Highland County Commissioners Hear Update on Recycling

Highland County Commissioners Jeff Duncan, Terry Britton and David Daniels met with Whitney Bradley of Highland County Community Action for an update on the county’s recycling program on Wednesday, December 15.

Bradley, who said he was hired in July and “working to take over the program,” briefed commissioners on the latest events in the program since coordinator Tara Campbell last met them in May.

During Campbell’s last visit, she spoke of HCCAO’s desire to start a curriculum for local students to educate them about recycling. Six months later, Bradley said the program is underway and is helping to generate interest in recycling in area schools.

Through Bradley’s outreach in schools, she said she was working with fifth graders to help them distinguish between natural and man-made solid waste, as well as teaching them how and where to recycle.

“I went to Highland County classrooms,” Bradley said. “I’ve been to all but one. I was able to reach around 200 students.

“So far, they’ve really enjoyed it. They are very excited. We are hoping to implement an Earth Day activity for all of our Highland County schools so we are very excited about it. “

Bradley added that students will soon be invited to participate in the annual Ross Pickaway Highland Fayette Solid Waste District billboard competition, which is open to fifth-graders each year to design a billboard promoting recycling. or waste prevention.

“All fifth graders will have the opportunity to design a poster board,” she said. “They are also very excited about it. ”

According to Bradley, the Highland County Tire and Electronics Recycling Event, held Sept. 25 at Community Action, was also a success.

“We have received townships as well as community members throughout Highland County,” Bradley told the commissioners. “We received 688 passenger tires, 36 truck tires and nine farm tractor tires.

“Municipalities were able to bring tires they picked up and give them to us for recycling free of charge, and the majority of community recycling was also free. “

Bradley also announced that Highland County Recycling is adding two new bins to the Rocky Fork Lake Campground area as they investigate a “recycling solution” for the Mowrystown area.

“We are finding that we are having difficulty doing this due to personnel issues within the recycling collection team, but we have solutions that we are looking to address,” she said.

In the past, Commissioners have been made aware of various recycling bin spill issues, although in recent updates Campbell and Bradley said the problem appears to have eased.

“We attended the district meeting with the other counties that are in the solid waste district,” Duncan told Bradley. “We talked about the issues that each county has, and each has their own issues – some of them very similar – with contamination from unwanted things at collection sites. Hope it improves.

“From what I’ve been told, one kind of remedy for this, we’ve noticed, is to put the garbage cans in supervised and well-traveled areas,” Bradley said. “We’ve noticed that as long as they’re in high traffic areas, there aren’t a lot of spill issues. I think I personally went to clean up some broken glass that was found at the Hi-TEC center, but it was pretty easily fixed.

In May, Duncan had discussed a pilot program in Fayette County with a centralized location for recycling that required “an access code or key fob to enter” as another way to tackle the spill problem. . He suggested the idea again at Wednesday’s meeting.

“We have had discussions about the possibility of doing it here in the county,” Duncan said. “However, the county is quite large. We think it could take two locations.

Bradley agreed and said she was in favor of having multiple locations to avoid “alienating” rural communities in the county.

“Our concern within the recycling program – between Tara and myself – is that if we were to have a centralized mega-site outside of Hillsboro, it would alienate some of the parts south of Hillsboro, as well as Sinking Spring.” , she said. . “We really want to work hard to make sure we don’t alienate these communities. I know a lot of times they get the impression that because these are rural communities they are kind of forgotten. We would really like to work to make sure that doesn’t happen, so having multiple sites would, I think, be more beneficial.

Daniels also asked Bradley a few questions about the program, including if there were any plans for a home appliance collection event.

“If this is something that we want to explore, the recycling program would be open to that,” Bradley said. “We can explore that as part of the grant as well, because I know we’re going to be doing the grant here soon. “

Regarding a question from Daniels on household hazardous waste collection, Bradley said anyone in the RPHF district was able to attend a drop-off day held in Ross County. However, she said she would also be interested in planning a Highland County collection date.

“I’ve had a lot of phone calls from people who need to get rid of heating oil, or paints and thinners and things like that,” she said. “I know this is something that would be of tremendous benefit to Highland County.”

Commissioners thanked Bradley for his report and for his efforts over the past six months. She encouraged all community members with questions about the program to contact her at recycling@hccao.org or (937) 393-3458.

“We appreciate the update,” Duncan said. “Thank you for coming and welcome aboard. “

• • •

Also at the Wednesday meeting:

• Duncan and County Auditor Bill Fawley said preliminary sales tax receipts (non-auto) for December showed a 12 percent increase over last year.

“These exact numbers will be released later,” Duncan said. “These sales tax numbers keep hanging on.

“We had a session on this when we were in Columbus [at the County Commissioners Association of Ohio’s winter conference] last week, and it appears to be true statewide, with the exception of some of the larger counties. “

Duncan added that sales tax numbers are expected to remain stable in 2022, although Fawley said it will likely depend “on what the federal government ends up doing to give people the money. extra money “.

• Britton announced that the commission plans to hold its last meeting of 2021 on Wednesday, December 22, barring any last-minute business.

“We hope that whatever needs to be moved will be moved and our budget will be finalized by then,” said Britton.

In another action, the commissioners approved a long list of year-end resolutions, each by a 3-0 vote:

• An additional credit from unforeseen income from A-00 commissioners in the amount of $ 30,942.80.

• A request for reimbursement of a previous advance from O-08 RFL Debt Retirement to A-00 General Fund in the amount of $ 73,000 (Res. 15-302 and 16-337).

• A request to create a new position in the P-03 RFL Sewer District, advance and allotment of $ 100,000 from unrestricted funds. The commissioners are also asking for the reimbursement of an earlier advance from the P-03 RFL sewer district to the general fund in the amount of $ 100,000 (resolution no. 16-336).

• A resolution determining that the advances must in fact be reclassified as a transfer (the reimbursement of which is no longer expected).

• A budget modification in the certificate of title budget in the amount of $ 5,000.

• An additional appropriation from unallocated funds in the Sheriff’s Budget in the amount of $ 314.81.

• An additional credit from unrestricted funds in the amount of $ 10,000 to S-00, Outgoing Transfers. A transfer from S-00, Board of Developmental Disabilities to S-87, Help Me Grow Fund, in the amount of $ 10,000, is also authorized.

• A request to create a new position in T-30 PSI Transfers Out. The Commissioners also authorize a transfer in the amount of $ 1.75 from refunds to outgoing transfers in the T30.

• A budget modification within T-33 Community Control in the amount of $ 75,000.

• A budgetary modification within the budget of the commissioners in the amount of $ 2,000.

• An allocation of unallocated funds in S-85 in the amount of $ 300,000. A transfer from the S-58 Children’s Emergency Fund to S-03 is also requested in the amount of $ 300,000.

• An additional credit from unforeseen income from the Local Relief Fund for the S-22 coronavirus in the amount of $ 736.01.

The following contracts were approved by a 3-0 vote:

• A CSEA Administrative Hearing Officer IV-D contract with Adam J. King from January 1 to December 31, 2022.

• An independent contractual agreement with Unger Construction, LTD from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022. Duncan said the county is using this company “to do repair work on sewer issues” in Rocky Fork Lake.

• A contract between the Highland County Recorder and Montgomery County Microfilming for their archive center and archives for 2022.

• A housing revolving loan fund administration agreement with the Ohio Department of Development from January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2026.