A representative of the “warm and fuzzy side” of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency attended a Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners, detailing several OEPA initiatives designed to offer environmental resources for communities and businesses.
Joy Padgett of the OEPA’s Division of Environmental and Financial Assistance said people often think of strict rules and regulations when they think of the OEPA, but her job is to help commissioners, economic development directors and local businesses find resources to become compliant and more environmentally responsible.
“I’m part of the warm and fuzzy side of the EPA,” Padgett said.
Padgett said the OEPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention offers free, confidential on-site assistance to help businesses comply with the OEPA’s requirements, and the Office of Financial Assistance offers a number of revolving loan funds and recycling and litter prevention grants for communities.
Padgett said the Office of Outreach and Customer Support connects “customers” to the services they need.
Commission president Shane Wilkin said the Highland County Convention and Visitors Bureau may be interested in gathering information on zero-waste events for the upcoming Smokin’ in the Hills barbecue competition in September, and Padgett said she could provide information a resources on the matter.
Also Wednesday, the commissioners discussed a letter sent to the board by Highland County Common Pleas Judge Rocky Coss regarding the landscaping around the Highland County Courthouse.
Coss said in the letter that people outside the courthouse have tossed cigarette butts in the landscaping, leading the mulch to smolder. Coss suggested removing the mulch and putting in decorative stone, although Wilkin said that may be rather expensive.
Commissioner Jeff Duncan said he would look into fire-retardant spray for the mulch.
The commissioners also received correspondence from Highland County Clerk of Courts Dwight “Ike” Hodson, who asked the board to approve upgrading a computer in his office. Hodson said the upgrade would cost $25 per month, and he would pick up the difference. The commissioners approved the matter.
The commissioners also held a second hearing on Community Development Block Grant funds, approved a routine financial resolution and voted to approve a liquor license transfer for the Rocky Road Sunoco. Wilkin abstained from that vote.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.