On Thursday, September 23, 2021, the Commissioners took care of regular business before hearing from County Engineer Todd Roth. They voted to approve:
-Resolution 317 Supplemental Appropriations on behalf of Commissioners, Common Pleas Court, Communications, Department of Aging, EMS, Juvenile Court, Regional Airport Authority, and Sheriff
-Resolution 319 Compensation agreement between Williams County and Montpelier Solar to construct the Montpelier Solar Project
-Resolution 320 Approve a Qualified Energy Project Application for Certification
-Also Signed Anthem Life Renewal Rates for 2022; Dog Warden Report for week of September 13-19, 2021; Sheriff’s Office Transfer of property to Historical Society; Credit Card Appropriations for Commissioner’s Office for October 2021; Union Contracts for Board of DD and Communications Agency.
-Minutes of September 20, 2021 and payment of bills
The Commissioners were made aware, by assistant clerk Robin Kemp, of a memo about the visitation for the Paulding County Commissioner that recently passed away.
She also mentioned a form that might make it easier for people to apply for the ARP funding which the Commissioners need to distribute. Anne Retcher is conversing with fellow clerks to determine the most efficient way to work with all the requests.
Commissioner Lew Hilkert spoke highly of the spreadsheet which they used previously and Commissioner Terry Rummel said that Retcher is sharing that with the others as they all work to come up with the best item to use.
The Commissioners went into an Executive Session to discuss a situation in regards to discipline of personnel. Twenty minutes later they came out of Exec. Session with no xction.
Following a very short recess they went back in regular session to hear from County Engineer Todd Roth, who presented three concerns to the Commissioners.
Roth said that the first one “falls under the state and local fiscal recovery funds frequently asked questions for information.” This comes under Section 3 Eligible Uses Revenue Loss.
He spoke about a number of questions that are being raised by county engineers throughout the state to try to determine how much gas tax money was lost through 2020 and now into 21. Basically there was a great loss of revenue to the counties due to hardly any cars being on the roads in 2020, because of COVID.
There was a lengthy discussion with a great deal of technical jargon, but the concern is that due to this almost $360,000 drop in revenue, Roth is not sure how the county can afford to do all of the projects that are lined up.
“We have a number of projects that we really need to address and we are falling short,” he said. He will make a formal request in writing soon, that specifically names the amount of money needed.
The second issue he brought before the commissioners was “one that comes out of Section 6 of Eligible Uses which is the Water, Sewer, and Broadband infrastructure.”
He spoke about the sewer projects in Alvordton and Hickory Hills, explaining that these are two projects for which he submitted applications for grants.
The request on Alvordton was 3.3 million and for Hickory Hills $295,700. He is concerned that even if they get these grants, the one for Hickory Hills will fall short, so he was at the meeting to request ARP money for the project.
He also said that they cannot bring more debt to the system and he feels that HH would be a good use of ARP money.
Moving on to the third request, Roth said that the Engineer’s building is in dire need of a new heating and cooling system. He shared details which included other items needed as well such as the security camera system that needs to be updated.
The building needs to be mapped also, as they have a terrible time finding any specific wiring or controls. The rooftop HVAC units, a re-do of the duct work, the controls, and balancing the system should all take about $125,000 and some of it is covered in uses for ARP money, mostly the $24,500 for architectural fees.
Commissioner Brian Davis asked that they “move that forward so at least he can get the building mapped out, so he has an indication of what he needs to potentially do to it.”
When asked if it is unusual to be this tight financially, Roth said, “The level of the projects is. County Road 22 is really bad and we are struggling. It is not an easy fix. That’s why we haven’t done it yet and it has to be done next year.”
“My concern is that I am going to have to dip into my carryover and I don’t want to do that because there are a couple projects that shouldn’t wait another year. So, no, it is not unusual to have more need than money, but we do have a couple projects that are pretty high on the priority list.”
The commissioners ended the meeting thanking him for the info and asking him to get the information to them so that they “can make an educated decision” and see what they can do. With no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:05 a.m.