Bowers appointed interim director of Job & Family Services


By Eamon Baird

[email protected]

TROY — The Miami County Commissioners appointed Sara Bowers as interim director for the Department of Job and Family Services during their meeting on Jan. 2.

Bowers will serve in the interim position and earn an extra $300 per week after the resignation of former Director Bonita VanGorden on Dec. 26, 2023.

“I’d like to congratulate you and thank you for taking this position and you do have the full support of the Miami County Commission,” Commissioner Ted Mercer said to Bowers during the meeting.

Additionally, the commissioners authorized Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp to serve as a Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission member. Membership and payment of dues to the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission totaled $14,412.56.

Huelskamp, who has held the position of county engineer since 2011, was given authorization for the following during the meeting:

• To develop and administer permits in 2024.

• To use competitive bidding in the construction, reconstruction, improvement, maintenance, or repair of roads by force account according to Section 5543.19 of the Ohio Revised Code.

• Salary with compensation according to section 325.14 of the Ohio Revised Code, where the county engineer has elected not to engage in the private practice of engineering or surveying.

The commissioners also authorize and sign independent contract agreements with the following to perform plans examining services for the department of development on an “as needed” basis for 2024:

• Michael J. Wehrkamp, of Wehrkamp Engineering Inc., for $80,000 at $120 per hour.

• Michael Bruns, of Bruns Consulting LLC, for $170,000 at $120 per hour.

• Candice Goodall, architect, for $120,000 at $120 per hour.

• Whitney Locker, architect, for $100,000 at $120 per hour.

• Christopher Pettis, architect, for $100,000 at $120 per hour.

• Joseph McGovern, of McGovern Imagery LTD, for $100,000 at $120 per hour.

The commissioners authorized or approved the following agenda items:

• Department in contracts with the Ohio Department of Transportation for purchasing in 2024.

• Participation in the state of Ohio cooperative purchasing program in 2024.

• Membership and payment of dues to the National Association of Counties (NACo) for 2024.

• Allowing internet auctions for various items the county is no longer utilizing through GovDeals.

• To facilitate a 4% increase following the 2024 budget, approved by the Miami County Board of County Commissioners, to all wage-related accounts.

• To release $80,287 from the Irrevocable Standby Letter of Credit with Greenville National Bank of Troy for the construction of Merrimont Hills, as requested by the county engineer. This release constitutes a cancellation of the said letter of credit.

• To publish a notice of intent for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) allocation program and CDBG housing program income waiver requires a public notice before the release of funds.

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