Commissioners’ meetings to continue as usual

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

According to the Fayette County Commissioners, although various entities are limiting hours due to restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the public meetings for their office are currently continuing every Mondays as normal.

Commissioners Dan Dean, Jim Garland and Tony Anderson explained that legislation and other decisions they make must be done in-person, although it can be done via phone if they do have to limit the meetings.

In order to help in keeping their staff and anyone who visits the office healthy, regular sanitation is occurring, including every time a person enters, then leaves the office.

To assist in keeping the spread of the virus low, several county entities and services are limiting social contact as much as possible by taking actions such as closing lobbies to work remotely through phone and email, limiting the number of individuals who can wait in a public lobby at one time, placing signs encouraging proper hygiene and respiratory etiquette, etc.

During one of the recently held commissioners’ meetings, a resolution was adopted which shows support for applications of several individuals into the Ohio Department of Agriculture Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP).

The resolution came about following a request that was received on March 9 from the Fayette Soil & Water Conservation District for support of their application to the state for purchase of agricultural easements of the following: 403 acres in Paint Township owned by Geoffrey Mavis, four different sections of land in Marion Township consisting of 391.09 acres, 383.39 acres, 28.7821 acres and 107.05 acres owned by Carson Trust, 108.36 acres in Concord Township owned by the Waddle Family Trust, and 199.53 acres in Perry Township owned by William Fannin Jr.

The minutes from the meeting explain, “the Fayette County Board of Commissioners has reviewed this request and has determined that the nomination of the property for the purchase of agricultural easements is compatible with the long-range goals regarding farmland preservation of the county area.”

As only one local sponsor can co-hold easements with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Fayette Soil and Water Conservation District will be that co-holder.

Per the request of Faye Williamson, director of Fayette County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS), a contract between FCDJFS and NECCO LLC was approved. The purpose of the contract is for NECCO to provide placement and other related services for children in the care and custody of Fayette County Children Services. The contract is effective Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 of this year with the maximum amount payable to be $95,000.

A contract for mowing services to be done by Jack Anders was amended to include the locations of the Emergency Operations Center along with Hinde and East streets.

Bids were received from Cox Paving as well as Fillmore Construction for the 2020 Road Paving Program. The county engineer’s estimate for the project is $613,160.50. Per the recommendation of Steve Luebbe, Fayette County Engineer, the lower bid from Cox Paving was accepted.

According to Anderson, the commissioners are also looking into the possibility of refinancing the loan for the new Fayette County Jail, as several loan options currently exist with lower interest rates than have been available in the recent past.

If the loan is able to be refinanced, it would not necessarily make the payments lower, but would shorten the amount of time the payments would need to be made.

Even if the loan cannot be refinanced, there is a possibility that a different loan could be taken out with a lower interest rate and then be used to pay off the USDA loan with the higher interest rate with no penalties, according to Anderson. More information will be shared as information is collected.

Anderson explained that many could benefit during this time financially either by refinancing current loans or those who are in need of taking out a loan, as several financial institutions are reaching out in attempts to help their customers.

Stay with the Record-Herald weekly for more updates from the Fayette County Commissioners. The Fayette County Commissioners’ Office is located at 133 S. Main St., suite 401 in Washington Court House and their office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can be reached at 740-335-0720. Condensed minutes from the meetings are available on the county website.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]