At a time when many counties would gladly trade their dwindling bank accounts for stimulus money, one county in Ohio is doing all it can to turn down the federal money.
Warren County has decided to turn down federal stimulus money from the Ohio Department of Transportation and is attempting to return additional funding earmarked for improvements to county buildings.
Citing, "philosophical objections to the spending," Warren County commissioners rejected $373,400 which had been allocated for the purchase of three new buses. This isn't the only bailout money they are trying to return; county leaders are also exploring how they can send back $1.8 million which they received to install more efficient windows and roofs on county buildings.
It's easy to question the motive of this heavily Republican county; but unlike state governments which have made a show of refusing bailout money, Warren County isn't hurting for cash. In February Warren County had one of the lowest unemployment rates in Ohio at 8.7%, and the county ended its 2007 fiscal year with a $24 million budget surplus!
It's refreshing to see that Warren County isn't refusing money that it really needs. The county commissioners could increase their budget surplus if they took to the road to teach other leaders how to make responsible financial choices. Taxpayers can only hope that this money can be easily returned and re-routed to struggling communities and that there aren't other communities out there holding on to stimulus money they don't need.
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