Commissioners talk installing roundabout, Law Library


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met Thursday to discuss installing a roundabout, transportation, and the Law Library. Commissioners Matt Aultman, Mike Stegall, and Larry Holmes were present.

A Letter of Support to the Ohio Department of Transportation was approved to be submitted. The letter is to apply for the approval of funds for the installation of a new roundabout at the intersection of U.S. Route 36 and St. Rt. 721 between Darke and Miami Counties.

“They have gone through a safety and design review, and they both have come back stating the need for the roundabout at that intersection,” Aultman said. “Studies show that an increase of accidents have occurred there, and like we did on the 36 and 121 roundabout, we are asking for funding.”

The research has been conducted for more than a year at the intersection in conjunction with both Darke and Miami County Engineers’ Offices. Historically, this intersection has been a cause for concern and the site of many serious accidents.

“I can confirm as someone who drove a dump truck over at Poeppelman’s on 721 for many years, I don’t know how many accidents I had seen at that intersection, and I believe this is a very good idea,” Stegall said.

ODOT’s Governance Board will need to give their approval for funding in order to jump-start the construction. Transportation and community safety is the main focus going into this project, and Holmes advised he is working on potential improvements for safe roads and transportation.

Holmes met with the Miami Valley Regional Transportation Program via conference call Wednesday to discuss the movement forward with the early stages of potential improvements in three counties to improve roads and facilitate transportation throughout the county.

He said there was quite a bit of data covered, but the one factoid that stuck out to him was the statistics on bridges needing attention. “Out of the three counties, Darke County is in the best shape without any bridges that were in critical condition”.

“We have some that have some reduced weights, but as a testimony to our engineering department and leadership, Jim Surber has provided in that area,” Holmes said.

He said the bridge was one of 32 slides, but it stood out to him. The next meeting will be hosted by Darke County on Nov. 16 at the Darke County Rural Electric Conference Center.

Citizen Tim Gilbert thanked the commissioners for giving background on the points addressed before inquiring about the Law Library. The commissioners had approved a transfer of appropriations to transfer $2,100 from other operating funds into their rent and lease fund for the Library. Earlier in the meeting, they had discussed the conditions in which the building is unsuitable to house the employees, and they will be moving into the new location on Broadway soon.

For background, Aultman said “a couple months ago, Judge Hein reached out to the Law Library Board and had a court order or offer to grant them space at the legal center on the corner of third street, so he offered a space out front for the public for a certain amount of dollars per month.”

Holmes said they will not continue the legacy of books as the move will also enable the Library to transition to online organization. There will be some books they will hold onto for various reasons, but it will be a “win-win situation being able to move and transition.”

The plan is to clean out the building where the current Law Library is due to the conditions and repairs are deemed best to just remove it from its current plot. “The building is to the point where it does not make sense to repair it for the utilization of county government.

“The staff there was sitting in there with earmuffs and gloves, and that’s with the heat on,” Holmes said. “This is a big plus.”

He said the out of community lawyers will also be able to use the facility to meet with clients downstairs, and if there is a need, they can go upstairs to utilize the law library. By doing so, it enables the court system to have more efficiency and effectiveness for clients and the community.

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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