The Miami County commissioners Thursday, July 13, approved the county's 2018 tax budget that includes a 1 percent general fund spending increase over the 2017 tax budget approved in summer 2016.

In other business last week, the commission heard details of the county’s proposed application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for projects including proposed demolition of a building in Brandt. A project proposed by Tipp City – installation of handicapped ramps on sidewalks – was listed as a backup project, if funding is available.

In discussing the tax budget, the commissioners said that while sales and property tax income remain stable, revenue from other sources is on the decline.

The tax budget is the first of two steps in the county budgeting process.

The general fund 2018 estimated income is listed at $26.3 million and spending at $31.178 million. Overall, income for all funds is estimated at $83.96 million and spending at $90.4 million.

Among added expenses was general fund costs associated with the opening this spring and use of a third pod at the county Incarceration Facility. Among areas of income loss was elimination of Medicare service tax collection, a loss the county has estimated at $800,000 to $900,000 in 2018.

The second step is the county appropriations, a document the commissioners will consider later in the year after meeting individually with department leaders.

The appropriations provide a better financial picture because they are based on more detailed budget numbers, the commissioners said.

In other business, the commissioners held a required public hearing on the CDBG application before voting to submit the request. Dan Suerdieck of the county Development Department outlined proposed projects during the hearing. No comments were received.

Among projects proposed for funding are a street project in Bradford ($50,000), a building demolition and parking improvements project for the Bradford Library ($85,000), the demolition of a commercial building in Brandt ($24,000), fair housing services ($2,000) and general grant administration ($13,000).

The backup projects are the Tipp City ramps ($30,000) and a county health district demolition/clearance program ($20,000).

The commissioners also:

- Authorized signing an Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) grant for the county to receive $186,000 toward replacing the Shiloh Road bridge number 3.51 in Union Township. The OPWC money will cover 64 percent of the project cost, leaving the county with 36 percent, or $105,000.

- Approved memorandums of understanding with the Upper Valley Career Center in Piqua and the Milton Union schools in West Milton for the sheriff’s department to provide school resource officer services.

The Milton Union agreement is for 80 hours per month at a cost of $17,417 for July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. The Career Center agreement is for 40 hours per week during the school year at a cost of $63,270 for the upcoming school year. The Career Center agreement is for three years with the cost each year to reflect the agreed to union contract pay increases for deputies each year, Sheriff Dave Duchak said.