Here in the Commissioner’s Office, we have had a flurry of activity. This month we have had the first and second hearings of the C.D.B.G. (Community Development Block Grant). This year, we have even less money to disperse, ($104,000) than last year, and we can only go up to four projects. We are in the process of deciding where the money will do the most good. This is always a very hard decision, as the needs of the communities are all valid. It is pretty obvious that this program will get less and less each year.
Along those lines, we are in the process of doing mid-year budget hearings with all of the department heads. Right now, we are still holding the line on budgets. It is hard to decide on budgets at this time, as things can change before the end of the year. So far, things look good for the county but we prefer to take a cautious wait and see attitude. We will know a lot more by November. Our Department Heads are all doing a great job in holding down costs, and at the same time not losing efficiency. If you meet a person who works in the Courthouse, thank them for a job well done.
We also have several big projects that we continue to work on, and we hope to have some news on them in a short period of time. One other project is the re-lining of the plumbing at the Sheriff’s Department. We are in the process of asking for quotes on the project, and by this time next month, it is possible this process could be completed. This needs to be done, as the plumbing has been a problem for years, and is hindering the work at the County Jail. As you travel into downtown Greenville, if you look at the Courthouse and the Commissioner’s Office, you will notice new signs in front of both buildings. There is also a new sign in front of the Law Library. These signs, indicating not only what they are, but when they were built, should help people to find what they are looking for. You would be surprised at how many people stop in and ask where these buildings are, or are they in the right place. The signs are made of recycled material, and were put in by Coletown Signs. The signs also indicate where the Building Regulations and the Zoning Offices are located, in the basement of the Administration Bldg./Commissioners Office.
Thanks to our Solid Waste Department for providing the funding for these signs. New signage is just one of the many upgrade projects we have planned for our county buildings this year and in the future. We realize the importance of maintaining buildings that you, the people, have provided for us, and we will take the utmost care with them so they remain functional for a good, long time.
This month starts the parade and festival season in Darke County. The Arcanum Old Fashioned Days Parade was attended by the Commissioners, and we thank the people of Arcanum for their hospitality. Next month things get into full swing with Poultry Days. Also in June is the OALPRP (Ohio Association of Litter Prevention and Recycling Professionals; that’s a mouthful), Summer Conference to be held in Greenville. This conference will bring in people from all over the state for three days, June 19-21, for tours, meetings and discussions on solid waste management. Congratulations to Krista Fourman, the Darke County Solid Waste Director, for securing this event for Darke County. May is also the month of Memorial Day, which is Monday May 27. There are several services in the county to honor those who are no longer with us. Please take time to commemorate those who have passed on.
On the economic front, Darke County continues to hum along very nicely. According to Marc Saluk, our Economic Development Director, some counties are experiencing a slow- down in activity, but Darke County still is in full go mode. Our Workforce Development program is coming together very well, the Manufacturing Readiness class is looking at expansion to include high school seniors, and our companies have a lot of projects in the works. On May 21, the Partnering for Progress Group held a “Meet and Greet” for the new plant managers in Darke County at the Bistro in Greenville. Four of the managers attended, Billy Bryant from F.P.E. in New Madison, Rocky Harrison of Continental Carbonic, Gene Dura of Fram, and Ken Hossler of Whirlpool. These four gentlemen employ about 1500 people in Darke County, and their commitment to our county is very much appreciated. One thing will be clear when you meet these men, not only do they have a great desire to move their companies forward; they really are true gentlemen in every sense of the word. Thanks to Marc Saluk, Melanie Nealeigh, and Commissioner Delaplane for arranging this get together that approximately 100 people attended. Also, we would be remiss if we did not say a big “Thank You” to Ted Abney at the Bistro for hosting this event. With leaders of this caliber running our companies, Darke County should remain in the forefront of economic development for a long while.
The summer season is in full swing, and as you can see, a lot of good things are happening in Darke County. Do you have any suggestions to make things better? If you do, why not attend a Commissioners meeting? We meet every Monday and Wednesday publicly at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Office, 520 S. Broadway, Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there.
The Darke County Commissioners