By RICK GREENE
Southern Ohio Today
WAVERLY – The Pike County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Thursday to join the Piketon Area-Scioto Valley Regional Council of Governments.
The council consists of the Village of Piketon, the Scioto Valley Local School District, the Pike County General Health District, Scioto Township, Seal Township, and now the Board of Commissioners.
Commissioners Tony Montgomery and Jerry Miller voted for the resolution to join the cooperative. Commissioner Blaine Beekman was absent.
Montgomery and Miller indicated the Council of Governments provides each of the entities an opportunity to have a louder voice on issues of common interest.
“I don’t see a harm in it at all,” Miller said. “I also think it can be advantageous.”
Assured Partners representative addresses commissioners
Nick Beatty, an Employee Benefits Executive for Pike County’s insurance broker – Assured Partners – updated the commissioners on negotiations for the county’s health care plan with United Health Care.
Commissioners had been frustrated with various aspects of the county’s health care plan and its administration and indicated over the summer they would seek proposals from other carriers and brokers.
Montgomery and Miller indicated the initial offer from United Health Care did not meet their expectations and Beatty said their feedback would be communicated and that negotiations will continue.
Beatty also outlined the services provided by Assured Partners and asked commissioners if they were actively seeking another broker.
“Are we looking at all of our options? I’d be lying if I told you we weren’t,” Miller said. “However, the last thing we want to do is make a knee-jerk reaction.”
Beatty indicated that the county can be served by Assured Partners’ negotiating power because of its wide-ranging network.
“We want to work and use our bargaining power to get you the best plan possible,” Beatty said. “At the same time, we don’t want to have the rug pulled out from under us.”
County applies for infrastructure funds
The commissioners, in conjunction with Pike County Auditor Denny Salisbury, are applying for $1.1 million through the Ohio Public Works Commission for three infrastructure projects.
If awarded the grant, the funds would be used for spot paving on Tile Mill Road and Pleasant Hill Road, a slip repair on River Road, and a box culvert on Cline’s Chapel Road.
Salisbury said work on box culverts on Pinhook Road and Red Hollow Road is underway. He said a second box culvert on Red Hollow Road will be initiated soon and all of the box culverts are scheduled for completion around Thanksgiving. He also said a slip on Cline’s Chapel Road has been repaired and the road is open.
Salisbury also said tree clearing began this week on Germany Road so utilities (electric infrastructure, phone lines, water lines) can be moved as part of a slip repair.
Salisbury said four spot paving projects are scheduled to begin next week. The projects will address needs on seven county roads – Bell Hollow Road, Fairview Road, Buchanan Road, Adams Road, Alma-Omega Road, Owl Creek Road and Beaver’s Ridge.
Salisbury also said his office will receive new cabs and chassis for four dump trucks at a cost of $360,000 thanks for a United States Department of Agriculture grant. He said the remaining parts of the vehicles will be added later and they should be operational by the spring.
Salisbury added the engineer’s office has not had new dump trucks since 2010.
Commissioners applying for $500,000 for Beaver water project
Commissioners are seeking a $500,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development for an infrastructure project in Beaver.
The project would include replacement of more than 4,500 feet of existing 6-inch water mains, 26 gate valves, five hydrants, 22 water services lines from the mains to meter pits and four flushing assemblies.
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