Staffing at risk as Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County grapples with a $4.6 million deficit

Dayton, Ohio – Public Health – Dayton and Montgomery County is facing a significant financial challenge as a preliminary budget reveals a projected deficit of $4.6 million in 2024. This deficit could potentially impact certain staff positions within the department.

The public health department relies on various sources of revenue, including the county’s human services levy, service fees, and grants from federal and state entities. The projected revenue for 2023 is approximately $36 million, while expenses are expected to amount to around $40 million.

Over the past few years, the agency has been operating with a deficit due to increasing costs coupled with stagnant revenues. According to Public Health Commissioner Jennifer Wentzel, the department’s reserves are not sufficient to cover the deficit this time. As a result, the agency has taken immediate action to address the $4.6 million shortfall.

“We are aiming to reduce the deficit to $2.6 million this year,” stated Wentzel. “We have already identified some cost savings by reviewing contracts, operational expenses, and considering a reduction in our footprint. Additionally, we are currently holding some positions open.”

Wentzel mentioned the possibility of a reduction in staff, although the outcome remains uncertain due to ongoing grant applications and the evolving nature of the 2024 budget. The agency is actively exploring program and funding opportunities to alleviate the financial strain.

At present, the budget cuts are not expected to impact community services. The agency plans to submit a finalized 2024 budget to its governing board later this year, taking into account any funding opportunities and grants that may become available.

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