Monroe County needs to deal with its dire fiscal situation

Monroe County commissioners have been spending beyond their means for three years, according to county Treasurer Taylor Abbott earlier this week. He advised big-ticket expenditures should be reconsidered.

Abbott’s report was sobering. During the three years from 2016-18, the county spent nearly $5 million more than was received for its general revenue fund, he said.

“The report so far with the general revenue fund is not looking good,” Abbott warned.

Budget carryovers from year to year can allow spending in excess of revenue for a given 12-month period, but the county has been chipping away at its cash balances. Anyone who deals with household finances could tell them that kind of behavior is risky, and that a review of spending is in order.

In December, commissioners agreed to hire a private consulting firm to examine finances and make recommendations. Commissioners expect to receive a report within a few weeks.

Perhaps the consultant will have a more optimistic outlook. Let us hope so.

But in the meantime, commissioners should heed Abbott’s advice and at least tap the brakes on spending proposals.

No Mid-Ohio Valley government has the luxury of being careless with taxpayer money when there are warning signs of such extended overspending.