Commissioners update county projects at Republican luncheon

·2 min read

May 5—LIMA — Allen County Commissioners Beth Seibert, Brian Winegardner and Cory Noonan spoke at the Republican Luncheon Friday afternoon to give an update on what's to come for the area. The three commissioners addressed capital projects, the new commissioners' building and the appointment of board members throughout the county.

Winegardner said there are various projects taking place in the county including improvements to the Allen County Sanitary Engineer's Department, improvements to the Allen Water District, the Baughman Ditch Project and a new garage for Veterans' Services in Allen County. In addition to those projects, the commissioners are moving forward with plans to create a new space for the departments in Allen County and to restore the courthouse to its original design.

"We can all agree, some things need to be done; it's not consumer-friendly or user-friendly for our employees," said Winegardner. "We have made it a point to address the issue. The best way is to get everyone out first and redo the courthouse — We feel it's best to make another administration building. Our goal is to make it a true courthouse and we'll move all of the county courts back in that building someday."

Seibert said the Allen County Commissioners have a responsibility to appoint board members throughout the county.

"The board of Allen County Commissioners appoints to nearly 30 boards," said Seibert. "We do that because of Ohio Revised Code. It's our obligation as Allen County to administer these entities like the Veterans Memorial Civic Center. The reason we appoint people to those boards to administer those operations is if we didn't that would be the responsibility of the three commissioners. It's really wonderful to bring citizens in to help make those decisions."

Noonan said one of the main responsibilities of the commissioners is to preside over the county budget. Noonan shared an example of how the county came together at a time of potential cuts to the budget.

"In March of 2020, the state was telling us that they were projecting a 20% reduction in dollars come down because of COVID," said Noonan. "We got together as a team because if it's going to happen at the state level, it's definitely going to happen at the county level. And a 20% reduction in the budget is not something that, you know, it's not an exciting thing to do. We got on the phone and we had a conference call with the elected officials. Within a half hour, we had a plan on how we would do what needed to be done if it happened — I am very proud of that example it was pretty remarkable."

Reach Precious Grundy at 567-242-0351.