March did what it is supposed to do; come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. We have had a pretty good month so far, with just a few showings of severe weather. Let’s hope that Mother Nature will be kind to us, and Spring will be warm and uneventful.
The month has been fairly quiet in the Commissioner’s Office. Things continue to move along with projects we’ve already started, and at this point we are waiting on several contractors and engineering firms to get back to us to begin work. One of those projects is the Courthouse steps. No one seems to know how old the steps are, but they are in desperate need of repair, and that is a priority for us. We have had several engineering firms look at them, and we contracted with Garmin/Miller out of Minster to give us some ideas on how to fix the problem.
Another project we’ll be working on is replacing the roof on the County Home. It is at the end of life, and before we start having problems, it needs to be fixed. We are also still working on improvements at the airport, and of course maintenance on all our buildings. These are ongoing projects, and will be completed as soon as possible.
As far as newer projects are concerned, the Ohio Department of Transportation garage to be located at the new South Industrial Park, should be starting construction soon. There has been no date set.
One other project in the park is the new Erwin Brothers Auto and Truck stop located in the Industrial park. The Erwin’s are finalizing plans, and are almost ready to start as soon as weather permits. Congratulations to the Erwins, and may you have many years of success in your new home!
In other news, the new Dollar Tree store across the road from Lowe’s has broken ground and construction will be starting. There have been several new places that have opened in Greenville and Versailles lately, so check them out when you can. We seem to be growing, and I wish to thank all the entrepreneurs who are starting new businesses here. Thank you and we wish you success!
On the economic side, Marc Saluk, the Darke County Economic Development (ED) Director has left his position to be closer to his home of Philadelphia. Marc took a job in Hunterdon, New Jersey as their new ED Director, and will try to duplicate what he has done here. Hunterdon is 45 minutes from Philadelphia and New York. He will be missed greatly, but we wish him all the success in the world! A search committee has been formed and applications are being taken to fill his spot. We should know more by the end of next month, as a very deliberate search is taking place to fill Marc’s big shoes.
Also on the economic front, on March 22, the Economic Development department, in conjunction with Greenville High School and local businesses, sponsored the first Senior Job Fair. Over 70 students from all the county schools were invited and took advantage of the occasion to meet with 14 of Darke Counties employers. Commissioners Delaplane and Stegall got to meet with them, too. The companies said they enjoyed the experience, and a lot of the students said it was beneficial, and they learned a lot of what was available job-wise in Darke County. The idea of the job fair was to get these two groups together in an effort to keep Darke County talent here in the county. This is hopefully the first in a series of these events, and as we evaluate the process, we will make the next one better, more enjoyable, and informative for both the employers and the students. A huge “Thank You” to our Career Pathway Coordinator Lisa Wendel for her tireless effort in making this first one a big success. Of course, with Marc Saluk no longer here, Lisa and Melanie Nealeigh, the office manager, put in extra work to make this possible. Thank you to both wonderful ladies for your efforts!
We mentioned there are a lot of new businesses open or opening in the county. If you are in Greenville checking out some of the new places, why don’t you stop by for a while and attend one of our public meetings? We meet Mondays and Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Office located at 520 South Broadway, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there!!
The current Darke County Commissioners are Diane Delaplane, Mike Rhoades and Mike Stegall. They can be reached at 937-547-7300. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.