Commission updated on PCCVB

By Charlie Claywell - For The Register-Herald

EATON — During the Monday, Dec. 12, Preble County Commissioners meeting, Stephanie Garrett of the Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau updated the board on the group’s 2016 activities and their theme for 2017.

“We have been very busy and we are doing a lot of different things for 2017. Two thousand sixteen was the year of the covered bridge. We think that was real successful,” Garrett said.

“For 2017 we decided to go with Preble Roots,” she continued. “We came up with a logo that we are going to offer to the farmers.”

The logo will capitalize on the local aspect of a product by letting the consumer know that the product is 65 percent locally produced. This number was generated, in part, based on the freezer beef market.

When a calf is purchased outside the county, it prevents a farmer from saying it is 100 percent local, even though the animal is fed, raised and processed inside the county with locally grown grain or pasture. But, the situation does permits a farmer to accurately state that the animal is 65 percent locally produced.

Farmers participating in the program are contractually obligated to maintain the 65 percent (or higher) threshold. The Farm Bureau monitors the program to ensure compliance.

Besides promoting the local market and creating a visual cue so consumers can recognize locally-produced products – the program is also inexpensive for participating farmers.

“We wanted to make it reasonable for everyone to use the logo,” Garrett said of the $25 fee.

Funds generated from the fees will be used by CVB to promote and market Preble County.

Garrett also reported that a brochure listing where consumers can purchase farm-based products like fruit, meat or vegetables in Preble County will be distributed in 2017. The brochure also showcases farmers’ markets through the county.

Established by the Commissioners in 2011, the CVB is primarily funded by the transient tax ‘levied on individuals who stay overnight in Preble County hotels, motels and bed and breakfast facilities.’ The tax is collected in all but two of the county’s 12 townships. Jefferson township – located in the northwest portion of the county and Israel township, located in the southwest segment, have their own Convention and Visitors Bureaus.

In other news:

• Robert Kohnen, Sanitary Engineer & Preble County Solid Waste District – District Coordinator, informed the commissioners the Landfill building project is about a week ahead of schedule. However, he did point out that the installation of utilities ran into problems due to the construction drawings. Although the contractors correctly followed the instructions per the drawings, he explained, the work resulted in a situation where electric lines could not be properly installed – creating a $3,300 problem – for the county.

“I don’t see why we should have to pay $3,300 because T&M (Associates) made a mistake,” Commissioner Denise Robertson said.

“This is the second drawing issue that has cost us money,” Kohnen noted. “It should fall back on the architect,” he added in response to Commissioner Rodney Creech’s question about how this would normally be handled.

Also, commissioners:

• Approved payment of $5,040 to Wagner Paving Inc. for a ‘small paving project’ for the Engineer’s Office.

• Approved legal ads to be purchased concerning two zoning cases to be heard by the Commissioners on Wednesday, January 4.

• Approved payments of $30,000 to Choices Inc., $22,300 to Foundations for Living, $10,000 to Mid-Western Children’s Home and $20,000 to Adriel for child placement as requested by Preble County Children Services.

• Approved $216 amendment to DTGI computer service agreement for the county’s Emergency Management Agency.

• Approved trash removal agreements with Rumpke for Dog and Kennel ($716.04) and EMA ($350).

• Approved a software maintenance agreement between Softworks and the Engineer’s Office for $2,045.

• Approved the 2017 janitorial services agreement between L&M Products and the Engineer’s Office for $3,800.

• Were presented with a proposed sewer rate increase for District Two. The increase would impact 37 homes. As noted in the meeting, correspondence concerning the proposal will be sent to the homeowners.

By Charlie Claywell

For The Register-Herald