Thursday, June 27, 2013

Commissioner's Corner - June 2013

Summertime in Darke County is always a fun time. The kids are out of school, almost every village, town or city has a festival or something going on, swimming pools and swimming spots are busy, the crops are planted and looking pretty good, and best of all the sun is shining. So far, the weather seems to be really co-operating with us, so let’s pray it continues for a few more months, anyway.

Summertime also means busy times here in the Commissioner’s office. We have just completed our mid- year budgeting process, and we seem to be about where we need to be. The Sheriff’s Department has asked for a larger increase, but the other departments have held the line. Funding the Sheriff’s Department substantially is a problem we must solve. However, when we increase the Sheriff’s budget, it also puts more work on our Courts system, Judges and Prosecutor. The Sheriff hires more deputies and arrests more people, the Prosecutor must have someone to take the extra case load, the Courts need more probation officers to monitor people, the indigent defense lawyers get more cases, and we have to have a place to put the extra inmates. It all works together. It is necessary and it is expensive. It is also difficult to not help the other departments also who have done a great job of doing more with less for several years now. It is a problem, but, by November we hope to have a solution. One thing is for sure, by the end of the year, the appropriations will be balanced.

As some of you may have noticed, we now have the new signage in front of the Administration Building, Law Library, and the Courthouse, and a few smaller signs in back of the buildings to indicate to people where to go. This project, although seemingly small, was much needed to advise people not familiar with where things are located in each building, especially Zoning and Building Regulations. Hopefully, this will eliminate some confusion for people, especially those new to the County. Thanks to the Solid Waste Director, Krista Fourman, for funding this project. The signs are made entirely of recycled materials.

The Commissioners were happy to represent the County at quite a few events this month. On June 4th, Commissioners Diane Delaplane and Mike Stegall attended the Corona Top celebration at Wright Patterson at the Museum. We were invited by the Dayton Development Coalition, of which Darke County is a member. Corona Top is a celebration of the contributions the Air Force has made to the area economy. We have many people who work at Wright Patterson, so we were glad to attend and represent the County.

On June 11th, Commissioner Stegall was invited on a VIP tour of the new Hospice Facility at Wayne Healthcare. This is a wonderful addition to the County, and it is very tastefully done. Thanks to Hospice and Wayne Healthcare for this very nice facility. June the 15th saw most of the Elected Officials attend the Versailles Poultry Day Parade. This event is always well attended, and we saw a lot of people having a good time. Representative Buchy and Senator Faber were also in attendance. Thank you to the people of Versailles for inviting us again this year. June the 20th was the busiest day of the month by far. Commissioner Delaplane attended a Main Street Greenville meeting at 7:30 a.m. then to a Workers Comp Conference in Columbus. By her attending, it gave the county credit towards our premium. Commissioner Stegall attended the Open House held by Integrity Ambulance at 9:00 a.m. What a nice facility! We are glad they are here, and thanks to them for the open house to the public. At 11:30 a.m., Commissioner Stegall welcomed the Association of Litter Prevention and Recycling Professionals to Darke County. This was their State Conference and was set up by Solid Waste Director, Krista Fourman. The event started on the 19th and ran thru the 21st and was held at the Greenville Inn. The Directors toured Darke County, and seemed to be impressed with the area. The Commissioner then attended a retirement party for Deputy Dale Ary, who has been at the Sheriff’s Office 30 years. Congratulations to Dale and his family. Commissioner Stegall then attended the Solid Wastes Recycling Professionals meeting at Garst museum, where they toured that facility. It was a busy day, but it was worth it to showcase to so many people what we have to offer. The Anderson’s/Marathon Ethanol plant is celebrating its 5 year anniversary this year. On Thursday the 27th, the Ethanol plant sponsored a luncheon to celebrate. Thank you to the Andersons/Marathon for being a great corporate partner and neighbor. We would also like to mention that we have added Mr. Rick Robinson to our maintenance staff. Mr. Robinson will start July 1st, and we welcome him aboard.

Economically, we continue to hum along very nicely. The old Union City Non -Ferrous plant has now been purchased by Cast Metal Technologies. We welcome them to our County from Yorktown, Indiana. On Monday, June 16th, Whirlpool announced a collaborative effort with the at home carbonation specialist Sodastream, to manufacture a KitchenAid-branded home carbonation system to consumers during the 4th quarter this year! This is quite the catch for Darke County, as the machine will be built here in Greenville. Congratulations to Whirlpools Management Team for this effort. Some of our other companies have projects in mind that we can talk about at a later date. The continued economic expansion here is putting a lot of pressure on our bigger problem; eligible workers. The Workforce development effort is growing and maturing each week, and hopefully in the near future, we may be able to see some real results. Our regional partners, and schools and companies are working together to ensure that workers in all areas will be available to them in the future. Workers needed include all job descriptions from Engineers, CNC Operators, Nurses, Welders and Laborers. These types of jobs are available now. Workforce will continue to be our focus for a long time, and we will be adding Lisa Wendell from Mississinawa Schools to co-ordinate the effort. Lisa will work exclusively on this project, and is a welcome addition to our Economic team.

It is a busy summer here in Darke County with lots of good things happening. If you have suggestions to make things even better, plan to attend a meeting at the Commissioner’s office. We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Administration Building just south of the Courthouse at 520 S. Broadway in Greenville. Hope to see you there!

The Darke County Commissioners

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