Commissioners appropriate 2020 Wayne County budget

Commissioners appropriate 2020 Wayne County budget
Dan Starcher

Of the many projects slated to get underway in Wayne County 2020, the lengthening of the Wayne County Airport taxiway will come courtesy of a grant for $5,030,110 from the U.S. Department of Transportation.


Appropriations of approximately $128 million to 124 various funds in 2020 including $29.2 million going to the general fund were passed in a recent meeting by the Wayne County board of commissioners.

Wayne County administrator Patrick Herron and budget administrator Kristy Burkholder outlined the financial data for each entity within the county government and described some of the projects slated to begin in the upcoming year.

A large portion of the general fund will be allocated to the justice system. “The justice system, including the sheriff, the Common Pleas General Division Court, Juvenile and Probate Court, Municipal Court, Clerk of Courts, the prosecutor and public defender, represents 54 percent ($15.7 million) of the total appropriations of the general fund,” Herron said. “The sheriff has the single-largest amount with more than $6.6 million.”

Of the many projects slated to get underway in 2020, the lengthening of the Wayne County Airport taxiway will come courtesy of a grant for $5,030,110 from the U.S. Department of Transportation under their Federal Aviation Administration Airport Improvement Program.

According to airport manager Amanda McGee, the taxiway will be lengthened to the entire length of the runway, approximately 1 mile. Currently it extends only about halfway down the tarmac and presents safety issues.

Currently an aircraft entering the runway halts all other traffic landing and taking off, which creates a dangerous situation for pilots operating an aircraft without radio communications and unaware of the situation on the ground.

“Not all aircraft are mandated to have radios,” McGee said. “We have seen that situation occur here, and it is a huge safety concern.”

The airport supports $21.8 million in economic output for Northeast Ohio businesses and 148 jobs in the county.

Other projects include renovations to the Wayne County building and grounds department (formerly the Wayne Board of Developmental Disabilities bus garage), the relocation of the emergency dispatch services and the establishment of a household hazardous waste collection program in conjunction with the health department and the Joint Solid Waste Management District.

Burkholder explained there are many parts involved with putting a county budget together and that it requires the effort of both county staff and elected officials. “I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation in compiling their figures and getting everything to me before the deadlines,” she said. “There are a lot of things they had to do to close out the year.”

Commissioner Ron Amstutz praised the work done by staff and elected officials to get the resolution to the table and discussed the role of the State of Ohio in the local budget. “We need to acknowledge the fact that we got some help in this budget from our partners at the state level,” he said. “The governor and the legislature did several things that will help make our county stable.”

Amstutz described what may be the most important piece of assistance. “Probably the most notable one is the fact that our county engineer will experience a $1.8 million increase in his budget this year, which is a 23 percent increase over last year,” he said. “That is largely due to the fact the governor and the general assembly are putting more money into our budget through the motor fuel tax.”

The 2020 budget will be available for inspection at the Wayne County Auditor’s Office and online at

Dan Starcher is a public communications specialist for the Wayne County government.

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