The Highland County Board of Commissioners and Nicole Oberrecht, American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding administrator, discussed what different ARPA projects would be selected at the weekly Wednesday meeting.
The board of commissioners agreed to start work on the following projects on a first-round basis:
* Administration costs at $500,000;
* Spectrum at $500,000;
* Southern Ohio Communications at $500,000;
* Highland District Library hot spots at $46,500;
* Highland County Senior Citizens Center at $10,000;
* Rocky Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant clarifiers at $1.45 million;
* Rocky fork Wastewater Treatment Plant aerators at $340,000;
* Rolling Acres wastewater treatment plant at $454,100;
* Rainsboro sewer line extension at $300,000.
Oberrecht said she thought the top five projects would be considered one-time grant infusions.
Commissioner David Daniels said that once they go through the first nine projects, get bids on them and see whether those bids come in high or low, they can adjust how they fund the rest of the projects. He also concerning the recommendations for projects following the first nine, he wouldn’t want to let those organizations know because they want to know how much money they would have after the first round.
Concerning other ARPA projects, Highland County Sheriff Donnie Barrera attended the meeting to discuss his proposals for the ARPA funds. Commissioner Terry Britton said the projects are for the jail and are a flooring project, intercom system project, locking system project and Plug-Smart project. Britton said the Plug-Smart project is through Weller’s Plumbing and is for environmental controls. Daniels said the total for all of the projects was about $570,000.
Barrera said the organization applied for the Jail Improvement Grant last year for some of the projects, but didn’t get it. Daniels said projects should try and go through different fundraising efforts that would also be specific for those projects first before ARPA money is considered.
In other news, Mary Remsing, commissioner clerk working with CDBG grants, said the county got $240,000 in funding. She said the county received four submissions, with the one from Marshall Township being listed as incomplete, so it was not listed. She said the three projects were from the village of Leesburg for a sidewalk improvement project, the village of Greenfield for its tornado siren upgrade project, and the city of Hillsboro for its Harmony Lake playground project.
Remsing had the final project selection ordered at Leesburg, then Greenfield and lastly Hillsboro, and the board of commissioners agreed with that order and allowed her to move forward with the projects in that order.
Remsing said there were some competitive projects that got submitted as well and are on a first-come, first-served basis. She said the village of Greenfield had its storm sewer infrastructure project and Jackson Township had a culvert replacement project. She said they would need to think about whether they want to apply for both or just one. She also said she didn’t know if two projects would be doable because workload. Daniels thought Greenfield had a good application, and if Remsing was looking for one he’d suggest it.
In other news, commissioner Jeff Duncan said he spoke to the architect for the new dog pound Wednesday morning and that there was “finally” movement on the project. He said they received paperwork Wednesday morning and that they would be accepting bids for the project starting on June 1, 2022.
Duncan said the housing wing of the Highland County Justice Center has had some water heater issues and one of three have already been replaced. He said there was now a proposal for the second one with a price of $22,440 from Weller’s Plumbing. He said the specific heaters are big commercial ones that run all the time.
Britton said the heaters are at the end of their life span, and with the amount of use they get, it’s “probably amazing” that they last as long as they do.
The commissioners approved the purchase of the water heater.
In other news, Duncan said Highland County Jobs and Family Service is looking for qualified providers for the programs and that packets can be picked up at their office.
There were three resolutions approved by the commissioners:
* Res. No. 22-86 is an authorization for a request for an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds within the sheriff’s budget in the amount of $2,580.
* Res. No. 22-87 is an authorization for a budget modification within dog and kennel in the amount of $700.
* Res. No. 22-88 is an authorization for a bond financing for $271,000 at 2.75 percent.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.