Commissioners Table Budget Approval; No Tax Increase In Warren County For 2021

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The Warren County Commissioners tabled the 2021 budget agreement during Wednesday’s virtual meeting, but agreed that there will be no tax increase in Warren County in 2021.

The main reason the budget was tabled was to go over remaining CARES Act money, per Commissioner Jeff Eggleston, as well as to free up money for COVID-related expenses in 2021.

“This money has to be used by the end of the year and we do have funds left,” Eggleston said.

The entities submitting new requests for CARES Act funding include Eldred Township ($2,487 for COVID PPE and other COVID expenses), Clarendon VFD (EMS FLY Car Pilot Program, $15,000), Courts (new sound system for main courtroom, $4,016.17), Youngsville Borough (reimbursement for touch screen monitor, etc. $3984.72), the City of Warren ($14,976), Starbrick VFD ($5,000), Sugar Grove VFD ($5,000), Tidioute VFD ($5,000), Scandia VFD ($5,000) and Cherry Grove VFD ($5,000) in expenses and Sheffield VFD EMT Class reimbursement ($1,845).

The remaining funds will go toward staff wages, with a particular goal in mind.

“We want to make it clear that the reason we’re doing this is the money must be expended no later than the end of the month,” said Commissioner Ben Kafferlin. “If there’s money left over, it goes back to the state.

“We realize now that in the new year we are going to have COVID-related expenses. Contact tracing is through the roof. We’re having to buy more PPE and such. If we can take this money and reimburse ourselves for eligible tax wages, then we will be able to free up that money for PPE and other necessary things without having to revisit the budget.”

The proposed budget will be revisited during the Dec. 23 meeting.