The month of October is now gone. Harvesting, Halloween, and raking leaves, are all either done or nearly so. As November and the start of the Holiday season rolls around, it is time to reflect and be thankful for the good things that have happened here in the County. I am sure that the farmers are very grateful for what looks like a bountiful harvest this year, and I am sure some or most had very good results.

The Commissioner’s have had a fairly active October. We have had numerous meetings with our department heads, and with others getting ready to work on our budgets, and other projects, for the 2015 calendar year. We have got quite a lot accomplished this month, and we have had some bad news too, but we are not discouraged because things are still looking up. As most of you know, Big Lots has decided to leave Greenville. Through nobody’s fault, their management has told us that it is an “underperforming store”. Most of you may not realize it, but retail stores are going through an adjustment period right now. Most are downsizing, not because of lack of sales, but because internet sales have increased dramatically and there is not as much need for the “big box” stores. Also, K-Mart, and Staples have left and Sonic closed quite quickly this month. All of this sounds tragic, but, the silver lining is we have more stores looking to take their place! We have lookers for most of the mentioned properties already, and things should settle out in the near future. In some more good news, the airport project, consisting of getting it bought and brought under the county’s umbrella, is getting much closer. Thanks to the Spillers family for their complete co-operation. The Ohio Dept. of Transportation is moving on with their new garage project, and should start some construction next spring. Along with that, we have a water and sewer project with the cities help that will service this new addition starting later this year. We also continue to improve our buildings, including the Sheriff’s office, and have a lot of the big projects completed. We have more to do, but the really big projects have been completed, thanks to the people of Darke County buying locally and allowing us to prosper. Thank you, and please continue to support your local stores!

Economically, as of the latter part of the month, our unemployment rate was at 4.1%! Darke County has shown dramatic improvement in the last 4 years, and in order to maintain that momentum, we must provide a viable workforce. As we state almost monthly, this will be a driving force for us for the foreseeable future. It is now starting to pay some dividends. Along with the New Career tech center, and our efforts to train and advise people who want a job, we should be able to supply our companies with their needs. This is still a work in progress, but we are winning the battle.

As November approaches and the harvesting gets done, why don’t you take a minute from your busy schedule and come to one of our meetings. It is a good way to find out what happens here in our office, and to ask questions. We meet every Monday and Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Office located at 520 S. Broadway, just south of the courthouse, in Greenville. Hope to see you there!!

The Darke County Commissioners