By Bonnie L. McHenry

At the July 6, 2017 meeting of the Clark County Commissioners, New Carlisle Library Director Beth Freeman asked the commissioners to support a resolution to change the Public Library Fund (PLF) split that has been in place since 2005. The PLF is a portion of the collected state taxes that are distributed to each county in Ohio to support libraries. Clark County has two library systems, the Clark County Public Library and the New Carlisle Public Library. The split since 2005 has been 89.3% for Clark County and 10.3% for New Carlisle. However, according to Freeman this is no longer fair.

New Carlisle Public Library supports approximately 15% of the library card holders in the county while being open one to two days less per week. In addition, the New Carlisle has access to over 250 other libraries in the state through the Serving Every Ohioan consortium and over 8 million titles. Clark County does not have access to these same resources.

In addition, along with the 89.3% of state funding, which in 2015 provided the Clark County Library with $4 million in revenue, the county library had a local levy which provided them with over $2.8 million in additional revenue. That same year, Clark County Library netted $1.38 million in unspent funds. New Carlisle library only received $488,422 in 2015 and spent all but $39,345 on operating expenses.

Freeman is proposing that the PLF split be changed to 87% for Clark County and 13% for New Carlisle. This would increase New Carlisle’s budget by 21.5% while Clark County would only see a 1.5% decrease in theirs. According to Freeman the change would allow New Carlisle to increase their hours and services to the 12,000 active cardholders they serve.

Commissioner Melanie Flax-Wilt proposed that Freeman and Flax-Wilt meet with Clark County Library Director Sally Risner to further discuss the issue.

In addition, Emergency Management Agency Director Lisa D’Allessandris presented updates to the commissioners on the two emergencies that occurred in Clark County in June 2017. First, she briefed them on the county’s response to the EF1 and EF0 tornados that touched down on May 24, 2017. One of the tornados touched down in the Fairway Terrace Mobile Home Park and the second touched down in Park Layne and headed northwest into Miami County.

According to D’Allessandris, four families were evacuated in Fairway Terrace, 24 apartments were evacuated in Sunshine Estates, along with business in the Community Market strip mall, Mel-o-dee Restaurant, MacDonald’s and Family Dollar.

The total damage was insufficient to qualify for state and federal assistance. D’Allessandris complimented the efforts of the fire department, sheriff’s office and the health department for the cooperation and support throughout the situation.

In addition, D’Allessandris updated the commissioners on the missing child reported on June 22,2017. Perry Beller age 11, walked away from his residence sometime between 5:15 and 6:06 p.m. with no shoes or shirt. He had been known to leave in the past. Over 150 people in 37 departments amassing 900 man hours assisted with the search. The child was discovered in Christiansburg at 9:30 p.m.

In regular business, the commissioners approved a contract with Aero-Mark, Inc. for $209,209 for 2017 pavement marking project. In addition, they approved an intergovernmental agreement with Bethel, Mad River, Moorefield Townships, and Enon for this project effective July 6, 2017 through October 31, 2017.

They also approved an inter-governmental agreement with Bethel, German, Harmony, Mar River, Madison, Moorefield, Springfield Townships and New Carlisle and South Vienna for 2017 Roadwork Resurfacing Project effective July 6, 2017 through October 31, 2017.

For the Adult Probation Department, the commissioners accepted a grant from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for $299,846 for community-based corrections program services which include in-home supervision for adults on probation that need more intense intervention services effective July 1, 2017 through March 31, 2019.

For Department of Job and Family Services, the commissioners authorized a contract with Vocalink, Inc. for $36,000 to provide language interpretation and translation services effective July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2019.

The next meeting of the Clark County Commissioners is scheduled for July 12, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the commissioners’ conference room at 50 E Columbia Street.