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Carroll commissioners review applications for preservation fund

By SARA KLEIN News Leader Staff Writer Published: April 13, 2017 12:00 AM

Carroll County's board of commissioners is considering six proposals for possible funding from the county's newly established Ohio History Connection fund.

The $100,000 fund was established as part of a recent mitigation agreement that required Rover Pipeline LLC to pay a fine for demolishing the Stoneman House near Leesville last summer. The 173-year-old home on Azalea Road was under consideration to be added to the National Register of Historic Places when the natural-gas pipeline company demolished it without consulting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission or the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, which advises FERC about the possible effects of pipeline projects on historic sites.

Funds must be used to preserve or rehabilitate existing historic properties; establish or support education programs that raise awareness of historic preservation; or to conduct other projects that preserve historic areas within the county.

Commissioners opened proposals at their April 10 meeting and plan to hear presentations from the applying organizations later this week. Board President Jeff Ohler said the board will score each presentation to determine finalist proposals, which will then head to the Ohio History Connection and Ohio State Historic Preservation Office for final approval.

The Malvern Historical Society submitted an application requesting $20,000 to repair and renovate the society's building at 108 East Porter Street.

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The Magnolia Area Historical Society is requesting $2,000 to sponsor a service education program titled "Magnolia Treasures and Tours." The program would involve 20 high school students working a three-hour shift to help identify historical artifacts from an area blacksmith shop. Students would also take a guided tour of the area as part of the day's activities.

Ed Eick, Carroll County building supervisor, submitted an application requesting $68,770 to repair metal work on and paint the courthouse clock tower.

The Carroll County Historical Society requested $60,000 to complete exterior restoration work on the Perrysville Methodist Church, which dates to 1837.

The Carroll County Genealogical Society requested $2,530 to republish 200 copies of the "Illustrated Historical Atlas of Carroll County, Ohio," first published in 1874.

The Carroll County Agricultural Society is requesting $40,000 to begin restoration work the open-class dairy barn at the county fairgrounds.

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At the board's April 6 meeting, commissioners held a public meeting regarding proposed legislation to rehire Ralph Castellucci, director of county's sewer district, in his same position immediately after his retirement.

Ohler stated at a Feb. 23 meeting that Castellucci, a 30-year county employee, was retiring so that he could begin drawing on his pension.

The legislation will allow Castellucci to return to his position on May 1 with the same salary of $34.92 per hour. The county will pay him for all vacation leave and 30 days of the 1,000 hours of sick leave that he accrued through April 30. He will also remain eligible for health insurance paid by the county.

The board adopted the legislation with a two-person vote while Board President Robert Wirkner abstained.

"I have very strong feelings on the matter that are personal, which may prevent me from objectively reviewing this proposal," Wirkner said.

No members of the public attended the hearing.

In other business, the board:

DISCUSSED the possibility of a ballot issue that would, if voters approve it, add an annual $5 fee to license plate renewals with funds going to the county engineer's budget.

Ohler, who proposed the idea, cited information County Engineer Brian Wise provided March 9 about budget decreases his office is facing, which Wise said are the result of fuel taxes that the state has not updated to reflect inflation over the past 12 years.

At the time, Wise said the county could use a license plate fee to fund his office's maintenance and repair of roadways, bridges and culverts. He pointed out that the fee could be implemented if voters approve the measure on an election ballot or, if commissioners enact the fee without a ballot issue, if voters do not pass a referendum against it.

"My personal opinion has always been let's not create another tax for people. But on the same token, I don't think it's fair for me to instill my personal feelings on what the opinion may be of the general public," Ohler explained.

"I would consider letting the people make the decision versus me saying, 'No, I'm not even going to take it to the people in the county.' My opinion is, let them have their say," he added.

APPROVED a motion to pay $3,402 for a Stryker evacuation chair, which would be used to evacuate an immobile person from the courthouse in an emergency. Janice Leggett, clerk supervisor, said the courthouse's current chair is "what I would describe as a lawn chair with wheels" that requires five or six people to carry it "with brute force."

HEARD the County Dog Pound report for April 2 8: six dogs impounded, three adopted, four redeemed, none euthanized, eight citations for no license and one citation for running at large.

HEARD Jeff Yeager, treasurer, present the county's quarterly financial report showing a total $38,733,470 on deposit and earned interest totaling $17,325. A total $17,230 of that interest is held in the county's General Fund.

"I think we're going in a little bit better direction this year on interest," said Yeager, adding that six of the county's certificates of deposit are coming due in 2017.

The county's funds are held in accounts with Consumers National Bank, Huntington Bank and PNC Bank.


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