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Commissioners approve BOH sprinkler funding


XENIA — During their second virtual meeting of the coronavirus pandemic, Greene County commissioners approved funding for a Bridges of Hope sprinkler system April 16.

Several grants managed through the Greene County Department of Development made up the $100,938 voucher for the faith-based shelter located in the former Simon Kenton Elementary School building, County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said during the meeting. The county contributed $10,000 from its revolving loan fund as did the City of Xenia. Grant funds from the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) plus donations from the homeless shelter made up the rest. No county general fund dollars were used.

“In the last 13 months the county commissioners have provided grants to the City of Xenia at the dollar amount of $110,000,” Commissioner Tom Koogler said. Huddleson said that included $70,000 from the first round of the Municipal Grant Program last December and $40,000 in January’s round.

Koogler referenced an earlier April Xenia City Council meeting where members discussed considering emergency financial support for the shelter.

“I know there was a question and comments about commissioners stepping up because it’s a county problem, and I will agree to disagree. I believe it’s a City of Xenia problem, and the fact is that the county has provided the City of Xenia with $110,000 worth of funding with no strings attached that they could spend on … whatever they believe the priorities might be within their city,” Koogler said. “I think the county commissioners have stepped up for whatever Xenia might need and obviously the Bridges of Hope is a situation and a priority that is necessary and hopefully Xenia will use some of the funding provided by the county commissioners to support that program.”

Huddleson added, “I think by us managing this project through the Department of Development, by us using some of our program income to help support it and by us bending over backwards at Building Regulations to make sure this project got completed with a sprinkler system, I think the county commissioners have done quite a bit to facilitate Bridges of Hope and their program, short of using general fund dollars taking away from a service that we’re mandated to provide and providing other dollars to this one shelter.”

The three commissioners approved the voucher.

Later at the meeting, the commissioners praised Greene County Common Pleas Court Administrator Mark Donatelli for finding a grant to apply for funding for four Dell computers to be used from remote work stations during the stay at home order.

Judge Michael A. Buckwalter will sign the award to receive the $3,800-plus Remote Technology Grant from the Ohio Supreme Court. There are no matching funds from the county.

The next board meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 23. The public can watch via Facebook Live by going to the Greene County, Ohio — Government page. Public comment may be submitted to Clerk Lisa Mock at [email protected] by 10 a.m. the day of the meeting. There were technical difficulties this past meeting and the video was later posted to co.greene.oh.us.

By Anna Bolton

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Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.