Commissioners discuss business loans, COVID relief funds


GREENVILLE — During Monday’s session of the Darke County Board of Commissioners, commissioners held a second public hearing for the FY2020 Economic Development Loan Program, and discussed sewer and water work being done in Ansonia and Gettysburg. They also briefly touched on COVID-19 relief fund spending in Darke County.

Susan Laux, a grants and funding expert, introduced the loan request on behalf of OD Leasing Enterprises, LLC., and JAFE Decorating Co. In the near future, JAFE plans to spend around $750,000 for the purchase of new equipment for a factory line expansion. This expansion is set to create approximately 20 new jobs, with 14 of those positions intended for low-to-moderate income persons. Private equity and financing from JAFE will pay for $190,000 of the additions, while the Darke County Revolving Loan Fund will cover $210,000, and the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB) Economic Development Loan will cover $360,000. In total, the loan to OD Leasing Enterprises, LLC. will be $350,000, to be paid over a seven-year period with an interest rate of 1.5 percent. The loan is intended to be submitted by the end of the year.

“We have done this four times for JAFE and they have never once missed a payment, nor have they ever been late,” said Commissioner Mike Stegall, in reference to JAFE’s commitment to the county. “Plus, whenever they say they’re going to hire new people, they always meet that bar, and that’s one of the most important parts. It’s been nice to watch them grow, too.”

The motion to move forward with the plans was approved.

There was an early notice and public review for the proposed activities in the 100-year/500-year floodplain work taking place in Ansonia and Gettysburg. This is a part of the environmental review process for CDBG allocations program, Susan Laux explained. In Ansonia, there is work being done to improve sewer facilities, and in Gettysburg, they are working to improve water facilities.

“The Ansonia and Gettysburg projects both take place within designated floodplains, so we do have to provide a public notice on the fact that it is in the floodplain,” explained Laux. “We will follow that up with a final notice that will be in the paper before the end of the year that basically says that we evaluated the options of doing something outside of the floodplain and what those options are, but in this case, there are no other options.”

As for COVID-19 relief funds, the county intends to spend a portion of these funds on new computer equipment for the Darke County Department of Developmental Disabilities. The primary goal of purchasing new computers is to allow DD employees to work remotely during the pandemic. The goal is to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the office environment, and keep staff and the public as safe as possible. The DD currently has desktop computers, and the goal is to purchase laptops and other mobile computing devices so that employees can continue providing the essential services they offer to Darke County residents. The motion was approved.

To conclude the meeting, the commissioners reviewed a resolution that recognized a share of the redistribution of COVID-19 funds in the county, with a revenue and appropriations increase of $355,554.62. The motion to accept the redistribution of funds was approved.

The Darke County Board of Commissioners met Monday afternoon to discuss economic development loans, work in Ansonia and Gettysburg, and COVID-19 relief fund spending. Darke County Board of Commissioners met Monday afternoon to discuss economic development loans, work in Ansonia and Gettysburg, and COVID-19 relief fund spending. Darke County Media photo

By Nathaniel Kubik

To contact the writer, email [email protected] or call 937-569-0066.

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