Multiple sewer applications were approved for submission for 2023 Community Development Block Grant funding at Wednesday’s Highland County Board of Commissioners meeting.
Mary Remsing, the county’s CDBG coordinator, said the county received two projects for submission for first-round funding. She said that the projects were competitive across the state, and that if it was awarded, the county would hear from the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) in early September.
Remsing said the first application was from Nicole Oberrecht, the county’s American Rescue Plan Act coordinator, and was for a critical infrastructure program for a wastewater system repair of about 4,000 linear feet of existing sewer lines and 12 pre-cast manholes. She said the service area was in the Rolling Acres subdivision at the northeast corner of Grande Road and Mad River Road in New Market Township. She also said the funding available for this project would be $500,000 and was contingent on ODOD’s review of the application.
Remsing said the second application was residential public infrastructure from the village of Greenfield. She said the project was for the replacement of the main sanitary sewer line, manholes and wyes found in the “critical failing parts” of the lines. She also said service connections would be replaced, with site cleanup and remediation from the construction project, which included the repair of roads and driveways impacted by the project.
Remsing said that Phase one of this project would address the “high-priority” areas east of Washington Street and south of Jefferson Street. She said the eventual outcome of the project would “benefit” the whole village which consisted of 4,339 residents.
She also said the scope of the project was to replace 10,950 linear feet of sewer pipe, 9,040 linear feet of sanitary sewer services, 285 wyes and 50 manholes. She said the state funding available for this project would be $750,000 and also contingent on the ODOD review, but that Greenfield would look to secure other funding.
In other news, Janice Vaught, a concerned citizen, was in attendance at the meeting to ask for assistance from the board of commissioners about a matter of financial exploitation.
She said her situation started when she returned from living in Michigan and a friend invited her to stay at their house to take care of their cats and dogs around November 2020 through Oct. 11, 2021. She said that she stayed at the location for 11 months before fleeing the house after the friend’s child broke her cell phone. She said while staying there she didn’t have a vehicle, so she used the friend’s vehicle to take her child places and buy cat and dog food. Vaught said she paid for most of this, with the friend failing to reimburse her.
Vaught also said the friend failed to reimburse her for the spaying and neutering of the cats, the feeding of the friend’s child and that the friend “exploited” her situation. She said that the friend would leave her for three to eight days at points with no pet food and “occasionally” no transportation.
Vaught said that following the situation, she went to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office and tried to file a criminal complaint on the matter. She said that the department refused to accept the complaint, saying it was a civil matter.
Commissioner Dave Daniels said it was “obviously” a responsibility of the sheriff’s office. He said the board of commissioners would reach out to the sheriff and ask what was happening regarding the situation.
Vaught made commissioners aware that there was no animal humane warden for the county.
Daniels said it was the responsibility of the Humane Society to fill that position, but that the commissioners provide a “small stipend” for the position.
“I’m not gonna say they fell down, but I think they’ve had trouble finding somebody to work for what they can afford to pay,” Daniels said.
The commissioners also announced that Mackenzie Edison, former land bank coordinator, has left the position. Britton said the county is now looking for a replacement and applications are being received until June 13. He also said June’s land bank meeting was canceled.
The board opened a bid for Greenfield tornado sirens. Britton said the lone bid was from Federal Signal, with the total for material and labor being $59,252. Daniels said it was under the bid estimate, the document was pretty big, and he wasn’t sure if they’d make a decision Wednesday.
The board approved the purchase of 10 taxiway marking light fixtures for the Highland County Airport for $6,000. Britton said only eight needed replacing, but there was a price break if 10 were purchased.
Alex Butler, Highland County auditor, revealed the May sales tax receipt numbers came in at $724,053, which was $65,605 better than the same month last year.
“So that is, that is encouraging and I anticipate judging from historical data that we’ll have a nice jump to what we see next month in the right direction,” Butler said.
The board of commissioners approved two authorizations to execute, the first being an Ohio EPA Permit to Install for Rocky Fork Lake Wastewater Improvements Phase 2, and the second being an Ohio EPA Permit to Install for Rolling Acres Wastewater system repair/replacement.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.