Commissioners seeking to upgrade county phone system

The Hancock County commissioners want to replace the analog phone system with a digital system by September this year, a process which has been discussed for several years and has an estimated price of more than $800,000 for equipment and service.

Curt Smith, with the county’s information technology department, said the change will replace the county’s 31-year-old system, currently handled by AT&T, and includes 296 handsets and 322 phone lines.

It would cost an estimated $359,665 for equipment and an estimated $464,340 over five years in monthly service fees. The equipment can be leased, while the service fee will be payable at about $7,739 per month.

Cindy Land, assistant Hancock County prosecutor, will prepare a resolution for the commissioners to consider a request for proposal from companies interested in providing the service and equipment.

Separately, the commissioners approved a more than $34,700 contract with Garlock Brothers Construction, Findlay, for repairs to the county-owned building which houses the offices for the state license and motor vehicle bureaus. The building was damaged last year when a waterline broke and flooded the north wing of the building. Floor and ceiling repairs are among the work to be done.

The commissioners also passed the first of two resolutions required to place a 1.2-mill, 10-year levy on the May ballot for Hancock County Job and Family Services for mainly children services and housing. The tax will generate about $2.31 million and cost the owner of a $100,000 appraised, or market value, residential property about $42 yearly. It was incorrectly reported previously, the tax would cost the property owner $35 annually, but that amount was for a 1-mill levy.

The resolution requests the Hancock County auditor’s office to certify the rates required to generate the requested amount. A second resolution will propose the ballot language and request the county elections board place the issue on the May 8 ballot.

Also, the commissioners approved a new resolution to employ Steve Wilson as sanitary engineer for the county landfill. He will be paid a maximum of $20,000. A previous resolution considered last week was not tabled, Land said, which caused preparation of a new resolution. The delay in taking the action was to determine if personnel in the county engineer’s office were responsible for handling the duties. State law allows hiring either the county engineer or an independent sanitary engineer, she previously told the board.

The commissioners also amended an agreement with Tyler Technologies for records management computer software for the sheriff’s department. The county will pay about $232,000 this year and about $172,000 next year. Installation is expected to begin this year. Findlay will also pay about $700,000 for the software so the city and county will each have access to the records.

Schulte Put-Han Farm Operations, with a bid of $175 per acre, was awarded the lease for about 190 acres of county-owned land in the 7700 block of Hancock County 140, behind county-owned buildings. Bids were opened in December,

The three-year lease will provide $33,250 annually for the county. Payment is made in three installments.

Schulte farms about 150 acres adjacent to the county property.

Commissioner President Brian Robertson announced Sarah Mutchler, a clerk in the commissioners office, has assumed the duties of county operations coordinator. She replaces Heather Pendleton, who previously split her time between the commissioners and the county prosecutor offices, but is now working full time in the prosecutor’s office.

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