Trustees honor Royer’s memory at gathering

GREENVILLE — Another packed crowd gathered Tuesday night for the Darke County Township Association’s (DCTA’s) annual fish fry held at the Greenville VFW.

President Ed Huff Jr. welcomed local, state and national officials and other guests. Steve Bohn provided the invocation.

One of the most poignant moments of the evening was when the DCTA presented Larry Royer’s family with a plaque honoring his service and dedication to township work. Accepting the plaque were his widow, Martha, as two of his children, Rich and Tammie watched.

Royer died Feb. 26 this year at the age of 68. He had been a Butler Township trustee up until his death for 33 years.

“Let’s remember, too, Elsie Stentzel,” said Huff.

Stentzel died March 4 at the age of 87. She worked for Darke County for 50 years and served three terms as clerk of courts.

Ohio Township Association members in attendance were: Executive Director Matt DeTemple, President Tom Willsey, Second Vice President Tim Lynch, past president Greg Hanahan and directors Larry Johns and Dale Dietrich.

“This will be an exciting year for the OTA,” said Willsey. “We have six new board members. We had a great election. They are good people excited about being on the board of directors. It was also the greatest conference we’ve ever had. These guys all work hard to make it happen.”

“It’s always good to be in Darke County,” remarked DeTemple in his presentation to the audience. “As for the legislature, we are looking at a brand new bill. H.B. 395 to create a cemetery grant program which will be administered by the State Department of Commerce.

He also went on to talk about H.B. 333, force account limits.

“This bill is getting a lot of attention now,” DeTemple said. “When a township does a road project by ‘force account’ it means that they use their own personnel and equipment to do the work, instead of hiring a private contractor to do the work for the township. The township would work closely with the county engineer in deciding whether to do a small project by force account. The engineer must prepare a detailed estimate of the project (Ohio Revised Code section 5575.01(B)), and must also complete a force account assessment form (Ohio Revised Code 117.16) to calculate the cost of labor, materials and equipment to complete the road project.”

He also said the limits on force account work were last increased in 2003, and reported that current law sets thresholds at $45,000 per maintenance and repair road project and $15,000 per mile for construction and reconstruction of a road. Projects costing more than these limits cannot be done by force account.

“Proposed legislation (House Bill 333, Senate Bill 201) would set thresholds at $90,000 per maintenance and repair project and $3o,000 per mile for construction and reconstruction of a road,” DeTemple said. “The OTA is requesting an increase in the force account limits to reflect the cost of doing business today. The cost of materials used in these projects, such as concrete, asphalt and aggregate, has gone up significantly since 2003. Increasing force account limits would allow townships to complete small road projects in a cost-effective way. The OTA strongly supports HB 333 and SB 210.”

Later on in the business meeting of DCTA, a motion was passed to adopt a resolution on force account limits.

DeTemple also discussed in brief House Bills 378, 375 and 413. The latter, he said, contains a lot of small things in it.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by folk singer Joseph [Helfrich].

In addition to President Huff, the DCTA officers for 2016-17 are Vice President Jim Zumbrink, Secretary Debbie Kuhnle and Treasurer Dave Brewer.

Workers from the Veterans of Foreign Wars post prepared the fish, and township officials and spouses provided carry-in dishes for the meal.

By Linda Moody

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