Grand Marshals selected for West Union Fourth of July Parade Adams County, Maysville Vet team up to save injured dog Michael S Knauff Victor P Price Success builds from the bottom up Finalists named for 2017 Fair Queen Contest William Glenn DeWine, Reader Call For Tips in Rhoden Murder Investigation MHS principal to take superintendent post Peebles Skate Park now a reality 2017-18 Fur and Feather Ambassadors named Caley Grooms is Cattlemen’s Beef Ambassador Dr. Mueller leaving Health Department’s free clinic Hourglass Quilt Barn returning to Adams County Lung, Thornburg are First Team All-District selections North Adams hosts annual Boys Basketball Camps Walk-off winner Wanda Hill George D Johnson Life can be a juggling act My favorite thing to do on the farm Wolves in Adams County! Ronald L Wedmore Three lessons from Dad Donald D Morgan Wenstrup uninjured in Virginia shooting Portman staff to hold grant funding workshop Raymond E Applegate Keeping the Peebles tradition alive Back on the hardwood, local hoops squads compete in Monday Night League Seven county athletes recognized as All-SHAC Baseball honorees Stepping to the podium Lady Hounds host Youth Volleyball Camp Senior Profile: Bryan Young Junior Deputy Boot Camps kick off in Manchester Hayes pleads “not guilty” to 109 counts Six-year-old girl finds long-lost class ring Jefferson Alumni awards annual scholarships Paul Tate Jr Marcus I Cox Jewell Gill James M Hill Jr Jeffrey S Jones Samuel A Disher Jack Sterling BREAKING NEWS: Parents face charges after son overdoses on opiate License Hikes and Tall Turkey Tales Danger under every rock Reigning Miss Ohio USA will judge 2017 Adams County Fair Queen Pageant Gordley’s hoops career will continue at Mount St. Joseph Russell C Newman Kenneth C Thurman George Uebel Summer Reading Program underway Honor Flight carries local veteran to DC When rescuers become victims Passing the torch, West Union hosts week-long basketball camp for future Dragons SENIOR PROFILE: Sara Knechtly Terry L Powell Willie Shreffler James C Fitzpatrick Senior Profile: Austin Parks Six countians named to All-SHAC Softball squad Lady Indians get summer camp season underway Memorial Day services pay tribute to local veterans WUHS Steel Band will perform at Bogart’s SSCC announces Honors Lists for spring semester Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for final nine weeks West Union Elementary announces Honor Roll for fourth nine weeks Back to State! Mom calls daughter “living proof” seat belts save lives Rent-2-Own donation means new soccer scoreboard at WUHS NAHS student selected for Engineering Summer Camp Southern Hills Athletic Conferences honors Spring Sports athletes Senior Profile: Kailyn Boyd Madison Welch receives Riffle Scholarship Junior Achievement Volunteers visit county’s seventh graders Marcella J Abbott James Ratliff Gladys Davitz Harry G Shupert Memories on Memorial Day A soldier’s story, a family’s grief Thank You for your sacrifice Seaman community honors local veterans with special tribute Former PES teacher dies in tragic accident All County Senior Citizens Day celebrated Parks signs with SSCC Soccer Senior Profile: Lexie Bunn Jessie Rodgers Memorial Day services set for county Truly our greatest generation Bertha Lashley Maia Swartz Jessie Rodgers Errors spell the end of Devils’ baseball season Senior Profile: Carry Hayslip Lady Hounds’ season ends with tourney loss to Paint Valley North Adams hosts Youth Volleyball Camp Time to get “Stroke Savvy”

Renovations coming to courthouse

The Adams County Commissioners met the past week to discuss a number of issues including increased security for the courthouse and the sales tax levy for the Adams County Regional Medical Center.

Changes are in the works for the Adams County Courthouse including new handicap accessible features as well as security measures. There will also be one lone entrance for the public to enter the courthouse in the future. The Adams County Commissioners accepted a bid from Venture One Construction Inc. to design the changes to the courthouse and awarded the contract to the company for $193,800.

“The bullet points for the plan are an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant ramp on the front end of the courthouse and an ADA vertical accessible lift inside the courthouse,” Adams County Commissioner Paul Worley told The People’s Defender. “There will be one entrance point for the general public and there will be enhanced security screening at that entrance.”

