A Marion-area contractor spoke to Madison County Commissioners this week about repairing the courthouse.
Doug Hooper of Midstate Contractors, Inc. said the company is a consulting business, which in recent years performed renovation work on the First United Methodist Church in London.
“You come highly recommended,” said Commissioner David Dhume.
Hooper showed the commissioners photos taken of the Licking County Courthouse, another recent restoration project his business performed.
He said as an assessment is completed, needs are put in categories with safety concerns at the top of the list.
“Life safety issues you want to key on,” Hooper said.
An assessment was quoted by Hooper at $12,000. As part of it, he would access many parts of the structure including the exterior, if need be.
Commissioner Gross said the estimate was “not unreasonable.” The company could possibly help locate grants which could assist with funding, he said.
Commissioners said they are concerned about the amount of paper stored in the attic of the courthouse, and are eager to remove it.
In other business during Monday’s meeting, County Engineer David Brand reported his office is entering into a joint agreement with the Union County Engineer’s Office to address a ditch petition filed by Darby Township trustees. They are concerned about the drainage situation in Kileville, he said.
Brand said his office is also working with the Madison County Agricultural Society on repaving the driveway from Elm Street into the fairgrounds. Brand said paving needs to be done to move drainage away from the new building.
It will require materials valued at $3,700. A contractor has yet to be hired to do the work.
Commissioners also approved a resolution which included a revision of the county’s comprehensive land-use plan. It amends the county’s commercial area. It has been reviewed by township trustees in the area which lies in Somerford and Deercreek townships.
The resolution does not change any zoning of land in the area affected by the revision, which is the east-west corridor, bounded by state Route 56 on the west and U.S. Route 42 on the east, and lies between U.S. Route 40 and Interstate 70 on the south and north, respectively.
Commissioner Mark Forrest said a change of zoning will continue to be submitted by application.
He said the revision comes out of the purchase of a tract of land along the aforementioned corridor by Beck’s Hybrids of Indiana. The company purchased the land for the purpose of erecting a distribution center.
Forrest said Beck’s Hybrids land remains agricultural at this time. The company will have to apply for rezoning all or part of it in order to build a commercial facility.
In other business, the commissioners signed off on the application to Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP) through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) as part of Madison County’s Farmland Preservation Program. If accepted, the commissioners will be able to purchase easements on Bob and Anne Hunter, Dale and Maria Sheridan, Nancy and William Robinson and James Phillippi II.
“It’s the second half of the process,” said Julia Cumming, administrator of the process.
The first phase was applying for funding from ODA, which was accomplished last month. The second phase is applying to NRCS.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) has committed $655,016 for the purchase of farmland preservation easements. This is being used as match to apply for $671,438 from the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
She said by adding federal dollars to the state funds, the county had admitted more applicants to the program.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 17 or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.