County gets $250K for repairs


Highland County has been awarded $250,000 from the Ohio Department of Administrative Services in capital improvement funds that will be used for repairs on county buildings.

According to commissioner Jeff Duncan on Wednesday, estimates have already been gathered for work that needs to be done at the county courthouse, the administration building, and at the building housing the prosecutor’s office.

The repairs includes new windows in the prosecutor’s building and administration building, parking lot repairs, a handicap ramp at the administration building, masonry work and painting at the courthouse, and repair of the cupola atop the courthouse.

The projects will now be put out for bid, Duncan said.

In other business, a resolution has been reached between the county and the contractor on the improvement project at the Hi-Tech Center in Hillsboro.

According to Duncan, he attended a meeting between Randy Gilbert, Gilbert’s attorney, and Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins last Friday.

As previously reported, Gilbert, of Gilbert Construction, was seeking arbitration with the county over his dispute of penalties assessed by the county’s architect, DS2, on the Hi-Tech Center improvement project that is now more than three months past deadline for completion.

Duncan reported Wednesday that the more than $9,400 previously assessed to Gilbert in penalties for the project being over deadline has been negotiated down to $6,100.

He said Gilbert has agreed to complete the project by March 1. Duncan said if the project is not done by that time, a $100 per day penalty “comes back into play” for every day over that deadline the project goes, but the implementation of the penalty would be at the discretion of DS2.

On a related matter, the installation of new HVAC equipment at the Hi-Tech Center is nearly complete. Duncan said the heating portion is done, and all that remains on the cooling side is for the plumbing to be hooked up on the new cooling equipment.

The Leesburg Industrial Park is one step closer to becoming certified with the state.

Duncan and commission board president Shane Wilkin on Wednesday approved the covenants and restrictions for the industrial park, which are needed since the property is not zoned, Duncan said. Leesburg has also approved the covenants and restrictions.

Commissioner Tom Horst was not present at Wednesday’s meeting.

The final step to getting the site certified is the completion of phase one environmentals.

As previously reported, once the Leesburg site is certified, the industrial park will be listed by the state of Ohio as a certified building site, and would be more visible to those looking for a place for their business.

On another matter, Julia Wise, executive director of the Highland County Community Action Organization Inc. (HCCAO), told commissioners of a grant opportunity coming up called the Healthier Buckeyes Grant that the county must appoint a council for. Though there are no firm dates on the grant as yet, Wise said, she wanted to recommend for the council the group of local organizations already in place for the Rural IMPACT pilot program.

As previously reported, HCCAO was one of 10 organizations across the nation chosen last fall to participate in the pilot program. The program “is to assist communities in adopting a two-generation approach to addressing the needs of both vulnerable children and their parents, with the goal of increasing parents’ employment and education and improving the health and wellbeing of their children and families.”

Wise also provided commissioners with an update on the partnership meetings of Rural IMPACT. She said the partnership of several local organizations is looking at barriers that individuals and families face in accessing services, and seeing what they can collectively do to remove those barriers.

Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley reported the permissive sales tax receipt totals received in February as $539,322. The money is from sales taxes collected in the county in a given month. The money, which is received by the county monthly, goes to the county’s general fund.

The Highland County Board of Commissioners meets each Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. The meetings are open to the public.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

Commissioners Jeff Duncan, left, and Shane Wilkin are pictured during Wednesday’s meeting. Jeff Duncan, left, and Shane Wilkin are pictured during Wednesday’s meeting.
Resolution reached with county and Hi-Tech contractor

By Angela Shepherd

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