Thursday, January 04, 2001

Warren budget proposal: $45M

Law enforcement, services to elderly among increases

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Senior citizen services and law enforcement in Warren County would get more money this year — although not as much as officials sought — under a $45 million budget that county commissioners will vote on today.

        Unlike in 2000, this budget would use all expected revenue, Commission President Pat South said.

        Departments such as the auditor, treasurer and commissioners get the largest share of the kitty — 48 percent — followed by criminal justice at 45 percent, Mrs. South said. Social services get less than 7 percent.

        How it shakes out:

        • Warren County Community Services would get $200,000 of the extra $375,000 requested to reduce a waiting list of 246 elderly residents who need help with chores.

        Mrs. South said the commissioners will revisit the issue later this month.

        Community Services' 2001 request is part of a three-year plan that would wipe out the waiting list by bringing commissioners' contribution to $1.36 million.

        • The county's Drug Task Force had asked for $383,000 to expand, saying its one-man staff leaves about 20 drug tips a week unanswered. Skeptical commissioners agreed to match only new funding from cities and townships. It looks as if that effort will yield about $100,000 — for a total of $200,000 with the match.

        “It'll certainly help,” the task force's John Burke said. “It's not going to erase (the backlog). But I think we'll have a lot more impact.”

        • The sheriff's department, too, only got about half the new deputies and a third of the vehicles Sheriff Tom Ariss had sought.

        The budget would add 23 hires and 23 vehicles throughout county offices, Mrs. South said, including three deputies — all promised to Deerfield Township — and seven sheriff's cars.

        • The county Humane Association got the full $200,000 — double 2000's amount — that it sought to help to run its shelter for abandoned dogs and cats. The Lebanon facility, which the Humane Association plans to expand with private donations, cost $399,000 to operate in 2000, its director said.

        The commissioners meet at 4 p.m. at 320 E. Silver St., Lebanon.


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