Budget reviewed

Auglaize County Engineer Doug Reinhart met with Auglaize County commissioners to review budget needs for the sewer, geographical information systems, tax map department and highway budgets for the upcoming year.

The sewer district budget is to increase by 10 percent to approximately $204,000, primarily due to employment changes within the department.

“I have a guy who has been working in the department for 34 years,” Reinhart said. “He will be retiring next year. There will be a brief time where we have to have two employees in the department as we train the worker.

The three trucks used for the Sanitary Department travel several miles each year to inspect the 14 sewer districts, an action that is mandated to be done daily by the Environmental Protection Agency. Reinhart also asked for the commissioners to consider replacing one of the trucks.

“It is ultimately the decision of the commissioners,” Reinhart said. “I just don’t want it to get to the point where we have to replace all three vehicles in one year.”

Reinhart was able to trim the Tax Map budget by 7 percent, to $159,000, primarily due to decreases in need. The last aerial flight was done in 2011, and Reinhart didn’t anticipate needing to do another flight for four or five years. The flights provide photographs for tax maps in the office.

Reinhart did tell commissioners when it was feasible, he would like to do a more detailed mapping of the flood planes in the 148 miles of streams and rivers in the county. The current map was provided by FEMA in 1989, but is not entirely accurate.

The GIS budget remained unchanged at $36,000.

However, Reinhart expressed his biggest need in his road maintenance budget, which saw nearly a 90 percent increase to $6 million.

Reinhart told the commissioners that income for the County Engineer’s Office is generated from gasoline tax and license plate fees.

“The gasoline tax is based on gallons used rather than the amount,” Reinhart said. “The formula was done in 2003 when gasoline was under $2 a gallon. The last increase in license fees was 1991. There are fewer and fewer gallons being sold due to more fuel efficient cars. We have actually had a decrease in funding.”

The one major project planned for 2013 is County Road 33A, which will see major construction from the Wapakoneta corporation line to the St. Marys corporation line.

Reinhart said the money is being provided from federal funding, but the county will still have a 20 percent match at about $400,000.

Reinhart said he is realistic that the commissioners may not be able to provide the entire amount asked for, but that he wanted to demonstrate the need.

“That is what we are supposed to do,” Reinhart said. “If we want to maintain our roads the way they should be, we need to pave about 30 miles of roads a year.”