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Powell Among Fiscally-Stressed Cities Identified By Ohio Auditor

Powell, Ohio
City of Powell
Powell, Ohio

The state auditor finds signs of fiscal stress continue for several cities, including one of the state's wealthiest. The analysis indicates that the affluent suburb of Powell in Delaware County and others could now be on the verge of a fiscal emergency.

Seven cities are under fiscal stress in Auditor Dave Yost’s financial health indicator report, which follows up on a warning he sent to several cities in December. The other cities on the list include Alliance, Akron, Canton, Fostoria, Parma Heights and Norwood.

The report also found more than 100 cities are spending more than they’re taking in. While he agrees with the state’s original cuts to cities and counties, Yost believes it’s time to re-evaluate how Ohio funds local governments.

“A great deal of what the state government does is accomplished through cities and counties and villages. It’s a fair, moral position to say that the state ought to defray some of those costs,” he said.

Yost says this report shows a 33 percent increase in communities facing fiscal stress from his report late last year.

Nine other cities are very close to being put in the financial category. Those cities include Bowling Green, Cincinnati, East Cleveland, Lorain, North College Hill, Riverside, Upper Sandusky, Warren and Youngstown.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.