Thank you for taking the time to explore our 2016 State of the County Report. We are pleased to be able to tell you that the state of Franklin County is strong. Our purpose in this report is to highlight the work of your county government in providing safe and effective justice programs, encouraging economic growth, protecting our environment, providing compassionate health and human services, and safeguarding the county’s finances. The following information illustrates the role that county government plays in the daily lives of our Franklin County residents.

In 2015, more than 60% of the county’s General Fund Budget was allocated to public safety, justice, and security. We also strengthened our investment in the Smart Works suite of economic development programs to build infrastructure that will last for generations, attract new businesses to our region, revitalize our historic downtowns, keep Franklin County green and growing, and to create new jobs and train employees with the skills needed for those important jobs. We strengthened and expanded the direct services that make up the majority of the county’s All-Funds budget, and made major investments to reduce the infant mortality rate in Central Ohio, and to help build supportive housing, support healthy childhood development, and funding training and internship programs for students. We are also proud to have received national attention for our work with the Stepping Up initiative that coordinates efforts to reduce the disparate impacts of our criminal justice system on people with mental health and addiction issues.

In 2016, we continue to deliver the vital services that so many of our Franklin County residents count on, and are focusing on the future. In the past 10 years, Franklin County’s population has grown by more than 15%. We are the fastest growing large county in the state; the population of our metro area is now more than 2 million people. With that growth comes increasing responsibilities and the Franklin County commissioners are planning for those by continuing to attract new and expanding businesses to our region, by addressing poverty and disparate health outcomes among our residents, and by continuing to add to the county’s “rainy day” fund.

Franklin County, Ohio is one of only 7% of counties nationwide that have fully recovered from the Great Recession, and one of only 2% of counties with a Double-AAA bond rating because of the thoughtful hard work and planning that your county team puts into everything that they do. Many in our community continue to struggle, however, and everyone in the commissioners’ office and county government is committed to seeing that all of our residents have the opportunity to thrive.

Thank you again for your interest in your Franklin County government. You can find more detailed information, including about the county budget and the commissioners’ core principles at, and please don’t ever hesitate to contact our office with any question or concern you may have.

  • John O'Grady


  • Paula Brooks


  • Marilyn Brown


Sheriff's Office

  • 335,638
    Calls for service
  • 603
  • 72
    Vehicles in Patrol Division
  • 2,102,584
    Miles driven by Patrol Division
  • 502
    Felony Arrests
  • 2,846
    Misdemeanor Arrests
  • 565
    OVI Arrests
  • 44
    Arrests made by Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force

Homeland Security & Justice Programs

  • 1,404
    Hours of supervised visitation and exchanges offered to 113 families with a history of domestic violence
  • 2,827
    Survivors of domestic violence, stalking, dating violence or sexual assault received victim services
  • 324
    Participated in the Operation Street Smart Program and Rape Aggression Defense courses
  • 52
    inmates received mentoring, transitional employment with paid wages, recycling skills, wraparound service and other related case management
  • 1,272
    Hours of community service provided by 190 Volunteers in Public Safety Support (VIPSS)


According to the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center report of the on Criminal Justice and Behavioral Health Systems in Franklin County:

  • 22% of the Franklin County jail population has a serious mental illness compared to 5% of the general population.
  • 68.0% of the jail population with a serious mental illness has a co-occurring alcohol and/or drug addiction.
  • The average length of jail stay for persons with mental illness in Franklin County is 32 days compared to 20 days for those without mental illness.

What are we doing about it?

The National Association of Counties (NACo), the Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center, and the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) have come together to lead a national initiative to help advance counties’ efforts to reduce the number of adults with mental health and co-occurring substance use disorders in jails.

Franklin County has fully signed on to the Stepping Up initiative, and in 2015, took specific and major actions to promote Stepping Up into practice. Those include:

  1. The commissioners signed on to the NACo Call To Action: A National Initiative to Reduce the Number of People with Mental Illnesses in Jails, and accepted the CSG Justice Center’s report and recommendations specific to Franklin County.
  2. The commissioners acknowledged the work already underway or completed.
  3. The commissioners committed to develop comprehensive 4 year plan with measurable outcomes, implement research-based approaches to advance the plan, encourage public-private partnerships to promote awareness, de-stigmatization, and promote public safety, and assign an accountable entity to track and report on progress.
  4. At the commissioners’ request, the Franklin County Criminal Justice Planning Board has committed, via 23 specific strategies, to reduce the average daily Franklin County jail population by 30% by 2020, and to reduce the length of stay disparity between detainees with and without mental health issues by 50% by 2020.

