County to begin reopening Monday

By Anna Bolton - [email protected]

XENIA — Greene County offices will begin reopening Monday, May 4.

County Administrator Brandon Huddleson said during the April 30 commissioners meeting that he had talked to department heads this week about their plans to open safely and slowly.

“There’s no substitute for good communication, for everyone in the county there has to be a level of collaboration and cooperation,” Commissioner Tom Koogler said.

The commissioners’ office at 35 Greene Street will remain closed to the public. Huddleson said 50 percent of staff will return during the first phase.

“We’re going to carefully watch the daily press conferences, watch those numbers. I’m under a mandate to you all to take this slow and be careful with our staff so we’re going to do that,” Huddleson said.

The next meeting, Thursday, May 7, will likely be held the same way as this one was — via teleconference, where viewers can listen live online at the county’s website,

Huddleson said he’s planning for the installation of barriers so that the board can meet safely in person, while wearing face masks, and continue to broadcast the live audio, possibly at the Thursday, May 14 meeting.

Commissioners also declared Thursday, May 7 as National Day of Prayer with the theme “God’s Glory Across the Earth.” The day was first proclaimed by the Continental Congress in 1775, signed into proclamation by Abraham Lincoln in 1863, established as an annual event by Harry Truman in 1952, and set as the first Thursday of every May by Ronald Reagan in 1988.

“Probably this year more than past years, I don’t know what we could use more than a day of prayer about the predicament we find ourselves in,” Huddleson said.

Agenda items continued with the authorization of the sheriff’s office to apply for the Patrick Leahy Bulletproof Vest Partnership grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to Huddleson, the sheriff’s office applied several times in the past for the grant and was never awarded. The current cost for a ballistic vest is $721.45. Vests last for five years and then must be replaced. The sheriff’s office projects up to 30 vests will be needed during the grant period. If awarded, the grant would provide up to 50 percent reimbursement for the vests.

The county also moved forward with its capital investment campaign — the water and sewer expansion project — by selecting Brown and Caldwell to provide engineering services for the sewer collection system and selecting Barge Design Solutions Inc., to provide design and program management support for the water distribution system.

By Anna Bolton

[email protected]

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

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