BOWLING GREEN, OH -The Wood County Commissioners, Doris Herringshaw, Craig LaHate, and Ted Bowlus, announced today that they will transfer $2,100,000 to a fund that will be used to assist the County Engineer, John Musteric to build and repair county bridges and roads. For the Commissioners’ initial transfer, $1,800,000 will come from the Wood County Building Inspection cash balance, while $300,000 will come from the conveyance fee that is used to fund the Wood County Office of Economic Development. Additionally, they agreed to dedicate $200,000 of county sales tax revenue annually for five years ($1,000,000 total) to add to the new fund. Clerk of Courts Cindy Hafner also committed $100,000 by transferring revenue from the Auto Title Fund.
In May of this year, following two public hearings that included a presentation on the health of county roads and bridges by M r. Musteric, the Commissioners approved a $5 increase to the county vehicle license fee. This increase will become effective January 1, 2019, and will generate approximately $650,000 annually . When this fee increase was approved, the Commissioners stated that they would review the cash balances of some county departments to determine if additional funding could be made available to the Engineer for roads and bridges. By combining the new vehicle license fee revenue with the funds transferred from the Commissioners and Clerk of Courts, over the next five years the Engineer will have new funding of approximately $6,450,000 to build and repair county bridges and roads.
The Building Inspection cash balance, generated from permit fees, currently has a balance of $3.8 million, amounting to more than two years of current operating costs. With three large-scale industrial projects being announced in Wood County within the past four months the Commissioners anticipate that permit revenue will again outpace expenditures for 2018. The current Building Inspection cash balance has grown due to good management and the sheer volume of Building Inspection permit fees generated over many years. The· construction climate in Wood County continues to be robust, especially with commercial and industrial projects. The Wood County Commissioners believe that putting this surplus revenue to work repairing and building roads and bridges is an excellent investment in Wood County.