YEARLY PROCLAIMATION … This group gathered together in the East Annex building, for a photo on Thursday afternoon, February 2, 2023, to celebrate the Proclamation of Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) Awareness Week in Williams County. That morning during the commissioner’s regular session, the proclamation was read by Commissioner Lew Hilkert, with Mayor Carrie Schlade and a few others present. From left to right in the back row are Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade, Commissioner Lew Hilkert, Norman Bair, and Commissioners Bart Westfall and Terry Rummel. Front row are Annie Kunsman and her mom Meg Kunsman, Taryn Walz and her daughter Averie Walz, Chrystal Zehr holding her son Dean David Bair, Amanda Harper holding Bryson Hoover, and Amanda Hoover holding her daughter Aleigha Hoover. Amanda Hoover was instrumental four years ago, with the help of Mayor Schlade in getting this week proclaimed. Amanda Harper is “the oldest of the heart babies” and shared that she is blessed to celebrate this week with these children who were also born with heart issues. The children in the picture who began their lives with heart defects and with the help of parents are conquering CHD, are Annie, Averie, Dean David, and Bryson. (PHOTOS BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Beginning the day on February 2, 2023 with an 8 a.m. monthly EMA/911 meeting, the Williams County Commissioners moved on to their regular session at 9 a.m., approving the following:
-Resolution 52: Supplemental appropriations.
-Resolution 53: Entering into software agreement between Williams County Engineer and Norfield Development Partners, LLC for locator software to replace OUPS Newtin at a cost not to exceed $2,715 annually, $781 quarterly for an approximate total cost of $5,839.
-Resolution 54: Entering into a IV-D (4D) contract for IV-D Domestic Magistrate Services for Williams County Child Support at a cost not to exceed $35,873.32; term January 1, 2023 through December 31, 2023.
-Resolution 55: Revision of personnel policy and procedures manual of the Williams County Commissioners Office – Sick Leave Donation Program modified as follows: Strike the following sentence under C. Policy: Supervisors are strictly prohibited from donating leave to a non-supervisory employee and vice versa; and Modify E. Receiving Leave 2 – Is eligible to accrue and use sick leave as a full-time. Said donations must be administered as currently stated in Section 5.03 G. Administration.
-Resolution 56: Entering into a memorandum of understanding between Williams County JFS ADAMhs Board, Family & Children First, and Williams County Board of DD for shared costs for child in placement home
-Resolution 57: Entering into Long-Distance Patient Transport Services Agreement between Community Hospitals and Wellness Centers and Williams County Emergency Medical Service for provision of transport services for patients of hospital requiring transportation to and/or from external facilities. There is no cost to EMS; term February 1,2023-March 31,2025.
-Resolution 58: Advertising for sealed bids for Project #02-2023 Asphalt Paving Program; bids will be received by Board of Williams County Commissioners in the East Annex office until 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, February 23, 2023, when they will be opened.
-Also signed – letter of support going to Frontier Community Services in regards to Fountain Creek Senior Villas supporting new construction to offer affordable rents to seniors (42 residential units); letter of support for Edgemont Colony Apartments, an apartment building that will be rehabilitated and used for multi-family units; travel for JFS director to attend quarterly meeting; dog warden report for week of January 23 -29; monthly dog warden report for January 2023; courthouse permit for a wedding in the Gazebo; credit card appropriations for recorder’s office and engineer’s office, for February.
-Minutes for January 23, 26 and 30, 2023
-Payment of the Bills as submitted by the auditor.
At this point, with some visitors present, Commissioner Lew Hilkert read a proclamation making the week of February 7-14 of 2023 “Williams County Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week.”
The need for this proclamation was brought to light four years ago by Amanda Hoover whose son Bryson was born with congenital heart defects.
She was present for the reading, along with Bryson, his sister Aleigha and Amanda Harper, a lovely lady who was also born with heart defects and has walked this road with Amanda Hoover.
Also present, Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade introduced the guests, calling Amanda Harper and Bryson Hoover, “two of our heart babies.”
She thanked them for all they are doing to promote wellness for those who struggle with CHD and thanked the commissioners for conjointly proclaiming this special week with her.
Bryson had also brought along heart shaped cookies to give to the commissioners, clerk and the mayor.
The two Amandas shared a little info on the funds they raise and where the money goes. Harper said she is one of the oldest “heart babies” and shared some of the heart work she will need to go through in the coming year.
Later that day, the commissioners, mayor and others joined to take a special picture for the proclamation.
Next on the agenda was a ditch review for Ditch #741 Altman. Present for the review with all three commissioners were County Ditch Engineer Brian Fritsch, County Engineer Todd Roth and residents who had concerns – Adam Perry (who requested the meeting), Hugh Perry, Scott Wise, Diane Altman, Cheryl and Dwight Silvers.
Perry was the spokesman, but others also shared their input on the situation about which they wanted to address the commissioners.
DITCH DISCUSSION … Clerk Anne Retcher, taking minutes, and Williams County Commissioners Lew Hilkert, Bart Westfall and Terry Rummel listened as County Ditch Engineer Brian Fritsch shared his thoughts on Ditch #741 at the February 2, 2023 morning session. A few of those present are also seen, Adam Perry, Hugh Perry and Cheryl Silvers. Also present were Diane Altman, Dwight Silvers and Scott Wise who are not pictured.
The basic issue seemed to be that after the former commissioners left it to the residents to “do the job cheaper than the county could do it,” and a contractor was lined up to do the job, but “some people didn’t want to pay” for the job.
Discussion was held on the estimated cost, what had changed for the residents who do not want to pay as much or not at all now, where the project is located, some concerns about the drainage that would go into Defiance County if they do the larger tile without it being also done there, Fritsch’s take on the situation, and some arguments over numbers involved.
Following a half hour of back and forth on the issue between the residents who were present, and the commissioners making suggestions of what could be done, it was agreed that possibly the group should file for a new petition and include Defiance County in a joint effort, and possibly DeKalb County (a joint state project) as they are responsible for the creek.
Commissioner Hilkert had Assistant clerk Robin Kemp check what money was left in the fund, which was $299.50, and it was agreed to refund that amount for them to put toward a new petition, which costs $1500.
Fritsch said that he had hoped the property owners could work it out since it was dismissed, but if they refile for a new petition, it should mention that the watershed needs to be reevaluated before a final hearing.
He also said that “going through the petition process might let them look at other issues and add to that project to help out all the affected landowners.”
With no further business that morning, the commissioners adjourned.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org