Commissioners discuss airport, county internet access


GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met on Wednesday to discuss the Darke County Airport, upcoming construction projects and county internet access. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Mike Stegall and Larry Holmes were all present.

The board opened two sealed bids for the construction of a general aviation fuel facility at the Darke County Airport. The sealed bids came from Reliable Construction Services out of Dayton and Beck Suppliers out of Fremont. The construction will include: above gorund tank installation, pad and containment construction, piping, dispenser cabinet installation, electric, fencing and lighting. Darke County Engineer Jim Surber estimated the probable construction cost is $700,000. The board approved the motion with two votes and one abstention.

Next, the commissioners approved both an agreement and a motion to proceed with the detention pond pipe outlet replacement in Union City. The project is to cost $261,554, and will be funded partially by Darke County Community Development Block Grant funds and Union City has committed $35,000 toward the project. Union City has agreed to pay the extra funds should the project exceed $261,554. The project will be completed by Tom’s Construction, with a substantial completion date of May 15, 2022.

Commissioner Matt Aultman discussed a rural internet meeting he attended at the Greenville municipal building on Wednesday morning. He said the meeting was the first step in providing reliable internet access across Darke County. He pointed out that most Darke County cities and villages have great internet access, but once you leave the city limits, the connection trails off heavily. The group has discussed this issue with three different internet companies to get their thoughts on the situation.

In the next week, Commissioner Aultman said they will create a county internet committee, which he will be a part of, along with village mayors, community members and economic development commissioners. One goal for the committee will be to work with an engineering firm to discuss what county-wide internet coverage will look like.

Commissioner Aultman said out of the entire state, Darke County is underserved when it comes to internet service.

“Preble County is ahead of us and they’re more rural than we are,” he said. “For that, we’re way behind. The only way to attract any kind of future to this county is to get good reliable internet service. COVID proved that to us with people working from home.”

The Darke County Board of Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at the county administrative office located at 520 S. Broadway in Greenville. For more information, contact the commissioner’s office at 937-547-7370.

By Abigail Miller

Reach Abigail Miller by email at [email protected]

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