Extension has open positions; county looks at aggregation


By Ryan Berry


GREENVILLE — After announcing that she was leaving the Darke County Extension Office in May, Dr. Roseanne Scammahorn attended her last Darke County Commission meeting on Wednesday and gave her final update on what is taking place at the extension office.

Some of the programs she has been part of will continue in her absence, including Shared Harvest which has been scheduled through August. Programs held in conjunction with the courts will also be held with educators from other extension offices, including the Successful Co-Parenting class. Jocelynn Rile is continuing her SNAP-ed programs.

Dr. Scammahorn also announced Caden Buschur will be the new Agriculture and Natural Resources educator at the Darke County extension and will begin on June 20.

Several vacancies remain at the extension office, including Scammahorn’s position and Rhonda Williams’ position. Because Williams had been in her position for many years, the extension is required to review it and see how that position best serves the county. Scammahorn said there will be a meeting with community members at-large to tailor that position to best fill the county’s needs. That meeting will take place on June 21, and it is hoped the position will be posted by the end of that week.

Work is also taking place to fill Scammahorn’s Family and Consumer Sciences position. She expects her position to be posted by the first of July.

Scammahorn shared a new Community Development position at the extension office has also been approved and should be posted by the end of the week. Commissioner Matt Aultman was excited about the establishment of the Community Development position. “We hadn’t really put it out there, but we were just exploring a different position the Ohio State Extension Services offers. What they do is go out and work with local communities, like village admins (administrators) and mayors, stuff like that to look at what their needs are and work through programming and stuff throughout the communities.” With this position, the community will have access to Ohio State University software that will ultimately help generate reports. He expects the position to complement the Darke County Economic Development Office.

The county had a taste of what is possible through this position and Ohio State University’s software and report capabilities when the extension worked with the county’s NextGen group to determine what was needed to bring the next generation to the county. One of those items on that list was the Chipotle Restaurant. Local officials were able to take what they learned to Chipotle and convinced them to come to Greenville.

Aultman believes the county is better off financially with the collaboration with the Ohio State University Extension Service because the county pays a portion of the salary, and the university picks up the top end of the salary and benefits.

Aultman also shared the county is looking into the possibility electric aggregation for township and unincorporated parts of the county. If the county moves forward with the program, it would be up to voters to decide. Certain parts of the county already have electric aggregation agreements, including the city of Greenville and three townships, and the rates are generally cheaper than what consumers can find on their own. The county offices have an aggregation program, which is approximately four to five cents per unit cheaper than the going rate.

This would only affect AES customers. Darke Rural Electric consumers would be exempt. “It would allow for group purchasing power for the unincorporated areas,” he said. “By having the mass power buying ability it will save our residents money to do aggregation.” They have not discussed the proposal with the townships but are planning to present information within the next week or two.

This would not cover incorporated municipalities. Because they are their own government entities, the villages would have to put it on the ballot themselves. However, if residents approved the measure, the villages could tie into Darke County’s aggregation agreement.

The county is in the beginning stages of discussing the proposal; if the question is to appear on the ballot in November, the county would need to approve a resolution by Aug. 9. If this is approved by voters, residents would have an opportunity to opt out of aggregation if they can find a cheaper rate.

The Darke County Commissioners will not be meeting on Thursday. The next regular meeting of the Darke County Commission is Tuesday, June 20, 1:30 p.m., County Administration Building.

To contact Daily Advocat Editor Ryan Berry, email [email protected].

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