Commissioner reorganize to start 2024


By Ryan Berry

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners reorganized and conducted business that must be completed at the beginning of the year at their first meeting in 2024 on Tuesday afternoon.

Matt Aultman was nominated and approved to continue as chairman of the Darke County Commission. Marshall Combs will move into the role of vice chairman of the commission. The seat was previously occupied by Larry Holmes. Robin Blinn will continue to serve as the administrative clerk/secretary and Karen Avore will serve as assistant clerk/secretary. Meetings will continue to be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Darke County Administration Building.

At the request of Commissioners Holmes, the board approved a five-cent increase in the county mileage rate. Holmes explained the federal government increased its mileage allowance by five cents and this will help keep the county in-line with what the federal government is doing. However, this increase keeps the county about 12 cents per mile below what the federal government allows.

The commissioners approved its annual authorization to Proceed by Force Account. The Force Account allows the county to efficiently serve the health, safety and welfare of residents by authorizing the Darke County Engineer to proceed by Force Account in the maintenance, repair and construction of roads, bridges and culverts in the amounts up to $233,000. There will be an additional five percent increase beginning July 1. This allows the engineer to complete projects less than that amount with county personnel and not having to bid it out to an outside company.

Commissioners also appointed the Gideon Ministry to serve as the chaplain at the Darke County Jail and Family Health Services will provide physicians at the jail.

Commissioners agreed to continue to have a representative from each office be responsible for records requests and to help with record research.

The commissioners approved their representation on various boards throughout the county.

The county increased its funding for the Public Defender Commission in Darke County and signed an agreement between the Darke County Public Defender Commission and the Indigent Legal Assistance Fund (ILAF). Darke County will pay $535,158.96 in 2024. This figure is up slightly from 2023. The ILAF will receive $442,158.96. Some of the money will come back to the county with $48,000 subjugated back to the Darke County Commissioners and allocated to the Darke County Common Pleas – General Division and an additional $10,000 to the Darke County Municipal Court. Both have the specific purpose of compensating attorneys, other than ILAF members, for appointment to cases involving indigent defendants.

Commissioners appointed Mike Henry to a three-year term on the Darke County Public Defender Commission.

The commissioners approved a letter of support for the Regional Fire Training Facility. The Darke County Fire Chiefs are seeking state funding and have asked for the support of the county and other local governments.

Commissioners agreed to a lease with Recovery & Wellness Centers for the property on East Main Street that was formerly the Michael’s Home. The facility is currently an adult treatment facility. This is a three-year lease agreement. The tenant agrees to pay $45,600 for the initial 24 months at a rate of $1,900 a month. If a new lease isn’t renewed after two years, the rent will be based on the Consumer Price Index.

The commissioners approved Brent Stastny as the county apiary inspector. Commissioner Aultman said the county has approximately 1,000 beehives and Stastny will be responsible for inspecting the hives to make sure they are healthy. The county appropriated $2,008 for this service. Residents that have registered their hives pay a fee and that is how this service is paid for.

Lois A Spitzer, CPA was approved for preparing financial statements for the year ending 2023.

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

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