PORTSMOUTH — The Scioto County Commissioners held their Thursday morning meeting, passing all 12 items on their agenda.
Among approvals of funds and reports, several items on and off the agenda were discussed in further detail.
After opening the bidding process for the Earl Thomas Conley Park construction project Tuesday, the Commissioners announced Scioto Valley Paving’s bid request won out.
The $97,805 grant from the Lucasville company will go to the resurfacing of the basketball and tennis courts, the installment of a new pickleball court, and general repairs of the park’s walkways and parking lots.
“It’s going to look brand-new,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis. “It’s going to look incredible when it’s done.”
The money will be in addition to a $100,000 capital improvement grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Announced in June, the agreement would extend through Dec. 31, 2020.
Additionally, funds will be transferred from the Medicaid Sales Tax Transition Fund to the General Fund. Davis said creation of the Medicaid fund followed a federal decision to do away with the Medicaid Managed Care Organization tax in 2017.
The county lost $2 million in funding soon after the suspension of the MCO tax, which the Ohio Legislature responded by creating the Medicaid fund to allow counties to transition to the change.
Davis said most of that money has been unspent, as expenditures have been covered by the county’s revenues, leading the Commissioners to take it out of the account to be used elsewhere.
Putting the money in the General Fund will permit them to use it for costs related to health, dental, vision, life insurance, and cover salaries for varying county departments.
“We should be using this transition fund more and this is the beginning of that,” said Davis. “Our revenues continue to be strong, but we need to see that money moved over to the General Fund and we need to do that now.”
Not all of the money will be transitioned from the Medicaid fund, instead going to the aforementioned items in limited quantities.
Off the agenda, the Commissioners fielded questions regarding what Halloween festivities will look like this year in the wake of the coronavirus. Still, over 50 days away, no official plans have been made by city or county officials, but Davis projects they will be released soon so residents will know whether or not to make preparations.
“To me, trick-or-treat is very special for children and very special for their parents,” said Davis. “I think if we can have Trade Days, we can have trick-or-treat.”
As a government official, however, he will support the decision from the city and county health departments, who have kept the Commissioners up-to-date on their methods throughout the pandemic.
The Commissioners will meet again next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. The meeting will be available online on their Facebook page.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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