Another step taken for the new jail

By Jennifer Woods -

Fayette County Commissioners Dan Dean and Tony Anderson, along with Fayette County Engineer Steve Luebbe, are authorized by a resolution to sign all documents necessary to process payment in connection with the construction and financing of the new Fayette County Jail.

The levy for the new jail passed at the May 7 special election. Plans are underway to begin construction as soon as possible while maintaining the budget. This resolution was approved at a recent county commissioners’ meeting.

The county, as owner of the construction and financing, is required to have at least two individuals with full authority to sign all binding contract documents and applications for payment on behalf of the county. These individuals must attend each of the “Pay Draw” meetings in connection with the project.

In other recent business, the Fayette County Commissioners adopted a resolution to thank the Governor and the Ohio House of Representatives for their support of State Indigent Defense Reimbursements—the resolution also calls for the Ohio Senate to continue this support in the State Budget Bill.

The resolution explains that Ohio counties have experienced a collective $351 million annual revenue loss due to reductions in the local government fund, Medicaid Managed Care sales tax elimination and tangible personal property tax.

According to the resolution, Ohio counties are anticipating a $50 million collective tax revenue loss by 2021—this is due to the sales tax exemption of prescription eye-wear and the expiration of Ohio’s grandfather clause to the federal Internet Tax Freedom act of 1998.

Indigent defense costs have averaged a 35 percent state reimbursement rate to counties—forcing counties to spend millions of county general revenue funds to fulfill the Constitutionally-mandated requirement under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon V. Wainright (1963) that the state provide legal counsel to indigent defendants.

Governor Mike DeWine and State Rep. Gary Scherer are applauded and sincerely thanked in the resolution for providing counties an additional $60 million each fiscal year of the introduced state budget to provide counties with budgetary relief of this mandate.

The Ohio House of Representatives is sincerely thanked in the resolution for increasing the indigent defense appropriation by $35 million—“which should fully reimburse counties for their indigent defense costs, assuming current conditions.”

The final part of the resolution calls on the Ohio Senate to maintain the House of Representatives’ appropriation.

In other recent business, there was an amendment to the agreement regarding the authorization for Bricker & Eckler/ Jack Rosati to provide legal counsel services in regards to the new county jail. To compensate for the special legal counsel services, an additional amount not to exceed the sum of $3,500 was appropriated and authorized to be used for such purposes.

There was a contract entered into with Miller Mason Paving Company for the 2019 Fayette County Chip Seal Program in the amount of $190,431.67.

At the previous Fayette County Land Bank meeting, the Land Bank checking account was the same as it was during the previous meeting—$80,810.82.

The following properties are being considered for foreclosure through the Board of Revisions: 833 Millwood Ave., 824 John St., 1031 Lakeview Ave., 104 E. Paint St. and 1228 E. Paint St.

Updates were given on several properties.

The property at 531 E. Paint St. has an appraisal that’s been ordered. The USDA will finalize and set the closing date.

The property at 829 Broadway St. will be re-advertised—interested parties have 28 days to respond, then the court can be asked for a default judgment. Afterward, it can be processed for a sheriff sale.

The property at 406/408 Main St. has an application to OFHA for pending demolition. There is also a wait for the State Historic Preservation Report.

The properties at 1217/1219/1223/1225 S. Hinde St. and 1233 S. Main St. have foreclosures in process.

The next Fayette County Land Bank meeting will be held on Monday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m. in the fourth floor conference room of the County Administration Building.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

By Jennifer Woods