Highland County Board of Commissioners President Jeff Duncan announced Wednesday that he was “pretty sure” the contractors would be breaking ground later in the day on the new dog pound on North Shore Drive.
Plans for the new dog pound include 40 kennels and other areas like an office, adoption area, machinery room and examination room. There will be outside rooms where the dogs will get to experience the feeling of outside but will be covered from the weather. It will have 12 parking spots and two handicap parking spots.
The new location will be just off North Shore Drive on the right going toward the Highland County Airport.
Adam Raines, a project manager at DS2 Architects, previously said that the front part of the building will have an office, an adoption area, a machinery room and an examination room. He said the next part of the building will have 40 kennels that all have doggy doors leading to covered outside access rooms. The rooms will also have translucent paneling so the dogs will get the feeling of being outside, but will also be covered by the weather.
Raines said there will be trench drains on the inside and the outside that will dispose of animal waste. He said the heating would be with an in-floor radiant system.
In other news, Duncan said he met with Dave Bushelman, director of Highland County Emergency Management Agency, who called the meeting to warn about “potential fuel shortages” that could be coming this fall.
Duncan said the meeting featured the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District, city of Hillsboro, Ohio Department of Transportation and Highland County Engineer’s Office. He said all of the organizations except Paint Creek had fuel storage.
Duncan said that diesel was the “number one” concern at the meeting, but that they talked about other possible shortages.
On another matter concerning updates on American Rescue Plan Act projects that were previously approved, Duncan said the commissioners were still waiting on estimates, specifically noting some of the sewer plant projects.
Commissioner Dave Daniels said it was currently a matter of waiting for that funding was needed and then requested. He said that for some of the sewage projects, they had to get the engineering finished and get new estimates from the time that the original estimates were given. Daniels said he hopes to have estimates for some of the projects back by Sept. 1, so they could move on with the rest of the projects or let people know where the status on their project.
Commissioner Terry Britton said he received a call from the Alignment of Community Connections for Employer and Student Success (ACCESS), a workforce development group. He said they were reaching to ask if the board was interested in supporting it financially. However, he said they would have to look to see if it’s feasible.
“Personally, I think it’s a great program,” Britton said. “You know, it covers four of the five county schools plus we’re looking at trying to work that into the funding we would get from Appalachia where we could possibly, you know, do a workforce center along with some other things. It’s a piece of pie, I guess, as far as the workforce development center and the efforts that we’re trying to do in the county to get people trained and get them a career path and get them back to work or whatever.”
Britton also said the commissioners received a note from Community Action about indigent defense. He said the state public defender estimated that the reimbursement fee for FY23 would be 95 percent instead of 100 percent.
In other news, Duncan said the sales tax numbers came in for July. He said this month’s numbers were similar to last month as they were less than last year’s receipts from the same month, with them being $58,465 less than July 2021. He said the sales tax numbers are starting to level off.
“But I don’t think that’s been totally unexpected,” Duncan said. “We’ve been looking for that to level off for quite a while. It’s been better than anticipated.”
The commissioners also approved two authorizations to execute from Palmer Energy, one a participation agreement regarding energy purchasing programs of the CCAO Service Corporation and the other being an electricity purchasing program.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.