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Commissioners hire firm to review Rescue Plan expenditures

| April 18, 2022
The Tuscarawas County Commissioners have agreed to pay Julian and Grube of Westerville, Ohio, $100,000 to help the county administer the rest of its Rescue Plan money. (WJER Radio)

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (April 18, 2022) – Tuscarawas County leaders are explaining why they’re paying a Columbus-area accounting firm a hundred-thousand dollars to help administer the rest of the county’s Rescue Plan money.

The county commissioners this morning awarded a consulting contract for that amount to Julian and Grube of Westerville. Commissioner Al Landis says they’re experts on the rules and regulations attached to federal dollars, including the $18-million in relief money the county is getting.

“Where we became concerned is when you use federal money and there’s a bid process, that can be different than what we use at the local level, so we wanted to be sure that when there was money being expended and there was a bid involved that it follows all of these federal regulations and Ohio and local.”

The county received proposals from that firm and REA and Associates of New Philadelphia, which were reviewed by a committee comprised of the county’s auditor, chief deputy auditor, and H-R generalist. President Chris Abbuhl feels it’s a worthwhile investment since any missteps could have financial repercussions for the county.

“Because if they’re misappropriated in any way, the cost could come back to the county, so that’s why we decided to have a consultant.”

The commissioners previously set aside $3.6-million dollars in Rescue Plan money for water and sewer system improvements and designated $10-million as lost revenue. Commissioner Kerry Metzger says the designation allows the county to use the money for projects that wouldn’t otherwise be permitted, although there are still federal procurement guidelines that must be followed.

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