SCIOTO — During its Thursday meeting, pushed back to 11:30, the Scioto County Commissioners reached several contract agreements with varying local entities.
Among the 21 items on its agenda, the lengthiest so far this year, the board’s first agreements were the annual renewals with the City of Portsmouth and the Village of New Boston for its indigent defense representation.
Later in the meeting, the commissioners agreed to a resolution where they would match funds for grants received by the Scioto County Engineer’s Office. That decision was made to help cover the additional cost of hot-mix paving, $80,000 per mile paved, and multiple ongoing projects by the office.
“It’s becoming more and more important for them to keep that pace in terms of miles paved per year,” said Commissioner Bryan Davis, where Engineer Darren LeBrun told the Portsmouth Daily Times 36,000 tons of asphalt were paved as of the latest data.
LeBrun did not request financial assistance last year, Davis said, due to the uncertainties of the pandemic. Between 2018 and 2019, the board contributed $300,000 to his work, and his request for the next two years was the same.
Davis was informed that the office would be overseeing $8 to $9 million in projects this year alone. That money includes bridges, paving and would bring in jobs, he said.
“That is a large amount of projects that they’ll be doing in 2021, so we’re going to see a lot of that happen,” he said.
Commissioner Scottie Powell called this option to chip-in a “no-brainer” for the board and hoped the $150,000 each year would bring an extra hand for the engineers.
“Without having our reserves, without having carryovers, it’s literally impossible to go out and get these grants,” added Davis in agreement with Powell. “That’s one reason why having a fiscally conservative budget has really benefited Scioto County in a big way over the last six years.”
Following the on-agenda discussion, Scioto County Economic Development Director Robert Horton expressed his excitement for the S.O.A.R. business park located next to the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport.
Projected to break ground this spring or summer, the 45,000 square foot project was hailed as a potential to bring in more business to the county. Horton said the design is flexible in terms of what industry can use it, mentioning manufacturing, distribution, and the ability to be used by multiple businesses at the same time.
“This is what I hope our future in Scioto County looks like,” said Horton, the project one four years in the making and already receiving interested feedback. “We couldn’t be doing this at a better time.”
Those interested in the business park are told to contact Horton at his email: Robert.Horton@sciotocounty.net
Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.
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