Highland County Commissioners hear from agency on aging


After meet, Mowrystown sewer unresolved

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette.com



From left, Donna Sizemore-Haynes, Eloise Harrison and Jeannette Knauff, Highland County Senior Citizen Center volunteers, share a laugh at a Wednesday commissioners meeting.

From left, Donna Sizemore-Haynes, Eloise Harrison and Jeannette Knauff, Highland County Senior Citizen Center volunteers, share a laugh at a Wednesday commissioners meeting.


The Highland County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday heard from representatives of local senior citizens groups and issued a proclamation declaring May Older Americans Month in Highland County.

Jenni Dovyak-Lewis, director of community outreach and training for the Area Agency on Aging District 7, said the organization provided services to 554 seniors in Highland County last year.

Dovyak-Lewis said the agency supports seniors in a 10-county area in Southern Ohio by providing a wide variety of resources and services.

According to the agency’s website, the group provides in-home health services, transportation, home repair, veteran services, wellness programs and other offerings.

For more information on the Area Agency on Aging District 7, visit aaa7.org.

Volunteers with the Highland County Senior Citizens Center were also on hand, and Executive Director Mechell Frost updated the commissioners on programming at the senior center.

Donna Sizemore-Haynes, a volunteer, said she and her peers have visited senior centers in a number of different states, and Highland County’s senior programming stands out as “the best we’ve seen.”

For more information on the senior center, visit highlandseniors.com or visit the group’s Facebook page.

In other business, board President Shane Wilkin said the commissioners attended a meeting with Village of Mowrystown officials and the director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regarding the village’s embattled sewer system.

As previously reported, Mowrystown’s sewer system and wastewater treatment plant have been a source of fiscal stress for both the village and Highland County for more than a decade.

According to information provided by the commissioners’ office, the county took out a loan of more than $2 million about 14 years ago to pay for the treatment plant’s construction, and since then, Mowrystown has been struggling to keep up with paying the county back.

One of the main reasons is delinquent sewer payments from residents, some of whom have not made payments for years, according to Mowrystown Village Solicitor Fred Beery.

Wilkin said the parties discussed the issue at length on Friday, but did not come away with a resolution. Commissioner Terry Britton added that the issue “will take some work” to resolve.

The board also issued a proclamation declaring the week of May 7-11 In-Demand Jobs Week in Highland County.

Rhonda Fannin and Janet Taylor of OhioMeansJobs Highland County said 2018 is the inaugural year for the observation of In-Demand Jobs Week, which highlights jobs, industries and skills that are in high demand in local communities.

As part of the observation, there will be a special reception at the OhioMeansJobs center in Hillsboro on Friday, May 11. More information on the event can be found at ohiomeansjobs.com.

According to a press release from the group, as of May 1, there were nearly 1,100 employment opportunities listed on the group’s online database within a 20 mile radius of the local zip code.

Fannin said those seeking more information on OhioMeansJobs’ offerings can contact her at 937-393-1933.

The board also heard from two executives with the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth about changes to the group’s organizational structure.

APEG President Mike Jacoby told the commissioners he was named president several weeks ago, and wanted to introduce himself to the board. Former APEG Project Manager Katy Farber said she was recently named vice president of the group.

Jacoby said the visit was intended to begin dialogue between APEG and the board of commissioners about area economic development initiatives.

For more information on APEG, visit apeg.com.

The commissioners also approved several contracts and routine financial resolutions.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570, or on Twitter @DavidWrighter.

From left, Donna Sizemore-Haynes, Eloise Harrison and Jeannette Knauff, Highland County Senior Citizen Center volunteers, share a laugh at a Wednesday commissioners meeting.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2018/05/web1_fseniors.jpgFrom left, Donna Sizemore-Haynes, Eloise Harrison and Jeannette Knauff, Highland County Senior Citizen Center volunteers, share a laugh at a Wednesday commissioners meeting.
After meet, Mowrystown sewer unresolved

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette.com