David Kierzek Theresa C Davis Edward F Storer Ralph Rader DP&L to stick with planned closings Preventing tax season identity theft 4-H awards 11 local scholarships Peebles Elementary holds Spirit Week Humane Society to hold Radio Auction Local business partners find historical treasure in old bank building DP&L employees meet with union leadership GE-Peebles Test Operation joins the campaign about Distracted Driving North Adams Elementary recognizes February Students of the Month Senior Profile: Sydney Michael Stars will shine for the 34th annual C-103 All-Star Game NAHS Track/XC host Shamrock Shuffle 5K Associated Press names All-Southeast District Teams Senior Profile: Hannah Howard Nice to finally be a small part of March Madness The tractor has always been special Jimmy Nelson Kathryn Boldman James E Downs Manchester grad enjoys a “Super” Experience Taking Adams County patriotism to the state capitol John P Sininger Jo Ann Hayslip Harvey U Schrock Eunice G. Burgess Senior Profile: Kaulen St Michael Cox Racing returns to Brushcreek on April 2 Southern Hills Athletic Conference holds Winter Sports Awards ceremony County provides multiple walking venues Adams County parks are tobacco-free Rhoads Memorial 5K Run/Walk is April 9 Peebles Elem. Staff of the Month Floyd E Maddy Raymond A Holt Derrick Poe Spencer E McFarland Mintie F Rogers Roberta Eylar Big Time Wrestling coming to NAHS Carl Tomlin CTC students help with storm clean-up Opening the door for high-tech jobs Jack R Slyger Thomas Stratton Jr Eastern Lady Warriors headed to Final Four Senior Profile: Logan Rogers Southern Hills Athletic Conference names 2016-17 All-Conference Basketball Teams Winchester PD continues assault on drugs Alonso joins Defender staff Sheriff to set up outpost in Manchester Johnson named OEDA Membership Chairperson Sherman E Young Ruth Jackman ‘Kitten Season’ comes to Ohio Manchester Council votes to disband PD Olde Wayside Inn under new management Two overdose on heroin Senior Profile: Ethan Parrett Adams/Brown Youth League holds postseason tourney Three nights of pain Furious rally falls short, Lady Devils again eliminated in Div. III district finals, 45-42 Oscar Moore Barbara J Finnegan Ohio Senate and House honor Miss Ohio USA Michael Eldridge Frances Towner Thelma R Williamson BREAKING NEWS: Manchester council votes to eliminate police department Before all dogs go to heaven Adaptive Bikes delivered in Adams County Adams County Junior Fair Market Hog Identification plans announced for 2017 Local couple takes ownership of two local businesses Jo Hanson to retire after nearly 50 years in banking Sierra Club, hero or villain? Greyhounds, Devils are runners-up in SHAC Tournaments Harold L Purdin Senior Profile: Jacob Wickerham 98-year old author publishes first book Early March storm packs destructive punch Jeeps rally in second half to end the Peebles season How about some post season awards? Thanks for all the great sports coverage PHS Principal hopes to expand students’ world view When spring becomes a promise Greg Lorenz Clay shoots the lights out, shoots down Greyhounds’ season Senior Profile: Savannah McFarland Devils put up a good fight, but fall to Portsmouth in sectional final, 50-43 Second half comeback sends Lady Devils to district finals for third straight year Butts honored by Southeast District Athletic Board North Adams Elementary holds Random Acts of Kindness Week Chester W Eyre BREAKING NEWS: March makes its entrance with force WUES kicks off Right to Read Week with guest readers WUHS students see Aronoff show on the life of Edgar Allan Poe Local high school seniors winners of Wendy’s Heisman Awards

County agencies prepare for sweeping budget cuts

The Adams County Health Department is one of the county agencies that will lose funding when DP&L goes through with their vow to close the county’s coal-based power plants.

Specter of shuttered power plants and lost tax revenue leads to worries over county’s future –

Story by Patricia Beech –
Photo by Mark Carpenter –

For over 40 years the Stuart and Killen Stations have provided jobs and economic resources to Adams County’s communities. In turn, residents and local government have come to rely on the two coal-fired plants as the driving force behind the county’s economy.
If DP&L follows through with their plan to shut down the plants in June 2018, the economic stability they provided will soon become a thing of the past, and Adams County could be left without any sort of replacement for the financial resources they provided.
The loss of those resources, according to Adams County Commissioner Brian Baldridge, will be felt across-the-board.
“The effects of the potential closings will be wide-ranging throughout the county government and our school districts,” Baldridge said. “Also troubling is the additional loss of $35,000,000 in payroll that is spent and circulated throughout the region by DP&L employees – that loss alone will negatively impact every business and individual in the county.”
The Commissioners are hoping to convince DP&L to delay closing the plants so that local departments and agencies have more time to prepare for the sweeping budget cuts.
Adams County Auditor David Gifford provided to The Defender a list of the county agencies and departments that will be affected by the plant closings and subsequent loss of tax revenue.
The county General Fund, which supports multiple departments including the Sheriff’s Office, the Common Pleas Court, the Prosecutor’s office, and the Recorder and Treasurer’s offices will lose $768,952 which constitutes a 32% decrease in tax revenue and a 10% decrease of total estimated revenue.
The two county townships housing the power plants will also experience deep budget cuts: Sprigg will lose $159,743 and Monroe $246,794 annually.
The Adams County Ohio Valley School District (ACOVSD) will see a decrease of $108,165 while the Manchester Local School District (MLSD) will take an even harder hit losing $5,661,482 annually. MLSD Treasurer Karen Ballengee said the loss would eventually leave the district “dead in the water”.
Senior Citizens Services can expect $138,012 to be cut from their annual budget – which Mary Stout, Director of the Senior Citizens facility in West Union, says “will definitely effect consumers who use our home and transportation services.”
Children’s Services will have an estimated $388,761 cut from their yearly budget; Adams County Developmental Disabilities will lose $308,950 annually; the Ambulance/EMS agency loss will be $394,329; and the Hope Van funding will be cut $30,860 annually.
Adams County Libraries can expect a $197,164 cut – a 34% decrease in funding. Library Director Nick Sloan said, “The library Board of Trustees is working to formulate a plan to deal with the cuts and minimize the effect on the community as much as possible.”
The Health Department, which provides a wide range of health and environmental services to the community will lose an estimated $98,580 annually. Director Dr. William Hablitzel said the department would “look very closely at the budget and do what is necessary to exist within our means.” He said his greatest concern was that DP&L would seek a devaluation of their generating equipment.
“I’m concerned about further devaluation at the plant as was done when Duke sold out,” Hablitzel added. “If they go forward and revalue the rest of the plant that will be a pretty big hit for all of us. I think what worries everyone is what this loss may foreshadow for the future.”
Commissioner Baldridge says he isn’t ready to give up on DP&L or Adams County’s future.
“I’m not the type to give up,”  Baldridge says.“We’re going to keep up the fight.”
DP&L’s settlement plan, now under consideration by the Public Utilities Commission, provides only $2 million in shareholder money for workforce and economic development in Adams and Brown Counties as well as job training assistance for families impacted by the shuttering of the two plants. County officials are hopeful DP&L will be open to increasing that funding to include local infrastructure development to attract new business and industry.

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