By Aimee Hancock
Miami Valley Today
TROY — The Miami County Commissioners approved an agreement for professional human resources services following the recent firing of the county’s HR director.
An agreement with Maurice Evans was signed Tuesday following the approval. Evans will provide guidance on HR-related topics in the county for the period of Sept. 15 through Dec. 31, 2020, at a cost of $50 per hour, not to exceed 20 hours per week unless otherwise approved by the commissioners.
Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak attended Tuesday’s meeting to discuss with commissioners the purchase of new law enforcement vehicles.
Duchak said the department ordered six new cruisers, as budgeted, in February of this year, which are scheduled to be delivered in October. However, due to an error on the manufacturer’s end, 12 cruisers were mistakenly ordered.
“We’re not on the hook for the extra six, but production is way behind because of COVID, so it might behoove us to go ahead and grab hold of these six, so we don’t get too far removed because our maintenance costs are going to go up the more we put off getting new cars,” Duchak said.
The sheriff’s department budgets for both 2020 and 2021 both include allocations for the purchase of six new cruisers per year, Duchak noted. He requested that the department go ahead and purchase the extra six ordered by mistake.
Duchak added that production costs are expected to rise by $500 to $600 per cruiser within the next year. That, along with the cost of maintaining the aging cruisers currently in use by law enforcement, some of which have over 140,000 miles on them, would make the earlier purchase worth it, he said.
Each cruiser is around $39,000, Duchak said, and there are additional costs for installation of police equipment and modifications, which is also budgeted.
Duchak also briefly discussed the purchase of body cameras for the Sheriff’s department. He said he is looking into grants and other sources of funding in the hopes to be able to implement the use of body cameras in the future.
Duchak said the upfront cost of purchasing the equipment necessary, which includes cameras as well as a storage server, would be around $140,000, with an annual maintenance cost of $8- to $9,000. He noted a lack of state and/or federal funding when it comes to costs such as this.
“We’re all in favor of them; we’ve looked at them for several years, it’s just coming up with the funding and prioritizing it,” Duchak said.
Ian Ridgeway, deputy director of the Miami County Board of Elections, also addressed the commissioners Tuesday regarding the potential of opening the east courthouse doors for extended hours to allow additional public access to the BOE office ahead of the November election, citing the requirement to have the office accessible to the public to drop off documents related to the election.
The south doors will already be open for extended hours, with security stationed, to allow for early voting. Given this, the commissioners agreed there should be no need to extend the opening of the east door.
In other business, the commissioners:
• Voted to adopt revised fee schedule for appointed legal counsel reimbursement to reflect revisions in attorney fees.
• Authorized an agreement for marketing services for the Miami County Solid Waste District at a cost consistent with last year’s fee.
• Authorized expenses for the Miami County Plaza Dedication event, which is set for Thursday, Oct. 1, with a contingency date of May 6, 2021. All costs associated with this event are being funded by four sponsors: the Troy Foundation, the Robinson Fund, Troy Hospital-Kettering Network, and UVMC-Premier Health.
• Approved an annexation petition on behalf of Frank Harlow for 83.356 acres in Staunton Township to the city of Troy.
• Approved the rezoning of a 4.169-acre track at 3883 Piqua-Troy Road from general agriculture to single-family residential.