Harrison to receive state money for voting equipment

CADIZ — The Harrison County commissioners received word from the county Board of Elections that hundreds of thousands of dollars are on the way to the county from the state of Ohio.

The county will be reimbursed in the amount of $307,920.66 for election equipment, including 20 machines that the county had purchased in 2014. Commissioners agreed that voter education is important in the county, and said that is how they plan to spend the money.

“Educating voters is very crucial in the county,” Commissioner Paul Coffland said. “This is definitely good news that we are being reimbursed.”

Meanwhile, Doug Crabtree from the engineer’s office asked for an advance of $403,942 to hire contractors from BBR Drilling Co., in Belmont, for multiple projects within the county. The projects include slip repairs on county Road 2 estimated at $47,655; slip repairs on county Road 39 for $56,553; bridge repairs on county Road 61 for $69,890; slip and bridge repairs on county Road 24 for $133,854; and slip repairs on county Road 17 for $96,010.

“This money will only cover the cost of the contractors,” Crabtree said. “The funds would be paid back as soon as we get the funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that we are waiting on. We are anticipating that within the next few months. It has also been across the desk of the auditor, so she knows what we are asking. To expand more, we are working with FEMA, and things have been reviewed by them and we have to submit the invoices back to FEMA.”

Commissioner Don Bethel questioned if advancing the money would help the projects be completed faster. “Yes it does,” Crabtree said. “It does not cover the costs of anything else other than the contractors. It allows us to have those contractors paid so we can get this done. For reimbursement, the worst case scenario is the end of the year. The best case scenario is within two months.”

Commissioners then voted to approve the engineer’s office request for the advance of funds for the projects.

The next Harrison County Board of Commissioners meeting will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the courthouse in Cadiz.