Health levy renewal proposed

WILMINGTON — Arrangements will be made to place a renewal tax levy for the Clinton County Combined Health District on the spring 2017 ballot.

The 0.5-mill, five-year levy is needed to provide the health district with enough funds to carry out its health programs, stated the Board of the Clinton County Combined Health District in its formal resolution proposing the tax issue be put before the voters of the county.

Among the health programs performed by the Clinton County Health Department are child and senior citizen services, control of communicable diseases, environmental health, health education, bio-terrorism response and AIDS education, according to the resolution.

In late August, the Board of the Clinton County Combined Health District — comprised of Janet Gick, M.D., Carla Kaser, Brian Larrick, Teresa Thobaben and Jane Vandervort — approved 4-0 (with one member absent) the start of the process to get the renewal levy on the May 2017 primary election ballot.

On Wednesday, Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer had an appointment with the county commissioners who are a special taxing authority for such health district levies.

The Clinton County Combined Health District is a combination of the previous health district of the county and the previous health district of the city of Wilmington, and is a service for the entire territory and all inhabitants of the county.

On another matter Wednesday, commissioners approved nearly $13,000 to care for cemetery portions set aside for U.S. military veterans at Sugar Grove Cemetery in Wilmington and at the Sabina Cemetery. By law, the board of county commissioners is responsible for the upkeep of cemetery sections set apart for veterans within the county.

At Sugar Grove Cemetery, 42 small headstones within the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) Memorial Triangle — known for its two cannons and a statue of a soldier — will be restored.

Many of the markers (headstones) are leaning and in deteriorating condition. The plan involves temporarily removing the headstones, and then solvent being applied to start removing the paint. The private company that will do the work — American Grave Groomers — said the solvent will not damage or stain the markers.

After the restoration cleaning is done, the headstones will be reset, with a new below-ground concrete base. The work is expected to take two to three weeks.

The City of Wilmington, which owns and oversees the cemetery, will supply gravel and water for the restoration process.

This work at Sugar Grove Cemetery will cost $12,600 — that is, $300 per headstone.

The preservation work at the Sabina Cemetery’s Veterans Memorial will cost a total of $374.

Also Wednesday, Clinton County Commissioner President Mike Curry reported, “The coroner has declined to come in for an appointment” — an appointment meant to provide clarification from Clinton County Coroner Ronald Seaman, M.D., on his plans for the coroner office’s administrative assistant.

As previously reported, a travel request was submitted to the commissioners to send the administrative assistant to a three-day seminar, with the expenses estimated at $1,500 for lodging, mileage, registration and meals.

In connection with the travel request, commissioners were told the coroner’s administrative assistant would be used as a backup investigator if Clinton County Coroner Investigator Gary Garrison is not available or would suddenly decide to retire. However, all three commissioners have said that using the administrative assistant as a backup investigator represents a change in prior plans for staff at the coroner’s office.

On Wednesday, Curry said he will tell the county’s administrator that commissioners will take no action on the travel request until Seaman makes an appointment to see commissioners for clarification.

“So it’s up to him [Seaman],” said Curry.

On the same matter, Clinton County Commissioner Kerry Steed said that without a clarification, he is not informed enough to make a decision on the coroner’s office travel request. And Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley said if he were given more insight, then he will consider the travel request.

Commissioners also:

Approved a request from the Sabina Lions Club to use the county’s Bicentennial Bell for Sabina’s annual Labor Day event.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768 or on Twitter @GHuffenberger.

Clinton County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer speaks Wednesday about a proposed renewal of a Clinton County Combined Health District tax levy. County Health Commissioner Pam Bauer speaks Wednesday about a proposed renewal of a Clinton County Combined Health District tax levy.
42 Sugar Grove veterans markers to be restored

By Gary Huffenberger

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