Marriott moves closer to reality


The process for the Marriott Hotel in Hillsboro took its next step following the approval of a new measure at the weekly Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.

Julie Bolender, director of Highland County Economic Development, said that after the measure was signed it would be sent to the state and then the county would be able to draw the required money from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). She said after that money was received, it would be used to loan to the Leo Capital Investment Group for the Marriott Hotel construction on the corner of Harry Sauner Road and S.R. 73.

“This is the last step before we can make the loan to them from the Highland County revolving loan fund,” Bolender said. “So, we will receive $500,000 from the state of Ohio and we will add that to $500,000 in the revolving loan fund, loan them a million.”

After that loan is made, Bolender said the interest and principle would be paid to the county, with that money able to be used to assist another business “down the road.”

In other news, Jeremy Ratcliff, the director of Highland County Jobs and Family Services (HCJFS), was in attendance to give updates on the agency.

Ratcliff said the organization’s new Title 20 spending plan, which was federal money, would be about $780,000 per year for two years. He said the “overwhelming majority” of the money in the plan is directed to child welfare, whether that be staffing costs, replacement costs or reimbursement of foster care. He also said about $45,000 to $50,000 of the plan was attached to its Chore program, which gives services to members of the elderly in the community.

Ratcliff said that the organization is entering what he called “general election season” headed toward November. He said he and Highland County Auditor Alex Butler have spoken about it being the time for the levy renewal to be on the ballot. He said that the two are discussing the difference in money generated for a renewal compared to a replacement and that he’s “leaning” on Butler’s expertise on that front.

Commissioner Dave Daniels said that the county has officially moved operations of the dog pound over to the new location.

“We just last week got moved into the new dog pound and what has held us up more than anything is we have been waiting to get phone and technology services over there and they’re out there as we speak now, getting that service in,” he said. “So, we have moved in and they’re kind of operating on a hybrid thing.”

Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera sent a note to the commissioners saying Spectrum recently updated its services at the Highland County Jail and that it made the old televisions obsolete. Commissioner Terry Britton said Barrera is asking for the televisions and brackets holding them up to be replaced at a total of $1,340. The commissioners approved the purchase.

The commissioners also approved two authorizations to execute, the first being the Spending Plan for Social Services Block Grant FFY 2024-25 for HCJFS, the second being the Sales Use and Tax Construction Contract Exemption Certificate to Doll Layman, Ltd.

In other news, there were two resolutions approved by the commissioners:

* Res. No. 23-62 is a request from the Highland County Engineer for an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds of $5,400.

* Res. No. 23-63 is a request for a budget modification within the Dog and Kennel for $2,000.

There were also four contracts approved by the commissioners:

* Contract 38 is between the commissioners, Highland County Jobs and Family Services and Chore Services for an Ohio Purchase of Social Services Contract.

* Contract 39 is between the commissioners, Highland County Jobs and Family Services, County Commissioners Association of Ohio Service Corporation and Ohio CSEA Director’s Association for a participation agreement regarding the Usage of the Agreement between the County Commissioners Association of Ohio Service Corporation and West Publishing Corporation.

* Contract 40 is between the board of commissioners and Doll Layman, Ltd. for the Rocky Fork Lake Wastewater Improvements Phase I and the owner contractor agreement.

* Contract 41 is between the commissioners and Leo Capital Investments for the Community Development Block Grant and Economic Development Closing Binder for the Marriott Hotel.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

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