Highland County commissioner Gary Abernathy told his fellow colleagues Wednesday he will resign his seat on the board of commissioners effective Friday, Oct. 2.
“When I announced that I wasn’t going to run for re-election, one of the big reasons was that we didn’t know where my wife Lora was going to be working out of, since she had taken a job in Cincinnati,” Abernathy said. “There was a good chance we’d be moving closer to Cincinnati, so it was kind of an unknown.”
He said in light of those circumstances, the couple’s plans now include moving closer to the Queen City.
“I had hoped to finish out my term before that happened,” he said, “but it’s just not going to work out that way.”
He said it was his hope that former commissioner David Daniels, who served in the position from 1997 to 2002, will be appointed to fill Abernathy’s unexpired term and then begin a new term in January.
According to election results from the Ohio primary, Daniels will run unopposed for the open position on the board of commissioners in the Nov. 3 general election.
Abernathy was appointed in July 2018 to occupy the seat vacated by former commissioner Shane Wilkin, who had been sworn in as representative of Ohio 91st House District.
Commission president Jeff Duncan wished Abernathy well in his decision, adding that he was a valued member of the three-person board.
“We hate to lose you, and we do appreciate the hard work you’ve done for the county,” Duncan said. “We’re sorry to hear that you’re moving, but we’re very grateful for all that you’ve done for us.”
Also Wednesday, commission vice president Terry Britton said that Ohio Senate Bill 357 will provide Highland County with additional coronavirus relief funding.
“This will be our third round, I believe,” Britton said, “and the projection is that the county will get a little over $3 million, with commissioners receiving half and the balance being spread out between the townships and municipalities.”
He said the actual figure was $3,110,678, with Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley adding that funding approval could take place in the next few weeks, and that preliminary data indicated the money would be distributed based on population rather than a local government formula.
In other matters:
• Duncan said that two contractors were assessing damage that had been caused by leakage of the roof at both the Highland County Administration Building and Highland County Justice Center.
“We’ve developed a leak, and we knew the roof was getting kind of bad but now it’s leaking,” he said. “It’s become a little more prevalent so now we need to do something with both it and the justice center.”
• One line item transfer resolution was approved on behalf of Family and Children First Council, and two others were approved, both being resolutions for inter-county agreements and certification release of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) regular funding to Gallia County, and TANF administrative funding to Montgomery County.
• Formal approval was given to the awarding of the contract to The Shelly Company for the road improvement project of the Petersburg/Overman Road intersection.
• Britton expressed his appreciation to Raymond Friend of Barn & Cabin Friend, LLC, on the recent removal of the county barn near the Highland County Dog Pound. Britton said the company, which specializes in moving, repairing and rebuilding existing structures, told him the structure would rematerialize as a house on the Highland/Adams county line in the Sinking Spring area.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.