Commissioners recognize 4-H with special week

Washington County Commissioners signed a resolution on Thursday declaring next week “4-H Week” across Washington County.

Next week, 4-H will have many activities, including county-wide programs. Alison Baker, Extension educator for 4-H youth development, said a homeschool program will be offered at the Beverly Public Library on March 7 and an Ohio 4-H conference will be held on March 8. She said through the week, many 4-H groups would be doing their own activities, including fundraising and bringing awareness for other area children on how to join and learn more about the groups.

Across the county, there are 35 4-H groups with around 750 youth members. Baker said the reach of the group is about 1,900 county youth because of the clubs and 4-H sponsored camps.

Several students shared some of the projects they’ve been working on with commissioners.

Commissioner Tim Irvine said 4-H youth come in many times during the year.

“They normally bring kids in three to four times a year,” he said. “They go over projects they’re involved in.”

Tyler Hartline, 13, a member of the Lynch Combined 4-H group, said some of his projects include dairy, nature, photography, genealogy and creative writing.

Maggie Gottfried, 13, is involved in helping organize 5k runs and photography projects with her 4-H group, the Oak Grove Explorers.

Gottfried said 4-H is a great organization.

“It’s a good opportunity to meet new people,” she said, adding, “I think everyone should do it.”

In other business Thursday, bids were opened on the Little Muskingum Volunteer Fire Department Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Project.

Michelle Hyer, development specialist III for Buckeye Hills, was present for bid opening for the purchase of a new squad for the fire department.

Only one bid was submitted: $128,504 by Burgess Ambulance Sales, Inc.

Steve Stricklen, sales representative for Burgess, said the total cost came in under budget because of a rebate that’s available through Ford.

Hyer said because there was only one bid, the process was non-competitive and that she’d have to approach the state to OK the bid.

“The worst case scenario is that we’ll have to do it again,” she said.

Stricklen said the time-frame of getting the squad depends on what’s available.

“The delivery time depends on if we find a chassis available right now,” he said, adding that with a 15-to-20 week wait time from Ford Motor Company, the chassis likely wouldn’t be available until June or July. He said prep time for the squad would take 160 days after he found the proper chassis.

Hyer said the new squad was an improvement from the old one, which is 18 years old.

“Their current (squad) is only two-wheel drive,” she said. “The new one is four-wheel drive.”