Commissioners get report on county investments

LISBON — As she has done quarterly for many years, County Treasurer Linda Bolon gave a report on investments to Columbiana County Commissioners on Wednesday.

It was Bolon’s last scheduled meeting of the Investments Advisory Council, which meets at least every three months and comprised of Bolon, Clerk of Courts Tony Dattilio and the three commissioners. The group goes over the bank reconciliation, exactly where the county’s money is being invested and how the money is doing.

The county has $104.7 million in the fund balances, which is spread out of 335 funds including $7.9 million located in the general fund. The county has about $9.8 million from the most recent American Rescue Plan Act, which is only earning an interest rate of 0.08 percent. Some older and longer-term investments are earning more. Bolon reported that 24 percent of the county’s investments are in zero to one year length terms, while the rest can go out as far as four to five years in order to get the best interest rates possible for public money right now.

The county has earned $307,313 in interest so far this year and realized gains of $65,979.

Commissioner Mike Halleck said he remembers a time when investments were earning about 2 percent and they thought that was really low. The county has $9.9 million in negotiated certificates of deposit at a yield of 1.75 percent, which is the highest interest rate in their portfolio.

Newly elected County Treasurer Brian Blakeman, a Republican, is scheduled to take office Sept. 6, so Bolon said she is working to create a large binder of materials and instructions so Blakeman will know how to proceed as soon as he starts. Bolon emphasized the importance of keeping a constant eye on all of these deposits and investments.

“I just want to thank you all for being helpful with me,” Bolon said. “We went through some tough times there and we always did the right thing. Sometimes that was not easy, but we got through it and everything I believe is running very smoothly.”

Bolon has served more than 14 years in the treasurer’s office over two separate time periods and with a five-year term as a state representative in between.

“Again, I want to thank you all,” Bolon said. “It’s been a pleasure and I see you all not only as colleagues, but friends.”

“Well, you’ve been one of the classiest office holders and I’ve served with a lot of them,” Halleck said. “We appreciate all that you’ve done. Your hard work and your knowledge is unsurpassed, so I just want to let you know how much I personally appreciate all that you’ve done.”

In other matters:

— Commissioners approved the appointments for multiple members of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, which has representatives included from the EMA, local fire department, law enforcement, elected officials, hospitals, the media, hazmat, industries and others. The new terms go from Aug. 1, 2021, through Aug. 9, 2023.

— Commissioners approved the application for a credit card for County Auditor Nancy Milliken’s office.

— Jet Excavating, Co. of New Middletown was awarded the contract for a Glasgow Road bridge replacement project as the low bidder in the amount of $315,769.

— Commissioners approved two new hires by the county department of Jobs and Family Services – Candace Riddle of Columbiana and Erin Hall of Poland will be working in the area of Social Security with the Children Services division.


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