After emerging from an executive session during Wednesday’s weekly meeting, the Highland County Board of Commissioners announced the appointment of Katherine Smith as interim director of Highland County Job and Family Services.
Smith is currently the fiscal officer for the agency, and commissioner David Daniels said the appointment will enable her to sign official documents in the absence of outgoing director Katie Smith.
As previously reported by The Times-Gazette, Smith announced her resignation from the director’s position during a commissioners meeting executive session on March 17.
In a news release, Smith said she and her family will be leaving Ohio due to employment opportunities, and that it had been a pleasure serving as Highland County’s JFS director for the past five years.
Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley provided the commissioners with the latest preliminary permissive tax receipts, and the data showed continued spending strength in the local economy.
Sales tax figures for the first quarter of the year showed a nearly $412,000 increase over last year, with April’s numbers set to outpace April 2020 sales tax receipts by $114,405.
Also Wednesday, continued upgrades at the Highland County Hi-TEC Center were discussed and approved, with commission chair Jeff Duncan saying that a new entrance/exit had been built at the rear of the building for the board of elections office.
“We’d like to put a sidewalk around to there and we’ve got an estimate from Dance Excavation,” Duncan said. “I think the board of elections has some grant money that might help us pay for that, and we’d like to put up a drop box for ballots, and Dance is willing to do that for us while they’re out there.”
“Money well spent” was how he described a recent tour by the commissioners of the emergency 9-1-1 communications center at the Highland County Sheriff’s Office.
Duncan noted that several upgrades have been made to make dispatchers and other emergency personnel more effective, pointing out that the enhanced texting capability was something that wasn’t available before.
“Their ability to track cell phone emergency calls and so on has just gotten so good,” Daniels said. “That’s a huge benefit to the public that they’re able to do that.”
In other matters, six resolutions were approved, three of them being line item budget transfers.
Along with the appointment resolution for Smith, another resolution authorized county engineer Chris Fauber to purchase a new 2021 Eager Beaver 25-ton tag with lift front axle and a new fund designated O-02 Debt Retire was established for the Rolling Acres Wastewater System Repair.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.