Highland County will play host Monday to the County Commissioners Association of Ohio during a roundtable discussion of subjects that affect county commissioners in the Southwest region of the state.
The gathering of what commissioner Terry Britton said will bemore than 30 county commissioners from southern Ohio will take place at the new Hillsboro Orpheum.
“It’ll be a round table discussion about the governor’s budget and how it’s going to affect counties like ours,” he said. “Governor DeWine has been very gracious in pushing some of that money down to the counties.”
Britton, who sets on the CCAO Executive Board of Directors, said the organization has plans to hold regional meetings periodically to keep commissioners informed on statewide issues that may have an impact on the county level.
Commission President Jeff Duncan said that at a meeting held Tuesday regarding issues facing the Greenfield rail line, officials on both the state and federal level took part in a tour of the Candle-lite plant in Leesburg, with several people taking a motor tour of the rail line itself.
He commended Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin for spearheading efforts at securing funding to repair the aging rail line, which serves light industry in Greenfield, Leesburg and New Vienna.
Wilkin previously told commissioners that 1,200 jobs are dependent on the Greenfield rail line, which extends from the village into Clinton County.
Britton said that during a luncheon held yesterday at the Farm Science Review near London, he had the chance to speak with State Sen. Bob Peterson about the railroad. He said Peterson said he was aware of its local importance and that he would facilitate any help he could.
Private Greenfield citizens Gerald and Connie Jones took advantage of the commissioner’s open door policy, at the advice of Wilkin, by expressing concern about suspected criminal and vagrant activity across the street from their Blaine Street home.
The couple, who said they have lived there since 1963, complained of sluggish response from law enforcement since their home resides outside the Greenfield corporation limit.
Commissioner Gary Abernathy requested they provide the commissioners with their address and phone number for follow up in the matter, saying that he was aware of discussions between the sheriff’s office and Greenfield police that would allow village law enforcement officers to investigate matters immediately outside the corporation line.
“We just don’t feel safe,” Connie Jones said. “It’s right outside our front door, right across the street. I’m afraid to go out in my yard and work.”
Also Wednesday, Abernathy said there were ongoing discussions with volunteers and those interested in filling the position vacated by Highland County Senior Dog Warden Cathy Siefer, whose last day on the job will be Sept. 28.
He described the transitional period of the dog pound as “a work in progress” with continued positive discussions.
Nathan Boatman of the Highland County Special Olympics told commissioners that the Special Olympics fall track and field day will be Saturday, Sept. 21 at Fairfield High School in Leesburg, with 75 people scheduled to participate in the annual event. The commissioners issud a proclamation designating Sept. 21 as Highland County Special Olympics Day.
Boatman said the opening ceremonies will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, with athletes from the Hillsboro, Whiteoak, Fairfield, McClain, Lynchburg and Hi-Co schools planning to attend and compete.
In other matters, commissioners approved six line item budget transfer resolutions and authorized County Engineer Chris Fauber to participate in the Ohio Public Works Commission state capital improvements program.
One contract involving the county engineer, commissioners and the Ohio Department of Transportation received approval Wednesday, that being for upgrades and guardrail replacement along various county roads lying within Highland County.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.