Bellefontaine Examiner

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Year’s policy concerns shared

Members of the community gathered Tuesday morning at Hopewell Methodist Church outside Bellefontaine to discuss issues to be considered by the Logan County Farm Bureau as part of its policies for the coming year.

farm-breakfast

Breakfast was served Tuesday at Hopewell United Methodist Church prior to the Logan County Farm Bureau’s meeting to discuss policy concerns. (EXAMINER PHOTO | CARRIE ELLINGTON)

The issues discussed help determine polices on local, state and national issues. Local policies begin to develop now. State policy discussion then begins in December with the national policy discussion taking place in January. These policies govern what the farm bureau wants to do throughout the year.

“It’s a great way to hear the concerns of the community and what everyone has to say,” said Logan County Farm Bureau President Jerry Fry. “We get to start at the ground and build our way up.”  

The meeting started with breakfast for all those present. The meeting then turned serious as each representative presented an update or policy for the bureau to consider.

The Logan County Sheriff’s Office gave an update on the positive impact its grants placing deputies in different townships has had in the community, along with the effectiveness of the joint drug task force with the Bellefontaine Police Department.

It was also mentioned that arsonists now have to register in a database similar to that of a sexual offender database. It goes into effect July 1.

County Commissioner Dustin Wickersham voiced concerns over the growing usage of Chinese lanterns, a floating lighted lantern. The usage of these has been on the rise, causing problems with the farming community, he said.

Farmers are having to go into fields to pull these out before livestock eat them or they spread fires. Lanterns are not classified as fireworks, and are legal in the state of Ohio.

 Logan County Auditor Michael Yoder discussed that 2013 is a re-evaluation year for farm properties and the impact that would have on local properties in Logan County. Re-evaluation years occur every three years.

It was also announced that three new tornado sirens will be placed in Stokes, Washington and Richland townships to help campers and other residents in the Indian Lake area be prepared in case of a tornado. The placement was determined by both campsite activity around the lake and by a survey conducted by the installation company.

The sirens will be tested every Friday at noon with the sirens that are already in place.

One item that several members asked the bureau to consider in their policies is the issue between Indian Lake and Grand Lake St. Marys concerning funding.

Logan County Commissioner Tony Core voiced his frustration over the relocation of funding from Indian Lake.

“A decade ago we sat down and got the problems taken care of so we could avoid the problem here. Now all of our resources are being moved to Grand Lake St. Marys and that’s not really fair,” said Mr. Core.  

Much of Indian Lake’s funding and resources have been moved to help Grand Lake St. Marys with the issue of toxic algae blooms. The concern is that with funding and resources being relocated to Grand Lake St. Marys that Indian Lake will be unable to complete such tasks as dredging and other necessary tasks. The bureau was asked to advocate for keeping the funds here in Logan County.

The Logan Soil and Water Conservation District also voiced concern over possibly losing funding to counties considered higher priority.

The Logan County Chamber of Commerce encouraged farmers to buy locally as much as possible, and voiced its wish to bring more industry to Logan County to bring money spent elsewhere in the state back to the county.

The Logan County Electric Cooperative reflected on the company’s background of working with the farm community and encouraged farmers to manage their electricity.

A representative from the Ohio Farm Bureau was also there to discuss various farm polices in the state legislation.

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