Shale boom brings record Columbiana County budget carry over - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Shale boom brings record Columbiana County budget carry over

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LISBON, Ohio - There were smiles around the table as the Columbiana County Budget Commission certified a budget carry-over of nearly $2.5-million.

"I believe this is one of the largest carry overs we've ever had,"said County Auditor Nancy Gause Milliken. "We usually run around $2-million carry over and by the time you take the other things off, it might end up to be a $1.5 million, so we're in the upper $2.4s so that's wonderful" Milliken said.

The influx of the oil and gas industry has been a key factor in boosting the county's annual sales tax revenue.

 "We use to strive and hope we could get to $12-million. This year we hit about $15.7 million," said county commissioner Jim Hoppel.

 "I think more people are eating at restaurants, they're buying here in the county, so that's really a good thing," added Milliken.

The owner of the Days Inn and Shale Grill in Lisbon says oil and has been keeping them well booked.

"It's been substantial, everything coming in from the oil and gas industry has really boosted the whole area" said Michael Naffah, president of the Naffah Hospitality Group.

And now that the industry is moving into the pipeline and distribution phase Naffah expects more economic growth.

The auditor says the industry has helped create a very different atmosphere.

"I've been here through really, really rough times when we barely had enough to make the first payroll," Milliken said.

And should the state decide to levy a severance tax on the oil companies, Hoppel believes the counties that are the most affected should get most of the money.

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