If April showers bring May flowers as the saying goes, then we should have flowers everywhere! April is the traditional month that starts spring, and spring showers help farmers to get ready for planting. The moisture in the ground now should really get things started this year, as long as the fields get dry enough. Let’s just hope that all this rain now does not mean a drought later this year.
April started out rather slow for the Commissioners, then really picked up the last part of the month. This is usually the way government works; We hurry up to get things into the right departments (grants, proclamations, invitations, etc.), then we wait for the response. Usually the response comes right before the application is due, then we have to scramble to get them done! So far, because we have good people and we know things are coming, we have been able to get it all done.
Dealing with federal agencies, and state agencies can be hectic, but it has to be done. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grants are being worked on, and will be in on time to help us with crack filling at the airport. This is a must to make sure the runway and taxiway stay in good shape. We have other things working with the FAA, and we hope we can receive the go ahead for some other projects. Some exiting things are happening at the airport, and we will share them when they become official. Thanks to Jeff Marshall and Susan Laux for their efforts in working with them.
The Solid Waste Department, run by Krista Fourman and her Assistant Administrator Melissa Werling, have received three grants this month. One of the grants was in conjunction with Whirlpool for eight cardboard balers and was for over $44,000. The others were for a Beautiful Ohio grant for $3500, and the other was for $25,000 for Tire Day. Trash Bash was a huge success again with over 1,100 volunteers picking up 13,360 pounds of trash. Our Electronics Recycling day sign up ends May 13 and the event is May 26 at the Darke County Fairgrounds. Our Solid Waste Department is one of the best in the state, so thanks go to Krista and Melissa for all they do.
The Economic Development Department (ED) held its first “20 under 20” dinner held at St. Henry in conjunction with the Auglaize Mercer Business Education Alliance. The dinner honored 12 students from Darke County who have shown exemplary work ethic, and initiative to solve problems at school and at work. Congratulations to our fine students! You can read more on the Darke County Economic Development Facebook page.
We have been asked about the state of the Courthouse steps. The steps, as anyone can see, are in need of repair. We have contracted with Garmin-Miller from Minster to give us some ideas and cost estimates on the project. The steps we have now are not correct for our Courthouse, so we are looking at keeping it as original as possible for the time period. Our Courthouse, the third one in Darke County history, was finished in 1874, and other area Courthouses constructed at that time all have several styles of steps. We will choose what looks best, and fits the downtown area. We should know more next month.
The Ohio Department of Transportation project has started at State Route 49 and 127, and early in May, there was a groundbreaking for the Erwin Brothers Trucking project, also at the South Industrial Park. These two projects are the start of what we hope will turn into a few more, as several people have looked to do some other things. This Industrial Park just gives our ED office, and the City of Greenville, more options when companies are looking to come here. This collaboration with the City is just one more example of how much can be accomplished when all factions work together. We look forward to many more years of this collaboration.
May is starting on a busy note, and a lot of good things are happening in our county. Won’t you join us for a public session? We meet every Monday and Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. at the Administration building, just south of the Courthouse in Greenville. 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.