Multiple concerned citizens from the same property attended the Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners to voice their concerns about the way they and their home was treated by the Highland County Community Action Organization (HCCAO) and the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP).
Nicholas Lafferty said he and Sandra Lafferty, someone that lives in the house sometimes and was present at the meeting, said they have had a lot of different issues following work on the house, which included wiring problems that caused “explosions” and flooding problems.
“The house is a mess,” Sandra Lafferty said. “They made it into a disaster … I would much rather have my house the way it was before we even got them in here, but it’s not.”
She said they have tried to talk to HCCAO about the problems they have had with the house. However, Nicholas Lafferty said they were told, “we’re crazy.”
Sandra Lafferty said they were told they didn’t know what they were talking about and that the house was finished.
She said that when the project started there was a specific scope for it and that they have the paperwork Nicholas Lafferty signed off on. Nicholas Lafferty said the project workers wouldn’t follow the contract as it was signed and kept telling the Laffertys that they were the ones that kept trying to change the project. Nicholas Lafferty said he wanted the work done the way the contract was written.
Mark Current, HCCAO housing director who was at the meeting for a different topic, responded to the Laffertys and said he was currently interviewing the staff that worked on the project and would see the Laffertys (Thursday).
In other news, there was a bid opening for three sets of four-sided precast concrete box culverts and one three-sided 30-foot by 10-foot culvert.
DGM, Inc. was the sole bidder with a bid for $395,401.
Christian Dunlap, Highland County deputy engineer, said this was the first project where the county used Bid Express, which was the online resource the county planned on using for online-only bid submissions.
Highland County Engineer Christopher Fauber said the bids are for an Ohio Public Works Commission project that the county received grant funding for, meaning the project wouldn’t be able to be officially awarded until July. However, he said they told the contractors they should bid now and try to get “ahead of the game” and that they would be provided with a letter of reassurance should something go wrong with the grant.
Commissioner Dave Daniels said he was watching on the news about the Ohio Department of Traffic and its push for road highway worker safety. Daniels said the county is going to be starting its construction season soon and wanted to make people aware that the county engineer also has people out in the county doing work as well as there being tractors, plows, planters and other farm machinery on the road.
“Everybody just kind of needs to take their foot off the gas a little bit,” Daniels said. “It might take you another 10 minutes, but let’s kind of pay attention to what’s happening with highway safety out there.”
Fauber said “a lot of times” they close the roads for their work because it’s the safest process for them. He said he knows people get upset about inconveniences, but also said that flagging traffic is probably the “most dangerous” thing they can do because many people don’t slow down and then someone has to try to stop traffic.
In other news, Highland County Economic Development Director Julie Bolender announced the appointment of Mackenzie Edison as the land bank coordinator. Bolender said Edison’s office would be at The Scott House alongside Nicole Oberrecht and herself. Bolender thanked Mark Current and HCCAO for their work in the last five or six years for allowing the land bank to get to the point it is at right now and get it up and running.
In other news, there were five resolutions approved by the board of commissioners:
* Res. No. 22-62 is a request to establish new line items and appropriations within the S-95 County Land Bank.
* Res. No. 22-63 is a statement that the commissioners wish to intervene in Ohio Power Siting Board Case No. 21-0041-EL-BGN, commonly referred to as Palomino Solar, LLC. Commission president Jeff Duncan said the commissioners have the right to intervene as the solar project goes through the Ohio Power Siting Board. Duncan said “we feel like it would be to our benefit” for them to be able to voice their concerns on some of the aspects of the project. He said they still have plenty of time to intervene and that there’s no deadline set on when the intervening process would be applied. Duncan said the reason for intervening was because the commissioners had some concerns about setbacks as well as other aspects of the project.
* Res. No. 22-64 is an appointment of Julie Bolender as Highland County’s ad hoc board member for the Palomino Solar Project as stipulated under Senate Bill 52. Duncan said the reason Bolender was appointed as the ad hoc board member was that she “graciously” volunteered. Duncan also said that if any of the commissioners had been the board member, they would not have been able to talk about the project.
* Res. No. 22-65 is an announcement that the commissioners were entering into a CHIP Joint Partnership Agreement between Highland County and the city of Hillsboro.
* Res. No. 22-66 is an authorization for a budget modification within youth services in the amount of $1,000.
There were also six contracts approved by the board of commissioners:
* Contract 24 is a memorandum of understanding between the commissioners and the board of directors of the Highland County Land Reutilization Corporation (land bank).
* Contract 25 is between the commissioners and Host My Sip for a Highland County Workforce READi Center Phone Service Activation.
* Contract 26 is between the board of commissioners and Host My Sip for phone services at 338 W. Main St. — the Scott House.
* Contract 27 is between commissioners and Greystone Systems, Inc. for phone services at 338 W. Main St. — the Scott House.
* Contract 28 is between commissioners and Infotech (Bid Express) for online bidding services.
* Contract 29 is between commissioners, CSEA and the prosecutor for a Child Support IV-D Contract from April 1, 2022 to March 31, 2023.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.