County creates position to oversee ARPA funds


By Sam Wildow

[email protected]

TROY — On Thursday, the Miami County Board of Commissioners approved creating a temporary, full-time project manager position to oversee the county’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and projects.

Following an executive session, Gary Link was hired to fill the position at a pay rate of $36.44 per hour. Commissioner Ted Mercer was absent. Commissioners Greg Simmons and Wade Westfall voted in approval of this action. Westfall said the position will terminate at the end of the ARPA-related projects and the required reporting of those projects.

Simmons said the commissioners will be undergoing training to learn for what the county can use ARPA funds, of which the county received an allocation of $10.4 million this year. The county will also receive another allocation of $10.4 million next year.

“We’re going to be doing some water, sewer type projects. We’re going to be doing some construction,” Simmons said. As an example, he said they have a couple facilities in need of improved HVAC systems.

“We will make sure that we’re following the rules and that we’ll have someone that will be in charge of these construction-type projects,” Simmons said.

Link was previously the executive director of the rehabilitation side of the West Central Juvenile Facility, which has closed. The commissioners selected Link for the APRA project manager position. As the APRA project manager, Link will be responsible for overseeing the projects, making sure the county is in compliance with the requirements for those funds, and doing the reporting required for those funds.

Also on Thursday, the commissioners approved the 2022 annual maintenance assessments for a number of single county ditches, and they further authorized for those assessments to be sent the county auditor to be placed on the next succeeding tax duplicate.

The commissioners then authorized and signed the Subdivider’s Agreement, Escrow Agreement, and Record Plat for the construction of the North Branch Pass Subdivision, Section 2, containing 26 lots, as shown on the record plat with Monroe Federal Savings & Loan Association for North Branch Land Company, LLC, to be filed with the Miami County recorder, as requested by the county engineer.

The commissioners authorized employment verifications for:

• Nicole Eidemiller, telecommunicator, Communication Center, $19.55 per hour

• Braden Parrish, telecommunicator, Communication Center, $19.55 per hour

• Michael Clarey, Development Services manager, Department of Development, $2,942.31 bi-weekly

The commissioners also acknowledged the 2022 Urban Transit Program (ODOT) grant award in the amount of $61,818 for operating expenses for Miami County Public Transit. They authorized Miami County Public Transit Manager Sarah Baker to electronically sign the grant contract. Baker noted the grant amount was approximately $16,000 lower than last year’s allocation due to the allocation based on the previous year’s ridership. Last year’s ridership numbers were impacted by the pandemic.

Next, the commissioners voted to amend a previous resolution and authorize the Auditor/IT Department to purchase Cisco Network Switches and related equipment from MNJ Technologies, Buffalo Grove, Ill., at a cost not to exceed $19,280. The commissioners had previously approved a purchase order to GovConnection, Inc. for that equipment, but GovConnection could not fulfill the order at the discounted price originally provided.

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