Township officials concerned for financial future

By Dedra Cordle
Staff Writer

While the current financial situation in Jackson Township shows stability, officials believe there could be trouble in the future.

At the April 14 board of trustees meeting, which was held virtually via Facebook Live, Fiscal Officer Ron Grossman said there has been an increase in expenditures, fluctuation in revenue sources and an overall positive cash balance.

According to his report, the township has collected more than $8.3 million in revenue, which is slightly down in comparison to its collection at this point last year.

He said real estate taxes have increased by $272,000 and they have collected more than $41,000 through the city of Grove City’s Tax Increment Financing Fund.

He also noted that they have not collected $540,000 in Homestead and Rollback taxes from the state, which he believes could be coming in later this month.

Where the uncertainty related to the health of the revenue comes in, he said, is with the number of business closures and rent collection delays that took place to slow the spread of a novel coronavirus. He said typically at this time, the township would be collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars but added that collection will likely be delayed by several months.

“I have a feeling that commercial and industrial properties will really hammer us on delinquencies,” he said. “Hopefully they will be able to make it up next year.”

Grossman reported that there has been a rise in expenditures compared to this time last year.

“Our expenditures are up by almost $700,000 over last year,” he said.

He said that payroll has increased but noted that it should stabilize as the fire department has temporarily limited training and restricted earned time off for its employees.

The cash balance remains positive with $9.6 million on hand.

“We are in a pretty good financial situation cash wise,” Grossman said.

He also added that the United States Department of Health and Human Services deposited $36,000 into the township EMS account as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

“That was a nice piece of information to help our revenue,” he said.

Upon listening to the report, trustee Dave Burris said the township would have to “watch its Ps and Qs” as it pertains to spending.

“There is a whole lot of uncertainty, which is scary,” he said.

Fire Chief Randy Little also presented his department report at the meeting. He said based upon the recommendation of its medical director, the department will be limiting its COVID-19 transports to Mount Carmel Grove City, Doctors West or Nationwide Children’s Hospital. All other transports will be taken to the closest facility.

The transport restriction, he said, was implemented to give its personnel time to decontaminate themselves and the vehicles after making emergency runs.

Little also reported that none of the department’s employees have tested positive for COVID-19. He credited that with their efforts to socially distance and their adherence to following township policies and federal guidelines.

He also told the board that the department’s supply of personal protective equipment is in good shape but noted they have recently had to purchase some supplies via Amazon and EBay because their usual supplier has experienced shortages.

He also thanked the community for their support and praised the men and women of the fire department for their skill and professionalism during this uncertain time.

The next board of trustees meeting will take place via Facebook Live on April 28 at 1:30 p.m. To access the broadcast, search Facebook for Jackson Township in Franklin County, Ohio or click the Facebook button at the top banner of their official webpage at www.jacksontwp.org. Residents can submit comments during the broadcast.

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