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City of Lorain Released from Fiscal Watch
Columbus – In a visit to the city today, Auditor of State Dave Yost today released Lorain (Lorain County) from fiscal watch, a status it has held since 2002.
“Today marks the end of a long and hard eleven years for the City of Lorain,” Auditor Yost said. “Both citizens and city leaders made tough choices along the way, but the city’s financial condition is vastly improved because of them.”
The City of Lorain was placed in fiscal watch on October 17, 2002 due to a forecasted deficit in the general fund of $2,400,000 for the year ending December 31, 2002.
To help eliminate the forecasted deficits, the City of Lorain implemented many recommendations provided by the Auditor of State’s office through performance audits conducted in 2004. The city consolidated several departments to reduce the number of supervisors needed and allowing for a more efficient use of employees and equipment. Collective bargaining agreements also were renegotiated, requiring employees to contribute towards health benefits and increasing the number of years worked before an employee is eligible for longevity payments.
The City of Lorain took a number of actions to increase revenue and decrease expenditures, including laying off seven fire department employees, saving approximately $566,000 in the general fund. An additional six employees in the health department were laid off, reducing the amount of transfers needed from the general fund by about $300,000. The city’s voters approved a half-percent income tax in November 2012, which added approximately $1,894,000 to general fund revenues.
Several large corporations, small businesses and retailers have moved into the area in the last decade to help improve the financial condition of the City of Lorain.
An entity is released from fiscal watch when the Auditor of State determines that the conditions that prompted the declaration are no longer present and will not recur in the entity’s three-year forecast.
A full copy of this fiscal watch termination may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.