By JIM MAURER

STAFF WRITER

Hancock County commissioners on Tuesday approved an increase in fees for attorney appointments in indigent defense cases.

The new rate is $75 per hour whether service is provided in court or out of court.

The fees were $50 for in-court representation and $40 for out-of-court representation.

It’s the first increase in the fees since 1986, said Commissioner President Mark Gazarek.

Separately, the commissioners approved a resolution, discussed last week, to purchase a 2015 Komatsu forklift for $23,355 from Anderson Material Handling, Toledo. The forklift will replace one used at Litter Landing recycling center.

Also, the commissioners approved advertising for bids to demolish buildings at 122 Jefferson St. The county-owned buildings are located in the flood-reduction area. The county previously received approval for federal grant funds to demolish the structures, which were vacated by the Hancock Hardin Wyandot Putnam Community Action Commission last year. Those grant funds are still available.

A date will be set for opening the bids.

The U.S. Census Bureau sent information to verify city and county boundaries are accurate for the 2020 census. The information will be forwarded to city and county offices for verification so the commissioners can return the documents before a March 1 deadline.

Commissioner Tim Bechtol said he recently met with Nichole Coleman, executive director of Hancock County Veterans Service Office, about buildings known as “the cottages” behind the county educational service center building on Hancock County 140. The veterans service agency is considering a move into the space. The office is located in leased space at 1100 E. Main Cross St.

Bechtol said a garage to house the agency’s vehicles may also be used.

The county-owned property was previously used for Hancock Public Health offices. The health department moved into a remodeled building on East Melrose Avenue.

Separately, the commissioners met in closed executive session to discuss pending litigation and potential real estate acquisition. No action was taken.

Maurer: 419-427-8420

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