Fairgrounds to undergo structural assessment

By Aimee Hancock

ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com

TROY — Miami County Commissioners approved a proposal for a structural assessment of the grandstand, sheep barn, and northern horse barn at the fairgrounds during a regular session Tuesday.

The assessment, as requested by the Miami County Chief Building Official Rob England, will be provided by Shell + Meyer Associates Inc., of Dayton. The scope of the work will involve an on-site visit with visual observations and photos, along with a report for each of the three structures, which will include recommendations for immediate repairs and long-term maintenance.

The total cost of the assessment work is not to exceed $5,300. This assessment is part of the recently-announced effort to give the Miami County Fairgrounds a structural makeover.

At the end of Tuesday morning’s meeting, Commissioner Ted Mercer spoke briefly about an issue with the Pinwheels for Prevention Program sign on the southwest corner of the courthouse lawn, which was placed last Thursday as part of the commission’s honoring of April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The sign, along with the several pinwheels placed around it to represent some of the 414 reported cases of child abuse in Miami County during 2020, was taken down Tuesday morning after Mercer said he received an order Monday afternoon from the city of Troy’s zoning department to do so.

“I received a call from the city of Troy (notifying me that) I had failed to get a city permit to put that temporary 3-by-5 sign up and that they wanted me to remove it immediately due to not following protocol,” Mercer said. “I want to apologize to those 414 children, (for whom) there were referrals done for investigations into child abuse and neglect, that I failed to get the city permit, so unfortunately, we had to take that down this morning.”

The sign and pinwheels were temporary placements, Mercer said, and were set to be removed Thursday by Department of Job and Family Services Director Teresa Brubaker.

“Rules are rules, and we’ll follow the rules,” Mercer said.

Commissioner Wade Westfall shared his “disappointment” that the sign was removed early.

“I’m very disappointed, to say the least, especially being a person who’s been actively involved in downtown Troy over the past 30-plus years,” he said. “We also recognized about 25 of the (JFS) staff that day, who also assisted in putting the pinwheels down. It was a nice time, and we were given the opportunity to highlight those who are most vulnerable in our community.”

Commission Board President Greg Simmons was absent during Tuesday’s general session.

Mercer also spoke Tuesday regarding a plan to move the county’s Human Resources Department from the basement of the Safety Building to the first floor of the courthouse.

“We just felt that our new change of direction for Human Resources is going to be ‘HR on the move,’ so we’re going to have HR on an open floor where people can see them in action, and they’re going to be out visiting other departments,” Mercer said. “I think this is going to be a great move for our community, and it’s a great move for our team members here, being able to have better access to Human Resources.”

Mercer noted several purchases approved during Tuesday’s meeting, as detailed below, will go toward the development of the new HR Department office space.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting:

• Commissioners authorized the Board of Elections to purchase remixed remastered Milliken Modular Carpet from Stanley Steemer/Sevitts Enterprises of Troy to be installed in the BOE office area, which includes some overstock for future modular replacements for stains or other damage should it occur. The cost is not to exceed $7,320.

• Commissioners authorized the purchase of a Campaign Finance Module from Triad Governmental Systems Inc. This module will be an extension of the Board of Elections Voter Registration System’s software and will track all campaign finance forms and reports filed by candidate and issue committees, and will also make these reports available on the BOE website. The total cost is $4,833 ($4,050 initial purchase cost; $783 installation and training).

• Commissioners authorized a service agreement with Bluegrass KESCO, of Louisville, to supply water treatment services at the Miami County Safety Building, Courthouse, and Hobart Center building. The water treatment program is an ongoing service that is critical to the HVAC water loops. This service has been in place for several years and is necessary to extend the life of the active pipe components and hardware and protect said items from corrosion and deterioration. The cost is not to exceed $8,100 annually with a three-year initial term.

• Commissioners authorized the purchase and installation of three broadloom area rugs/runners with bound edges from Weiffenback Marble & Tile Co., of Clayton, for the HR Department office. The cost is not to exceed $7,350, including delivery.

• Commissioners authorized the purchase of AllSteel furniture panels for the HR Department from FriendsOffice, of Columbus, at a cost not to exceed $5,353.49, including delivery and setup; and the purchase of HON furnishings and office furniture, including desks, cabinets, returns and tables, from FriendsOffice, at a cost not to exceed $19,108.35, including delivery and setup. Both purchases are to be completed through the Ohio DAS Purchasing Program.

• Commissioners authorized the submission of a Community Corrections Act grant application to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections (ODRC) requesting $72,000 to help cover the cost of one of the Common Pleas Court’s pre-sentence investigation writers.

• Commissioners authorized the Municipal Court to submit a Community Corrections Act grant application to the ODRC requesting $245,472 for the Female Outreach/Standard Probation program. This funding would cover two full-time officer positions and services provided by TCN Behavioral Services DBA Miami County Recovery Council for the period of July 2, 2021, through June 30, 2023.

• Commissioners authorized a proposal to enter into a Professional Services Agreement with March & McLennan Agency LLC, the health insurance/benefit brokerage services agency for the county, for the purpose of implementing an employee health care benefits feasibility study, at a cost not to exceed $15,000. According to commissioners, this study will look into the pros and cons of implementing a health clinic for county employees and their families.

• Commissioners accepted the resignation of JFS Attorney Jenna Testa, effective April 14, 2021; and signed an employee requisition to fill the vacant position, with a pay range of $24.04 to $37.12.