MIAMI COUNTY — On Friday, the Miami County Commissioners decided not to send the open letter to Gov. Mike DeWine that was discussed during the commissioners’ meeting on Thursday that called for “a flexible method of the reopening of our businesses.”
The letter previously asked for DeWine to offer more flexibility toward opening businesses, such as opening businesses sooner with “proper guidelines and protocol” in order to reduce the economic burden felt by businesses, as well as state and local budgets.
On Friday, commissioner Jack Evans said the governor’s announcements on Thursday, which provided timelines for reopening salons and restaurants this month, were sufficient to what they were seeking.
“With the governor’s latest announcements, we felt it not necessary to send the letter,” Evans said. “The governor has pretty well (opened) most of the businesses in our community. Therefore, we felt the letter became moot.”
“Since there is a plan for re-opening businesses, I don’t see a necessity for sending the letter,” commissioner Greg Simmons said. “However, I am in favor of expediting openings.”
“Governor Dewine has instituted our recommendations we stated in the letter,” commissioner Ted Mercer said. “At this time, we see no need to send the letter. However, as a commissioner I will monitor the situation closely. We need to get our economic engine started back up now and in a safe manner as quickly as possible.”
In other news:
During their meeting on Thursday, Miami County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Joel Smith gave an update to the commissioners on the COVID-19 pandemic, saying the county should expect to see some increases in the next week of positive cases of COVID-19. Smith said that Koester Pavilion was recently approved for widespread testing. He said that while that may produce a “spike” in the positive numbers, “it’s just increased detection of a facility we were already focused on.”
Miami County EMA also received shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) from the Ohio EMA, including 16 cases of gloves, 16 cases of N95 face mask, three cases of K90 face masks, and 1,200 face shields. That PPE is being shared with first responders in Miami County.
The commissioners also accepted a grant allocation of $1,702,840 on behalf of Miami County Transit from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. These funds are being distributed to transit agencies that receive Federal Transit Administration funds to continue to provide public transit operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is money that will be used until 2022,” Miami County Transit Director Sarah Baker said.
The commissioners also approved repairs to the Miami County Courthouse. They accepted a quote from Brian Bros. Painting and Restoration, LLC, of Piqua in the amount of $5,768 for the painting of the former OSU Extension Office on the first floor of the courthouse. Commissioner Ted Mercer said that painting the former OSU Extension Office space will free it up for reuse and potential rental space for a government agency.
The commissioners also accepted a quote from Brian Bros. Painting and Restoration, LLC, of Piqua in the amount of $6,900 for the caulking and painting of 32 window frames and three exterior doors.
Director Chris Johnson of the Facilities and Operations Department spoke about how this project will help protect against water damage to the courthouse, explaining how much of the water penetration and plaster damage done to the courthouse has been due to water leaking in through the first floor windows. While all of the windows at the courthouse will have to be replaced at some point, Johnson said this could extend the life of those windows by about a decade.