MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Montgomery County Administrator, Michael Colbert presented the county’s 2022 budget plan to commissioners and the public on Tuesday afternoon.

After cutting nearly $30 million from the budget in 2020 and utilizing an adopted budget in 2021, Colbert said the total expenses accounted for in the upcoming 2022 budget will contain a more than six percent increase. Additionally, the total revenue will increase more than five percent compared to 2021. Many of those changes, he said, will be directly felt by community members. 

“The big areas that the county will continue to invest in is infrastructure — number one — water and sewer infrastructure. The community will also see the impact of a good fiscal budget. The county is probably stronger now than we’ve ever been. We made the tough decisions in 2020. We had partial year in 2021, so the community will be able to see the enhancements that we’re making from reinvestment.”

Of the more than $950 million spending allocation the following are where the funds plan to be directed to:

  • More than $330 million will go to personnel services
  • More than $235 million will go toward professional services 
  • Nearly $150 million will go toward operating expenses 
  • More than $200 million will go operating transfers out

Other significant allocations from the total budget include funding to debt service, adjustments, budgetary controls and capital outlays.

Colbert also offered a break down of spending by program, with social services receiving the bulk of the funding —more than 44 percent — to pay for programs that benefit the entire community. He said most of the programs were able to continue through the renewal of the Human Services Levy in November’s election.

“We use those funds to support our Developmental Disabilities [Services], our ADAMHS Board, Public Health during this pandemic. We also use it to support PPE for the entire community, or Meals on Wheels or meals for our seniors. So all of these programs are huge and they all come together and are supported by our local Human Services Levy,” he said.

Judicial and law enforcement expenses were the second most costly program at more than $200 million, followed by governance and debt expenses, environment and Public Works, and community and economic development, respectively.

“We’re looking at building a new, multi-million dollar lift station,” said Colbert. “This is a sewer lift station in the north, in the Harrison Township area. The SMART Project (System Modernization and Replacement Tunnel) is our largest sewer project we’ve ever done. That’s a $65 million project in Moraine that provides sewer to the entire southern Montgomery County. We’re the largest distributor of water and sewer in the area [with] some 250,000 customers.”

Colbert said the county plans to focus on other infrastructure projects as well, including roads and solid waste management projects that will save taxpayers and the government money.

However, he said the county also expects some new revenues heading into next year, one of them being an indigent defense reimbursement from the State of Ohio.

“Indigent defense is an initiative that the County Commissioners, all three of them, have been working on for years. And what that does is that reimburses fully now — it’s 100 percent reimbursement — for the cost of defense. So for example, if you have to go to court and you can’t pay for your attorney, then it goes to indigent defense and they pay for you to have legal counsel,” said Colbert.

He said sales taxes were also higher than expected and property values up, in some cases, leading to increased property taxes. Water and sewer rates are also expected to increase based on a four-year agreement that will become void at the end of 2021.

According to the budget, more than 80 personnel jobs are expected to be open in 2022. Colbert said qualified community members are welcome to apply.

To view the 2022 budget plan, click here.