County Engineer Mark Otten addressed the Stark County Board for the first time as the county’s new engineer.
At their regular monthly meeting last Tuesday night, Otten told the board he was very pleased to be working for the county, and the board members returned the sentiment.
Otten reported and the board approved two resolutions for road seal coating, one for the townships and one for the county, as part of the Pavement Preservation program for the county. All but two townships chose to participate.
Also in his report was that final paperwork for IDOT is being completed on both the Walnut Creek and Jack Creek bridge projects. In addition, bids will be let on October 6 for the county-wide sign upgrade program, which will replace almost 4,000 signs in the entire county to the new, reflective standards. Individual municipalities will be responsible for payment of the signs replaced in their jurisdiction.
Mr. Otten stated he had received notification that all the railroad crossing in the county were going to be retrofitted with lights and cross arms, and that the county’s only expense would be any changes in the approach on each side.
Sheriff Jimmie Dison acknowledged the departure of Steve Sloan from his staff to serve as the Wyoming Police Chief. To fill his vacancy, the Sheriff hired Eric Peed, whose prior experience will significantly save the county in training expenses.
Board member Joshua Barbee’s resignation was announced and tendered by Chairman Mike Bigger. Bigger stated that Barbee’s job responsibilities were preventing him from fulfilling his term, and with that Bigger appointed Robert Mueller of Toulon to fulfill the position until 2012.
Mueller was the former Stark County School District Superintendent from 1993-2002 and Bigger cited his expertise with budgets and community involvement to fulfill the open democratic spot.
The board also approved the reappointment of Jim Campion as Bradford Fire Trustee, Bill Winans as LaFayette, and Carl Ryan as Wyoming. In Toulon, David Milburn elected not to serve another term. He was replaced by Gary Steward.
On the Workforce Development Board, Fulvio Zerla of Toulon was appointed to replace Rich St. John.
Also unanimously approved was the backing of the Health Department Board’s new officers of Sharon Sager (President) and Dr. Timothy Haas (Vice President).
Finally, Tim Green, chairman of the Soil and Water Conversation District reported that his office has received about 2/3 of their funding from the state, while other counties have only gotten about half. Significant cuts and hard work is being done by the organization to stay alive on a decreasing budget.