Plans to hire an economic development director were announced during the Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners, with members of several county municipalities and the Highland County Chamber of Commerce present to express their support for the new position.
Commissioner David Daniels said that conversations had been held over the past two months with city managers and mayors of municipalities throughout Highland County concerning establishing an economic development department.
“It would work in harmony with the efforts that all of them are undertaking in each of their communities,” Daniels said. “Later on this week, it’s our intent to advertise for the position of an economic development director.”
In laying out the objectives of the new county office, he said that all of the communities indicated a willingness to participate in the coordination of efforts for the betterment of Highland County citizens.
“We view this as an opportunity to work with these folks on their economic development issues, and the chamber of commerce as well,” Daniels said. “This is an initial first step as far as the county is concerned, and each of the communities have had a chance to look over the job description and make changes or help amend it so that we’re all in agreement with the duties and responsibilities of the kind of director we’d like to have.”
Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin thanked the commissioners for their leadership in the matter, considering the creation of an economic development entity as a “great opportunity” for the county.
“When you look at the employment throughout Highland County, we all benefit from it,” Wilkin said. “We all have family members who work here, and they all benefit from a good, strong economy — we all benefit when Leesburg and Lynchburg and when Hillsboro and Greenfield have jobs.”
Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott expressed the city’s support for the position.
“The city of Hillsboro is super excited about the opportunity, especially the partnership with the entire county and all the villages involved,” she said.
Commissioner Jeff Duncan said that applications and resumes will soon be accepted for the position from postings from the individual county municipalities, the chamber of commerce and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
Daniels said a time frame of between three to four weeks may be needed for the receipt of applications and resumes prior to commencement of the interview process.
Also Wednesday, the commissioners issued a proclamation on behalf of Ohio 4-H week, with 4-H members Sara Newsome and Trinity Edenfield representing their local clubs at the meeting, along with OSU Extension Educators Kathy Bruynis and Danielle Combs.
The proclamation designated the week of Feb. 28 to March 6 as Highland County 4-H Week.
In reading the proclamation, Duncan said that 4-H programs had benefited both Ohio and Highland County youth for over 117 years.
“4-H programs in Highland County help youth acquire knowledge and develop life skills such as self-esteem, leadership and citizenship,” Duncan said. “Ohio 4-H encourages young people and adults to become involved in the educational programs offered by the 4-H program in Highland County through Ohio State University Extension and the College of Food, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.”
In other matters, a pair of resolutions were approved by the commissioners.
One was a line item budget transfer while the other allowed an officer of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office to purchase his service revolver that was deemed no longer needed.
Two agreements were executed by Duncan, one being a Community Development Block Grant pay request with the village of Greenfield and Distel Construction, Inc., and the other a fire alarm upgrade at the Highland County Sheriff’s Office with Johnson Controls.
Commissioners were also scheduled to visit an alley in the village of Allensburg, and a segment of South Lake Shore Drive in the Rocky Fork Lake area for the purpose of closure.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.