GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — The Gallia County Commission held a regular business meeting Thursday approving grant applications and discussing road projects
Members in attendance were Harold Montgomery, president; Q. Jay Stapleton, commissioner and M. Eugene Greene.
County Grants Administrator, Karen Sprague, said it was time for the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) and she had about 36 applications.
One request was for $70,000 for the Tara Estates sewer project. The total project cost is $600,000 with $130,000 matched from the Community Development Block Grant.
“Without 100% grant funding for the project, that user fee would increase between $2.47 and $6.66 per month,” Sprague said.
Greene made the motion to authorize the applications, with Stapleton seconding and all in favor.
Sprague also presented an application for the OPWC Enhancement Grant, requesting $149,000 for the Green Township sewer phase two project.
Sprague said this is the only source of funding to help with loan interest during construction. A loan was taken for the project due to not receiving the enhancement grant the last three years due to the subcommittee rating the project as very low needed. The loan was to avoid delays on the project, Sprague said.
Stapleton motioned to approve the authorization, Greene seconded and all were in favor.
County Engineer, Brett Boothe, discussed upcoming projects and grants being worked on for the County.
“I’ve got our OPWC applications completed,” Boothe said. “We have two applications that we’re going to be submitting in. One is for paving, it’s about just shy of $1.2 million.”
The paving routes for that grant application Pleasant Valley, Tech Ridge, Little Tiger Patriot and Hannan Trace.
Boothe said it will not be all of the roads, just parts being paved. There are also mailings and center-line stripings included in that project.
“[The] second project, it’s a lot smaller,” Boothe said. “It’s $517,000 and it’s a chip and seal project.”
Boothe said the following roads would all be partly or fully chip and sealed: Adney, Spires, Brownsville, Meadow Lane, Summit, Scenic, Mount Olive, White Oak, Centerpoint, Pioneer Trail, Watts, Harrisburg, Davis, Sugar Creek and Victory.
Boothe said all roads will be repaired and ready for chip and seal, including trees trimmed, culverts fixed, etc.
Boothe also said the state has moved to a new digital portal for applying for grants. He also wanted to make sure everyone knew that he would help anyone work on grant applications for all cities and townships in Gallia County.
County Administrator, Melissa Clark, spoke about the Ohio Public Defender is now requiring counties to have an Indigent Defense and Reimbursement and Recoupment plan.
“So, essentially, if a defendant is found to be marginally indigent, they would be responsible to pay a fee depending on what their highest level of charges,” Clark said. “We took some of the recommended verbiage from Ohio Public Defenders and we sat down with all our local judges [and] every office that would be affected by this policy that we need to put in place and got feedback.”
Clark gave the commissioners a copy of what the policy to potentially adopt, including some of the possible fees. The highest a judge could recommend is $100 for a felony and $50 for misdemeanors.
Greene made the motion to adopt the new policy, Stapleton seconded and all were in favor.
Clark also noted that in June, the board adopted an additional observance of Juneteenth. With timing of things on a state level, the commission adopted a resolution for the 2021 observance to be Sept. 17, coinciding with the Emancipation Celebration.
Executive session was entered with just the commissioners to discuss personnel issues. Once the session ended, another executive session was entered to discuss personnel with Sherry Daines, 911 and Emergency Management Agency director.
During regular session, Greene motioned and Stapleton seconded moving Amanda Durst and Charla Dempsey-Howe from part-time to full-time and to hire Malynda Johnson and Makala Elberfield on part-time. All were in favor.
More on this week’s meeting in an upcoming edition.
Brittany Hively is a staff writer with Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (740) 444-4303.