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$308K payment frees Calhoun County of jail debt

GRANTSVILLE — The Calhoun County Commission was recently able to pay off its jail bill after several years of being in the hole.

Funds started coming in last summer from the TransCanada compression station and Commissioner Kevin Helmick said officials were able to make good on the jail bill because of it.

“At one time, we were almost $700,000 behind on the jail bill. Now, because of the TransCanada money, we are completely debt free on the jail bill. We just paid $308,000,” Helmick said.

In July 2020, the commission was able to pay the previous year’s bill and get up to date on that year’s figures with the help from revenue from a different compression station. Helmick said the bill averaged about $35,000 per month and at one point reached $43,000.

“Around 2016, the money just completely dried up, we quit replacing employees after they quit. We had to take money from a rainy day fund to make payroll (but) now we’ve got money,” he said.

The amount of revenue coming into the county from compression stations will vary from year to year due to depreciation and the amount of gas produced.

Helmick said the county is in good standing thanks to American Rescue Plan Relief dollars and money from the oil and gas industry.

“We’re really good financially right now and hopefully we can start putting it toward other projects in the county,” he said.

Candice Black can be reached at cblack@newsandsentinel.com.

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