The Highland County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution allowing them to apply for grant funds for sewage pumps in the Rocky Fork Lake area during their weekly meeting Wednesday.
The resolution authorizes the commissioners to apply for funds through the Ohio Public Works Commission State Capital Improvement Program.
“We’re going to put in for a grant for sewage pumps at the lake,” Commissioner Terry Britton said. “This will be about a $200,000 application, so we’ll see if it goes through.”
Britton said there are approximately 1,500 “grinder” pumps in residential sewage systems at Rocky Fork Lake, and all are aging with some in need of replacement.
In related news concerning the Rocky Fork Lake area, Commissioner Gary Abernathy gave an update on the pending Rocky Fork Lake Area Safety and Advancement Project.
“We are continuing to work on the lake grant,” Abernathy said. “Monday and Tuesday were both spent answering more questions from the government, and it just keeps crawling along.”
Commissioner Jeff Duncan expressed confidence in the slow progress being made, but admitted those on the federal level “can be difficult to work with, but we’re hopeful on getting some resolution on this matter.”
At stake is more than $800,000 in federal grant money for crime prevention, blighted property removal and economic development in the Rocky Fork Lake region.
In other business, the commissioners issued a proclamation Wednesday recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Dara Gullette, director of the Alternatives to Violence Center in Hillsboro, was on hand with many from her staff to both acknowledge the proclamation and to present commissioners with an annual report from her office.
The report was a summation of services, estimates on number of people served in both Highland and Clinton counties, and the agency’s proposed 2019 budget.
“The marriage license fees are an important part of our funding every year, along with our cash match, and without that we’d have to cancel many of our newer services that we offer in both counties,” Gullette said.
The cash match comes from private donors, the Hillsboro Eagles, Hillsboro Amvets, the Cassenor Foundation and agency fundraisers.
Seventeen dollars from each marriage license fee is earmarked for the center’s domestic violence prevention programs.
Gullette expressed gratitude for the commissioner’s support of the marriage license fees program, which has been in place for several years.
“It’s nothing new in terms of funding, but it is very much appreciated,” she said.
Gullette told commissioners that an adult crisis forensics center is now open in the Clinton County office, and there are plans to open a similar center in Highland County.
“Also in the works is opening a child advocacy center in Clinton County, and we have plans underway to open one in Highland County as well,” Gullette said.
She estimated that her agency will provide services to 500 new clients this year at the Highland County office, with an additional 900 served in municipal and county courts through its 24-hour crisis line and general telephone inquiries.
Gullette told The Times-Gazette her agency is planning its eighth annual trivia night to coincide with Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
The fundraising event will take place Friday, Oct. 26 from 7-10 p.m.
“Last year we had 200 to 250 people that attended,” she said. “And this year’s event will be held at Backroom Paradise on Miller Lane in Hillsboro.”
Tickets are $200 per table for five to 10 players, and in addition to the trivia contest, there is dinner and entertainmentplus cash prizes for the first, second and third place teams.
Registration deadline is Oct. 12, with registration either on Facebook or by calling 937-393-8118.
In other matters, commissioners discussed a contract for the Highland County Airport concerning the Airport Improvement Program Project. The contract dealt with the upgrading of runway lighting systems.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571