GIRARD — Following a public hearing the Crawford County Commission approved unanimously the 2019 budget at their regular meeting Tuesday, September 4. The budget had wide support from the commissioners.

Commissioner Carl Wood said he was pleased with the budget and felt the commissioners had been “good stewards of the people’s money.” He said while the budget did not give the county departments everything they asked for, most of the needs had been met.

"They didn't get everything they wanted, but Santa Claus only comes once a year, and it covers what the departments needed," Woods said.

Commissioner Tom Moody said the commission worked very hard on the budget and scrutinized every dollar being spent, while Commissioner Jeff Murphy said he was pleased the commission has been able to add to reserve funds.

All three commissioners said they were happy the budget would be allowing them to drop the mill levy by .744. One mill is equal to $1 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The commissioners also held a public hearing for the budgets for fire districts 1, 2, 3, and 4. Following the public hearing the commissioners approved the districts’ budgets unanimously. The commission then heard from benefit consultant Marcia Mellinger who briefed the commission on her services.

She requested permission to get quotes for the county from several companies. Moody said while he appreciated her coming to the meeting they were late in the year for insurance decisions. Murphy agreed it was too late in the year and said he would like to see references for other businesses Mellinger has worked with. Both commissioners encouraged her to come back next spring.

During new business Murphy brought up a concern from a citizen about the hours of the tag office. The citizen was upset because they were turned away at 4:20 p.m. when the hours are posting as being open until 4:30 p.m. County Clerk Don Pyle explained if the tag office already has a long line near closing time security at the door informs people they will not be able to go ahead to the office. The commissioners decided to work with the tag office to better explain the hours to the public as well as their options for online renewal.

Murphy said he had spoken to one of the county mechanics who was requesting manuals for some newly purchased county equipment, and the new trucks and bucket truck look good. Wood said he would take care of getting those manuals to the county mechanics.

County Counselor Jim Emerson said he has contacted engineering firms for bids to investigate the impact the Silverback Housing Addition will have on county areas.

The next meeting of the Crawford County Commission will be 10 a.m. Friday, September 7 at the Crawford County Courthouse in Girard.