Little wait expected for reimbursements

Despite initial concerns about when Auglaize County may be reimbursed for grant-funded renovations at the courthouse, the Auglaize County commissioners no longer are anticipating any delays.
While the commissioners authorized an advance of the $1.16 million which they are still owed from a state grant covering HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and lighting portions of the project, from the county’s general fund into the county’s permanent improvement Fund this week, Commissioner Doug Spencer said it was an accounting issue.
“The money was appropriated for accounting purposes,” Spencer said. “We put it in a better place to more easily track it. It’s an advance and when we get the grant money, it will go back to us.
“We see no issues getting reimbursed,” Spencer told the Wapakoneta Daily News this week. “We think all the work will be done on time per requirements of the grant and after the Ohio Department of Development OKs the paperwork upon completion, we should see a reimbursement within a couple weeks.”
According to the resolution commissioners approved, the advance was necessary to complete renovations.
Two weeks ago the county received its first reimbursement from the grant, $140,000 for the lighting portion of the project, which is complete.
Other portions of the project, totaling more than $1.16 million are still to be reimbursed upon completion of those portions of the project.
HVAC work is expected to continue until the end of renovations at the courthouse with a reimbursement not expected to the county until late summer. The county also is to be reimbursed for administrative costs through the grant.
“We are only permitted to apply for the reimbursements when that specific scope of the project is done,” Spencer said.
Commissioners meet next week with the HVAC contractor to ensure they are on track and to do a site visit.
“We are told there are no issues in getting the project done on time,” Spencer said of a July 1 deadline. “We were extremely excited that we received the first reimbursement and as long as everything stays on course I see no worries on getting the balance of the reimbursement.”