MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Commissioners directed County Administrator Jason Booth on Thursday to order a survey and prepare a deed involving a lot split, which would turn the Knox County Humane Society and its shelter at 400 Columbus Road from a rent-paying county tenant into an entity owning its own property.
The Humane Society cat shelter, known as KCHS-Cats, is not part of county government but instead leases a constricted piece of land and pays $1 yearly in rent to Knox County. Shelter officials recently expressed to the county they wish to expand, including a size increase to their cramped lobby area. One option they requested county commissioners consider was turning over the property to their non-profit organization, which is essentially donor-funded.
Booth said currently, Humane Society shelter staff and visitors must use an entrance and exit that is on an adjoining parcel owned by the Knox County Engineer’s Office. The lot split involves splitting off the Humane Society area from the engineer’s area.
Deeding three-quarters of an acre to the Humane Society will provide its own entrance and exit. It will also mean the old dog shelter behind the Humane Society building can be torn down, once the gas company removes a gas line near the road, Booth said. The cat kennels next to the north side of the Humane Society shelter will be relocated onto the KCHS-Cats property once the property deed is approved.
In other matters Thursday, commissioners heard a Capital Improvements Project update from Booth. He said $417,000 spent on an electronically controlled, automatic heating and cooling systems in county buildings has resulted in significant savings to date. Those savings have already been reported from the Knox County Jail, where after three months, an average of $4,600 per month is being saved in electricity costs. May 2018’s electric bill, for example, was $8,747, compared to $4,090 in May of this year. This is because the new system allows heating, provided by boilers, to be controlled from each room, or section of the jail. Natural gas savings are averaging $1,635 per month, he said, adding at this rate, efficiencies of the new system will pay for themselves within 5.6 years.
Other capital project updates included Booth stating that tiles on the first floor of the Knox County Service Center are set to be replaced late this summer or fall, with larger laminate tiles that won’t require waxing or buffing. The Knox County Courthouse parking lot will be sealed this weekend, weather permitting, with sealant applied Saturday and striping to be completed Sunday.
In action by resolutions passed Thursday, commissioners:
•Approved a contract with DuroLast for the county jail re-roofing project, with all three sections of jail roof to be replaced at a cost of $225,387. The work did not need to go out for bid because the county is part of a cooperative purchasing group for such projects, Tips, which found the lowest bidder.
•Approved the first phase of a Project Development Agreement with Johnson Controls Inc., to conduct an assessment and analysis on new water needs in the Howard and Apple Valley area, where 60 percent of well water pumped from the ground is lost, Booth said. Part of that is due to aging, inefficient water meters, with 2,800 of them slated for replacement. The Phase I agreement, for $110,787, should be completed in a few months,
•Approved a 2019 Ohio EPA Community and Litter Grant of $12,169, which will be used by Knox County Recycling and Litter Prevention to install video cameras at the county compost facility at 7425 Thayer Road. Too much illegal dumping occurs on site, so cameras will help identify those individuals in order for citations to be issued by the Sheriff’s Office, Booth said.
•Approved a contract with Cott Systems for the county recorder’s archival system in the amount of $195 per month, which involves archiving county documents that are scanned using an online system. The system has replaced journal books.