4/14/2016 – 7:41 pm
The Hancock County Commissioners presented their official State of the County presentation Thursday afternoon. Up first, Commissioner Phil Riegle noted that county revenues continue to grow and law enforcement, while expensive for the county is doing excellent work to maintain peace throughout the county, but more people are in jails, which Riegle noted was for drug and opiate infractions.
Audio: Phil Riegle
Riegle noted that in 2014 there were 305 indictments, as compared to 347 in 2015, and more resources have been appropriated to law enforcement and criminal justice to address the issue.
Commissioner Mark Gazarek noted that while Hancock County saw record high numbers of employees in 2015, that number wasn’t sustainable. The county has invested in the Raise The Bar initiative to address the looming employment gap and retain and hire quality workers.
Audio: Mark Gazarek
Gazarek said that 2015 saw an all time high in employment in the county, topping 45,000 employed.
Of course, flood mitigation continues to be a major issue in Hancock County, and while much attention is being paid to the Blanchard River and proposed diversion channel, Commissioner Brian Robertson noted that the county also has invested in cleaning up the smaller creeks and rivers throughout the county. He said over the past year, seven such projects began to see movement.
Audio: Brian Robertson
Robertson said that the work being done on ditch drainage and river maintenance extends to surrounding counties as well as they also feed into the watershed, and Hancock County was continuing to work with the surrounding counties to clean and maintain water flow through ditch maintenance.
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