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Medina County hopes to hire architect soon for facility renovations

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MEDINA — When the Medina County Facilities Task Force meets Jan. 23, it hopes to have an architect on board to design plans for county buildings.

Plans could include a new courthouse, which could house Medina County Common Pleas Court as well as Medina Municipal Court, and renovations to the Medina County Administration Building and the Medina County Prosecutor’s Office.

“We want to better utilize space,” county Commissioner Bill Hutson, head of the task force, said Tuesday. “We’re still doing the groundwork.”

Hutson said the group will assess all the county buildings.

“(We’ll decide) which ones to keep, which ones to get rid of and ones that need new facilities,” he said.

The courthouse project likely would be the largest and most expensive. Hutson said all the judges in the courthouse would need to be consulted, along with Medina Municipal Court Judge Gary Werner, Medina city officials and others.

“If everyone is in agreement, the planning process can begin,” he said. “It will take a year or two to plan and a year or two for construction.”

Of course, the county still must find funding for the project.

Hutson said the yet-to-be-hired architect will “lead us through a more formal planning process,” adding that he wasn’t ready to name any potential architects, but would after he or she is hired.

“I would like somebody on board to come to the next meeting,” he said.

The task force met five times in 2017 and this year the group is scheduled to meet once a month in the commissioners’ conference room.

The task force is made up of government and civic leaders in the community, including Probate/Juvenile Judge Kevin Dunn, county Treasurer John Burke, county Auditor Mike Kovack, county Recorder Colleen Swedyk, Sheriff Tom Miller, Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell, county Administrator Scott Miller and Medina real estate developer Jim Gerspacher.

New president

Hutson was elected president of the board of county commissioners for 2018 at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board president is responsible for setting the agenda and leading the meetings. As board president, he also leads the county Planning Committee, Board of Health, Board of Revision and Records Commission.

“You’ll be signing a lot more papers,” Commissioner Pat Geissman joked.

Adam Friedrick will be vice president of the board.

The commissioners’ meeting Tuesday lasted eight minutes.

“I hope they’re all the same,” Hutson said.

During the short meeting, commissioners were appointed to the following committees and areas of direct responsibility:

Hutson

  •  Departments — Animal Shelter, Board of Elections, Buildings/Grounds/Maintenance, County Home, Highway Engineer, Human Resources, Recorder, Transit;
  •  Boards — 911 Planning Committee, Bicycle Committee, Board of Health, Board of Revision, Community Action Wayne/Medina, Community Improvement Board, County Home Advisory Council, County Planning Commission, Data Processing, District Library, Housing Network, Investment Advisory Board, Issue 2 OPWC Integrating Committee, Law Library Resources, Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Microfilm Board, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency — alternate, Port Authority, Records Commission, Soil and Water Conservation District, Solid Waste Policy Committee — alternate, Transit Advisory, Transportation Improvement District, Western Reserve Resource, Conservation & Development (RC&D).

Friedrick

  •  Departments — Auditor, Building Department, Child Support Enforcement, Finance, Sanitary Engineer, Sheriff, Treasurer;
  •  Boards — Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Board, Community Corrections Planning, county Planning Commission, Drug Enforcement Council of Governments, Economic Development Corp., Emergency Management Agency, Investment Advisory Board, Issue 2 OPWC Integrating Committee, Joint Office of Economic Development, county Drug Abuse Commission, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, Solid Waste Policy Committee, Summit and Medina Workforce Area, Council of Governments, Veterans Services.

Geissman

  •  Departments — Clerk of Courts, Courts, Job and Family Services, Office for Older Adults, Planning Services, Print Shop, Prosecutor, Public Defender.
  •  Boards — Advisory Council on Aging, county Planning Commission, Drug Enforcement Council of Governments, Fair Board, Family First Council, Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce, Investment Advisory Board, Medina County University Center Strategic Advisory Council, Ohio State University Extension, Park District, Public Defenders Commission, Railroad Safety Taskforce.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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