The Highland County Board of Commissioners held a discussion concerning a lift/pump station at Rocky Fork Lake at its weekly Wednesday morning meeting.
Bob Rea, a legal representative for SNH Land Resources, attended the meeting to ascertain updates and possibly find a resolution on the project.
However, commissioner Dave Daniels said he didn’t think there were any updates on the situation and pointed to the county’s original agreement with the company from 2007. He said that according to the agreement, SNH Land Resources was supposed to build the lift station and then turn it over to the county to use and operate.
He said the county has assumed, following the agreement, that the easements were sent, but “evidently” they were not. Daniels said that after asking for them, SNH Land Resources wanted $30,000 in compensation to send them to the county.
“I think this whole argument is disingenuous,” Daniels said. “We made an agreement years ago and your client has not lived up to that agreement. All we’re asking for is what we agreed to to begin with. Your client had a failed development and now you’re trying to come back and get some compensation for what you agreed to years ago. I’m sorry. I don’t think that’s fair to the taxpayers of Highland County and I don’t think it’s fair to the people that have been paying for the use and operations of that system for years.”
Daniels said the county lived up to its end of the agreement, but SNH Land Resources did not.
“Our concern is, is that as long as we don’t have the easements that we were promised, we’re not gonna service that station,” Daniels said. “It’s that simple.”
Rea said that the easement agreement could be sent over for “some agreed upon compensation,” but Jeff Duncan, president of the board of commissioners, said he didn’t know if the county could negotiate about that.
However, Rea also said he was in discussion with a company working on making a housing development next door to the lift station to see if the two could make a deal.
Daniels said that for the county to agree to the agreement between SNH Land Resources and the other company, the county would “insist” on the same parameters that were originally agreed upon in 2007. He said if the lift station was sold to another company and they didn’t give the county the access or easement, they wouldn’t service it. He said if the other company said they would turn over the original easements, the county would be where it should have been in 2007 and would be “more than willing” to listen to the proposal.
Following questions on ownership of the lift station, Rea said SNH Land Resources does not own the lift station and does not want to own it. He said the company currently owns the land around it, which is what it would be giving to the other company in a sale.
Daniels said that the county is currently still accepting waste from the lift station but he didn’t know how much longer that would continue. He said they “obviously” have third parties that need to be taken into consideration as well.
In other news, Duncan said that the county was awarded a Community Landscaping Award from the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs. He said the award was given to places with “outstanding achievement in design and maintenance of institutional property and community beautification,” with the county being awarded the Highland County Courthouse.
“That includes a lot of people,” commissioner Terry Britton said. “A lot of people that volunteer to keep the flowers going, all that good stuff. Of course, the Bagshaw family put the fountain in.”
In a separate matter, the board of commissioners approved a motion for a heat pump at the Rocky Fork Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Britton said the heat pump would cost $8,345 thanks to the lowest quote from Peters Heating and Cooling.
The board also approved the repair of one touchscreen monitor at the Highland County Jail. Britton said the repair request was for $1,775.
However, Ashleigh Willey, commissioner clerk, said the jail has three monitors, with only one currently in working order. Britton said he would work to try and contact the jail to find out why only one monitor was requested for repairs and not the other one as well.
The commissioners approved three authorizations — a county audit legal letter, an AEP Ohio contribution-in-aid-of-construction agreement for electric distribution services for Rainsboro, and an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency permit to install for Rocky Fork Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements.
In other news, the board of commissioners also made one approval for the third quarter payment from Highland County Recycling Outreach.
In other news, there were two resolutions approved by the board:
* Res. No. 22-151 awards a HIG-VAR Guardrail bid to PDK Construction, Inc. in the amount of $292,321.
* Res. No. 22-152 is authorization for an additional appropriation within the Upgrade Rocky Fork Lake budget from unanticipated revenue in the amount of $429,645.
There were also four contracts approved by the board:
* Contract 69 is between the commissioners, Highland County engineer and Miller-Mason Paving Company for resurfacing bids.
* Contract 70 is between the board and Midmark Corporation for the new animal shelter kennels.
* Contract 71 is between the board and Canon Solutions America for a lease agreement in the Highland County Recorder’s Office.
* Contract 72 is between the board and the Highland District Library for a subgrant agreement with American Rescue Plan Act funding concerning upgrades for mobile hot spots.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.