PAT MCCAULEY … Liason to the Ohio Treasurer of State office, Pat McCauley met with the Fulton County Commissioners on Thursday, July 15, 2021 to catch up on any of their needs and to share some information on specific programs available through Robert Sprague’s office. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Important information was shared with the Fulton County Commissioners during the Thursday morning, July 15, 2021 meeting from the departments of JFS, FC County Dog Warden and the Ohio Treasurer of State.
The morning began with the passage of the following:
-Minutes from July 13, 2021 and agenda as amended, adding Resolution 527
-Resolution 2021 -523 Approve Pay request #1 Final to Contract 2020-94 with Buck Pavement Restoration, LLC for 2020 Fulton County Crack Sealing Program
-Resolution 524 Approve Pay request #1 to Contract 2021-59 with Gerken Paving for 2021 Asphalt Resurfacing
-Resolution 525 Authorize Board President to Execute FAA FY21 AIP Grant Agreement
-Purchase orders and travel requests
-Resolution 527 Approve payment #1 to Miller Bros. Construction as submitted in the amount of $23,460.95 for Fulton County’s portion of the work on the Bridge 10-2M.3 Replacement Project
The commissioners also review Correspondence from Ohio EPA pertaining to Fulton County Landfill Explosive Gas Monitoring; Amended Certificate of Estimated Resources; and Certificate of non-compliance, before meeting with the presenters of the day.
At 9:15 a.m. Amy Metz-Simon, Director of Job and Family Services and newly appointed Assistant Director Thomas “TJ” Jones began their update. Ms. Metz-Simon covered all but the Children’s Services portion of the report, filling the commissioners in on the stats of performance in Child Support, Fiscal information, Public Assistance, Communication, Transportation and the Food and Medicaid programs.
Mr. Jones reported on Children’s Services, Adult Protective services and Drug Testing in the county.
The department is doing well in all areas, with some of the programs maintaining a 100% level of completion each month. Some interesting info included that: they are making up Kits for every Fulton County Student for this fall that will have COVID safe supplies such as ear buds, sanitizer, stylus pen, backpack, dry erase markers, etc.
It won’t have everything they need but it will help; Up to $2500 was available this year from Prevention, Retention and Contingency Plan using TANF money. They distributed 93,977 for that in the past six months; Medicaid has them not working on Fraud at all at this time; The contract for Transportation has been renewed with K&P; Medicaid is available for some people who are also on Medicare; All JFS expenses are reimbursements; IT tickets are tracked and well cared for; For Timliness in getting things done the state goal is 90% but they are aiming for 100%.
Foot traffic in the office is back up with around 100 people going in during June. Mr. Jones reported that there are only 7 or 8 children in custody in the county which is really good.
He believes that the very competent case workers and staff are doing a great job of helping families that keeps that number low.
He also mentioned that for January through May, the visits met for children and adults were 100%. He also shared statistics for oral drug screening for 2017, 2020 and 2021 and pointed out that Fentanyl positive tests are way up.
In 2017 there were 13 in one year and for 21 there are already 43 positive tests in the past six months. There is a decrease in methamphetamines and cocaine.
People are tested in their home, it is sealed, and it goes to a lab in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They send the results back and will also testify for court cases as needed.
Metz-Simon also shared that a Federal Tax Information visit went well and the department was well rated. They also had a Security Compliance assessment with the IT Coordinator to make sure all policies, etc. are compliant. FC JFS volunteered to be in the pilot program for that as they believe it will be required in the future and they were ready to go for it.
They have also implemented quarterly staff meetings. The Advisory Board meeting will be near the end of August. Commissioner Joe Short asked if they have been able to fill the positions they need to fill and she commented that the financial situation is low so they have not.
The commissioners encouraged her to check with County treasurer Vond Hall to make sure that they have that covered so she can start hiring.
The next portion of the meeting was spent with Fulton County Dog Warden, Brian Banister. Banister reported that for the last quarter, for dog bites they had nine in April, five in May and nine in June with two of them being severe.
He said that is the normal range. The Humane Agent, Courtney Iwinski, is in place now so she is handling humane cases. There have only been two situations which they would not have handled by the Dog Warden.
A different truck is being purchased to replace the old “worn out” one. They caught a goose, that had gotten a fishing lure wrapped around it’s leg, that was seen in the pond by the hospital.
They got the hook out, sprayed it with an antibiotic and let it go.
Fourth of July was very busy as it was three days of fireworks. They took in seventeen dogs who ran away in fear and got lost. Most of them were not chipped, but owners were also pretty quick to go in and find their dogs. Half of them had not been licensed so before they were released to the owners they had to be registered.
(Following the meeting, Banister pointed out that ALL dogs are required to be licensed. For those who were not, the owner had to pay the $20 license fee, the $20 late fee penalty for not being licensed and $10 per day that the dog was at the pound.
For some situations the penalty was waved, but most had to pay it. Each one that was not registered also has a court date as it is illegal not to have the dog registered. He also said that it is best for owners to get a chip put in their dogs, by a veterinarian, so that if they get lost it is easier to find the owners.
“It is only about the size of a piece of rice and they don’t feel it,” he said. It works better than tags that get lost or are not put on the pets.)
The last meeting of the day was held with Pat McCauley, who is the Liason for the Ohio Treasurer of State in twenty three counties.
McCauley said he was in the area so requested a visit to find out how things are going and to ask if there is anything that Treasurer Robert Sprague’s office can do for the commissioners. He shared some information on the following programs:
-ohiocheckbook.gov, which is available for Ohioans to get local and state financial information, if the government entities sign up and provide it.
Commissioner Joe Short commented that it looked like a good idea. He offered a virtual demonstration of this at their convenience.
-Stable Account direct deposit, available for employees with disabilities, and their families.
Having this account makes it possible for disabled citizens to save more money and still keep their public benefits. There is a limit of $2000 in a normal savings account, before individual starts losing benefits.
The Stable Account makes it possible to save enough to purchase a car or a new home, or whatever other needs there are. They can now offer it as a direct deposit option to local governments so that employees with disabilities can have their accounts built up by their employer.
Others are also welcome to deposit in the accounts, so parents, grandparents, friends, etc. can help them save.
– OMAP – gives the governments a valuable tool for financing projects, reducing costs, improving outcomes, and strengthening communities. It is a credit enhancement program that leverages the state’s excess liquidity and high credit rating to reduce costs for local government debt issuances.
-A few other Economic Development Programs were pointed out including Grow Now, Re-Energize Ohio, Ag-LINK or EC) Link which assist business owners, farmers and home owners. All of these can be found at ohiotreasurer.gov.
Commissioner Jon Rupp asked if McCauley would please check into the “rumors” he has heard that the ARP money might get cut in half.
Mr. McCauley said he will look into that and get back to them with information as it is hard to plan for projects with the thought that the amount of money they are planning on might not be there.
The commissioners meeting adjourned at around 10:30 a.m.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com