Highland County Engineer Chris Fauber and County Recorder Chad McConnaughey both met with commissioners during their regular Wednesday morning meeting.
Commissioners Jeff Duncan, Gary Abernathy and Terry Britton opened sealed bids from two companies regarding proposals for reinforced concrete storm sewer piping. Forterra Drainage Pipe & Products of Lexington, Ky. tendered a bid for $78,631 and second bid of $87,695 was submitted by Rinker Material Co.
Fauber commented that the bid from Forterra was about $9,000 less than his office had estimated, and that he would review both bids prior to formal submission to the commissioners.
McConnaughey gave the commissioners a progress report concerning accomplishments in his office from last year which included the implementation of “e-recording.”
“Deeds and mortgages are our top recorded documents,” he said, telling commissioners that his office recorded 6,110 documents in 2019, which was an increase in all previous years with the exception of 2016.
He said that for the year, the recorder’s office took in $356,249, of which a little more than $150,000 went into the general fund and $176,000 went to the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.
“To the best of my knowledge, none of that Housing Trust Fund money comes back to Highland County,” McConnaughey said. “I’m going to try to see if there is any way for Highland County to access any of that money.”
He said that his office is in it’s first year of electronic document signing, or e-recording, and that it is becoming a growing technology issue since legal and financial institutions, and many government agencies such as auditors and engineers, are requiring it.
To facilitate increased e-recording in the recorder’s office, he said he would be visiting his counterpart in Clermont County to “see their process at work, and to make sure that Chris (Fauber) and Bill (Fawley) are both OK with it.”
He indicated that Clermont County used the same system as Highland’s, and implementation of e-recording would be at no cost since it would come through an existing vendor and would allow submitters to have a much quicker process.
“In the world of finance, they want that closing process to flow as quickly as possible,” he said. “The push from the recorder’s association is technology, and that’s where we’re trying to go to keep our local office on the cutting edge of technology, and as you can imagine, the banking world wants to move fast.”
In other matters, following Wednesday’s meeting the commissioners toured the Highland County Family Advocacy Center on Crestwood Drive in Hillsboro.
Director Melissa Wheaton conducted the tour of the child supervision facility, which has as its mission the supervision of visits. However, she said it also offers classes such as independent living for teenagers in care, and co-parenting education for those going through a divorce or similar situation.
“Supervised visitation is critical for the safety of these children, while frequent and consistent contact is also very important to maintaining bonds,” she said. “We’ve found it very helpful in minimizing the trauma involved when children must be separated from parents or other adults they love.”
She said their official mission statement has not changed since the facility opened in 2007. “It is our goal to encourage parent-child interactions that enhance relationships and promote positive family values,” Wheaton said.
Also Wednesday, commissioners approved a total of five resolutions, four of them being line item budget transfers and the other a revision of paperwork concerning the Highlands Nature Sanctuary for a Clean Ohio grant proposal.
Tom House was re-appointed to the position of Highland County apiary inspector, but informed the commissioners that since he now lives in Cincinnati, he will be assisting in the search for a replacement for next year.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.