The County Commissioners Association of Ohio, consisting of the boards of commissioners from all 88 Ohio counties, approached commissioner Terry Britton about Highland County hosting the upcoming meeting for the organization’s southwest district meeting.
Britton is one of the 28 current county commissioners that sit on the organization’s board of directors.
“They want to have meetings in the ‘four corners’ of the state,” he said. “We would probably be hosting about 50 commissioners.”
The removal of unsightly bushes at the Highland County Courthouse by a local landscaper was also on the agenda of the county commissioners during their Wednesday meeting.
Britton said he had met with Brad Roades of Landscapes & Outer Spaces about removal of the shrubs, which will cost $120, with the recommendation that replacement be delayed pending the progress of construction of the uptown fountain project.
“I understand that Brad will be meeting with the contractor on the project and that he will be doing the landscaping,” Britton said. “He said it would be better to go ahead and take them out and then wait until everything gets done so we’re not doing something that we might want to change later on down the road.”
The subject of flood insurance in the county, an ongoing topic of discussion, according to commissioner Jeff Duncan, as it relates to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, was recently addressed during a mitigation dialogue with the Highland County EMA.
Duncan said he referred the subject back to County Engineer Chris Fauber, who commissioner Gary Abernathy said was “going to take another good look at it.”
“Dean (former engineer Otworth) didn’t like it because it will require additional personnel to administer the program and some more money,” Abernathy said. “But we are the only county in Ohio that isn’t participating in this program, so we should take another look at it.”
Britton said that new flood plain maps are available at the commissioners’ and county engineer’s offices, and that there are many questions to be answered due to the lack of zoning in Highland County and the cost associated with joining the FEMA program.
Abernathy admitted that concerns aside, joining the federal program would allow local residents to buy flood insurance who couldn’t before, because it wasn’t available from a local agent or wasn’t affordable.
The three-man board went into executive session twice during the meeting, first meeting with Katy Farber of the Appalachian Partnership for Economic Growth (APEG), a nonprofit group that works to advance economic development in the region, then later in the day with representatives from insurance brokers Brown/Rayburn regarding personnel.
In other matters Wednesday, commissioners approved a total of six resolutions with motions made for the approval of two contracts. Five of the resolutions were line item budget transfers, while one other authorized the waiving of the monthly sewer fee from a vacant property at Cathy’s Court near Rocky Fork Lake.
The pair of contracts that received the commissioners’ signatures included one for chip and seal resurfacing of county roads totaling $450,000 for the Miller Mason Paving Co. for the 2019 pavement repair.
Duncan, the president of the three-man board of commissioners, signed off on a notice of award to contract with the Keen Pump Company for replacement and upgrade of sewage grinder pumps in the Rocky Fork Lake region.
Commissioners also met with Linda Kujawa of Aflac for a presentation on supplemental insurance for county employees, and with representatives of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.