Annual ‘State of the County’ held


The Delaware County Board of Commissioners turned the spotlight on its employees and departments during the “State of the County” event held Tuesday in the Agricultural Center at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

Commissioners Jeff Benton, Barb Lewis, and Gary Merrell each spoke about different 2022 accomplishments in Delaware County, culminating in the announcement that, a national relocation firm, has again named it as “the best Ohio county to live in.”

Another announcement was the Chicago office of consulting firm AECOM will partner with the county’s Economic Development Department on a new strategic plan. Also, the recipients of $240,000 in Community Enhancement Grants were named.

Merrell said two Byxbe Campus buildings housing county agencies are on track to open this year “without borrowing a single dime.”

More than 225 community representatives were in attendance, which the county said was its largest audience for the annual event. After mingling, they listened to the speakers and watched three short videos for more than an hour. The videos went over U.S. Census Bureau data, road projects featuring aerial drone footage, and a “best-of” wrap-up of the county.

Each person received a handout at their seats called “Delaware County Ohio: It’s Where You Should Be.” The handout provided a snapshot of the county by the numbers. Delaware County’s 2022 population is an estimated 226,296 people (according to the U.S. Census Bureau), with a median age of 39.6 years old. The largest age group is 45-64 years old (26.6%); and the largest ancestry group is German (25.9%). A whopping 95.9% have health insurance; 57.4% adults have at least a bachelor’s degree; the median home value is $379,600; and $117,224 is the median household income.

There is still more acreage than people in Delaware County at 292,480 acres. Of that, just over half, 50.6%, is farmland; 39.8% is non-farmland and unincorporated; and 9.6% is incorporated.

Benton said the county has good partnerships with other agencies and jurisdictions to help absorb the impact of the incoming Intel campus. In addition, renovations to the grandstands at the fairgrounds is underway and will be completed when the fair starts Sept. 16.

Finally, Delaware County is served by 15 elected officials and 1,175 employees. The county has a $130.6 million general fund budget for 2023. Various staff were asked to stand up as they received a round of applause.

“We get all the credit, but they make us look good,” Lewis said of the county workers.

Also at the tables for the attendees were business cards that could be scanned to check on board openings they could apply for.

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Assistant Editor Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County and surrounding areas. He may be reached at [email protected].

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