EATON — The Preble County Board of Commissioners recently sent the Preble County Board of Elections a response referencing the BOE’s letter dated July 23. In the letter from Board of Elections, commissioners were asked to consider moving the BOE office to the old Art Center building on Hillcrest Drive, and asked for a response by Friday, July 26.
The letter stated, “If due consideration is not given to our request to procure the building at 601 Hillcrest Drive, Eaton, Ohio 45320, the Preble County Board of Elections will be forced to seek outside legal counsel to aid in determining the Board of Elections next course of action to remedy the situation.”
Commissioners noted receipt of the letter during their meeting on Wednesday, July 24. At that time, they planned to have a meeting between Commission President Rodney Creech and Board of Elections Chairperson Lisa Bruns.
They also planned to draft an official response to Board of Elections.
The Preble County Board of Commissioners sent that response on Aug. 7.
The letter reads, “Thank you for the letter dated July 23, 2019 requesting the procurement of the Preble County Fine Arts Center building and suggesting modifications to the Preble County Courthouse parking lot and building.
“The County takes the Board of Elections’ (BOE) concerns seriously. The Courthouse has successfully hosted community services for more than 100 years, including many years of election-related services. Additionally, the County provides $330,344 in support each year to the BOE. That being said, it is important that residents of all abilities can file petitions, vote early, and carry out other civic duties provided by the BOE. Therefore, the issues raised by the July 23 letter will be studied further, including any issues related to compliance with state and federal law.
“One issue that can be addressed now is the procurement of the Preble County Fine Arts Center building located at 601 Hillcrest Drive. As you may know, the County leased the land at that address to the Preble County Art Association. The lease is effective until 2089, unless otherwise terminated consistent with the lease agreement. Because 70 years remain on the lease, among other reasons, the County is not currently considering procuring the building as the letter recommends.
“While the County continues to study the issues involved, it is open to discussing practical solutions. Thank you again for your attention to these important issues and we look forward to working together to serve Preble County.”
The letter is signed by Commissioner Rodney Creech, Commissioner Chris Day, and Commissioner Denise Robertson.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH