The Highland County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday approved a project survey to estimate the cost of moving Highland County Job and Family Services from the Hi-Tec Center to the North High Business Center.
Board President Shane Wilkin said at the commissioner’s regular meeting Wednesday morning that the county may request capital improvement funds from the state to move the JFS office from the Hi-Tec Center, located on U.S. Route 62 just north of Hillsboro, to the North High Business Center on North High Street near Harry Sauner Road.
Wilkin said while the county has lowered its annual condo fee payments for the North High Business Center from about $70,000 per year to $35,000 by renting out space, much of the building remains empty and the county still has to foot the bill.
“Basically, it’s open storage space,” Wilkin said.
Wilkin said having the JFS office in the business center would be a “consolidation of social services,” since the Highland County Health Department and services from Highland District Hospital are also located there.
Wilkin said Plug Smart, a Columbus firm that has completed a number of facility improvement projects for the county, offered to survey the site for $3,300.
The board, minus Commissioner Jeff Duncan, whose absence was excused, approved the survey.
Wilkin said if capital improvement funds are available, the project could be completed “hopefully without General Fund dollars.”
Wilkin added that the board will also look into storage solutions for the county since some agencies like the sheriff’s office lack sufficient space for keeping records.
In other business Wednesday, the commissioners approved the purchase of new pumps for the Rocky Fork Lake sewer plant.
Commissioner Terry Britton said the repair costs for the current pumps have been going up as they age, and since the warranty has expired, it’s more cost-effective to buy new ones.
The board approved the purchase of 150 new units for $1,200 each, all to be purchased this calendar year. Britton said the county will save an estimated $1,000 per pump by buying them.
The board also approved the purchase of a new truck for the sewer plant for $12,500. Britton said the vehicle will be used for sewer operations around the county.
The board also approved routine financial resolutions.
Later in the morning, the board hosted the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission’s First Round Caucus.
The OVRDC coordinates federal, state and local resources to encourage development in Adams, Brown, Clermont, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross, Scioto and Vinton Counties.
Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.