By Wayne Allen
The Scioto County Financial Planing and Supervision Commission met on Thursday and passed a resolution officially requesting Scioto County be taken out of Fiscal Emergency status.
Sharon Hanrahan, commission chairwoman, presented commission members with a resolution requesting the release.
“Now therefore be it resolved that the finical planing and supervision commission for the county of Scioto, formally requests the auditor of state to determine whether the financial plan complies with all of the requirements under sections 118.27 of the (Ohio) revised code and whether the commission and its functions should be terminated,” the resolution stated.
It was a unanimous decision by the commission to approve the measure.
“It is unanimous the financial planning and supervision commission for the county has resolved to request the auditor of state to begin a termination analysis that will result in the termination of this county from fiscal emergency,” Hanrahan said.
In July of 2013 the Auditor of State office issued a report of accounting methods. The reports stated that on Aug. 19, 2009, Scioto County was declared in a state of fiscal emergency by the Auditor of State. As a result of the declaration, a Financial Planning and Supervision Commission was established. In the section of the report titled “Governance Overview,” it states the (financial planing and supervision) commission will continue in existence until the Auditor of State, or the commission itself determines that an effective financial accounting and reporting system is in the process of being implemented, and is expected to be completed within two years.
All of the fiscal emergency conditions have been corrected or eliminated, and no new emergency conditions have occurred. The objectives of the financial recovery plan are being met, and the board of commissioners has prepared a financial forecast for a five-year period, and such forecast is, in the Auditor of State’s opinion, “non-adverse.” Once these requirements are satisfied, the commission will be terminated.
As a part of the requirements to request termination the county commissioners and the commission had to approve a five-year fiscal forecast. The forecast will serve as the county’s budget for the next five years. On Thursday both bodies approved the forecast.
Mike Crabtree, chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, said this was a great day for the county.
“We’re pleased, we’ve had a number of issues we had to deal with during this past year. Some (issues) a little bit unexpected and some were, but we managed to have increased revenue and managed to get some important things done,” Crabtree said. “Now it’s just going to be a waiting game until we get the declaration back. I think all three commissioners are pleased with the way things have gone in the last 14 months and we’re headed in the right direction.”
When asked if he thought this day would ever come, Crabtree replied, “We hoped. It’s been a long time coming and we’re very pleased that it’s here.”
As a result of the resolution the commission has not scheduled another meeting, but will remain in existence under law.
“It may be the final meeting of the commission, but the commission itself by law does not go away. We (Financial Planing and Supervision Commission) will stand in the background and let a team come in to do a termination analysis,” Hanrahan said.
She said the team that completes the termination analysis will examine the things that got the county into fiscal emergency have been addressed. It was estimated by officials at the meeting the analysis may be completed as early as June or July, but may take up to six months to complete. Hanrahan said what’s been done in the past is that the commission is convened one last time when the deceleration of termination is released.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.