Worley said the issue of security measures at the courthouse has been on the table since the mid 1990s and now the plans are in place to get the project moving.

“In 2006 the Common Pleas Court had the Supreme Court of Ohio come in and do a study on our court security.” Worley said. “That security consultant group came back and had a confidential 18-page document that said what needed to be improved. It wasn’t until early 2013 when Stephen [Caraway] and I had just come onto the board and said ‘What’s the Board of Commissioners doing about security in the courthouse?”

Worley said according to the Ohio Revised Code, the security of the courthouse is under the responsibility of the county commissioners, and the board wishes to make sure everyone coming into the courthouse is safe.

“We live in the world the way that it is and not in the way we want it to be,” Worley said. “And every week we’re seeing some type of tragic shooting and people doing things you wouldn’t have thought of 20 or 30 years ago. And as the board is responsible for the security of that building, we have to mitigate the risk that’s involved and we believe we’re doing that by putting in these new security measures, but then also at the same time providing access to all citizens.”

Making a building that was built over 100 years ago compliant with the ADA, while maintaining a building pleasing to the eye is one of the challenges Worley said the board and Venture One will have to tackle.

“We wanted to design something that was compatiable with the existing building,” Worley said. “We didn’t want to put something on there that would be an eyesore. We wanted to make sure everyone had access to this building which is a little tough now since the building was built in 1910 and it wasn’t built with ADA compliance in mind.”

Adams County Commissioner Stephen Caraway also believes that the courthouse is in need of handicap access upgrades.

“The Courthouse is the people’s house. It is owned by every citizen in Adams County and I feel strongly that our fellow citizens with disabilities should also have easy access to the building,” Caraway said. “What we have now simply doesn’t meet the Americans with Disabilities Act standards and certainly doesn’t live up to our obligation to make the building easily accessible to those who are limited in their physical abilities. This plan fixes that.”

Construction on the courthouse is set to begin in August of this year and is scheduled to be completed by late November.

The current side entrances to the courthouse will remain but will only be used as emergency exits.

Also on the agenda was the tax levy for the Adams County Regional Medical Center which Worley also commented on after a meeting with members of the hospital’s Board of Trustees.

The levy, which will be on the ballot next election, will be a 0.5 percent sales tax increase. The ACRMC CEO Roland Gee said during the hospital’s Board of Trustees meeting on July 28 that the levy was originally going to be in place for five years, but is now only going to be in place for four years, if passed.

Caraway said he believes a strong hospital is vital to Adams County and its citizens.

“The Adams County Regional Medical Center is vital to future growth in Adams County,” Caraway said. “We must have a state-of-the-art medical facility for our citizens. Under the leadership of Roland Gee and the Board of Trustees, the hospital has made much progress in the past few months towards a path to long term stability. After careful deliberation and multiple meetings with Mr. Gee, the Board felt that a four year levy would be an appropriate amount of time.”

“I think it was something that was negotiated down,” Worley said. “I think we would all like to see a day where the hospital is self-sufficient and doesn’t need additional money to operate but with it being a county hospital we also have a responsibility to make sure that the hospital is viable and that people here have access to quality healthcare. Without this levy it would be very difficult for the hospital to continue to operate.”

Worley said he believes the hospital has a history of spending money wisely, but wants to show the Adams County Regional Medical Center that an end to taxpayer money has to come eventually.

“[ACRMC] is making progress in the right direction but they still need some help that the levy does with the equipment the hospital needs,” Worley said. “We believe the money given to the hospital has been spent well but I think the other piece for me personally is we want to see the day when the hospital is self-sufficient and we’re kind of putting them on notice that this is not a never-ending supply of money from the taxpayers. It’s holding them accountable but at the same time making sure the people of Adams County have access to quality healthcare.”

Reach Charles Grove at 937-544-2391, cgrove@civitasmedia.com or @WUDefender on Twitter.

Added security measures and handicap accessible features are being planned for the Adams County Courthouse.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_IMG_7901.jpgAdded security measures and handicap accessible features are being planned for the Adams County Courthouse. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

Pictured here is the famous Clock tower of the Adams County Courthouse.
http://www.peoplesdefender.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/web1_IMG_7900.jpgPictured here is the famous Clock tower of the Adams County Courthouse. Charles Grove | People’s Defender

By Charles Grove

cgrove@civitasmedia.com

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