Williams County Commissioners Approve Plan For Fairgrounds House

The house at the Williams County Fairgrounds will be getting some new occupants as the Jobs and Family Services office will be taking possession.

The Board of Commissioners approved a plan to negotiate a deal with the agency to rent the house and use it for drop-offs and visitation for children in the foster care program. The decision means the county will terminate its memorandum of understanding with the Sheriff’s Department to vacate the premises by Jan. 31.

The county commissioners will work with the sheriff on finding a new post in the northern part of the county,

Lord was pleased with the decision as his office had been struggling to find suitable accommodations for visitations. The house will offer a more conducive environment for children.

“We are excited to move,” Lord said.

Pam Johnson told the commissioners about changes at the Ohio Needs Job station at the East Annex.

The state has renamed the division to American Jobs Center Network. It has taken the space that formerly housed the Red Cross, Johnson said. The state has authorized $3,000 to purchase stationery and develop a new logo.

The work of the agency has been stymied in recent months with unemployment hovering around 4 percent, the same unemployed people are continuously coming in to ask questions, Johnson said.

“It’s been difficult finding people who want to work,” Johnson said. “We are working with the Economic Development Corp.”

The problem for Johnson is the agency is not an unemployment office and people need to go elsewhere to get their questions answered.

The JFS did report it collected $76,000 in back child support from an individual. The person wanted to leave the country, but had to get current first, Lord said.

The Williams Board of County Commissioners approved the following resolutions:

Dec. 29
557 – The budget for 2017.

559 – A new contract with Gordon Food Service to supply the Williams County Department on Aging for 2017. The contract replaces on the county agency had with Sysco.

Maggie Fisher of the Department on Aging said the estimated cost for 2017 will be $427,000. Fisher estimates this will mean a $35,000 savings over Sysco. GFS estimated a savings of $30,000 to $50,000.

The contract covers food, janitorial and nutrition.

Dec. 22
Sheriff Steven Towns sought advice from the Williams County Board about contracting with Holiday City for police protection.

The move would require the sheriff hire a new deputy for the post as state law prohibits existing officers from being assigned to a community that contracts with the department.

The sheriff is working on wages and benefits, plus the cost of a vehicle to determine the final costs.

Holiday City needs a dedicated officer with its proximity to the turnpike and some recent crimes and the law requires it, Towns said.

545 – Approved a change order (15) for the Courthouse Project from Eric Baltzell from Germann Miller.

The added work included a new Christmas light circuit board, lighting work for the clock face and the work required to complete it. The total expense was $11,778.53, bringing the new project cost to $1,577,153.53.

The project’s original cost was $1,469,890.

546 – Auditor Julie Beagle had the appropriations for 2016 modified by $2.07 million.

547 – Approved a Wellness Grant agreement with CEBCO for $4,000 for administrative fees and $6,864 for programming.

554 – Approved a revision to the reimbursement policy at Jobs and Family Services at the request of Director Fred Lord. He will have the authority to all requests for expenses incurred by employees for authorized county work instead of submitted to the commissioners each time.

Lord will give the board regular statements itemizing expenses.

555 – Approved a contract between JFS and Dennis McKay for consultation for Financial/Programmatic Management of Human Services for $15,000 annually through Dec. 31. There are two one-year extensions possible.

Dec. 19

538 – Approved a request by EMS Director Jim Hicks to complete additional renovations at the facility for $15,826. The work includes replacing existing lighting in the garage; remove door from ladies room and use it in the lounge area. The void in the ladies room will be filled in with drywall; remove and replace siding on interior wall of garage and replacing carpeting and flooring.

539 – Purchase a new ambulance for $135,000.

541 – Engineer Todd Roth informed commissioner he would not have a private practice in 2017.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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