Columbiana County budget looking at 5% increase

LISBON — Columbiana County Commissioner Mike Halleck said the county may be looking at a 3 to 5 percent increase for the 2023 budget over last year’s appropriations.

“Everything has gotten more expensive,” he said, using sheriff’s office vehicles and the price of gas as examples.

Commissioners agreed Wednesday to advertise for a public hearing to be held at 9:15 a.m. July 13 regarding the 2023 tax budget, which Halleck said includes a cursory review of revenue.

Known as the wish list, the tax budget includes monetary requests from the various departments in county government for their yearly budget from the general fund. Department heads can come to plead their case for the funding.

Appropriations for 2023 won’t be done until sometime in the fall.

In other business, the commissioners declared Saturday as Annual Amateur Radio Operators’ Appreciation Day, noting that day has been designated as amateur radio field day for emergency communications preparedness exercises.

The proclamation explained the vital role amateur radio operators play in emergency communications preparedness plans, with more than 28,000 licensed amateur radio operators in the state.

“Amateur radio operators donate their equipment, time and expertise in providing public service and emergency communication free of charge,” the proclamation said.

The commissioners also approved a contract between the county Department of Job and Family Services and Northeast Ohio Adoption Services for adoption services and special training services. The contract period is July 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023, with a contract ceiling of $5,000. Funding is from the IV-B through Children Services.

Commissioners also heard an update from Haley Shoemaker, extension educator, agriculture and natural resources with the Ohio State University Columbiana County Extension, who talked about some recent programs, upcoming programs and 4-H activities.

Shoemaker talked about farm safety day, which included a grain bin rescue certification with 30 firefighters from local departments. She said more than 300 youth and their families attended and learned about machine and tractor safety.

As part of the fire academy, she said they had a mini grain bin filled with 200 bushels of corn for firefighters to see what it’s like to be engulfed in the corn, all while harnessed, with lessons on how to safely use equipment to rescue someone from a grain bin.

“If people aren’t prepared, it doesn’t end well,” she said.

Other recent programs included beef quality assurance, poultry biosecurity and a rain barrel program.

Some upcoming programs will cover eFields soil health research, an agriculture career day touting the many job opportunities in agriculture in Columbiana County, farm to school day at East Liverpool schools and small ruminant forage program. She’ll also be serving on the Ohio Watershed Strategic Planning Board as the region 6 agricultural representative.

For 4-H, she gave a brief update on summer activities, an end-of-school foam party at United for grades K-5, programming at East Liverpool for grades K-6, 4-H camp in Ashtabula County, and final arrangements for project judging and project completion for 4-H youth to showcase their projects July 12 and 13 at the fairgrounds.

The next meeting of commissioners will be 9 a.m. June 29 at the courthouse.


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