Commissioners discuss Ag Society funds

By Kelsey Kimbler -

PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County Commissioners continue to discuss repairs and upkeep at the Preble County Fairgrounds. During a meeting on Wednesday, April 22, the board discussed possible grant funds and the DP&L Easement money.

Commission Clerk Kim Keller noted the $50,000 available in grant funds to the Preble County Fairgrounds from the Ohio Departmet of Agriculture. Governor Mike DeWine announced last week waiving matching funds for money which normally would require a match, to make it easier for county fair boards and local governments to make improvements and upkeep on the grounds.

“I just wanted you to note that Governor DeWine did away with the requirement for the match for the Agricultural Society Capital Improvement grant, the one they have talked to you guys about. So all we have to do is apply for a Capital Improvement project of $50,000 and they will get the money, it doesn’t require any match on anybody’s part,” she said.

She added, the Fair Board needs to pick a project to apply for. She recommended not using the money for the previously discussed pole barn, but instead waiting till next year when they can get the $50,000 grant with matching funds and use the whole amount for the barn construction.

Commissioner Chris Day recommended the Fair Board being “very conservative” moving forward.

“Here’s the deal, they get to decide. They get the $50,000 and if they want to put a building up, they’ll put a building up. If they want to fix the roof, it’s not for us to decide,” Commissioner Rodney Creech said.

The board also discussed quotes which were received for work on the Expo Building, Toney Building, and Bruner Building roofs. One quote totalled $43,725 for just the Expo Building roof. The other two quotes included work on all three buildings and ranged from $43,840.50 to $52,608.60.

Commission President Denise Robertson asked if any quotes included a warranty, but Creech responded he “didn’t believe so.”

Commissioner Creech recommended transferring the money from the DP&L Easement over the the Preble County Agricultural Society so they could make capital improvements.

Robertson added, it will take a while for the grant to come through. Creech said the deadline for applications isn’t even until the end of May.

“To me that $50,000 is over and above that. What I’m trying to say is, are you guys okay with going ahead and issuing the transfer, that way they can get the money and start using it. The match money is totally different, the check will come when it will. We did earmark it for capital improvements. I was hoping for the Expo, but that’s not going to happen. I say give them the funding and let them work their magic,” Creech said.

“As long as they realize that [$45,359.27] is a one-time thing. We just got that because we did the easement,” Robertson said.

Creech asked Day for his opinion. He responded, “I don’t have a problem with it, as long as they’re going to use it for the roof or something.”

Creech responded, they will use it for the roof.

“That’s fine, but there has been so many times we’ve given money and it gets diluted down. I don’t have a problem with them getting the roofs fixed, but the big problem I have is there is no guarantee this is going to work,” Day said. “I don’t have a problem transferring money to them to take care of the roofs.”

Keller said she would open a purchase order to cut a check to send to the money to the Agricultural Society.

In other business, the commissioners:

•Approved a resolution authorizing payment to REA ($3,000, $3,117.86, $4,531).

•Approved a resolution authorizing an expenditure of $8,500 for the purchase of five Microsoft Surface Laptops for JFS/CSEA.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing change order two to the Pyrmont Road Bridge Rehab project agreement with the Ohio Bridge Corp, doing business as U.S. Bridge, to extend completion date to April 24, for the Preble County Engineer.

•Noted receipt of and approved by signing the siding agreement with Thrush & Son, LLC, $15,638.08 for Building Maintenance.

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