Medina County considers first sales tax increase since 1971, building repairs needed

Posted at 8:03 PM, Jul 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-25 20:05:10-04

The Medina County Job and Family Services building is in need of repairs with an estimated $2.8 million worth of damage.

The building has cracked walls, leaking windows and a partially sinking structure.

While the issues are not putting county employees in danger, the county’s Job and Family Services Director called these issues a nuisance.

“Bigger issues are more with the windows leaking, things like that, really causing a nuisance for the staff to have to put up with,” said Jeff Felton.

Towards the front of the building, the ground has sunk down more than three inches. The building was built back in 1999. Felton says architects assessed the building and recently found the building was not properly constructed from the beginning.

Medina County Commissioner Scott Miller says the county will look at past experience contractors before entering into a contract to make sure the damages are properly fixed.

Felton says his department is hoping for more funding from the county, not just improvements on the building.

“There is an increase cost for caseworker time,” he said. “For foster care cost and so forth, so we are in desperate need of funding from the county to help pay for some of those costs.”

Felton said the number of children in the foster care system has doubled in the last two years because of the opioid epidemic.

“We’ve been stretching that penny as far as we can,” he said.

The Job and Family Services building is not the only county building needing repairs.

The Medina County Prosecutor's office, the Engineering Center, the County Courthouse, the County Professional building and three county parking lots also need work.

Miller says improvements are already being made to some of those locations.

The Medina County Commissioners are expected to vote on a 0.25 percent sales tax increase for the May ballot, which would generate about $6 million annually. It would be the first sales tax increase since 1971.