Commissioners discuss project funds, property fraud


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners met Thursday to discuss escrow agreements, letter of request, and property fraud alert. Commissioners Matt Aultman and Larry Holmes were present.

The commissioners approved the changing of the date for the Darke County Airport “Relocate Electrical Vault” and “Terminal Area Development” to May 26 at 1:30 p.m. All bids will be due before 1:15 p.m. that day to be discussed during the meeting.

“We have been working through some of these projects through the grants, and this is just culminating the bid process,” Aultman said. “There will be a view for both projects on May 17.”

A non-mandatory pre-bid meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 17, at 10 a.m. at the Airport Terminal Building; 9724 OH-121, Versailles, to look at the project needing completed. Site visits may be coordinated with the Airport Manger, Scott Naas, at 937-468-1205.

“I would like to add these would be consistent with previous grants where FAA is in for 90 percent, the state of Ohio is in for 5 percent, and we’re (the commissioners) are in for 5 percent,” Holmes said. “The county only remains at 5 percent of the costs.”

He added this project is a great way to leverage those dollars.

The commissioners also approved the authorization for the Optional Redemption of the County’s Outstanding Various Purpose Bonds. Of the bonds dated November 2010, only $ 1,695,000 remains outstanding from the originally issued $2,810,000.

“This is just formalizing and notifying our bond holders that we are redeeming the bond and paying that one debt off,” Aultman said.

Aultman continues to state with this payment, they are left with one final bond the county is paying off. The final bond should be paid off within the next 5 to 6 years.

The commissioners also approved the signing of the escrow agreement between the county and the Park National Bank. This is an agreement that the county has deposited funds with the escrow trustee to be held in the escrow fund for the purpose of optionally redeeming the county’s outstanding various purpose bonds from 2010.

Darke County Economic Development Director Mike Bowers also presented a letter of request to the board for funding for the BrownField Consulting Services. The State of Ohio has a program set in place for the remediation of brownfield areas in the state.

“The State of Ohio had outlined that each county was going to be allocated a certain amount of funds for the cleanup of brownfields,” Bowers said.

A brownfield is described as an abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial property where expansion or redevelopment is complicated by potential release of hazardous substances.

“We were working to identify possible sites, as it came down to the time frame the state gave up to work through those things, we are moving forward with a property in Union City,” Bowers said.

The request was asking the Commission Board to fund the project in an amount not to exceed $5,000 from the 106 funds. With that, the commissioners approved the submission of an application to participate in the “State of Ohio Brownfield Remediation Program Fund” and declared it an emergency.

The Darke County Recorder, Hillary Holzapfel, talked at the end of the meeting about the new software the Recorder’s Officer had gone live with, Fidlar Technologies.

“One of the services they offer is called ‘Property Fraud Alert’, and we’ve noticed in the past week or so there had been a lot of movement in the news about people’s properties and how to best protect them,” Holzapfel said.

This free software is for land owners, as they can sign up through the

“Not through our office, but we can definitely assist you,” Holzapfel said. “You’ll need to put in you first and last name and then if you want to get either a voicemail or email alert to notify you when something in the recorder’s office has been recorded with your name.”

Aultman asked about names, asking should the name be a full name, nickname, or legal name, as he himself goes by a shortened version of his full name.

“We say to do it how you would sign an official document, but you can add in multiple names. If you go by other aliases like a shortened name or add in a middle initial sometimes, you can add in as many variations as you want to help better protect,” Project Manager Griffin Style said.

“Well good. It’s a great service,” Holmes said. “It’s an improvement from what we had and timely.”

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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