Emergency Management & Homeland Security

In 2015, Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security launched ALERT Franklin County, a state-of-the-art mass notification and warning system developed to quickly notify residents of weather emergencies, crime alerts, road closures and more in all 42 jurisdictions within Franklin County. The system enables officials to provide critical information directly to residents as emergencies happen via text message, phone and email. Residents are encouraged to register online at

Animal Care & Control

  • 10,347
    Dogs impounded
  • 4,102
  • 1,409
    Sent to rescue
  • 2,519
    Redeemed by owner
  • 82%
    Live release rate
  • 7 Days
    Days on adoption floor (average) in shelter


  • 267
    Miles of county roadway maintained
  • 364
    Bridges inspected - 98% rated fair or better; 70% good, very good or excellent
  • 780
    Lane miles maintained by snow-fighter crews
  • 13,724
    Tons of salt used
  • 207,000
    Gallons of de-icing chemicals applied
  • 20
    Miles of roadway protected by corn stalk snow fence


  • 44,192
    Common Pleas General Division criminal cases
  • 85,718
    Common Pleas General Division civil cases
  • 39,125
    Domestic Relations and Juvenile Branch cases

Infrastructure Works

Infrastructure Works makes available low-interests loans of up to $1M to cities, villages, and townships within Franklin County to build physical infrastructure that will result in economic development.

3 projects funded in 2015

  1. Village of Marble Cliff Water Improvements. $125,000. 40 New jobs
  2. City of Whitehall N. Hamilton Road Improvements. $550,000. 50 New jobs
  3. Upper Arlington Municipal Fiber Network. $1,000,000. 300 New jobs

Totals: $1,675,000 | 390 New jobs

People Works

The goal of the People Works program is to do just that – put people to work. We are specifically targeting the county’s social service agency clients in hopes of connecting them and training them to fill living wage jobs that we know our region’s employers have available.

  • 86
    Public assistance recipients who gained employment
  • 12
    Employers who hired individuals through Workforce Navigation

3 People Works grant agreements in 2015

  1. Columbus Castings - $150,000; 550 New Jobs
  2. CoverMyMeds - $50,000; 116 New Jobs
  3. Connect Ohio Initiatives LLC - $100,000; 100 New Jobs

Totals: $300,000 | 766 New Jobs

Energy Works

Energy Works provides loans to businesses, local governments, schools, and non-profits in Franklin County for energy efficient upgrades.

1 Project :

PNC Plaza, Downtown Columbus. $400,000. New lighting, roofing, water supply pumps, and building automation. 15% energy savings

$3.3 million in local economic impact- design services, construction jobs and materials, as well as increasing the value and attractiveness of Central Ohio office stock.

Featured Community Partners

$2 million to promote Franklin County as a destination

  • Tourism generates more than $1 billion in tax revenue
  • More than 37 million people visit our region, spending $5.7 billion annually
  • Equates to more than $8.7 billion in economic activity
  • Sustains more than 71,000 jobs

$1 million to market Franklin County both nationally and internationally as a prime location to expand or relocate a business

Job Creation

  2010 2015 2020
Goal 0 75,000 150,000
Actual 0 111,113 187,797 (projected)

Increased Capital Investment

  2010 2015 2020
Goal $0 $4 billion $8 billion
Actual $0 $7.11 billion $11.69 billion (projected)

Increase in Per Capita Income

  2010 2015 2020
Goal 0% 15% 30%
Actual 0% 17% 46% (projected)

Office on Aging

  • 9,015
    Seniors enrolled in our Home and Community Based Care
  • 2,076,831
    Miles of transportation provided (9% increase)
  • 645,488
    Home delivered meals (10% increase)
  • 27,000
    Seniors served by Community Support and Outreach component
  • 2,500
    Senior living festival attendance
  • 1,000
    Office on Aging Day with the Clippers attendance

Job & Family Services

  • 65.5%
    Cash Assistance Program Work Participation Rate (one month high of 70%)
  • 2,296
    Children placed in summer camps
  • 1,605
    Young people participating in summer youth employment program
  • 1,265
    Children in after school programs
  • 2,600
    Children in early learning programs


150 infants a year die in Franklin County; 3 families lose a baby every week. African American babies are dying at twice the rate of white babies.

What are we doing about it?

Franklin County has joined with community partners in an ongoing coordinated campaign, known as CelebrateOne, to reduce the community’s infant mortality rate by 40 percent and cut the racial health disparity gap in half by 2020.

Two of CelebrateOne’s key strategies are to improve women’s health before pregnancy by expanding access to healthcare and to promote infant safe sleep practices.


Franklin County has seen a 19.2% increase in enrollment for women of childbearing age, and a 39.5% increase for women who identified as pregnant through December 2015. In the eight identified high-priority neighborhoods, there has been a 17.9% increase in enrollment for women of child-bearing age, and a 37.4% increase for women who identified as pregnant.

The commissioners also funded a marketing and promotion strategy to combat infant mortality, including the launch of the website, a community engagement series in targeted neighborhoods, and creation of a new safe sleep campaign.

