Commissioners discuss county office building

By Kelsey Kimbler -

PREBLE COUNTY — Commissioner Rodney Creech would like to see the board take action on bringing the Preble County Development Partnership (PCDP), Preble County Chamber of Commerce, and Preble County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) together under one roof.

This ongoing discussion was brought back to the table during the Preble County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 19.

Commissioner Creech would like to bring the three organizations together in the County Office Building on S. Barron Street, while keeping Preble County Extension in the building as well. He is proposing swapping the Preble County Extension from the north side of the building to the south side of the building, where PCDP is currently located.

However, Commissioner Chris Day would like to see a long term solution and Preble County Extension moved somewhere permanent.

“The [PCDP], Chamber [of Commerce], and CVB are just steamrolling right now. We need to take advantage of the momentum and not hold them up,” Creech said. “I think it is a no-brainer. Not only is it a one-stop-shop, but they can share employees [and equipment].”

Commissioner President Denise Robertson countered, Microfilm is currently housed in the building, so there might not be room. However, Creech claimed that is just a temporary solution to the radon problem in the courthouse, something they plan to fix.

“I’m 100 percent confident there is enough space to make this happen. Is it the right thing to do? Probably not, but we also can’t afford to do the right thing,” he said.

He added, he would like to keep this discussion on the board’s radar.

Day countered, they need to find a better solution for Preble County Extension so they have enough room and a place to be long term. He does not want to “short change” the Extension Office. He believes they should research and find a better place for them to go.

Creech promised to find out square footage of all offices and what they need and brainstorm a plan. The board also discussed asking maintenance if they had plans for the project.

In other news, the commissioners:

•Authorized payment to Vital Statistics ($15,245.67), Hotel Lodging Tax ($3,718.67), Computerization-Recorder ($1,705.55), and TASC ($1,000).

•Authorized an expenditure in the amount of $86,029.60 for the purchase of 1,060 tons of de-icing salt for the Preble County Engineer.

•Authorized an expenditure in the amount of $7,200 for the purchase of a safety trench box system for the Preble County Engineer.

•Authorized an expenditure in the amount of $6,138.78 for the purchase of two furnace and air conditioning systems for Preble County EMA.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the Job and Family Services Fraud Plan.

•Noted receipt of a letter from the treasurer referencing the resignation of Celeste Caplinger, part-time treasurer clerk.

The Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse, unless noted otherwise.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH