Jul 30, 2012

Commissioners Corner


It is hard to believe that as this is written, the Great Darke County Fair is just around the corner.  On July 22, the Elected Officials attended the North Star parade, and then later, competed in a “Family Feud” contest.  The “Politicians,” (as we were called) consisted of Scott Zumbrink, Jim Surber and the three Commissioners, Mike Rhoades, Diane Delaplane, and Mike Stegall.  Although we finished second, we all had a great time and the crowd seemed to enjoy it also.  Thanks to the people of North Star for inviting us.  We truly enjoyed it.  Soon, all of our little community festivals will be over.  Where has the summer gone?  It won’t be long until the kids are back in school, and fall sports will be in full swing.  The good news is that maybe August and September will bring some more reasonable temperatures for everyone.

Speaking of the heat, the corn crop for the county has suffered some from the lack of rain.  Agriculture plays an important part in everyone’s life, and situations like this drought have really affected our main industry in Darke County.  We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our plans accordingly.  In other news, because of the drought, we have finally completed repairs on the roof of the courthouse.  It had been leaking for a while, so the lack of rain allowed Mid State Contractors to re-solder and repair the roof.  Thank you to Mid State for completing and performing the work in a timely fashion.  While Mid State was here, we had them install heat tape to the valleys in the roof of the Commissioner’s office.  This will prevent ice from forming and blocking the gutters that cause problems with leaking.  This was a preventative measure that needed to be done, and we think future problems will be solved with this step.  We have a lot of repair and maintenance projects in the works and as soon as we get our estimates completed on repairs, and decide an order of importance for repair, we will let everyone know where we are heading.  This is part of a plan the Commissioners have to upgrade our facilities, and to make sure that public buildings, which the taxpayer pays for, remain viable for years to come. 

In other news, On July 31 of this year, Darke County received its first check from the State of Ohio’s 2 new casinos.  The payment of $46,097.34 is for the second quarter of this year.  This money will be deposited electronically to us, and the Commissioners consciously did not plan for any money from the casinos when we did our budget.  Some people might consider this a “windfall” to be spent, but the Commissioners will put this money back to be used at a later date as needed.  We will not spend this money foolishly!  This is the first in a series of quarterly payments from the casinos to the counties, and since we have no idea how much we will get each time, we feel it is best to just sit and wait.  In a couple of years, Carol Ginn, the Auditor, and ourselves will have a better feel for how much we can expect each year.  Until then, we will not count on anything.   We feel this is a prudent choice. 

Our sales tax shows a slight improvement at this time, and we would be remiss if we did not thank the people of Darke County for continuing to buy locally.  By buying locally, and enjoying all Darke County has to offer, you help everyone to prosper. This effort not only helps businesses, but it helps the Commissioners to better take care of the buildings, grounds, and services that we provide to the public. Thanks to all of you for this effort.

Economically, Darke County continues to roll along at a very good pace.  As this is written, Marc Saluk is working with a number of companies in helping to complete their projects, and with many of them on Workforce Development. We would like to welcome All-American Clothing in Arcanum and VPP publishing in Versailles into their new, larger facilities.  Congratulations to both companies and may they both enjoy much more continued growth in the future. 

On July 27, Midmark Corporation was named the “Business of the Quarter” for the second quarter of 2012.  Midmark continues to be a shining example of great businesses that have made a commitment to make Darke County better. Congratulations to this fine group of people in Versailles. 

Workforce Development continues as our top priority for now and the future.  It is imperative that we develop a viable workforce for the many companies who are expanding and developing in Darke County.  With the help of many of our companies, the schools, and the Partnering for Progress initiative, we will ensure that any company that wants to locate, or expand in Darke County will have a ready supply of workers for years to come. It must be noted that the workforce center is for the entire County.  It’s location in Greenville does not make it exclusively for Greenville, nor is it just for students.  This facility will be to help anyone of any age who wants to work to obtain the proper training. As the facility and curriculum evolves, it will be a vital cog in the retention and expansion of business in Darke County.   Once again, Darke County is leading the way in this effort Statewide.  Thanks to all of the involved for making this happen.  This shows a true belief in the direction we are heading. 

One example of this effort involves one of our top employers, Midmark.  Midmark has four engineering students from the Tech Center apprenticing at their plant in Versailles.  This collaboration will pay dividends for years down the road, and it is only possible through this co-operation.  We have seen the problem, and we are rectifying it.  We will continue to do so.  GTI Incorporated is building a new facility in Anderson, Indiana.  This facility will supply the Honda America plant in Greensburg, Indiana.  This news may have caused some concern for some of our citizens in Darke County, but we can assure everyone that Greenville, Darke County, and the State were never really in the mix for this plant.  We will continue to work with our local facility to ensure that the relationship that we have built with them will continue to grow and prosper for both entities.

As you can see, a lot is happening in Darke County as fair time nears.  We hope that everyone will plan to attend a Commissioners meeting in the near future.  Won’t you join us?  We meet publicly every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., in the Commissioner’s Office at 520 South Broadway in Greenville, just south of the Courthouse.  Plan to attend one, and have a great time at the Great Darke County Fair!
The Darke County Commissioners

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