Scioto County Commissioners stayed positive despite the Coronavirus crisis at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday. Sitting the prescribed six feet apart in an empty room with a large bottle of hand sanitizer on the table, they took care of business. Addressing everything from a possible state of emergency to the dog shelter, they did their best to keep things upbeat. The press and public were barred from the room. The commissioners did take questions and comments via Facebook Live. Here are the 8 main points they made:
No Coronavirus in the County
There have been no confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus in Scioto County — yet. Commissioner Bryan Davis said it’s not if but when the crisis spreads to our area. “Don’t take that as a license to go about your day the way you normally would. More than likely, we already have cases in Scioto County. We don’t say that to alarm people but to prepare people.
State of Emergency Possible – Don’t Panic!
Commissioner Cathy Coleman said it’s possible that the county will have to declare a state of emergency but that doesn’t necessarily mean the situation has gotten worse or out of control. “I don’t want anyone to panic. It just has to be put into place to apply for federal money. If this happens, please don’t feel it’s another reason to be more fearful.” She emphasized that the county is prepared and people need to stay positive.
Dog Shelter Open
The commissioners also shot down rumors that the dog shelter was closing down due to the crisis. The shelter is closed to the public but they can still make appointments and dogs are still available for fostering and adoption.
TP Is Not Taxable
Sales tax revenue was up from the same time last year. The county took in $1,175,855.22 in sales tax money in January. That’s an increase of over $116,000 from January of 2019. Despite the positive indicators, expect to see a sharp drop-off in revenue when March’s numbers are reported. Despite binge buying of food and toilet paper during this crisis, Commissioner Davis pointed out that food, toilet paper, and carryout from restaurants are not taxable items.
Commissioners Meetings Cut
The Commissioners will cut their twice-weekly meeting schedule to one meeting per week. During the Coronavirus crisis, it will be closed tot he public and press. Questions can be submitted via Facebook Live. They’re also exploring other online outlets. This will last at least until April 6. The issue will be revisited them.
Commissioners Back Governor’s Crisis Decisions
In response to a comment that the Commissioners had worsened the crisis by blaming Governor Mike DeWine, Commissioner Coleman said, I don’t think anyone blamed the governor. We’ve worked diligently to follow every directive from the beginning. He is the governor and knows what is best. I think I can speak for Bryan and Mike. We don’t blame him. We support him.”
Volunteers Valued in Crisis
All three commissioners had praise for the Scioto County residents offering their services during the Coronavirus crisis. From feeding children to making masks, to checking on their at-risk neighbors, Commissioner Mike Crabtree said the people of Scioto County had stepped up to do their part. “It takes a special person to do those things. They don’t get enough pats on the back.”
Commissioners Stay Positive
The Commissioners had reassuring words for citizens in the wake of the crisis.
Cathy Coleman said, “In the worse possible times, people come together. Why can’t we go about our day to day to like that? I would just pray that we can proceed with this state of mind.”
Bryan Davis also remained hopeful, “Believe that good things are in the future. We’re gonna get through this. The grocery stores are going to be full again. We’ll get back to normal days before long.”
Mike Crabtree offered this advice, “Spend time with your family. Be safe.”