LOGAN — The Hocking County Board of Commissioners met last Tuesday, June 22, to hear updates from Gary Silcott, Jr. of DLZ regarding ongoing water projects throughout the county.

The status of Murray City is about the same as last month, Silcott began. Work in Carbon Hill is waiting on finishing touches, and will come in up to $150,000 under budget, which will be beneficial to the county, he said.

“Union Furnace — AEP’s out there working, so that’s good news, so hopefully in the next month or so they’ll have (electricity) to us (to get) those stations going,” Silcott said. “We can then send connect notices to the rest of the folks.”

A manhole flow meter problem near Union Furnace Elementary School was also repaired the week before last, Silcott added. Silcott also updated the board on the status of the Hocking Valley Scenic Trail, which hasn’t seen much action due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Silcott said.

According to a 2017 report by The Logan Daily News, talks for the trail began in 2016. The goal of the project is to “(establish) a bike path through Hocking County that would connect with the trail in Nelsonville, which continues further south to Athens.”

Both last Tuesday and in a previous report by The Logan Daily News from March, Silcott said the project is still waiting to hear back from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) for its phase one plans.

Silcott also updated the commissioners on proposed construction for the West Street sanitary sewer project in Logan. The project will be funded in part by the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, for which Hocking Athens Perry Community Action (HAPCAP) submitted an application on the county’s behalf.

“So that will basically be the $525,000 project that will basically replace all the sewer, manholes, laterals up to the houses to try to address that,” Silcott said. “Hopefully, we’ll probably find out (in) August, September if we’ll get the (CDBG critical infrastructure funding) or not.”

On Thursday, June 24 the commissioners met to pay the bills and hear from Hocking County Auditor Ken Wilson, who told the board about the county’s upcoming audit by the Ohio Auditor of State’s office.

“Because the county receives over $750,000 a year in federal funding, (we’re) required to have an annual audit of our financial records,” Wilson said.

Since the state office is low on staff, Wilson presented a proposal before the board to approve an outside, independent agency — Millhuff-Stang, CPA of Portsmouth — to perform the county’s audit, he explained.

Millhuff-Stang has performed the county’s audit for the past three years, Wilson said. Wilson described the company as “probing.”

“They delve into the background of each department’s records to make sure that we’re doing what is proper and we’ll be fully accountable for all the monies we’re administering throughout the county’s agencies,” Wilson said.

Wilson will meet with the board again in July for a “mid-year update” on the county’s general operating fund. Sales tax remains one of the county’s top sources of revenue, he added.

The next commissioners meeting is today (Tuesday, June 29) at 9:30 a.m. in the Commissioners Chambers at the Hocking County Courthouse, 1 E. Main St. Meetings are open to the public and livestreamed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HockingCommissioners/.

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