The Marriott hotel planned to be built at the south corner of Harry Sauner Road and SR 73 has moved forward in the construction process, according to Highland County Economic Director Julie Bolender at the Wednesday meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners.
Bolender said Highland County received a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in the amount of $500,000 and planned to use that grant as a loan to the Leo Capital Group for the construction of the hotel. She said they are currently receiving bids for the environmental review, which are due to her office by Aug. 4. She said those sealed bids will then be opened and awarded.
Bolender also said once the bidding process is finished, they would be able to move forward to the next steps of the construction process.
Ankur Patel, one of the developers, estimated in July of 2020 that the project will take 12 to 14 months to complete. I said at the time that plans for the Marriott hotel included 83 rooms; and a connected retail plaza is expected to cover 30,000 square feet and could include a bank, five or six restaurants, second-floor office space, and a sports bar, which Patel said would be similar to Buffalo Wild Wings and could include a dance floor .
Although Patel said he and other developers considered including known chains such as Panera Bread and Starbucks in the development, they also want to support local entrepreneurs.
Patel estimated that between the hotel and the retail plaza, the development will bring 100 jobs to Hillsboro.
On Wednesday, commissioner Terry Britton said that the other $500,000 for the awarding of the project would come from Hillsboro’s Revolving Loan Fund, which he said has been slated for the project for a while.
“But, that’s exciting,” Britton said. “Finally, things are starting to move. It took a while for everybody to get everything, all the information sent into the state that needed to be sent in.”
In other news, Britton said there have been issues with the grease trap in the kitchen at the Highland County Justice Center. He said the problem has been ongoing “for a while and we’ve been limping along.” I said the problem has gotten to the point where the trip must be replaced.
Britton said the replacement will be “pretty expensive” because it’s in the floor. I said they’ve received a couple of quotes and are waiting on a couple more, but that it would be around the $20,000 range to fix the problem. He also said once they receive the other quotes, they would finalize the project.
“It’s probably going to interrupt the kitchen out there as far as the meals, so there will probably be some arrangements made,” Britton said. “(Sheriff) Donnie (Barrera) will have to make some arrangements on feeding the prisoners if they do shut that down, but it’s just something to be aware of.”
In other news, Bolender also gave an update on the workforce development center’s construction in Greenfield. She said it was “close” to opening, but there was an issue with the HVAC system, so they need to wait for a part. She also said as soon as the part was received, they’d be able to do the walk through, receive a certificate of occupancy and open the doors.
On another matter, commissioner Dave Daniels said he wanted to wish any Highland County residents participating in the Ohio State Fair, which started on Wednesday, luck.
“It’s kind of a big deal to get an opportunity to show at the state fair and be a part of that and we want to wish all the Highland County residents and all the kids participating in 4-H and FFA well as they show their projects and take part in that great program,” Daniels said.
Britton said Highland County always has a big presence at the state fair, which “says a lot to the programs” that the county has for the kids.
In other news, the board of commissioners signed a letter of support to Highland District Hospital for a Nursing and Neurology Equipment Grant. Britton said the letter is a change for their Letter of Support from 2021 because the scope of the grant requested a change because of the “OBGYN issue” the hospital had. I said because the hospital’s OBGYN unit is being eliminated, they had to change the letter of support.
The board of commissioners also made two approvals, with the first being for the Highland County Engineer and Miller-Mason Paving Co. for a Change Order No. 2 for Careytown and Roundhead Intersection Improvement. The other approval was for CCAOSC Consult Letter to Palmer Energy.
There were seven resolutions approved by the board of commissioners:
* Nothing. No. 22-127 is a petition the board of commissioners received from the Paint Township trustees to vacate Lake View Road: Therefore, the said board agreed to set the time and date for a public viewing at 10 am Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, and a public hearing at 11 am Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022, in the commissioners’ office.
* Nothing. No. 22-128 is a request to establish a new fund within the board of elections Security HAVA Grant 2022 Fund. Also requested is a new line item, Security Expenses, and an additional appropriation of $10,000.
* Nothing. No. 22-129 is authorization for the establishment of new line items within 2022 Primary Grant Fund as follows: Full Time Salary, Part Time Salary, Medicare and OPERS.
* Nothing. No. 22-130 is authorization for an additional appropriation within the board of elections budget in the amount of $4,950.13.
* Nothing. No. 22-131 is an authorization for a budget modification from Commissioners Other Expenses Miscellaneous to Commissioners Motor Vehicle in the amount of $14,799.
* Nothing. No. 22-132 is an authorization for a budget modification from Commissioners Other Expenses Miscellaneous to Commissioners Advertising and Printing in the amount of $5,000.
* Nothing. No. 22-133 is an authorization for an additional appropriation from inappropriate funds to Spay and Neuter Other Expense in the amount of $500.
There was also one contract approved by the board of commissioners:
* Contract 63 is between the board of commissioners and the Ohio Department of Development for a PY 2021 Economic Development Program, State of Ohio CDBG Program Grant Agreement.
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.
Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley (left) and Highland County Economic Director Julie Bolender are pictured at Wednesday’s Highland County Board of Commissioners meeting.