Elected officials discuss road work, storm damage
By Taylor Kaser -
County Engineer Randy Bush gave an update for the replacement of the Co. Rd. 9 bridge at the elected officials meeting on July 2.
Due to electrical line issues, the bridge may not be finished till October, explained Bush. He explained that the work has proved to be more complicated than originally thought. All funding — including grant monies are in place, he said.
EMA Director Joe Edwards related that many homes in the county were left without power after recent storms — as of that morning 1,312. Cooling stations in the county were set up at the local Red Cross and Seniors on Center. He noted there have been no major issues in the county, besides power outages at private residences.
Edwards also explained the possibility of acquiring emergency funds from the state and federal. A state of emergency has already been declared by the governor. He noted that all public officials that have had employees work overtime need to keep track, for possible reimbursement.
Sheriff Steve Brenneman said his office has been busy dealing with after-effects of the storm. He hopes to have two new Dodge Chargers by mid month and the new pick-up truck later, after it’s finished being outfitted.
Common Pleas Judge Howard Hall gave updates on the construction work at the courthouse, August 1 is the intended completion date. He also noted that some positions in the court will now be switching from being general budget funded to grant funded.
County Treasurer Dan Green only reported that collections from taxes are going well.
Commissioner Tom Harden gave a breakdown on possible monies the county could receive from casino revenue, $418,000 after taxes. Commissioner Tom Whiston said that the Speaker promised no further cuts to the local government fund. It has been speculated that due to casino revenue, the state would cut all funding for local county governments.
Whiston said that no bids were received for the KOA campground on St. Rt. 95. The property will be offered again on July 13. Whiston noted that their office has received a lot of interest in the property.
In regards to the county budget, and estimates for next year, Whiston said that more decisions will have to be made, “What direction we’re going to take as far as our finances, though it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve next year.”
Commissioner Olen Jackson noted the latest meeting for the Wellness Program had good attendance. The program is designed to encourage county employees to make healthier choices.
Health Insurance is one of the largest line items in the budget, said Whiston. “We need to be responsible in ourselves, as far as our health insurance,” he commented.
The commissioners will be reviewing what levy items will be introduced on the fall ballot in their coming regular public meetings.