City pondering U.S. 62, S.R. 73 changes


Idea is to make streets one-way

By Jacob Clary - jclary@aimmediamidwest.com



Hillsboro Justin Harsha (middle) is pictured at Wednesday’s Highland County commissioners meeting. He is flanked by Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins (left) and Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott.

Hillsboro Justin Harsha (middle) is pictured at Wednesday’s Highland County commissioners meeting. He is flanked by Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins (left) and Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott.


Hillsboro Mayor Justin Harsha announced multiple new projects meant to assuage traffic problems in Hillsboro at the Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners, one of which includes turning S.R. 73 and U.S. Route 62 into one-way roads in the city.

Harsha said that the city needs to do a traffic study first, but that the traffic problems in Hillsboro are “considerable.” He said because of that the city is looking into turning S.R. 73 and U.S. 62 into one-way streets from Main Street to Harry Sauner Road. He said S.R. 73 would head southbound while U.S. 62 would go northbound. Harsha said the idea is subject to the traffic study and the city is holding talks with the Ohio Department of Transportation about the changes.

Harsha also said another road project the city is working on is a Roberts Lane extension project. He said the road off Harry Sauner Road runs by the La Cascada restaurant and appears to end there is where the extension will start. It will then go to a circle and some properties and curve around to Fenner Avenue, which also will be extended a bit. He said it is also going to cut into and across S.R. 73 and then come around to Fairground Road.

Harsha said the reason for the project is to open up “a great deal” of commercial property. He said the project is currently in the preliminary stages and is subject to change.

Harsha said the cost of the project before the loop on the west end of S.R. 73 was $6 million and that the cost with the loop near the fairgrounds was around $8 million, which includes the water, sewer and storm aspects of the construction.

He said the city has easement agreements with both property owners involved, everyone is on board with the project, and everything is put into place so that once the funding is figured out and finalized, the job can be started.

Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott said some of the water and sewer parts of the project would potentially use COVID-19 recovery act money.

Abbott also said the city has 16 economic development projects either currently being built or on paper.

In other news, multiple people attended the meeting to discuss Red Ribbon Week, which runs, Oct. 25-29. The commissioners declared those days Red Ribbon Week.

Bill Showman, manager of prevention and evaluation services at the Paint Valley ADAMH Board, said there are different themes for each day where kids dress up. He said Red Ribbon Week was started in 1988 and the Paint Valley ADAMH Board has been observing it for several years to bring awareness for kids to stay drug-free in the community.

Lynchburg-Clay School District’s Joni Layne said the high school and middle school will have videos for students next week as well as activities at lunch.

Bright Local’s Katie Emery said it is doing similar things, but she also bought mustaches. She said Monday’s theme will be “I mustache you to not do drugs.” Emery said there will be a big mustache that kids can sign and smaller ones they can put on. She said she bought bulbed tulips and that the kids will plant when they do their drug-free pledge at the school.

Taylor McMullan of Lynchburg-Clay Elementary School said it will have worksheets and the school resource officer will go to classes and read books about courage and staying drug-free.

Two representatives from the Highland County Bar Association, Allyce Horne and Katherine Hapner, attended the meeting to follow up on a resolution they proposed at a previous meeting to raise the indigent fee for court-appointed cases. She said the resolution requested to raise it to $85 an hour.

Commissioner Terry Britton said the proposal is still being worked on and reviewed, and that the timeline for a decision “very close.”

Hapner asked if there was feedback the commissioners had because the bar association spoke with the commissioners and that the indication from them was that the increase was “fine.” She said the bar association is happy to meet with the commissioners to discuss it and possibly negotiate. She aid the association is “irritated” because the indigent fees are 100 percent reimbursed to the county and do not come out of county funds.

Hapner said she got to the $85 figure after the bar association spoke to someone at the public defender’s office who has since backed off that number and went down to $75. She said that as a bar association, they are fine with $75. She also said they are willing to discuss lowering the reimbursement rate, but she is “frustrated” they haven’t heard back from the commissioners.

Commissioner David Daniels said the board is trying to get clarification on some of the budgeting aspects of the public defender’s funds and how it might be affected.

Hapner said other counties have raised their rates and it seems unfair for Highland County not to. She said she would understand if it cost the county money because some county’s are funded better than others, but because the money is 100 percent reimbursed, she felt they are getting “the short end of the stick.”

In other news, Britton said the Palomino Solar project was put on hold because of incomplete documentation that must be submitted again.

Jeff Duncan, the president of the board of commissioners, said they are still waiting for the sheriff’s office parking area to be resurfaced.

Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.

Hillsboro Justin Harsha (middle) is pictured at Wednesday’s Highland County commissioners meeting. He is flanked by Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins (left) and Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott.
https://www.timesgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2021/10/web1_DSC_0897.jpgHillsboro Justin Harsha (middle) is pictured at Wednesday’s Highland County commissioners meeting. He is flanked by Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins (left) and Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott.
Idea is to make streets one-way

By Jacob Clary

jclary@aimmediamidwest.com