County gets $484K for Rocky Fork sewer project


Grant funds to help replace grinder pumps

By David Wright - dwright@timesgazette



From left, Highland County Commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton are shown at their weekly meeting Wednesday.

From left, Highland County Commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton are shown at their weekly meeting Wednesday.


David Wright | The Times-Gazette

Highland County has been awarded a $484,000 grant for grinder pump replacement in the Rocky Fork-area sewer system, and with a local match, the county has more than $600,000 for the project, commissioners said Wednesday.

Highland County Board of Commissioners President Jeff Duncan said at the board’s weekly meeting that the Ohio Public Works Commission awarded the grant to Highland County recently.

Duncan said the county has replaced about 200 grinder pumps in the Rocky Fork sewer system in the past year. There are 1,600 in excess of 20 years old, he said, and at this point, it costs less to replace them than to repair them.

Commissioner Terry Britton said local matching funds bring the total funding for the project over $600,000. Britton also said the grant funds will allow the county to increase connection sizes in an economic development area.

Duncan said pumps will be replaced “as they fail.”

Commissioners also discussed the most recent permissive sales tax receipt report from Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley, which shows the county gained $540,582 this month, $37,341 more than the same time frame last year.

Duncan said sales tax revenue here is “trending higher,” which is “good news for the county.”

In other business, commissioners approved two small recycling grants, one for Leesburg in the amount of $3,500 and another for Highland worth $1,350 for cleanup activities in those communities. The Leesburg grant includes funding for a leaf blower and power washer that village officials said will be used to clear gum and cigarette butts in town.

The commissioners also approved letters of support for Area 7 Workforce Development Board and the Alternatives to Violence Center, as well as a resolution thanking Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio House of Representatives for their support of state indigent defense reimbursement and calling on the Ohio Senate to continue such support in the state budget bill.

Britton said a recent measure approved by the Ohio House covers 80 percent of the costs associated with indigent legal defense here, and a provision in the state budget represents an additional $35 million for the same purpose around the state.

“This is a $300,000 deal for us,” Britton said.

Britton also said he has been in communication with the Hillsboro VFW Post 9094 about replacing circuits at the veterans monument at the courthouse, and the county will have to replace a dead bush near the building. Britton also said a culvert will have to be replaced at the sheriff’s office.

Commissioner Gary Abernathy said the sheriff’s office will soon add a new backup 911 system that will save the county enough money to purchase a body scanner for the jail.

Commissioners also approved routine contracts and financial resolutions and rescinded an erroneous appropriation approved two weeks ago.

After the meeting, the board conducted an alley viewing.

Reach David Wright at 937-402-2570.

From left, Highland County Commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton are shown at their weekly meeting Wednesday.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2019/05/web1_f-commissioners-5-15-2019.jpgFrom left, Highland County Commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton are shown at their weekly meeting Wednesday. David Wright | The Times-Gazette
Grant funds to help replace grinder pumps

By David Wright

dwright@timesgazette