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December 22, 2014

Commissioners’ Corner

It is hard to believe that we are almost at the half-way point of the year. May has certainly been a month of change. We started out cold and wet, then got warmer, and then a later snow, coupled with storms and even some hail in spots. Now, at the end of the month, May has acted like May should! Warmer temperatures, sunny, and just a little touch of humidity to remind us that summer is just around the corner.

Darke County has certainly had a rough winter, and a wet spring, but that has not stopped anyone. Here in the Commissioner’s office we are moving ahead on quite a few projects, and as we cross our fingers, it looks to be an exciting year for all of us. We are finishing up on some projects, planning new ones, and looking ahead to what we need to do next.

We finally awarded a contract to Enviro-Flow out of Zanesville, to reline the sewers at the Sheriff’s office. This is a unique process, and saves us a lot of time and money by not having to completely tear out the old plumbing, but relining all of them with a hard resin solution that is guaranteed to last for years. It may sound expensive, $278,750, but that is much cheaper than trying to remodel the jail’s plumbing. Enviro-Flow will start shortly and should be done in about a month.

Foster Tree and Landscaping was awarded a tree removal and trimming contract for the Garst Avenue Government Center. Several trees will be trimmed, and the big Locust tree south of the building will be removed and the stump ground out. The cost for the entire project will be $1700. The fairgrounds demolition of the burned cattle barn is completed and the first payment towards the new barn has been made to the Fairboard. We are required by law to insure the buildings, and this first payment of $447,627, allows the fair board to pay some bills and get started on the new building. Final payment will be made upon completion of the project.

Another completed project is a new field tile at the North Farm off of Children’s Home Road. This project was done by Todd Grow excavating along with help from our ditch maintenance people.

Finally, the big project we are completing this summer is new pavement at the Wagner Avenue Government Complex. This has been needed for years, and thanks to rising revenues and smart expenditures, we are asphalting it this year. The project will be let on the 28th of May with an estimated cost of just over $382,000. Thanks to Jim Surber for his expertise and help on this project for the County.

We are also looking at the steps on the Courthouse. This winter was very hard on them, and they are probably close to 90 years old and need replaced. We will see what we can do this year, and if not, we will put that on the list for next year.

As always, we have other small replace and repair jobs, one of them is new computer servers for the Commissioner’s Office and the Courthouse. We are looking to modernize and update, so this project is going forward. More information will be forthcoming as we lock up the final details of this project.

Darke County had some wonderful economic news this month as our unemployment rate has dropped to 4.7%, making us the #18 county in the State! According to Homefacts, Inc., in January of 2010, our unemployment rate was over 13%! Our ongoing efforts in job creation and retention, along with workforce development are really starting to bear fruit. As always though, this is not possible without the co-operation of our companies, schools, colleges, business leaders, and government all pulling in the same direction. This “Partnering 4 Progress” effort is unique and very successful! Thanks to all of you for helping Darke County continue to be a leader in the State! Our E.D. office has more news coming on some projects and we will inform you as soon as we can.

Things are looking up here in the County. Come and let us know what we need to do to make things better. We meet publicly on Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office at 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. See you there!

The Darke County Commissioners

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