Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today released the City of Girard (Trumbull County) from fiscal emergency, a status it has held since 2001.
“This day is the culmination of more than a decade of hard work and sacrifices made by the people of Girard,” Auditor Yost said. “It’s good to see the city rise from its fiscal troubles and come out stronger and financially stable.”
The City of Girard was placed in fiscal emergency on August 8, 2001 due to defaults on two Ohio Water Development Loans and deficit fund balances in three funds.
To eliminate its fiscal emergency status, the City of Girard took steps to both reduce expenses, as well as generate new revenue. The city eliminated nine positions to save approximately $500,000 annually. Girard also contracted with the Regional Income Tax Agency to do its income tax collections, which allowed the city to eliminate two more positions and save approximately $100,000 each year.
To generate new revenue, the city raised water rates on four separate occasions, equating to a total 41.5 percent increase. City voters passed two five-year, three-mill levies in 2005 and 2010 to add between $360,000 and $375,000 in revenue annually. Voters also approved a 1.5-mill garbage levy in May 2010 to generate approximately $190,000 annually. The city sold timber for $162,000 and gas royalties for $125,000.
To be terminated from fiscal emergency, the City of Girard met the following criteria:
- Adopted and implemented an effective financial accounting and reporting system
- All of the fiscal emergency conditions have been corrected or eliminated, and no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that the city will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period
- Met the objectives of the financial recovery plan
- The city has prepared a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
A full copy of this termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.