Child Support Enforcement Agency

  • 70,816
    Open cases
  • 77,010
    Children supported
  • 146,000
    Parents involved
  • $168,618,387
    Collected and disbursed to the families we serve
  • 94.66%
    Paternity establishment - 1st among metro counties
  • 66.13%
    Support collections performance rate - 1st among metro counties
  • 324
    Empowerment Day attendance - job seekers
  • 136
    Empowerment Day attendance - employers/partners

Veterans Services

  • 68,231
    Veterans in Franklin County
  • $5.7 million
    Funding for the Veterans Service Commission (9.1% increase)
  • 6,947
    Veterans and their family members receiving service
  • 1,663
    Veterans and their family members provided food vouchers
  • 12,997
    Trips provided to medical facilities

Featured Community Partners

$5 million to combat homelessness in Franklin County. There has been a 79% increase of homeless families over the last 3 years; 16 % increase of homeless single men/women.

  • 3,546
    Men served by the emergency shelter system
  • 1,788
    Women served by the emergency shelter system
  • 4,897
    Individuals in families served by the emergency shelter system

$3 million to create affordable home ownership and rental housing to working households and seniors.

  • 886
    New units to be created that were financed in 2015

In March, the commissioners negotiated a new contract extension with AEP Energy to provide the county with electricity that is 100% renewable. If the commissioners had not renegotiated the county’s contract before it expired in June, rates would have jumped by $242,000 over the next 26 months. The new contract, instead, saves about $121,000 over the same time period and certifies that 100% of the electricity it covers is produced through renewable means. The contract covers the electricity used by 47 county facilities, and runs through May of 2018.

  • 100%
    Renewable energy for 47 county facilities; $121,000 savings over 26 months
  • 11
    Hybrid fleet vehicles
  • 388 tons
    Recycled material
  • 18 tons
    e-Waste collected and diverted during the 2015 e-waste event
  • 8
    Hybrid electric cars
    36 mpg; 63% higher than non-hybrids
  • 2
    Plugin hybrids
    45 mpg; nearly 2x more than same model vehicle non-hybrid
  • 1
    Diesel hybrid prisoner transport bus

Recycled Materials

Fiber 225 tons 58%
Mixed 25 tons 6%
Metal 75 tons 19%
e-Waste 41 tons(1) 11%
Misc 22 tons 6%

118 tons from e-Waste Event

LEED-certified Buildings

  • LEED Gold Common Pleas Courthouse
  • LEED Gold Dog Shelter & Adoption Center
  • LEED Silver Sheriff's Training Academy
  • New Jail - aiming for LEED certification

Sanitary Engineering

  • 4,295
    Water customers (4,001 residential, 294 commercial)
  • 6,202
    Sewer customers (5,905 residential, 297 commercial)
  • 265 million
    Gallons of water sold
  • 385.9 million
    Gallons of water treated or delivered
  • 91.8 million
    Gallons of sewage treated via four wastewater treatment centers
  • 324.5 million
    Gallons sewage sent to the City of Columbus for treatment

Franklin County is the only county in Ohio with a Double-AAA bond rating. Rated triple-A by Moody’s and S&P, Franklin County is among the highest rated 2% of counties and local governments nationwide.

Franklin County is also in rare company for having fully recovered from the Great Recession that ended nearly seven years ago, according to a report from the National Association of Counties. Of 3,069 counties nationwide, only 214, or 7 percent, had fully recovered by last year in four areas - economic output (gross domestic product), employment, unemployment rate and home prices.

The commissioners have committed to a pay-as-you-go approach for the $200 million construction of the new county jail facility and relocation of the Coroner’s Office. Utilizing the proceeds from the temporary sales tax for the project rather than issuing $200 million in debt is expected to save approximately $100 million in avoided interest costs over the life of the debt service.

The 2016 budget also sets aside $10 million to add to the County’s “Rainy Day Fund” and other strategic reserves, as well as $5 million in Contingency to cover unforeseen expenditures that may occur during the year.

Franklin County strives to keep staffing expenditures in control. Despite increases in demand for services driven by population growth, the 2016 budget includes 270 fewer positions than in 2008.

Doing Business in the County

  • 2,854
    Vendors registered to do business with Franklin County
  • 7,192
    Purchase orders in the amount of $246,199,250


  • 2,368,136
    Pieces of mail processed
  • $1,834,925
    Savings by using the County mail room to process pieces

Print Shop

  • 12,903,502
    Items copied or printed
  • $1,112,068
    Savings by using the county’s in-house print shop

Child Support Enforcement Agency Going Paperless!

The CSEA has been hard at work automating the process of managing its child support cases.

More than 32,680 case files have been scanned since May 2015. As of the end of 2015, the agency  has scanned 2,257,150 individual pieces of paper.

CSEA has experienced $10,189.08 in cost savings by cutting the amount of time necessary to access case files, and being able to answer client questions over the phone instead of having to call the client back once the case file has been checked out of the file room.

Franklin County Board of Commissioners

373 S. High Street, 26th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215-6314

(614) 525-3322



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