Engineer’s office dispute resolved


Steve Wilson, a former Hancock County engineer, will apparently continue to provide sanitary engineer services at the county landfill following a ruling by the county prosecutor’s office.

A contract with Wilson’s company, Frostbite Falls LLC, for sanitary engineer services at the landfill was tabled by the commissioners on Jan. 4 because Hancock County Engineer Chris Long said he understood it was his department’s responsibility to provide those services. The contract is for a maximum of $20,000 annually.

Wilson has provided sanitary engineer services to the county for years. His latest contract expired Dec. 31.

At the commissioners’ regular meeting on Tuesday, Cindy Land, assistant Hancock County prosecutor, said that although Long “believed it was necessary (for the contract) to be offered to the engineer’s office first, I didn’t understand it that way.”

“I went back and checked and I disagree with him,” she said. “There is a specific provision in statute that it has to be offered to the engineer if it is a particular project for a sanitary sewer district. We’re not hiring a sanitary engineer for a sanitary sewer district or for services to be rendered to a solid waste management district … different code section, different situation. I don’t believe it’s necessary to offer it (the contract) to the engineer’s office.”

State law indicates that the county can hire the county engineer’s office to provide the sanitary engineer services, or hire an independent sanitary engineer to do the work, she said.

“I indicated to Mr. Long that he was welcome to put in a proposal if he was interested,” she said. “He sent back an email that said: ‘I am not going to pursue the sanitary engineer issue any further at this time.'”

As a result, “The issue turns out to be moot,” Land said.

She will prepare legislation for the commissioners’ consideration at Thursday’s regular meeting.

In a separate matter last week, the commissioners approved a resolution for Wilson’s company to provide management services to the county for flood-reduction projects. Wilson will work with the Maumee Watershed Conservancy District, which is now in charge of the county’s flood-control efforts.

The county will contract with Wilson’s company, Frostbite Falls LLC, for the work, which will pay him a maximum of $40,000 annually. Wilson is the only principal of the company.

Wilson has been employed by the county for the past three years in the same flood-reduction position. His previous contract expired Dec. 31.

Separately, the commissioners appointed Jason Johnston as county apiary inspector for this year. The part-time position to inspect beekeepers’ operations will pay a maximum of $1,500, and 42 cents per mile.

Also, Julie Norris was appointed to fill a vacancy on the county board of developmental disabilities, which oversees operations at Blanchard Valley Center.

The commissioners held an executive session to discuss potential litigation, potential real estate acquisition, and a potential disciplinary issue. No action was taken.

Maurer: 419-427-8420
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