Commissioners discuss Avian Flu, debts, broadband


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners met Tuesday to discuss Avian Flu, debt, and broad band counsel. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Mike Stegall, and Larry Holmes were present.

Taylor Dill from the OSU Extension provided a report regarding OSU Extension updates. Upon completion, Holmes inquired about what the Extension is doing in regards to the Avian Flu and prevention.

“We have only had one official case in Ohio in Franklin County,” Dill said. “It was technically a backyard flock.”

A backyard flock means it isn’t a situation another person is going to come into contact with at the flock affected was for personal or private family use.

“Backyard means it is there, and it is just for you and your family, no one else,” Dill said.

The only other known cases in Ohio at this time have been found in waterfowl and migratory birds such as geese. Dill states there aren’t any updates at this time, as it seems to not be spreading. Holmes was still hesitant about the future of livestock despite cases being limited.

“Are there steps being taken to safeguard, or if there is an outbreak, an emergency response plan?” Holmes said.

Dill explains when a case is identified by the vet, within the first 48 hours of it being identified on a commercial farm, officials come to the county and assist with the management of the issue on the farm. They plan the removal and disposal, as well as issue a quarantine and surveillance area within a 12 mile diameter circular format to ensure other flocks do not get it.

“The risk is just about watching and amping up your bio security, ensuring that you’re washing everything down in and out, keeping your waterfowl away from your ponds, making sure that you keep your wildfowl out, and if you suspect it in wildlife, you should call a wildlife officer,” Dill said.

She stated if a flock of Canadian geese are seen deceased, then one should call the wildlife officer.

The commissioners also discussed and approved a fund advance of $1,732,890.63 in order to pay off a bond debt

“I would like to say that since I’ve been here, one of the things that I wanted to get done is Darke County’s debt paid back,” Stegall said. “Fortunately, at this time, we are in a position that we can pay off at least one of our debts and that is a huge step for us.”

The commissioners also approved the application to employ counsel of Lindsay Miller, Attorney at Law, of Ice Miller, LLC to assist the prosecuting attorney’s office in regards to broadband expansion for Darke County. The commissioners understand, especially after the pandemic, that internet access in Darke County is not as strong as it should be, and Miller will help Darke County get access to broadband in order for it to be more acceptable.

The Darke County Board of Commissioners meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at their office located at 520 S. Broadway Street in Greenville. To contact the office, call 937-547-7370.

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

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