Feb 1, 2013

Commissioners Corner

The New Year is underway, it is our typical January in the Miami Valley, and everyone is ready for spring to begin. The New Year always brings new hope for better things, and Darke County is also looking to improve on a very impressive 2012. We are looking forward to keeping Darke County headed in a positive direction.

Darke County Auditor Carol Ginn submitted the County’s General Fund Appropriations on Jan. 4 in the amount of $16,219,281.40. Thanks to all of our elected officials and department heads for all their hard work and dedication.

The first Manufacturing Readiness class was a success, and the second one will be starting on Feb. 4. The first class had nine enrollees, and the week-long class provided the attendees with added skills to get a job in today’s market. As this class progresses, we will learn more what the companies involved need in today’s workplace. For more information on the class, contact Sherry Mueller at Jobs and Family Services. This class is for all ages, not just young people looking for jobs, or job advancement, it is for any interested person looking to join the workforce.

The Darke County Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to its Feb. 1 concerning the new Health care law and how it affects businesses. In 2014, it is estimated that 30 million more people will be enrolled in Medicare, and this jump in numbers will affect the need for doctors, nurses, and facilities. Contact the Darke County Chamber to become a member, 548-2102, and to learn more about the legislative workings of the Darke County Chamber and its members.

Casino Revenues were deposited into the County’s account for the 4th quarter of last year on Jan. 31. The amount is estimated to be 27% less than was first anticipated. The addition of VLT’s (Video Lottery Terminals) at the State’s Horse Racing tracks will cut into the County’s share even more as only 1 track has VLT’s now, and 6 more should have them by the end of the year. We have estimated our County share to be substantially lower in 2013 in the budget just to make sure we do not count on the estimated revenue we were supposed to receive when this was first proposed. We will continue to be conservative in all of our estimates on revenues.

On Jan. 14, the Whirlpool Corporation celebrated the making of over 2 million mixers at the Greenville plant in 2012. Senator Keith Faber, Representative Jim Buchy, all three County Commissioners, and Mayor Mike Bowers were present with representatives from Whirlpool Headquarters in Michigan, including the C.E.O. Jeff Fettig, for the presentation. With 2,249,712 mixers made in 2012, the total number of mixers made last year figures out to be a little over 1 mixer every 15 seconds coming out of the Greenville plant! That is an awesome achievement, and all employees and managers are to be congratulated for all their hard work. Can three million a year be far behind?

Midmark Corporation’s expansion program continues along nicely. The Contractors, Ferguson Construction, along with their sub-contractors, continue on in spite of the cold weather. We will keep you informed as the project moves forward. In other economic news, workforce development continues to be our main focus. Marc Saluk continues to meet with companies and schools to advance our workforce agenda. Darke County is ahead of the curve in workforce development and Marc should have some more news as we go forward. Darke County had a banner year in 2012 as our unemployment rate continued to drop, and more and more companies are looking to grow here, and stay here. To stay abreast of Darke County’s economic growth, you can always check out the Darke County Economic Development website, or “like” them on Facebook at Darke County Ohio Economic Development. Both sites will keep you well informed, as we look to keep Darke County the leader in the Dayton Development area.

On Jan. 23, Commissioners Diane Delaplane and Mike Stegall, along with Economic Development Director Marc Saluk, attended the Dayton Development Coalitions annual event at the Schuster center. The event focused on the many accomplishments that have happened in the Dayton Region in the last year, and where we are headed. Darke County has been one of the shining examples the last 2 years in the region, and we will continue to lead with the help of the Dayton Coalition and the leadership of Jeff Hoagland. Thanks Jeff for all of the Coalitions help. On Jan. 25, Partnering for Progress (P4P) held their quarterly meeting at the Brethrens Retirement Center. The crowd of about 80 people was the largest yet for a winter meeting. Presentations were made by Senator Beagle and Marc Saluk on the Workforce development programs being worked on at the State and local levels. All- American Clothing co-owner Lawson Nichol received the “Business of the Quarter” Award. Congratulations to the Nichol family for the fine work they are doing with “Made in America” clothing in Arcanum. For more information on how you can become a part of P4P, contact the Economic Development office, 548-3250. A special thanks to John Warner and the fine people at the Brethrens home for hosting the event. It was much appreciated.

Much good is happening in the County and one way to keep up is to attend a Commissioners meeting. We meet every Monday and Wednesday, 1:30 p.m., in the Commissioner’s office (520 South Broadway, Greenville). Hope to see you there!

Submitted by the Darke County Commissioners

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