A side of the Ohio EPA seldom seen or understood showed up for a genial talk at the Oct. 17 Williams Board of County Commissioners meeting.
Alauddin Alauddin, assistant chief, Office of Outreach and Customer Support, came for a visit with Pejmaan Fallah, Division of Environmental & Financial Assistance. Their purpose was to review the different programs available through their side of the EPA.
Since they are the non-regulatory side, they are not about enforcement, rather they work to help people with problems, obtain grants and receive awards for compliance.
Topics include infrastructure funding for drinking water, storm water and wastewater; water quality restoration and protection project funding, nonpoint source pollution control loan funds, home sewage treatment repair and replacement funding, recycling and litter prevention funding, wastewater treatment plant compliance assistance unit, small business compliance assistance program, sustainable materials management program, pollution prevention program, awards and recognition programs and webinars.
Alauddin stressed the best part of his job is that it is all optional. The agency is focused on helping people and businesses, not enforcing rules.
“Most people want to do the right thing, but don’t know what it is,” Alauddin said. “That’s why we are here.”
The ORC commands OCAPP to help without reporting infractions to the Hazardous Materials Division. They will not even talk to other co-workers, Alauddin said.
Every community or business can pick up the phone and call the agency about an issue and save money on consultants, he said.
The division works with Jobs Ohio for companies moving to the state to get the permits they need.
“We will be their advocates,” Alauddin said. “We will protect the air and water, but we understand jobs are part of human existence.”
The agency can help communities with loans for projects. The highest interest rate a community could receive is 1.3 percent.
Smaller communities who want to get out of the water or sewer business are likely to obtain interest-free loans with programs for loan forgiveness, he said.
In other actions, the board:
Approved a request by the county’s prosecuting attorney to appoint Attorney General Mike DeWine and his assistants to act as special prosecutors and provide assistance in prosecution. PA Katharine Zartman had obtained a judgment entry from the Hon. J.T. Selzer for the request.
Approved the new policy procedure manual for JFS. It was found necessary to have the document reviewed and updated.
Approved a new procurement plan for JFS. The plan sets forth the types and methods of procurement to use when purchasing supplies, equipment and services.
The commissioners approved a request by EMS Director Jim Hicks for two new power cots. The costs cost $79,848.68 and the Bureau of Workmen’s Comp will cover $40,000.
The cots were not let out for bid as there is only a single vendor.
EMS won’t be able to order the cots until the BWC check arrives. That should take two to three weeks, Hicks said. When they are ordered, it will take 90 days to be delivered.
At the Oct. 20 meeting, the commissioners learned the county received a clean audit during a meeting chaired by County Auditor Julie Beagle.
The commissioners approved a resolution allowing Community Health Professionals to obtain bonds not to exceed $2 million from Van Wert County. The action will not impact Williams County finances, not require any tax money.
CHP is building a new 14,000 square foot facility at 1215 S. Portland St in Bryan for its home health care and hospice service. The company is based in Van Wert County, but the project is in Wiliams County, so that’s why the local county board had to sign off.
Williams County will be held harmless.
The board approved a request by Engineer Todd Roth to purchase a 2017 single axle Western Star SF 47000 dump truck. The cost will not exceed $149,468.
The truck will be purchased from Kinstle Sterling/Western Start.
The board approved the expected final change order for the Courthouse Roof Project (12-2015).
The additional work includes repairing the turret and tuckpointing the brick; adding bird and bat screens to exterior openings at a cost of $44,000. This will push the total cost to $1,565,375.
James Pruitt may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org