County offices reopen May 4


Department heads given final say on safety protocols

By Tim Colliver - tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com



Shown, from left, are Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton during Wednesday’s regular meeting, still being held in the large basement room of the Highland County Administration Building.

Shown, from left, are Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton during Wednesday’s regular meeting, still being held in the large basement room of the Highland County Administration Building.


Tim Colliver | The Times-Gazette

Following a meeting with county department heads Tuesday, Highland County commissioners Jeff Duncan, Gary Abernathy and Terry Britton announced Wednesday that they have decided to reopen access to county offices closed during Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s lock-down order.

Commission president Duncan said a memo was issued concerning safety procedures for county personnel in their respective offices.

“We did tell the department heads that we gave them the freedom to do what they saw fit to do for each department,” he said. “Different departments conduct business in different ways.”

Plexiglas shields have been installed in all offices in the Highland County Administration Building, Duncan said, with Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss organizing a plan for the courthouse when operations resume there in mid-June.

“That will give him time to retro-fit the courthouse,” Duncan said. “We’ll be meeting with a contractor today to go over and see what that may look like. Judge Coss has plans for his court, and I know that Judge (Kevin) Greer has plans as well, so they’ll be handling that at the courthouse as they see fit.”

Duncan indicated that in light of DeWine’s rescinding his mandate on the wearing of masks as a condition for the phased reopening of businesses, individual department heads will have the final say if employees will be required to wear protective masks.

Despite the plans to reopen county offices to the public on Monday, Duncan encouraged private citizens to call ahead to try to limit the amount of in-person contact, and to determine if situations can be remedied with a phone call.

Also Wednesday, two sealed bids were opened during Wednesday’s meeting for the 2020 Highland County chip and seal program for county roadways, which county engineer Chris Fauber said had been opened up to include some townships as well.

Allied Construction submitted a bid totaling $680,004, while the Miller-Mason Paving Co. proposed a lower bid of $620,100, with both bids subject to review by Fauber.

In other matters, four resolutions were approved with two being budget transfers, one dealing with load limit reductions on county bridges and another accepting Brown County Asphalt’s bid of $93,354 for a resurfacing project on Storer Lane in Jackson Township.

One contract was approved between the commissioners, the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency and the prosecutor’s office, which Duncan described as a “routine contract” for child support services.

Commissioners also approved a letter of support on behalf of a grant being sought by the Ohio Area 7 Workforce Development Board for the Youth Apprenticeship Program of the U.S. Department of Labor.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.

Shown, from left, are Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton during Wednesday’s regular meeting, still being held in the large basement room of the Highland County Administration Building.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2020/04/web1_Commish-29-April-20-B.jpgShown, from left, are Highland County commissioners Gary Abernathy, Jeff Duncan and Terry Britton during Wednesday’s regular meeting, still being held in the large basement room of the Highland County Administration Building. Tim Colliver | The Times-Gazette
Department heads given final say on safety protocols

By Tim Colliver

tcolliver@aimmediamidwest.com