Progress continues through a list of major Wayne County projects.

Bids are due April 5 for a replacement generator at the Wayne County Administration Building, and bids for a new HVAC system at First Bank Expo Hall will be due May 3, said Steve Higinbotham, the county’s director of facilities and development, during a short Wayne County commissioners meeting March 29.

The new generator would replace an aging generator that when needed, must handle a larger load than when installed. It’s expected to cost about $250,000.

Upgraded heating and cooling is necessary to make the Wayne County Fairgrounds’ Expo Hall more marketable for rentals. Noise when the current system runs interferes with events. That project is expected to cost about $367,000.

Work also continues on the courthouse exterior, courthouse bathrooms and the chambers room inside the Administration Building.

In other business

Jeff Plasterer, the commissioners president, appointed Brad Dwenger to represent commissioners with a group working to improve animal services within the county. Commissioner Mary Anne Butters said she was “deeply offended” that she was not chosen because of her decade working with animal groups and on animal issues.

Plasterer said Dwenger adds a perspective on law enforcement animal control issues because of his work as a Wayne County Sheriff’s reserve officer.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to remove the property at 538 N. 19th St. from the June 2 deed sale. Higinbotham reported that since commissioners approved the property for the sale, the city of Richmond has placed a repair or remove order on the property’s structure. Commissioners opted not to assume ownership when the property has such an order attached.

Commissioners also voted 3-0 to allow the Economic Development Corporation of Wayne County to enter a new three-year vehicle lease. The SUV will be used to show locations to company officials considering development in Wayne County.

In response to a citizen comment, commissioners agreed they would reconsider whether to rent fairgrounds facilities for gun shows.

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A version of this article appeared in the April 5 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Mike Emery is a reporter and layout editor for the Western Wayne News.