.
Preliminary work has started on planting windbreaks at the county landfill next spring, he said.
The agency needs to hire another person but finding the right candidate at the right price is tough, said Supervisor Kris Swartz.
Stanley said that her office will meet with agencies, then compile the requests before meeting with commissioners to determine funding.
Final appropriations should be announced in December.
Also at the meeting Dave Wigent, director of job and family services, reported a new recruitment program that will give college seniors a paid fellowship.
They will be trained as children’s services workers, he said, and be paid $15 an hour.
“By doing this, we hope to produce a pipeline of talent for our organization,” Wigent said. “We’re getting a lot of statewide attention for this.”
The target is 20 fellowships in 10 counties and agencies are working with 14 colleges in the area, he said.
Wigent said he was pleasantly surprised by the interest and, since students will be workers not interns, they will be paid.
He also announced that internally, the office is analyzing its placement of cubicles to make more space. Rearranging and shrinking the size of the cubes should develop 30 new spaces.