Work continues for 2nd bridge, landfill closes

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

On the county level in 2013, work continued on constructing a second river bridge in Napoleon, the landfill closed and became an exempt transfer station and the county’s revolving loan fund continued to be troubled.

A public meeting was held in December to present the Industrial Drive to State Route 110 option as the preferred route, and a contract was recently approved to perform environmental studies and detailed designs.

As part of the project, an alteration to Industrial Drive - namely the curve along the southern most section of the road - was approved, as was the purchase of property at 930 E. Riverview Ave. for $164,000 to ensure right-of-way for the road.

In June, the Henry County Landfill closed and the facility became an exempt transfer station.

All of the industrial clients, such as the City of Napoleon and Campbell Soup Supply Co., were transitioned to other facilities in May. Once the landfill was full, it became an exempt transfer facility, where residents and some businesses can still drop off waste, and those items will be transferred to a nearby landfill. As part of the transfer facility, only one 50 cubic yard container can be active for filling at a time.

With these changes, fees were also increased to cover the costs of having to transfer the waste to another facility. The new rates were approved as follows: $60 per ton, $15 minimum for 500 pounds or less and $12 for each mattress disposed. Currently, the rate is $43.75 per ton with a $12 minimum for 500 pounds or less.

Troubles continued with the county’s revolving loan fund as legal issues continue to arise.

In April, the commissioners filed two civil claims against local companies for not repaying loans - Horse Power Sales.Net , Inc. of Napoleon and Ruralogic, Inc. of Bryan. An agreement was reached to give Horse Power Sales.Net , Inc. owner Doug Pelmear six months to repay the loan with two vehicles totaling $60,000 as collateral.

In November, Pelmear filed two lawsuits in Defiance County Common Pleas Court against the commissioners and Maumee Valley Planning Organization, which administers the loan fund, alleging fraud, breach of contract and intentional or reckless conduct regarding the loan.

In October, former Henry County Commissioner Richard Myers was sentenced to one year of community control following his conviction of having an unlawful interest in a public contract. The charge stems from a $25,000 personal loan from Myers to auto designer Peter Collorafi in 2009 with the understanding Collorafi would locate a manufacturing plant in Henry County. A few days later, the Henry County commissioners, of which Myers was one at the time, approved a memorandum of understanding stating it would consider loaning the designer $300,000 in revolving loan funds if he met certain criteria.

No loan documents were signed, but two $150,000 checks were cut from the county auditor’s office to provide the loan. Myers obtained the checks several weeks later and handed them over to Collorafi, still with no loan documents signed. The project never moved forward and Collorafi still has not paid the loan back.

Also in 2013:

•The fee structure was also changed for those purchasing dog licenses and kennel registrations in 2014. The fees are as follows: One-year registration is $16, an increase of $2 from the 2013 cost; a three-year registration is $48, which is a new option; a permanent registration is $160, also a new option; a one-year kennel registration is $80; and the adoption fee from dog shelter is $75, an increase of $11 from 2013.

•The operating levy for Country View Haven was allowed to expire at the end of this year without seeking a renewal because the home’s census is up and there is a sufficient carry-over to operate the home for 2014. However, levy options are expected to be discussed in 2014.

•The commissioners also agreed to serve as the borrower for a joint water plant project involving the Henry County Regional Water and Sewer District, City of Napoleon and the villages of Florida, Liberty Center and Malinta. Funding is being sought through the United State Department of Agriculture (USDA), and assessments are being considered to help fund the project.

•Through the Moving Ohio Forward program, Henry County was given $135,062 from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to demolish blighted properties in the county. As of mid-December, there was approximately $9,400 remaining and the deadline to spend the money was extended from Dec. 31 until May 31.

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