Thursday, May 10, 2018


April, it seems, has been a continuation of February and March! This may have been the coolest April on record. The amount of snowfall and rain surely has set some kind of record and made it impossible for farmers to get to work. Since this is the end of the month, maybe May will act like it should and we can get on with enjoying our Spring and Summer!

This has been one of those months here in the Commissioner’s Office. Commissioner Rhoades has been busy with Board of Revision reviews and other things. We have all been busy with the Airport and the start date for the work to begin, numerous meetings, deadlines, and of course coping with the problem at the jail. Right now, the jail has taken a priority. This has been a very costly venture for the county. The high grade methamphetamine that was spread throughout the ventilation system must be cleaned out. We are working on getting the jail back as quickly as possible because each day costs the County about $60 per prisoner to house elsewhere. So far, the jail cleanup has cost the county about $75,000 dollars. Our insurance will not cover this as this is such a unique situation. There has to be some duct work changed, and we are modernizing things so we can shut down the area that was most affected to keep this from happening again. Thanks need to go to the Sheriff’s office for working as fast as they did to get prisoners transferred to other facilities. Hopefully the jail will be back up and running by the middle of May.

In other big news, the airport renovation and reclamation project will hopefully start by May 12th, weather permitting of course. This is the 1.9 million dollar renovation to the grading, lights and runway that the FAA grant will cover. After the grading and lighting at the airport is done over 2” of new asphalt will be laid on the runway and this will increase its length to just over 4850 feet, the optimum length for runways now, and a new turnaround for aircraft will be put in at the west end of the runway. Sunesis Construction Co. will be doing the work, and they hope to complete the work inside 71 days. Let’s hope the weather cooperates. We would like to thank the FAA for its continuing interest in seeing Darke County grow!

In other news, we are seeing the effects of the loss of the Medicare tax. Our tax revenue is showing a decrease every month. We will continue to monitor this situation, and see about adjustments in the middle of the year, if needed.

In some better news, Commissioner Stegall was elected to the CEBCO (County Employees Benefit Consortium) board for the State of Ohio. This will give Darke County a voice on policies for Health Insurance for our employees. The Steps on the Courthouse are moving forward, and we hope to start construction later this year, and have a new Courthouse Security plan in place. The new steps, and the security of our people in the courthouse will all tie together. We will know more once we see the final layout. On April 26th, 8 students from Darke County schools were winners in the “20 under 20” banquet at Romers in St. Henry, Ohio. This was sponsored by the Shelby, Mercer and Darke County Economic Development offices to honor those students that have excelled in working at their jobs while going to school. Both of our papers did an excellent article on the banquet, and the Commissioners want to congratulate those students who are setting the example for all of us.

One area we need to emphasize is about our meetings. All of our meetings are open to the public. We are here from 8:00 until 4:30 (our normal hours, but we are usually here for sure by 7:00!) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and anyone can stop in and see us, usually no appointment needed.

One of those months for sure. We all have them, but it is nice to stay informed on all that is going on, good and bad. Won’t you join us? We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office for our advertised public sessions located at 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there!

The Darke County Commissioners

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