In a regularly scheduled Monday session, the Delaware County Board of Commissioners were provided a brief update on the Delaware State Park storm shelter from Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Sean Miller.

On the evening of June 15, the $1 million steel-reinforced domed concrete shelter designed to hold more than 850 people and withstand winds of more than 200 miles per hour, didn’t automatically unlock for the campers in the park when tornado warning sirens sounded.

Though everyone was safe, the incident left campers outside the shelter until a park supervisor unlocked the doors.

“Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is implementing beneficial and redundant access measures for the structure,” Miller told the commissioners. “The vendor (Delaware-based 2K General Company) that they’re working with is going to send in a proposal on installing keypads at each entrance. Along with that, there will be signs at each entrance identifying that if someone needs emergency access to the shelter at any time, they can call 911 and 911 will relay the punch code for the keypad.”

Miller said law enforcement “will also be dispatched” at the same time.

“That way they can check on things and make sure things are okay,” he said.

Miller added the 2K General Company had “identified and fixed the mechanical problem” with the locks.

“We will perform further testing to verify that it is in fact fixed,” he said.

Miller said that ODNR has made additional keys for park personnel, and the chief of the Tri-Township Fire Department has requested and approved a Knox Box. He said the box allows fire personnel access to a spare set of keys to the structure that they can use to enter.

Along with adding the keypads and additional spare keys, Miller said a formalized maintenance check will be performed by ODNR on the current issues and the fire departments will perform periodic inspections on the Knox Box. He said all items should be in place in the near future so shelter access is available when needed by park visitors.

“I believe things are heading in the right direction and that ODNR is implementing some very common sense measures for these items,” he said.

Commissioner Jeff Benton thanked Miller for making sure that multiple backups are in place to avoid future problems.

Regional Sewer District

Erik McPeek, deputy director of operations for the Regional Sewer District, requested setting a time and date to receive proposals to design, build, finance, and for an operational contract for the county’s new transfer and recycling center to be built at 1020 U.S. Route 42 N., Delaware. He said the opening date of the new facility is scheduled for early 2021.

“We’ll see how it goes,” he said. “If we can get under contract in November, we can probably start planning early in the spring.”

However, McPeek added the caveat that it all depends on the type of winter this coming year. All proposals are due Aug. 15 and are to be sent directly to Brad Stanton at 50 Channing St., Delaware.

Engineer’s office

Rob Riley, chief deputy engineer, requested the authorization to purchase two additional mowers for the Delaware County Engineer’s Office.

“As you know, we’re taking on — with all the improvements we’re doing — more curbed roadway,” he said. “Much of our road mileage is transitioning from rural to suburban, particularly South Old State Road.”

Riley said the engineer’s office needs the two additional mowers to keep up with the new workload.

“We hear about it when we’re not doing our job,” he said.

The board approved the purchase of two 2019 John Deere mowers at the cost of $10,984 each from Deere & Company through Ag-Pro Companies.

Commissioners also approved the bid specifications and set the bid opening date for Tuesday, July 30, at 10 a.m. for the second part of the 2019 annual drainage maintenance contract, an owner’s agreement for Hawks Nest at Highland Lakes – Worthington for road improvements, and a contract of sale and purchase with John Durbin for improvements to Africa Road at a cost of $300,000.

By D. Anthony Botkin

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Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.