Holmes outlines process regarding solar proposal

By Meladi Brewer
DailyAdvocate.com

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met Wednesday to discuss contracts, procurement plans, and Senate Bill 52. Commissioners Matt Aultman and Larry Holmes were present.

The commissioners met with Carla Allen, director of Job & Family Services, to approve Resolution (R-403-2021) & IV Contract. The resolution is a matter that the Darke County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the IV-D Service Contract expenditures to the Darke County Common Pleas for Magistrative services for the period of Oct. 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022.

“The is just a renewal,” Allen said. “We have IV-D contracts with Common Pleas Juvenile Court and the Clerk of Courts, so this is just a renewal for the dates of Oct. 1 of this year to Sept. 30 of next year.”

The contract total increased from last year resulting in the need of approval from the commissioners.

“This was due to the increase in operational costs for Common Pleas,” Allen said. “Other than that, the language and everything is the same.”

Following the IV-D Contract approval, the board and Allen discussed and approved the Darke County Job & Family Services Procurement Plan.

“The last time the plan has been updated was in 2007, so it was overdue to be updated,” Allen said. “Really it is a little more detailed than our prior plan in regards to Federal, State ORC and OAC rules to comply with the Procurement Plan for our practice of purchasing supplies, products, and contracts.”

The plan has been adopted by the Board of Darke County Commissioners on behalf of the Darke County Department of Job and Family Services/Child Support Enforcement Agency and Ohio Means Jobs Center to satisfy the requirement of the administrative rule.

“We had to go through and change ours as well when we did the ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act),” Aultman said.

Concluding the regular agenda session, Commissioner Holmes spoke up about Senate Bill 52 and the process necessary as it regards the proposed solar project in Darke County.

“Through Senate Bill 52, there’s an election we as a county commissioner board can basically restrict or identify areas that can be identified for solar and wind,” Holmes said.

He explained the commissioners sent out letters in October as well as had dialogue with the Public Utility Commission to make sure everyone understood the roles everyone has.

“The sequence for which we will follow up will be forthcoming because there is more of a zoning process after that. First we want to know what the townships want to do because the trustees are the closest to the constituents and should have a better feel about what the group in that area would desire. There are 20 townships and each one is unique.”

Homes said they are starting to hear back and get the ball rolling, as everyone in the office has been working hard to make sure the letters were received and to hear responses from the townships.

“It will all be part of the continued dialogue in the saga of Senate Bill 52. It will be a long process because it does look like a zoning activity, so letters will have to be sent out to all the impacted individuals meaning pretty much every household in a township. There will have to be a public hearing, and then we can develop a resolution and take action,” Holmes said.

The commissioners are looking towards the trustees to tell them what their desire is, so they can honor that decision. Homes is also working to update the Land Use Plan and Farm Preservation Plan.

“I’m still digging through that, but it has become a little bit bigger to chew than I had anticipated. It is going to take longer than I anticipated, and it is just going to be a challenge as both have last been updated in 2001,” Holmes said.

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.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected]