Soil and water district gets a share of casino cash

LISBON – Columbiana County commissioners continue to share some of their casino tax revenue with other local government agencies.

At this week’s meeting, commissioners voted to transfer $25,000 in casino tax money to help fund the Soil and Water Conservation District office in Salem, with the SWCD to use some of the money to serve as matching funds to qualify for grants.

Commissioner Chairman Mike Halleck noted the SWCD is one of those agencies they are not required to fund but try to when possible. He said commissioners have lacked the additional money to help those agencies, including the SWCD, in recent years.

That has changed, thanks to the casino gambling coming to Ohio last year and the state casino tax that accompanied it. Casino tax revenue is shared with cities where the casinos are located as well as counties and school districts.

In the year since the state began collecting the casino tax, Columbiana County has received a total of $826,523, which commissioners have used to help fund participation in the county Drug Task Force. The previous week they provided $10,000 to the 4-H program.