Hamilton County Commission

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners are pushing back the date to pass a 2013 general fund budget.

Board President Greg Hartmann's plan has two votes but he'd prefer to present a unified front and have it pass unanimously.

Lone Democrat Todd Portune says, "no offense to Hartmann" but...

Hamilton County Commissioners are hammering out the 2013 budget. Lone democrat Todd Portune released his proposal today/yesterday. Key to his 5-year plan is generating extra funds through a state provision allowing counties with land banks to issue securities based on expected tax revenues.

"While the use of this vehicle is limited to counties that are land bank counties, nowhere in the legislation, and nowhere have I found, are the use of the proceeds limited to just land bank activities," he says.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Memorial Hall is one of Hamilton County's storied venues but it often sits empty because of a lack of modern amenities like air conditioning.

The Memorial Hall Society, 3CDC and Hamilton County Commissioners are considering a partnership to revitalize the building.

Society president Bill Baumann says, "Our vision for Memorial Hall is to help it transition from an underutilized facility to and active arts center with a diverse offering of music concerts and other performing arts programs, film presentations, lectures and art exhibitions."

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

After rejecting three proposed budget options put forward by the county administrator, Hamilton County Commissioners plan to offer their own spending plans Monday morning.

Hamilton County Commissioners are modifying the approval process for something called "then and now" resolutions proposed by the Public Health District.

The resolutions allow the district to pay organizations it does business with.

Commissioner Chris Monzel says the district shouldn't have to get approval from the board and a legal opinion from the county prosecutor agrees.

Following up on the first of several public budget hearings, Hamilton County Commission President Greg Hartmann says he doesn't foresee wage increases for county workers.

"In our administrator's recommended budget there is discussion about giving raises to employees. As much as I would like to sit here today and say we can do that, I don't think it's consistent with where we are as a county and where this budget is," he says.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners held their first public budget hearing last night but the refrain was nothing new.

Hamilton County Commissioners are still looking for ways to balance the 2013 budget without raising taxes.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County's Administrator today presented Commissioners three possible budgets for next year but it sounds like they'll be choosing Option number four.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Hamilton County Commissioners are expected to discuss the 2013 general fund budget Monday morning.

As Hamilton County budget meetings continue, the story remains the same. Department heads are still begging to keep their budgets intact... and commissioners keep saying everyone will have to deal with less.

Lamenting unfunded mandates from the state legislature is another popular refrain.

Board member Todd Portune says, “At what point do those above us in this hierarchy acknowledge that they can’t just keep demanding and expect to be absorbed? I would argue that we’re at that point.”

Michael Keating

Hamilton County Commissioners are moving forward with a plan to shore up the struggling stadium fund for another year.

Essentially the board is taking out an insurance policy to cover the bulk of the debt and fund what's left from county reserves. It'll cost about $300,000.

Hamilton County Commissioners are meeting with department heads as they work out next year's budget. With most agency leaders begging not to have their budgets slashed and Commissioners facing steep cuts, the meetings don't last long.

Board president Greg Hartmann calls the process challenging.

“We’re in the neighborhood of being $100 million dollars smaller than we were six years ago, from $300 million to $200 million,” he says.

Hamilton County Commissioners are navigating the budget process for next year. No decisions have been made but they're already responding to comments from outgoing Sheriff Simon Leis that they plan to gut his department.

Leis threatens proposed cuts would mean laying off employees and reducing space at the overcrowded county jail.

Commissioner Chris Monzel says public safety is a top priority.

Tana Weingartner

Hamilton County Commissioners are considering a proposal that would cover the projected 2013 deficit in the stadium fund.

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