MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Board of Commissioners had a busy day Thursday meeting with several people to review updates on pending projects.
Wastewater superintendent Ron Simpson was up first for a regular update on pending projects and to receive a construction bid. Gateway Tank Inc. of Avon was the only contractor to bid for the construction of the 500,000- gallon water storage tank at Apple Valley. The original engineering estimate by Richland Engineering Ltd. was $459,720. Gateway’s bid came in at $458,870. The bid was approved and work will proceed on the construction problem.
Simpson advised the commissioners that he was adding a passage to the Water and Wastewater Department employee handbook clarifying the usage of the time clock on weekends. Discussion with the commissioners began, but was deferred to a proposed future executive session to include discussion of personnel.
Simpson showed the commissioners maps and photographs which showed that an unauthorized patio/deck addition onto a house in Apple Valley which had been built around 2004 was built directly over a 1 1/2-inch force main sewer line. Commissioner Alan Stockberger recommended that Simpson work with Assistant Prosecutor Charles McConville to draft and send a registered letter informing the landowner of the violation.
Jason Figgins joined Simpson to present the commissioners with their choice for four finalists among the nine who submitted bids for upgrades to the Little Jelloway Wastewater Plant. The top four finishers were the Floyd Browne Group of Delaware, Ohio; ADR and Associates of Mansfield; K.E. McCartney and Associates of Mansfield; and URS Corporation of Columbus. Asked for a ranking, Figgins said that he would rank them ADR, URS, FBG and KEM. Simpson said that he hadn’t ranked them, but that agreed those were the top contenders.
Water and Wastewater will also be hiring one employee as needed to help with summer work, Simpson informed the commissioners. He said that the work will be for an adult with non-CDL driver’s license.
In other Water and Wastewater Department business, Simpson brought the paperwork for the commissioners to renew the lease for Greg Magers to farm 6 acres of land east of the wastewater plant in Howard. Simpson also said that work had been completed on installing telemetry to Howard lift stations 1 and 2, as well as to the Hillside Manor lift station.
Doug McElwee, a developer from Bainbridge, met with the commissioners for a hearing about the county annexing two lots of less than an acre each for the site of a proposed Family Dollar store in Danville. The store will be located south of the Cardinal Market and will employ seven to 10 people. Union Township, the City of Danville and adjacent landowners were informed of the hearing, but no one appeared to testify against the annexation. Commissioner Teresa Bemiller moved that the annexation be approved, and Commissioner Robert Wise seconded it. The annexation was unanimously approved. McElwee said that the store’s slated opening is June 28, though it may open as soon as June 25 if set up is completed ahead of schedule. McElwee is also looking at putting a Dollar General store in Howard.
Kim Marshall, director of the Knox County Park District, met briefly with the commissioners to have them sign off on ADR and Associates final blueprints for the first two bridges which have to be rehabilitated on the Heart of Ohio Trail. Bridge One is near Barb’s Diner on Columbus Road. Bridge Two is where the trail crosses Dry Creek along Henry Road. The commissioners signed off on the designs.
Marshall also reviewed the claim of a property owner along the trail that he is entitled to an easement because a neighbor had given it to him. Commissioners’ clerk Rochelle Shackle said that she was unable to find anything in the deeds for the involved properties to show that either landowner had ever had an easement.
Sheriff David Barber stopped by for his monthly visit with the commissioners. His only official business to tend to was having the commissioners sign off on the sheriff’s new and undercover license plates for the year, which they did.
In miscellaneous business, the commissioners received a request from MOTA for $45,000 in funding, which is $10,000 more than what they requested last year.
The commissioners also noted the encouraging news that the latest available sales tax figures are showing an increase from last year. March 2008 brought in $291,652 in revenue, while March 2009 revenues were up to $302,161. The commissioners expressed hope that this was a sign of the end of the recession.