© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Franklin County Leaders Introduce 2022 Budget Proposal

Franklin County Courthouse
Adora Namigadde

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners are considering a 2022 All Funds budget of nearly $2 billion, which is an 8% increase.

In the first of 3 hearings Tuesday, commissioners discussed where the money should be spent, in light of the ongoing pandemic.

“If nothing else, the pandemic has shown us the importance of sound forecasting and prudent planning,” said Franklin County Administrator Kenneth Wilson.

“As a local government, we’re facing new challenges such as increasing inflation, supply chain disruptions, a tight labor market, and increased employee healthcare costs, but we’re still in a strong financial position because we’ve always been so responsible in our spending and planning when times weren’t as tight as they are now,” said Wilson.

About 60 percent of the $536 million General Fund is allocated for safety and justice initiatives. That includes nearly $12 million for the county's new correctional facility, which opens next year.

County leaders also want to hire four more employees at the coroner's office, in response to a surge in overdose deaths last year.

Additionally, the budget calls for pandemic service bonuses of $1,500 for front-line county workers making less than $35 an hour.

"Our employees have been on the front lines every day since the beginning of this crisis, providing excellent service to the residents of Franklin County," said Wilson.

The spending plan also includes funding to support the commissioners’ Rise Together programs, Franklin County Public Health’s efforts throughout the community, and the board’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives.

Another budget hearing is set for Thursday and November 30. The final vote is expected on December 14.

You can find a schedule for the county’s next two budget hearings and a link to watch them online here.

The full text of the proposed 2022 budget is available at Budget.FranklinCountyOhio.gov.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.