Monroe County development eyed

WOODSFIELD – Economic development, pay hikes for Monroe County Sheriff’s Office personnel and plans for grandstand repairs at the Monroe County Fairgrounds were eyed this week by the county commissioners.

Commissioners signed a professional services agreement with the Silverlode Consulting Corp. of Cleveland for economic consulting services from Jan. 7 to Dec. 31 of this year. That company will be paid $3,600 a month for up to 24 hours of consulting service a month.

The county previously had an agreement with Silverlode from Oct. 23 to Dec. 31, 2012, under the same terms.

Silverlode’s economic development consulting services will focus on business retention and expansion, business attraction, maintaining an available properties database, providing economic development content on the county’s website, assisting the county with analysis and implementation of various incentives and financing tools, identifying funding sources and utilizing social media for promotion of the county.

In regard to business retention and expansion, Silverlode is to prioritize and coordinate meeting with existing companies in order to identify expansion opportunities, linked target industries and companies, business threats, risk of closure and other matters. It also will assist companies considering relocation or expansion to fully consider opportunities for remaining and expanding in the county and will work with the county to take the steps necessary to facilitate the expansion of local businesses.

Silverlode also is to identify companies that could potentially locate in the county and will work with those companies.

The available properties database will include properties for sale or lease, and these will be placed on the county’s website.

Commissioners signed a memorandum of understanding between the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Fraternal Order of Police, Ohio Labor Council Inc., and it provides for a 3.5 percent increase for the sheriff’s employees over the life of the contract.

Purpose of the memorandum is for a modification of the collective bargaining agreement between the two parties effective Feb. 1, 2012, and expiring Jan. 31, 2015.

In regard to the grandstand, commissioners entered into an agreement with Swiss Valley Associates Inc., Structural Engineering Services, with the cost of work being $4,510. The grandstand was damaged June 29, 2012, when a derecho swept through the county.

The structural engineer’s report will include evaluation of the structure, development of options for repair and two meetings with the Monroe County Fair Board or designated representatives.

Evaluation of the structure includes inspection of the structure, sketch of the structure identifying problem areas as well as calculations for adequacy of existing beams and columns.

Development of options for repair focuses on general description of work to be performed, opinion of costs and recommendation for moving forward.

Commissioners also approved a Housing Revolving Loan Fund Administration Agreement with the Ohio Development Services Agency for the period from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2015.

In other matters, commissioners and Connie Eyman, interim administrator of the Monroe County Center, were in executive session for an hour concerning operational issues, and no action was taken in that regard after the session.

Commissioners and department heads from the care center discussed personnel matters from 4:36-6 p.m., also with no action taken.