Preliminary permissive tax receipts for the month of June showed a dramatic rise from the month prior, increasing more than $220,000 from May’s figures, according to information supplied to the Highland County Commissioners on Wednesday by county auditor Bill Fawley.
The June sales tax figures, which totaled $889,862.26, were a little more than $320,000 above the totals from June of last year, with the month-to-date figures tracking well above the January to June 2020 pace by a more than $838,000 margin.
Despite a power outage that affected the Highland County Administration Building and surrounding buildings, commissioners David Daniels, president Jeff Duncan and vice president Terry Britton still conducted the county business at hand Wednesday morning.
Scott Fuller, spokesman for AEP, told The Times-Gazette that contractors were working on upgrades to the power grid Wednesday morning when an errant squirrel tripped breakers that caused the early morning outage, and then a bird did the same thing five minutes after power was restored, causing another outage that lasted until 10 a.m.
He said at no time were the electrical workers in danger, and the loss of power was designed as a safety measure.
One of the two contracts the commissioners approved was a road use, repair and maintenance agreement between county engineer Chris Fauber and Hecate Energy for construction of the 300-megawatt Highland Solar Farm in southern Highland County.
At the groundbreaking of Hecate’s New Market Solar I & II farms on May 13, spokesman Jared Wren said construction on the nearby Mowrystown/Buford area complex was planned to begin in August.
Brian Collins, a longtime Clark Township/Clinton County resident, implored the commissioners in a June 9 letter “to listen to the people who don’t want these solar panels in their front windows or in their sight.”
In asking the commissioners to “do their homework about these panels,” Collins’ comments reflected those held by many that have property near the proposed solar panel farms, questioning how they may affect property values, groundwater quality and possible threats to wildlife.
In other matters, a total of six resolutions were approved, with five being budget modifications and one a line item budget transfer.
The commissioners also signed off on an additional contract with the Family and Children First Council and the Ohio Department of Medicaid concerning a grant agreement.
Also Wednesday, commissioners discussed the 2021 County Revolving Fund Recycling Grant, and the appointment of Jacob Shuman as the new county apiary inspector.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.