March came in like a lion, mellowed just a little, then became a wet lion at the end. This looks like one of those winters that will not go away. As this is written, it has snowed on April 1, then the forecast is for rain! At least it is rain, but enough is enough. Time for warm sunshine!
March was a good month for the county. We saw our projects moving in the right direction, and things are settling in for the year. One of our major projects this year is the courthouse steps. We have had a few delays, but we have now received our engineering requests for qualifications (RFQ), and we have chosen Mote & Associates Engineering. We interviewed three companies, all were very good and well qualified, but we felt that Mote’s presentation, along with their knowledge of the courthouse, gave them the ability to oversee the project. Plus, it didn’t hurt that they are only a block away! Thanks to all the other firms who showed an interest in this project.
We have also looked at quotes and services for our airport consultant. We are still looking at these presentations, and should have an announcement later on. The airport updating project should get underway in May. This is the first actual work that has been done at the airport property other than clearing of trees near the terminal. Like many construction jobs, a lot depends on the weather. Hopefully the weather is favorable, and Sunesis Construction out of West Chester, Ohio, can complete the project on time. The contract calls for the airport to be closed for 71 days, but hopefully, that will be the maximum time it will take. A repaving of the runway, new improved lighting, and grading the edges of the runway to the proper degree of slope is included in this project. As with any project, the dirt work part is the most weather affected, so that is why the length of the contract is that long.
One trend that we are seeing this year is a reduction in sales tax income. So far for the year the county has seen a reduction of $136,520.25 and is expected to continue for years to come due to the state removing the Medicare Sales Tax (MCO) that had been coming back to the counties for programming and operations. With this reduction in the county budget, this coming year’s budget will need to adjustment for the reduction in funding.
The Auditor has the basement of the courthouse almost complete. This will be a great enhancement for the GIS department. Now the Auditor is working on her area to enhance her efficiency and to make it more user friendly for the public. Thanks to Carol Ginn for doing this project.
Coming up in the future is Board of Revision observations, and CDBG applications coming due. Our Economic Development Department is also working on projects for April, as is Jobs and Family Services.
March has been a good month to start the spring season, and we want to share the news with all of you. Why don’t you plan on making one of our meetings? We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. at the Administration Building, 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse. Hope to see you there!
The current Darke County Commissioners are Mike Rhoades, Mike Stegall and Matt Aultman. 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.