The Highland County Commissioners discussed ongoing business expansion and retention surveys on Wednesday, surveys which indicate that multiple jobs are likely to become available in the Leesburg area.
Commissioner Shane Wilkin summarized the findings, saying, “We’re getting some good news from companies that are growing a bit. There are two companies in the friendly village … that are hiring.”
Candle-lite, he said, is hoping to hire 40 full-time employees in the near future. And the Mason Company, he added, will be looking to hire four to five full-time positions.
Wilkin also summarized the overall survey process, saying that reports have been “more on the positive side.”
“To be sure, there is some economic activity,” he said.
Wilkin also discussed Corvac recently coming to the county, saying that the Greenfield company has been a “great help to our economy.”
Wilkin said that commissioners are continuing to conduct roundtables with local manufacturers. The next meeting is set for the end of November.
“We’re getting what I feel is very valuable information,” he said.
A hearing was also held on Wednesday concerning the annexation of property into Greenfield. The Times-Gazette reported last week that this annexation was put on hold following an objection from Madison Township Trustees. The annexation had previously been requested, but the process was restarted following a typo in the address.
Wilkin summarized the second request, saying that Betty Bishop, a former Hillsboro mayor and former city manager of Greenfield, had gone “above and beyond in the notification process.” Bishop filed the annexation request on behalf of Sheila and Charles Beechler.
Bishop was present for Wednesday’s meeting, as were Greenfield City Manager Ron Coffey and Highland County Prosecutor Anneka Collins.
Commissioners reviewed a letter they received from the Madison Township Trustees, which stated that their objection concerned the maintenance of roads between the township and the village.
Coffey said that the first time the request for the annexation was made, it “sailed through the process fine.”
He also said that with road maintenance, such as snow removal, “we try to work together” with the township. He added that he did not see the road maintenance objection as a “valid issue.” Representatives for the Madison Township Trustees were not present on Wednesday.
Commissioners passed a resolution consenting to the granting of the petition for annexation.
In other business, commissioners issued a proclamation naming October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Representatives from the Alternatives to Violence Center (AVC) were present. Director Julie Brassel said the AVC’s annual ladder campaign has begun. The campaign invites local businesses and organizations to decorate ladders highlighting domestic violence help information. First, second, and third place awards are given for the displays.
Brassel also said that AVC’s annual trivia night fundraiser is set for Friday, Oct. 7, at 7 p.m., at the Elks Lodge. The night’s theme will be, “Domestic violence is not a game.”
Brassel added that while the overall theme for the evening is sports, questions will alternate between sports trivia and general knowledge.
“It’s going to be another full house,” Brassel said.
She also discussed the AVC’s upcoming application for funding through marriage license fees. If not for those fees, she said, the AVC would have to decrease its services. “I can’t tell you enough how valuable those are,” Brassel said.
Commissioners passed a motion to continue giving marriage license fees to AVC. Commissioner Tom Horst said, “The services you provide are very much needed.”
Also meeting with commissioners was Job and Family Services (JFS) Director Katie Adams. She introduced the department’s new assistant director, Karen Sauers. Sauers has 18 years of experience in child welfare.
“I’m very excited to be here,” she said.
Commissioners welcomed her, saying that there is value in an assistant director position for JFS. Commissioner Jeff Duncan said, “The workload (at the department) continues to increase.”
Also on Wednesday, Wilkin said that last week was the full commission meeting of the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission (OVRDC). He said that the OVRDC “helps us a lot with our federal money.”
He also congratulated Don Brown of the Southern Ohio Tobacco Foundation for receiving the leadership award at the OVRDC meeting.
Commissioners also discussed a recently passed bill for universal veteran ID cards. These cards will likely be issued through the local veteran services office, they said.
Commissioners also said that an agreement has been reached with the county engineer for road improvements in the Leesburg area. They also noted the construction which began this week on the administration building’s handicap ramp.
Wednesday’s session also included a meeting with Mike Franks of Colonial Life who outlined the various benefits and services provided by his company. A follow-up meeting is planned.
Finally, Horst said that he has spoken with the Highland County Plaza, where a new retail store is expected to be added by the end of the year.