Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton met in regular session Wednesday with Britton indicating that an improvement project was coming closer to fruition at 13 campground spots at Rocky ForkState Park using capital money through the state of Ohio.
“We’re getting down to where we’re getting it a little closer now,” he said. “We finally got some of the bids back and it’s all designed to improve those camp spots for use year-round.”
He said it was originally intended to benefit the annual Smokin’ in the Hills event, but now would be what he called an “economic driver for that area year-round,” and that the commissioners would be submitting paperwork in the next two weeks.
He added that the county had received about $50,000 in capital improvement money from the state, and that they would be applying for another round of funding, which must be done by year’s end.
Two contracts were finalized by commissioners Wednesday, with one involving the commissioners, county engineer and Smith Construction for a slide repair project on Sinking Spring Road.
Duncan explained the reason for an emergency meeting that was called Oct. 3 was to enable passage of a resolution authorizing the Fayetteville construction firm to begin repair work on the road, which he said Highland County Engineer Chris Fauber wanted expedited amid concerns of bad weather.
The other contract approval was for an annual agreement between the commissioners and Highland County Job & Family Services for a prevention, retention and contingency plan that was amended on Oct. 1.
Abernathy said he had recently met with representatives of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a regional community foundation, who told him that grant funds were available for Highland County if projects were identified.
“They’ve never really done anything in Highland County, but wanted us to know that there were funds available to us,” he said. “Right now, there’s about $10,000 available if we could identify a project to use it for, and about $50,000 if we had matching funds for something, and they said that there’s the potential for much more.”
He said the organization’s funding came from the state budget, and that he intended to put together a Highland County Foundation Board of Directors that would review qualifying projects.
In other matters, he said Adient in Greenfield would be holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Oct. 15, with an open house for both employees and the public on Saturday, Oct. 26.
Duncan said a potential liability issue was brought to the commissioners’ attention by the county’s insurance carrier, relating to storm gutter drainage on the north side of the Highland County Administration Building.
He said it wasn’t an issue during warm weather, but that during the winter months it could create an ice issue on the street, and that he had been in contact with a contractor to see what could be done to alleviate the situation.
“I also reached out earlier to Safety Service Director Dick Donley so the city can take a look at it and see how we could work together to resolve that problem,” Dduncan said.
The first round of Ohio Public Works Commission applications review for the county is Thursday, Britton said, adding that “we’ve put in some projects and the city and Greenfield has as well, and they’ll get rated for in-county use.”
He said they would later be sent to the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC) to get rated by that organization.
In other matters, six line item budget transfer resolutions were approved with one other for the re-appointment of Elizabeth Fryman to the Highland County Board of DD, for a term running Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2023.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.