Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Welcome to 2016! Here’s hoping that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year! The ringing in of a new year always brings new hope of better things to come, and this year is no different. We in the Commissioner’s office are looking forward to another good year, continuing our progress as we have the last few years.

As of this writing, the Darke County unemployment rate is at 4.0%. This is good news, as this is one of the lowest in the State. However, the low rate does make it harder for companies to hire people. Fortunately, we are one of the State leaders in Workforce development. We will continue with this for the foreseeable future to make sure our employers have qualified workers to fill their needs. The Partnering 4 Progress initiative is always looking for new members, and if you wish to join this group who has helped make our efforts successful, you may contact any Commissioner or the Economic Development office for further details at 548-3250. Please don’t forget, if you are seeking employment, or are an employer looking for help, go to the website hometownopportunity.com. This website is a valuable tool for everyone, and helps to keep people and companies viable in Darke County, where we want them to stay and grow!

We have other areas we are going to try and work on this year. One of our pressing needs is the Courthouse steps. Our front steps are in need of replacement, and when the weather breaks, we will look at the right solutions.

On our radar also is continued building maintenance. Our buildings have some age on them, and continued upgrades are always needed to make sure they remain in working condition for many more years. Upgrades need to be made to our technology, too. As fast as technology changes, most upgrades need to happen at least every 5 years. These upgrades are expensive, and require a lot of maintenance. One area of technology that is requiring a lot of our time is the upgrades to the 911 system. As of this writing, we are still gathering information on the needs, and costs for the system. This will be a major expense, but we are looking at grants and other avenues to help with the funding. Along with the 911 system, the Darke County Jail and Sheriff’s office is another area in need of constant improvement.
A large portion of our budget goes to the Sheriff’s office, but it is one of only two offices in the county that never close; the Sheriff and the County Home. Both buildings get a lot of traffic, so maintenance and upgrades are important In order to save the County money on vehicle maintenance, we have started a county maintenance facility for all county owned vehicles. The current facility is on Jackson Street, across from Family Health. We hope to expand our services by including in the future all village and county vehicles, but as of now, only the County vehicles will be serviced regularly, cutting down maintenance costs. The Darke County Airport is another
area we are very focused on. We know that in order to keep our companies and others happy, we need a viable airport. Since we have taken over we have added some new tenants, made some security upgrades and made upgrades to our fueling system. We hope to in the future add some new tenants who are looking to locate at the airport, and we are still working on the Chase road widening and the runway extension. We will remain in contact with the F.A.A. on these important projects.

As you can tell, improvements on the courthouse steps, building maintenance, Sheriffs cars and office improvements, our 911 improvements, vehicle maintenance, and of course the very important airport are our priorities for this year. Who knows what else will pop up that demands our attention, but we will be ready to face them I am sure. If you have any comments, they are always welcome, so why don’t you come to a meeting? We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. with the public at 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there!!

The Darke County Commissioners

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