MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Commissioners approved general fund appropriations for 2018 on Thursday, as well as a new commissary system at the county jail and incarceration facility.
Appropriations for 2018 are projected at $32.3 million, while general fund revenues are expected to be $27.2 million. The board anticipates balancing the budget at $30 million.
Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien noted that the approved appropriations for 2018 are about 3.7 percent higher than in 2017. About 53 percent of appropriations are for law enforcement and the courts, O’Brien added. The appropriations also include a 2.5 percent increase in general fund salary accounts for all non-union county employees.
O’Brien added that the county is currently in “strong fiscal condition.”
“This year is going to be difficult again,” Commissioner Jack Evans said, pointing to the loss in sales tax revenues due to the elimination of the sales tax on Medicare services. That’s a projected loss of about $850,000, he said.
The amount of revenue the county receives depends on sales tax, property tax, fees and funds from the State of Ohio.
The commissioners thanked county staff and the elected officials for their help in the budgeting process.
The commissioners also approved a change in the way commissary services are provided at the county’s jail and incarceration facility.
The county will switch over to commissary kiosks, which are vending machines that will be placed in the lobbies of both facilities, in intake and in the pods at the Incarceration Facility, Sheriff Dave Duchak said.
Duchak said he expects the new system to be much easier to use for inmates, their families and jail staff.
“There will be a lot less handling handling of money by corrections staff, less need for our staff’s involvement,” he said.
People will be able to deposit money in inmate accounts online or in the lobby of the incarceration facility electronically, he added. They will also be able to purchase Christmas packages online to be delivered to inmates, Jail Administrator Capt. Dave Norman said.
Inmates will use a PIN to access the machines and when they are released, their unused funds will be added to a debit card, Norman said.
Norman said the new system should be installed and implemented in about 90 days.
The commissioners signed a contract with Keefe Commissary Network for commissary services. The county will be paid a commission equal to 35 percent of adjusted gross sales of all commissary items sold, which includes food items.
The county will not get a commission on items like stamps and stamped envelops, and kits of toiletries and other items for indigent inmates.
Duchak pointed out that the county’s current commission rate is 20 percent.
In other business, the commissioners approved a contract for design services for a surveillance system at the county jail, incarceration facility, engineer’s office and county garage, and the Eldean Covered Bridge. The board accepted a proposal from Heapy Engineering at a cost of $29,700.
The board also approved the purchase of 14 new chairs for the IT Department from Brower Stationers at a cost of $3,091.
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