During Monday’s County Commissioner meeting, Commissioner Kevin Overmyer brought up the additional appropriation request they presented to the County Council last week. The commissioners were seeking $200,000 from the Rainy-Day Fund to pay for the Disaster Recovery Small Structure Inventory Project. Following the flooding in 2018, the County Council appropriated a million dollars for repairs. The county spent about half of the funds, so the commissioners wanted to use some of the remaining funds for the small structure inventory.
During the County Council meeting, council members were supportive of the project but felt there was enough funding in the Cume Bridge Fund to cover the $200,000 request. The council sent the additional appropriation request back to the commissioners seeking more information on future bridge funding planned for the Cum Bridge Fund.
Commissioner Overmyer said he didn’t think the Cum Bridge Fund could handle the additional expense of $200,000. There are over 489 small structures in the county and USI said typically 5% will need to be replaced within the next 1 to 3 years because they are in a failed condition. Those repairs would be paid for out of the Cum Bridge Fund.
Commissioner Stan Klotz said he believes there is enough money in the Cum Bridge Fund to pay for the Small Structure Inventory but didn’t have an issue using the Rainy-Day Fund. The commissioners unanimously approved sending back their request for an additional appropriation of $200,000 out of the Rainy-Day Fund to the County Council.
During the Public Comment portion of the Commissioner’s meeting, County Council vice-president Tim Harman said the current cash balance of the Cum Bridge Fund is $3.6 million and there are 2 property tax draws to add to it along with an interest increase in investments.
Commissioner Overmyer said he was just going back to what the council had done in 2018. He also said there are increased expenses and overruns with the bridge projects already in the works. He said, “The council sent it back to us for a recommendation and this is our recommendation. I guess the ball is now back in your court.”
Councilman Harman said, “My position won’t change but I think we need to work together on this.” He went on to say the Baker Tilly Report the county paid for said they could spend about $2 million from the Cum Bridge Fund.
Overmyer said when Baker Tilly completed the report, the county wasn’t seeing all the cost increases they are seeing now.
Harman said, “To dip into your Rainy-Day Fund at this point is very much premature. I’d rather look at it next year or the following year. I think you are 2,3, or 4 years ahead of the game here.”
Overmyer said USI does do a bridge projection and document which bridges, what years are involved, and when funds will be needed. He said Jason Peters the Highway Superintendent will seek an updated report from USI.
Harman said the council wants to pay for the small structure inventory but at this time using the Cum Bridge Fund.