Children Services loan paid back early

A loan to the Washington County Job and Family Services was paid back six months early during Thursday’s Washington County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Flite Freimann, executive director of Washington County Job and Family Services, explained that in December, the Children Services board was in a dire financial situation. The former Children Services Executive Director Jamie Vuksic, at the direction of the county commission, called out to residential treatment facilities for financial help and they were able to hold off bills until January.

“That allowed Children Services to get its payroll obligation paid, pay its foster parents and hold off the rest of the costs,” Freimann told the commission.

He said the result was that in January, there was $3 left in their account and about $200,000 owed to individuals.

“We came before the Board of Commissioners and asked for a loan of $425,000, to pay the $200,000 we owed for 2018 and put money in the coffers to begin moving forward,” he said.

Freimann said through the efforts of Vuksic and his staff, they have started seeing cost savings. Levy dollars have covered fund placement costs instead of using general revenue dollars.

“All of this puts us in the position to allow Job and Family Services to repay the commissioners $425,000,” Freimann said, handing an oversized check to the commissioners. “The check will be deposited into your account. Mr. President, I will return to you the $425,000 that you loaned.”

Commissioner Ron Feathers said the loan had to be paid back within 12 months.

“This is extraordinary because it just had to be paid back in the same year that it was removed from the budget stabilization fund and here we are just shortly over halfway through the year,” he said. ” Because of the great work of the entire administration and staff of JFS and Children’s Services, obviously they’re in here paying it back. So it’s earlier than expected.”

In other commission news, Michelle Hyer, development specialist with the Buckeye Hills Regional Council, gave commissioners an update on the Highland Ridge Community Development Block Grant project. The project will add a water tank to Highland Ridge.

A bid was recently received from Mid Atlantic Storage Systems of Washington Courthouse for construction costs of $835,558. The CDBG grant will fund $500,000 of the costs. The rest of the costs will be covered by the Ohio Water Development Authority, Hyers added.

“This is just for construction, not for engineering,” she said about the contract. ” It’s for original construction costs.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

Dates to Remember:

• Finance Committee meeting, 10 a.m. Tuesday, conference room A

• Regular weekly meeting, 9 a.m. Thursday, 204 Davis Ave.

• Township Association meeting, 6:30 p.m., Thursday, July 25, county engineer’s office.

• Monthly county home meeting, 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 13, county home.