Tom Harvey Memorial Dog Park owner seeks drainage solution

By Gary Huffenberger -

WILMINGTON — The property owner of a dog park on State Route 730 in Clinton County that has water ponding problems has asked county commissioners to point her toward a solution.

The privately owned Tom Harvey Memorial Dog Park is a non-profit park for public use. Donations to the dog park benefit the Wilmington Area Humane Society, stated the property owner, Judy Harvey, in an email to commissioners.

The water problem is “nearly constant (no longer only spring rains) and significant (deep and wide) ponding about midway of my approximately 10 acres, barring safe access to the back half for maintenance and use by patrons and creating further erosion,” wrote Harvey.

These water problems apparently stem from trenching performed on neighboring properties, breaking up drainage tile, according to Harvey’s email.

Clinton County Commissioner President Kerry R. Steed said Soil and Water staff and the county engineer have gone to the site, and the proposed fixes would have all affected landowners pay for the repair or Harvey alone to cover the cost.

The dog park is not part of the Clinton County Park District, said Steed.

Clinton County Commissioner Patrick Haley recommended bringing Soil and Water staff to the commissioners office for further discussion on the situation, and a meeting is being planned.

In other matters at Monday’s commissioners session:

• Noting the total 2017 travel budget for the Clinton County Auditor’s Office is $7,000, commissioners said they wanted clarification on a travel request from that office. The request estimates expenses of $9,150 for lodging, meals, airfare, registration, ground transportation, mileage and parking.

The five-day conference in San Antonio, Texas will pertain to the Munis accounting and financial software which the county utilizes.

Steed said he is interested in whether money has been moved from other line items or funds in the auditor’s budget to cover the costs.

• Commissioners authorized three travel requests for 2017 from Clinton County Juvenile Probation staff. Estimated expenses on the first request are $509.55 for lodging and meals; estimated expenses on the second request are $994.74 for registration and lodging; and estimated expenses on the third request are $879.81 for lodging and meals.

• Commissioners authorized a travel request from Clinton County Probate Court, with estimated expenses of $251.58 for lodging and registration.

• After postponing a vote last week and wanting clarification on the acquisition of 21 computer monitors for the county auditor’s office, commissioners OK’d the purchase Monday. In Auditor Terry G. Habermehl’s email reply to the county administrator, Habermehl stated he “replaced aging 21-inch monitors with new 27-inch monitors. The larger monitors help reduce eye strain. They also were on sale at the time of purchase and actually cheaper than buying new 21-inch monitors.”

The auditor also stated the monitors did not worsen overcrowding he says exists among staffers in the office.

• The Board of Commissioners authorized the county engineer’s office to purchase a 2018 Western Star Model 4700 SB diesel dump truck cab and chassis through state purchasing for $103,674, and to purchase a Gallion dump body, hydraulics, spreader, light package and snow plow through state purchasing for $54,866.

• The Board of Revisions met Monday morning, and Steed reported that March 31, 2017 is the deadline to apply for a property re-evaluation if a property owner thinks the current valuation is too high.

The county auditor is the permanent secretary of the Board of Revision, which also includes the county treasurer and the president of the Board of Commissioners.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

By Gary Huffenberger