SCIOTO — In their first session of the new year, Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis remarked on the year behind, which was a strong financial year for the county despite the coronavirus and looked forward to the year ahead.
Permissive sales tax reports continued to be encouraging for the county, where the latest report from October was up $43,753.14 with a year-to-date increase of $1,012,349.17.
Davis said the county experienced revenue growths through sales tax 11 out of 12 months in 2020, which he owed to fiscally-conservative policies enacted by the Board.
“We try to build our reserves and prepare for things like pandemics and we did that in the midst of a pandemic,” he said, thanking a collaborative work by county workers.
2021, with the collection and a carry-over of more than $7 million last year, will hopefully reap the benefits where Davis would like to see infrastructure upgrades and generally make the county a better place to live.
Through a Zoom format again, discussions Tuesday regarding 15 agenda items revolved around the regular business of appropriation and acceptance of reports and claims.
Davis and Commissioner Cathy Coleman submitted a letter of support for American Electric Power Ohio’s broadband access proposal. The AEP Gridsmart project, in its third phase, will prioritize infrastructure improvements according to Davis.
“One of the big problems in our area is lack of broadband access,” he said, including that three in 10 residents of the county does not have access to quality broadband.
With many using and needing strong internet service for school and work currently, Davis said it was a no-brainer for the Commissioners to back the plan that will also pay dividends when the county is finally past the coronavirus.
“Of course, we are going to support anything that can lead us to getting more rural areas covered by broadband,” he said. “We need as much as we can get not only for this pandemic, but to prepare for any potential issues that we may have.”
In other business, reports came in on a damage claim from Frontier Communications after a fiber line was accidentally torn out by county workers.
“You try to prepare as much as you can, but every once in a while somethings not exactly where it’s supposed to be,” said Davis, who has now authorized it to the county’s insurance provider.
The provider will conduct an investigation and determine if payment is necessary.
On its fourth item, the Commissioners waived the hearings for new applications for the Ridge Mini Mart and Minford Kwik Shop who had existing liquor licenses. Additionally, a change order from the county engineer was accepted on a guardrail project, which Davis confirmed to be a reduction in costs.
The Commissioners will reconvene next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. through a virtual meeting. Those wishing to tune-in can do so live on their Facebook page.
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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