August has certainly been friendly to Darke County. It seems we have had perfect weather most of the time, only a couple of really warm days, and rain when needed. The Great Darke County Fair could not have had any better weather! The days were cool and mild, and the nights were perfect. With high school football starting, I am sure players, coaches and fans hope for this unseasonably reasonable weather to continue!
As with most activities in August things have been a little slow in the Commissioner’s Office, although we have had some projects getting started. The South Industrial Park Drive project, along with the sewer and water line extensions, has finally begun. Work was started fair week, and should continue for several months. This project will allow O.D.O.T. to move into their new facility sometime next year. Hopefully, this project, the brainchild of Commissioner Rhoades, has already brought new construction to the county, and our hope will be to create even more. As always, we work closely with everyone to make Darke County better, and the relationship with the city has been beneficial to both of us.
With the flooding we have had in Darke County, our E.M.A. office has worked hard in trying to secure funds to help those who need help. Mindy Saylor, the director, has pursued every avenue to try and help our residents who need it most. Mindy will let everyone know if any new avenue’s open up.
Feel free to contact Mindy or Josh at 937-548-1444 anytime for further updates. Thanks to Mindy and Josh Haney, her Emergency Management Specialist, for all their work. This month, we have updates on our insurance coverage for liability and health. CORSA, (the County Risk Sharing Authority), and CEBCO, (the County Employee Benefits Consortium of Ohio), are both run through the CCAO (the County Commissioners Association of Ohio). This relationship with the CCAO has helped to keep our costs down, and all preliminary indications are that our premiums will show slight increases.
Our Health and Wellness program, run by co-chair Denise Dillman, has done an outstanding job (along with our employees) in keeping our premiums down. Thanks to all who participate and thanks to Denise for coordinating these efforts.
On the economic front, we continue to put people to work. At the last survey, Darke County had an unemployment rate at 4 percent. That is the 12th best in the State! Our neighbors to the north, Mercer County lead the State at 3.3 percent. Our combined efforts with the West Central Ohio Development Coalition, a six county group formed by Darke, Shelby, Auglaize, Miami, Mercer, and Allen, inside the Dayton Development Coalition region, have done an outstanding job in working with each other to make sure all of our citizens who want a job can find one locally.
Our workforce efforts are bearing fruit, and the partnerships our own Career Pathway Coordinator, Lisa Wendel, have formed with schools and businesses will be viable for years to come. Darke County has some economic activity in the works, and we will let you know as soon as possible.
The fair is over, the weather is cooling and Schools are back in session. Fall is here, and with that, activities pick up. Patriot Day is Sept. 11 for when we should commemorate the day of loss and tragedy and also a day of triumph and patriotism. One activity you should do is attend a public session of the County Commissioners. We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s office located at 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Court House. Hope to see you there!!