Fulton County Saves Money From Mild Winters

Two mild winters in a row have been kind to the Fulton County Engineer’s Office budget.

That’s the gist of a report sent to the Board of Commissioners and reviewed April 27. Crews were called out only 20 times from December to March.

The report showed crews were called out 11 days in December, four times in January, once in February and four days in March. The work amounted to 1,443 man hours for 2016-17, up slightly from 1,406 man hours in 2015-16.

Both years pale in comparison to 2013-14 when crews worked 5,789 man hours or the 2,758 worked in 2014-15.

Crews used 1,372 tons of salt this winter, down from four years ago when the total was 2,470. Salt costs were down sharply to $42.19 per ton. In 2014-15, the cost was more than double at $95.50 per ton.

Plows worked on 21,109 miles for 2016-17, compared to 78,842 in 2013-14.

The total cost was $173,103 for 2016-17. For 2015-16, it was $192,627; 2014-15, $413,242 and in 2013-14 was $647,786.

Tourism is becoming a new economic force in northwest Ohio, according to a report from the local Visitors Bureau.

The Fulton County Visitors Bureau was formed in May 2015 as the county saw an opportunity which had not presented itself earlier, when the Shared Services Complex was to include a Welcome Center and a new home for the county museum.

The FCVB is funded by 3 percent bed tax on lodging facilities in the county.

Based on figures from Tourism  Economics and Ohio Tourism, Fulton County had $121 million in sales in 2015. Employment of 1,646 people generated $30.7 million in wages. Tax revenues stood at $15.2 million.

Williams County saw $72.3 million sales. With 1,011 workers, wages were slightly more than $20 million. Tax revenues were at $9.6 million.

In other news:

*The board awarded the 2017 Asphalt Resurfacing project to Gerken Paving, Inc., for $1,339,390.

*The county has collected $2.7 million in sales tax through April. That compares to $2.55 million for the same period last year and continues an 11-year upward trend.

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