Commissioners discuss bids and Police Vehicle purchases


GREENVILLE — The Darke County Board of Commissioners met to discuss electrical upgrades, airport farm bids and police vehicle purchases. Commissioners Matt Aultman and Larry Holmes were present.

On Tuesday, the commissioners discussed the electrical upgrades at 300 Garst Avenue to include the installation of a county generator. Bids for the project will be due by 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6 and opened the same day at 1:30 p.m..

“The building is still on the original power, so we have power coming in from two different directions. This corrects that,” Aultman said.

He said this bid will install a generator for backup service for elections and health department for vaccine storage, and “this also brings the electrical panel up to newer breakers.”

“This is so we can get replacement parts and things like that,” Aultman said. “You got a building that is 60 to 70 years old that is still running off the original services, so we are upgrading to current standards.”

The contractor will provide a transformer pad with conduit for AES to the new meter location, concrete pad for the generator and transfer switch, provide power for a battery charge, block heater and annunciator for generator, install metering location for new 600 AMP 120/240 Volt 3 Phase 4 wire, install new conduit for two new service panels: one single-phase 120/420 volt 400 amp and one single beside above, install new 3 phase 4 wire panel 400 amps to replace existing 3-phase switchboard, provide temporary power panels for change over, and provide electrical drawings for permits.

Site previews are available by appointment by calling Dale Musser at 937-459-2267.

The commissioners also approved the fixing of the date for the County Airport Farm at Richland Township, 38 plus acres. The contract will be for a two year period this time around and will be adjusted to be a three year period like the other county farms beginning Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2024. Bids will be due Tuesday, Nov. 29 until 1:15 p.m. and will be read at 1:30 p.m. during the regular scheduled session.

“The reason we are just now putting this out is, if you remember, earlier the board approved doing some conservation methods out there to mitigate some of the erosion that was happening,” Aultman said.

He said just over 38 acres was approved as farmable ground, and once it has been farmed for a couple of years, FSA will do a flyover to give an exact measure of farmable acres after they subtract the conservation methods.

“This is what we are putting out to be rented,” Aultman said.

The land rent is to be paid twice per year. First payment is due March 15 and second by Dec. 15 each year. All Federal government farm program payments will be paid to the Lessee.

On Thursday, the commissioners met with Darke County Sheriff Mark Whittaker and Chief Deputy Randy Linkous to discuss a letter of intent to purchase new Chevy Tahoe Police Package Vehicles.

“We have gone a year with the inability due to lack of supply and unavailability of new vehicles to get new cruisers,” Sheriff Whittaker said.

He said they were not sure if they were going to be able to purchase new vehicles this year as there was a delay in the state bid process.

“Finally it all came to fruition after we reached out to a few dealers trying to get three quotes including quotes from a local dealer,” Sheriff Whittaker said. “At the end of the day, we were contacted, and we were informed a dealer has nice Tahoes available to us, in the lot, if we would like to purchase.”

The Tahoes are at the State pricing of $43,842 each, and the Sheriff’s Department had been advised the vehicles are available immediately. The “Letter of Intent” confirms the County’s financial commitment of $394,578 for all new vehicles.

The commissioners approved the Letter of Intent for the purchase of the vehicles. Holmes pointed out the payment is not a large burden for the county as it is not a surprise purchase.

“I would like to note, the county has made a practice of setting aside this capital plan over the past few years, so this isn’t all coming out of one fiscal year,” Holmes said.

He said this purchase is catching up on the capital, and brings them up to the current while also preparing for next year.

“We had some carry over within the budget from last year because we didn’t know whether the cars were coming, so part of this is a 2021 appropriation and the other part is a 2022 appropriation,” Aultman said.

He said it gives them “a little bit of a top end for 2023 incase something catastrophic were to come up like the city of Greenville’s deal with their cruisers here recently.”

“Quite the opportunity. We might as well take advantage of it while we can,” Aultman said.

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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