Getting accustomed to new digs


January’s Delaware County Board of Commissioners meetings featured a new meeting site, the Historic Courthouse at 91 N. Sandusky St. in Delaware.

“Today is a historic day for the Commissioners’ office,” said Commissioner Barbara Lewis on Jan. 21. “This is our first session in the Historic Courthouse.”

After the first two meetings of the new year, the commissioners moved to their new home from the next door Carnegie Library at 101 N. Sandusky St. The commissioners are required to hold 50 meetings a year and as many special meetings as needed. The Carnegie Building now houses the 9-1-1 Center, Emergency Medical Services Department and Emergency Management Agency.

When the commissioners met on Jan. 11, Gary Merrell was appointed president, Barb Lewis was appointed vice president, and Jeff Benton was designated commissioner. Last year, Benton was president, Merrell was vice president and Lewis was commissioner.

A resolution was approved to allow the board to “expend public funds to purchase coffee, meals, refreshments, and other amenities for its officers or employees or other persons if it determines that such expenditures are a ‘public purpose’ and are necessary to perform a statutory function.” Examples were events, meetings and training held during lunch or work emergencies that involved staying on the premises. This is in accordance with the offices of the Ohio Attorney General and the Ohio Auditor of State.

The board approved, with the recommendation of the county engineer, the owner’s agreement for Olentangy Falls East Section 3 owner Rockford Homes to make improvements. A maintenance bond for Liberty Grand Communities Section 1 Phases A-C was accepted since roadway construction was completed. Two board members were reappointed to the Berkshire Landing New Community Authority. They accepted the new roads of Britonwoods Drive and Craigens Court in the Britonwoods Section 1 subdivision (that intersects with Red Bank Road) at a speed limit of 25 mph.

In other comments, County Administrator Mike Frommer said he had “met with members of the humane society and the dog shelter to discuss a joint facility.”

At the commissioners meeting on Jan. 14, the State Auditor’s Award with Distinction was presented to Delaware County. Small Business Protection Program Grants were issued to several local businesses, each in the amount of $15,000. The commissioners approved a revolving loan fund administration agreement between the county and the Ohio Development Services Agency through 2023.

An agreement was approved with the housing of inmates arrested in the village of Sunbury at the Delaware County Jail, subject to available space, until June 30, 2023.

“Sunbury will also notify Delaware County of an estimated time of arrival,” the resolution read. Sunbury will be responsible to identify the inmate and their nationality. Sunbury will be responsible for escorting and transporting the inmates for incarceration. Sunbury will pay $83 per prisoner per day, as well as any medical expenses.

Retired Delaware Township Trustees Roger M. Van Sickle was honored for his 40-plus years of public service. The resolution at the Jan. 21 meeting summarized his accomplishments: “Van Sickle, a veteran of the Ohio National Guard, has made his home in Delaware Township for 45 years with his wife, Shirley, and their sons, Chad and Nate … Van Sickle has served Delaware Township as a trustee since 1986, as township clerk from 1980 to 1985, and as a Zoning Board member from 1980 to 1984 … Van Sickle has served on numerous boards and organizations, including the Delaware County Regional Planning Commission, SourcePoint, the Delaware Area Transit Authority, the Delaware County Jury Commission, the Tri-Township Fire Department, Grady Memorial Hospital, Habitat for Humanity, the Delaware County Cultural Arts Center, the Delaware County Historical Society, the Delaware Area Chamber of Commerce, the Delaware County Farm Bureau and Oak Grove Cemetery.”

Specifications and proposals sought for the Delaware Fiber Extension Project were approved. The project is “intended to provide fiber optic connectivity to various public facilities.” It includes “the installation and development, and potential management and maintenance, of fiber optic cabling connecting at various points to an existing fiber link.”

A bid was awarded to and a contract approved for the Lower Alum Creek Relief Pump Station and Force Main Project to Beheler Excavating, Inc. “The bidder shall furnish all labor and material to construct approximately 8,000 LF of 24” force main and 2,100 LF of 30” gravity sewer to connect to Lower Alum Creek Relief Pump Station; 8’x7’ box culvert replacement; and all associated improvements as shown in the contract documents.” In addition, Peterson Construction Co. will construct the 14 MGD pump station. County Sanitary Engineer Tiffany Maag shall oversee the project.

A services agreement between the county EMS and Cardiotronix LLC for annual preventive maintenance and service of durable medical equipment was approved. A services agreement with Quasar Energy Group, LLC for biosolids disposal and hauling services was approved. Another services agreement approved was with consultant Hazen and Sawyer for engineering services related to treatment and performance evaluation at the Northstar Water Reclamation Facility.

Easement agreements were approved with four property owners in order to construct and provide access to the Hyatts Road Pump Station, force main, and gravity sewer.

Bills approved to paid at the meeting on Jan. 21 included $2.8 million to Peterson Construction Co. for the Peachblow Pump Station Improvements.

Lastly, it was said that $20,175 in donations from area businesses, agencies, and churches to the Delaware County Department of Job and Family Services provided Christmas to 100 adults and 250 children and youth over the past holiday season. New Hope Church of Powell, United Way of Delaware County, Liberty Presbyterian Church, Bourbon Brothers, the Schultz Family, Delaware Grace Church, Lifepoint Church, Grady Hospital Surgical Team, and Delaware Church of Christ in Christian Union were thanked “for their thoughtful generosity and commitment to the children and families of Delaware County.”

The Historic Courthouse at 91 N. Sandusky St. in downtown Delaware is now home to the Delaware County Board of Commissioners. Historic Courthouse at 91 N. Sandusky St. in downtown Delaware is now home to the Delaware County Board of Commissioners. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette
Commissioners now meeting in Historic Courthouse

By Gary Budzak

[email protected]

Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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