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By DAVID CAMPHOUSE
At the Monday, Dec. 20, Pike County board meeting, former board member and chairman Andy Borrowman was unanimously selected to fill the seat left vacant by Rodger Hannel’s resignation last month. Hannel has since passed away after a drawn out battle with cancer.
Borrowman was nominated for the seat, along with Don Foster, by the Pike County Republican Committee. County Board chairman Jim Sheppard selected Borrowman to fill the seat. The full board subsequently approved the selection of Borrowman to fill Hannel’s unexpired term through Nov. 30, 2022.
Sheppard said that Borrowman was a logical choice to fill the seat, because he has extensive and recent experience serving on the board.
“Andy is very knowledgeable and a good board member,” Sheppard said. “He can fit into the roles that Rodger had, and there is less of a learning curve. He just needs to be caught up. This way we can sort of hit the ground running.”
Also left vacant by Hannel’s absence from the board was the office of vice-chairman. Borrowman was also selected by the board at Monday’s meeting to fill the office of vice-chairman. Borrowman was nominated by Amy Gates and the motion was seconded by John Birch. He was approved unanimously.
In addition, Borrowman will fill Hannel’s positions on the board’s finance, insurance and labor committees.
Also approved at Monday’s meeting was the county’s participation in a national settlement against opioid drug companies. The settlement, according to Pike County State’s Attorney Zack Boren, will provide money to agencies that work to combat opioid addiction.
“The state will distribute the money by county,” Boren said. “The main thing is that it is supposed to go to rehabilitative programs and not to the individual political subdivisions.”
The board went on to approve the appointment of Gene Webel as a trustee of the Rural Pittsfield Fire Protection District through May of 2024.
In addition, board members approved the appointment of the Office of the State’s Attorney Appellate Prosecutor as the county’s agent from Dec. 1, 2021, to Nov. 30, 2022. The cost to the county for the service will be $7,000 for the year. In prior years, the cost has been $8,000. Boren said the decrease in price for the service is due to financial hardship experienced by some political subdivisions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the board’s Agriculture Committee report, committee chairman Mark Sprague reported that the Pike County Animal Shelter has recently been dealing with overcrowding, as well as higher-than-normal expenses related to disease outbreaks among animals at the facility.
Sprague went on to say that the animal shelter was planning to work with the Gray Perpetual Charitable Trust to make improvements to the shelter, which would improve both the functionality and the appearance of the facility.
Sprague added that a transition to more technologically advanced Quick Response (QR) code rabies tags will lead to the cost of the tags rising from $8 to $10. The new tags quickly allow animal control personnel to learn the vaccination status of an animal, as well as who owns the animal.
In the “old business” portion of the meeting, Sheppard reported that the county is researching the ownership of the McWorter Cemetery, which is associated with the New Philadephia historic site between Barry and Baylis.
“It’s surrounded by private property,” Sheppard said. “There is some question as to whether the county owns it.”