Highland County Chamber of Commerce executive director Jamie Wheeler said the organization’s biggest project this year is its website at Wednesday’s weekly county commissioners’ meeting.
Wheeler said the Highland County Visitors Bureau is working to make the website a one-stop shop for not only Highland County residents, but also for visitors interested in coming to the county. She said the website will include information such as what visitors can do in the county, a community calendar and places to shop, eat and stay.
She said the Visitors’ Bureau is contacting businesses and organizations to try to fill out her information. She said there will be Google links for people to fill in and fill out the information above. She said it should all be ready this week and that would hopefully mean she wouldn’t have to go to every business to get the information.
The organization’s hope for the website, Wheeler said, is that businesses will be able to list the part of the county they are in and the city they identify with, and then visitors can filter it so that s if they know they want to come to a particular area, they can see what it has to offer.
On other projects, Wheeler said the chamber is completing the Ohio Tourism Association’s leadership institute, which is expected to be completed in June.
She said the organization plans to continue its local publicity through radio, newspapers and social media. She also said Ohio’s Find-It-Here Cooperative Program will also do another video with the county. Wheeler said Ohio Find-It-Here plans to help the Bell Festival Committee promote the event. Wheeler said she hopes to make another blogger visit in late summer or early fall and continue promoting the county’s offerings.
She also said the county visitors bureau is also working with Clinton and Fayette counties to host a Battle of the Bands on August 5, 2022 in Wilmington as part of its concert series and hopes to make one. annual event. .
For the 2021 projects, Wheeler said in June that the organization hosted a blogging tour with food and travel bloggers where they came for 24 hours. She said they started in Greenfield and went all over the county. Wheeler said that once the bloggers finished and posted their work on Instagram and Facebook, the posts received more than 264,000 impressions and around 4,900 engagements. She said engagements are when someone reads blogs and then clicks on something to go further and learn more about the county.
The other project she mentioned was when the organization welcomed a TikTok influencer named Sir Yacht. She said he posted three different videos, one from Highland County, one from Hillsboro and another from Greenfield. She also said the Facebook video had 23,000 views and 11,000 views on TikTok.
In other news, Commissioner Jeff Duncan said the board plans to meet with those applying for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds at next week’s meeting. Duncan said the county has about $8.4 million from the fund and has already received half of it. He said the requests total just over $12 million, so the board of commissioners will have to make a choice and choose projects.
Duncan said they already have projects they want to support that have to do with sewer programs, which include updates and needed aspects on those. He said the reasoning for this was that the ARPA money was originally specified as a sewer, water and broadband grant, which allowed the county to move forward on estimates of the sewers and do some of the background work.
He said the sewer upgrade was expected to cost “pretty close” to $3.5 million.
Commissioner Terry Britton said it’s “pretty obvious” they won’t be able to fund everything that’s being asked for, so they’ve set up the meeting for next week. He said people who applied for the funding will come to talk about their projects as well as Nicole Oberrecht, who leads the ARPA fund project.
In other news, First State Bank was the only quoted bid for an Asphalt Cold Planner for $271,000.
Miller-Mason Paving Co. won the 2022 Highland County Chip Seal Program bid for $570,300.
Regarding the Buford School project, Britton said there would be a pre-bid meeting at 10 a.m. on May 11 at the project site. Then, the following week, offers are scheduled to be received.
Speaking about the new dog pound, Duncan said he received an email from the architect who said they finally got all the pieces of the puzzle and put them all together. Duncan said he was told by the architect that they would be preparing the application materials soon, but did not have specific dates yet.
Chris Snider, community outreach coordinator at National Grid Renewables, said he wanted to update the board on the Dodson Creek Solar Project in Dodson and Hamer Townships southeast of Lynchburg. He said the evidentiary hearing took place last week with the Ohio Power Siting Board and everything went well. He said they should have an answer later this summer and then move forward with the project. Snider said the next steps are starting pilot work with commissioners and RUMA’s work with county engineers.
Snider said the pilot recommendation timeline would likely be next month and they wanted to get started quickly.
Commissioner Dave Daniels said the office was notified that Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted would be in Hillsboro at the Orpheum on Friday for an announcement regarding southeast and southern Ohio.
In other news, there were 15 resolutions approved by the commissioners:
* Res. No. 22-69 is an authorization to modify the budget within Public Assistance in the amount of $14,772.
* Res. No. 22-70 is an authorization to modify the budget within the Public Assistance Social Services in the amount of $8,134.
* Res. 22-71 is an authorization for budget change within the Engineer Salary Official in the amount of $1,681.
* Res. No. 22-72 is an authorization to modify the budget for engineering employees in the amount of $1,526.
* Res. No. 22-73 is an authorization to modify the budget within the Employed Labor Engineers in the amount of $24,853.
* Res. No. 22-74 is an authorization to modify the budget within Soil and Water in the amount of $15,200.
* Res. 22-75 is a Budget Change Authority within Emergency Management in the amount of $483.
* Res. No. 22-76 is an authorization of budgetary modification within the Rotary of the police officers in the amount of $1,019.
* Res. No. 22-77 is an authorization to modify the budget within Chore Services in the amount of $140.
* Res. No. 22-78 is an authorization to modify the budget within Probation in the amount of $746.
* Res. 22-79 is a budget change authority within the County General Fund – Medicare in the amount of $54,649.
* Res. Number 22-80 is a Budget Amendment Authority within the County General Fund – OPERS in the amount of $560,721.
* Res. Number 22-81 is an authorization for a supplementary appropriation request from unrestricted funds within the sheriff’s budget for $391.47.
* Res. #22-82 is the 2022 Highland County Chip Seal Program Tender Award.
* Res. No. 22-83 is the award for the purchase of an Asphalt Cold Planner.
Two contracts were approved by the commissioners:
*Contract 32 is between the Board of Commissioners, Family and Children First Council (FCFC), and the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities for an Early Intervention Services Coordination Grant Agreement from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
*Contract 33 is between the Board of Commissioners, Highland County Airport Authority, Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), and Bureau of Aviation for ODOT Project Grant Contract Number 22-20.
Contact Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.
Highland County Assistant Engineer Christian Dunlap (left) discussed several open offers at Wednesday’s meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.