A light agenda greeted the Highland County Board of Commissioners Wednesday, with commission president Jeff Duncan announcing that preliminary sales tax figures for the month of October continued to trend into positive territory.
“We’re still hanging in there,” he said. “The figures show an increase over last year at this time.”
Data provided by the Ohio Department of Taxation showed Highland County sales tax receipts were at $637,061, compared with $589,249 from October 2019 — a $47,818.46 increase from the same time a year ago.
“If my math is correct we’re about $496,829.01 better overall than last year,” he said. “Those are good sales tax numbers, and we need to thank everyone for buying local because that’s what driving this.”
In other matters, Britton said the commissioners routinely re-evaluated assessments and billing annually on the county sewer projects to see if any changes needed to be made for what he called “positive operation” of the plants as far as expenses were concerned.
He said the Lakeside sewer plant had a rate increase several years ago and wouldn’t require any changes in monthly charges.
However, those served by the Rolling Acres sewage plant may see their sewer rates increase soon to offset necessary repairs.
“We have an Ohio EPA finding out there because of the sewer lines,” Britton said. “It has clay tile sewer lines and they’re going to have to be fixed.”
So as to not have the customers of Rolling Acres shoulder the burden alone on those repairs, he said commissioners have been actively searching for grant money to cover the repair costs and prevent added assessments.
“We’re still working with that, trying to go through all of our entities to try to get funding for that,” Britton said. “That project is about a half a million dollars.”
He added that the current monthly charges for those using the Rolling Acres plant are not covering operational expenses, and a $2 monthly increase was proposed.
Daniels said that Rolling Acres customers are currently paying $420 annually, and the rate hike would amount to a $20 increase per year.
“I think we’ll just discuss that here today, and if we have any additional discussion we’ll act on that next week,” Britton said. “We can leave Lakeside service the same.”
Also Wednesday, Duncan said there was a drive-thru flu shot clinic scheduled for Thursday for all county employees and their spouses.
He said it would be at the Paint Creek Joint EMS/Fire District station at 204 N. East St. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Daniels encouraged all area non-profits to be aware of grant money that was available by filling out an online application.
“There’s $10,000 available to non-profits to apply for,” he said. “They can go to AppalachianOhio.org/Highland to fill out an application, and they’ve got until Monday, Nov. 9 to apply.”
As previously reported in The Times-Gazette, the Highland County Community Fund and the African American Community Fund are both community funds of the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio.
Applications can also be found at AppalachianOhio.org/AACF.
A total of six resolutions met with the commissioners’ approval, with four being line-item budget transfers.
One resolution dealt with the appointment of Fred Yochum and Tara Campbell as representatives to the Solid Waste Management District Policy Committee for the term ending April 21, 2021, while the other authorized county engineer Chris Fauber to reduce load limits on a pair of bridges in the county.
The bridge on Smart Road that crosses Elm Run southeast of Belfast in Washington Township and the Fall Creek span on Rittenhouse Road northeast of Hillsboro in Paint Township will both see load limit reductions.
Commissioners also approved an annual agreement with Stanley Convergent Security Systems to provide services to the Highland County Justice Center.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.