Public Health’s levy renewal OK’d

MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County Commissioners approved a declaration of intent to seek the renewal of the Miami County Public Health levy on Thursday.

Miami County Public Health’s 10-year 0.4-mill levy is for operating expenses and services for the combined health district is seeking its renewal for the May 4 election. The levy generates $574,246.24 per year. The health district includes all of Miami County except for the city of Piqua, which maintains its own health department. The city of Troy makes a yearly payment for the county public health services so the levy will not appear on the ballot for Troy residents.

Miami County Health Commissioner Dennis Propes said it’s a long-standing levy and is a renewal with no new taxes. No public comments for or against the levy renewal issue were made during the meeting.

Commissioner Ted Mercer said, “I think we all can attest how important it is to our community.” The declaration will be filed with the Miami County Board of Elections by the end of the week.

Miami County EMA Director Joel Smith reported the county’s COVID-19 update to the commissioners. Smith said Miami County will continue to stay at the Red risk level health advisory for meeting two of the state’s seven indicators.

Smith said once a county hits Red risk level, the county will stay red as long as the rate of new cases per capita is above 100. Miami County’s current rate per capita is 784 per 100,000. Smith said that rate is trending down from over a 1,000 the last week of December. The other indicator is the community spread, which is over 50 percent in the county. Emergency and outpatient visits and hospitalization were also down in the county. Less than 20 percent of ICU beds have COVID-19 patients admitted, according to Smith.

Prior to Thursday’s update, Smith said the county recorded 605 new cases since last week compared to 505 the previous week with a total of 8,673 (cases as of Thursday) since the beginning of the record.

“Those numbers are ticking a little bit up looking at day-to-day, but we are still in the red with two indicators,” Smith said.

Miami County has recorded a total of 424 hospitalizations with an increase of 21 since last week and no additional deaths due to the virus. Smith said an estimated 1,369 cases are considered active cases, 73 more than last week. Data shows 7,191 residents are presumed recovered from the virus. Smith said 582 residents have recovered since last week.

Smith reported 2,122 Miami County residents have received a vaccine for coronavirus. For more details about the county’s vaccination plans and reports, read “County rolls out vaccine plan for next phase” story in Friday’s Miami Valley Today or online at www.miamivalleytoday.com.

• Commissioners approved a $28,000 increase in grant funds for a total of $100,000 from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections for a community-based corrections software program for probation case management through Common Pleas Court. The grant is to acquire software that will track those on probation throughout the state. According to Common Please Court Administrator Stacy Smith, 40 out of 88 Ohio counties use the software and Miami County plans to have its system live within 90-120 days. Smith said some of the features include a remote check-in system and kiosk and check-in through smartphones. Smith said the program has been in the works for the last year. Commissioner Simmons said, “It’s a great program.”

• Commissioners approved to spend $2,650 for Kodak Capture Pro Group DX software assurance for one year and a Kodak Alaris “care kit” for a scanner used by the Recorder’s Office. According to recorder Jessica Lopez, the extended warranty “kits” are for the office’s equipment that is being used to archive microfilm documents and deeds from 1970 to 1807.