Williams County Board Holds On New Sheriff Vehicles; Visits With Edon Students

The Williams County Sheriff Office will likely have to wait awhile before it can have two new vehicles.

Lt. Greg Ruskey reported to the Board of Commissioners about the need for two K-9 vehicles. The department’s two existing units are both off the road. The department did not receive a federal grant because the application did qualify as a collaborative effort, Ruskey said. “Only 40 of the 400 applications were approved,” Ruskey said. “I won’t try for the grant again.”

The two K-9 units are both 10 years old. One unit has 174,000 miles and the other has 158,000 miles, Ruskey said. They are off the road and need to be replaced, he said.

The county has purchased four SUVs since 2016. All four are in use by deputies and officers, Ruskey said. He did not find it practical to retrofit two of the units as suggested by the commissioners. To do so would cost between $3,000 and $4,000 each, Ruskey said. Then the two deputies who would need new cars to remain on the road, he said.

The commissioners were reluctant to approve any future purchases before reviewing the first quarter expenses. The first two months appear to have been tight.

Converting an SUV that has already been paid for appealed to Commissioner Brian Davis, despite Ruskey’s opinion that the difference would only be a few thousand dollars from buying new. Davis was firm he would not support a new vehicle purchase until he had more facts.

Williams County’s Health District and Communications offices have entered into a new arrangement following action by the Board of Commissioners. The board met April 3, with Health Commissioner Jim Watkins and EMA/911 Director Dawn Baldwin to review a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Health District and the Communications Agency for the use of the Williams County Communications Agency to provide 24/7 contact services for the Williams County Health District.

According to the MOU, the WCCA will contact designated WCHD personnel for emergency The WCHD will provide contact information for the health commissioner, director of Environmental Public Health, and the director o nursing.  The WCCA will relay the contact information and message of the call to one of the above stated personnel according to the agreement.  The WCHD will notify the WCCA when changes in contact information occur.

The WCHD will provide the WCCA contact information on their phone system, their website, and it will be provided to the Ohio Department of Health for emergency calls.

The commissioners also approved the following supplemental appropriations:

  • $10,783.95 – for Workers Comp chargebacks for the county’s Job and Family Services department.
  • Moving $3,000 from the county’s Engineer’s office to non-capital assets;
  • Shifting $150 from filing fees to contract services.


Several students from Edon High School toured the Williams County Courthouse April 3. The students were from Scott Staten’s government class. The students asked a couple of questions about what the treasurer does and if the commissioners knew of any upcoming projects.

Commissioner Brian Davis explained the county has been hamstrung by the loss of interest income since he came on the board in 2008. Over that time the county has lost $600,000 in annual interest income. Commission President Lewis Hilkert told the students the board may only meet twice a week, but each member has six to eight boards to sit on that keeps them busy.

© 2017, James Pruitt. All rights reserved.


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