Clearing up misconceptions on upcoming state building code guidelines and investing in infrastructure at Rocky Fork State Park topped the agenda of Wednesday’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
Commissioner Jeff Duncan said that their office has received several calls regarding the Ohio Board of Building Standards building code changes that will take effect statewide on July 1.
On June 19, an informational meeting was held in the County Administration Building to address questions regarding those code changes for the City of Hillsboro, with commissioner Gary Abernathy stressing that the changes will affect only municipalities.
“In Highland County, this won’t change anything,” he said. “We don’t have a building department, and without that, this doesn’t apply.”
Commissioner Terry Britton reiterated that the regulations “are totally city, not the county.”
The new regulations would apply to the City of Hillsboro since there is in place a building department with a code inspector, Abernathy said. But he dispelled rumors that a building inspector was going to be making the rounds in the county, saying that wasn’t true and that if anyone “thought they were going to do that, they would have to go through our office.”
The normal process of obtaining permits and maintaining certain building standards will still apply throughout the county, Abernathy said, and everything was verified by consultation Tuesday with Highland County Prosecuting Attorney Anneka Collins.
“She agreed and confirmed to us that nothing is going to change for the county on July 1,” Abernathy said.
Sealed bids were opened for the upgrade of sewage grinder pumps in the Rocky Fork Lake area.
Environment One Corp. submitted the high bid of $295,000, with the next highest bid coming from Crane Pumps and Systems at $219,800, and the lowest bid from Keen Pump Co. for $210,000.
Duncan said that Steven Canter of Environmental Engineering Service would examine the data and submit his recommendation as to who should be awarded the bid contract so that it could be approved at next week’s commissioners meeting.
A grant has been received from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the acquisition of more of the grinder pumps, Canter said, with the county required to come up with matching funds.
“The grant was for $610,000,” Britton said. “We had to match a little over $100,000 and they give us the remainder, so I think we made a pretty good trade. It’s money well spent.”
Britton said he had been in contact with Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Mel McKenzie regarding the fountain project that the Bagshaw family is underwriting for the city.
He said the family approached McKenzie in regard to construction of a retaining wall on the other side of courthouse square to match what will be done with the building of the fountain where flagpoles now stand.
A smaller monument is currently in place at the area in question in addition to a U.S. Geological Survey marker and a time capsule, all of which would have to be moved to accommodate the new construction.
In other matters, eight resolutions were approved, seven of which were budget appropriations or line item transfers with one dealing with the awarding of the 2019 pavement repair bid for the county.
County Engineer Chris Fauber awarded Miller Mason Paving Co. the alternate bid amount of $450,000.
Also under discussion Wednesday was a new program being offered by the County Risk Sharing Authority (CORSA) utilizing employee dishonesty coverage instead of requiring the purchase a surety bond from an outside bonding company for newly elected officials.
Commissioners also entered into a 30-day extension contract with Highland County Job & Family Services for the Chore program.
The commissioners went into executive session to discuss the progress of the routine audit conducted by business consulting firm Millhuf-Stang, followed by another executive session dealing with employment of personnel with representatives Nina Keller and Jenni Dovyak-Lewis of local Area Agency on Aging.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.