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Commissioners working together for the betterment of the county

Published in the January 3, 2018 edition of the Perry County Tribune. It’s hard to believe that we have wrapped up 2017. My first year as one of your County Commissioners has been everything I had hoped.


Commissioners working together for the betterment of the county.

It’s hard to believe that we have wrapped up 2017. My first year as one of your County Commissioners has been everything I had hoped.

When I started my tenure as Commissioner, I promised the voters to serve as a full-time commissioner, and I strive to do that every day.  I left my career at the Perry Soil and Water Conservation District to commit full time attention toward serving everyone throughout Perry County.  I want to take a moment to thank my fellow Commissioners Jim Obrien and Dave Freriks. From my first day in office they have never hesitated to offer insight and wisdom, and answer my questions; and there have been many.  Our office staff, Ann Sweeney and Carol Middaugh, have endured many questions as well. They fulfill their responsibilities to the office and the people of the County with the highest degree of professionalism.   Each Commissioner alone, has little to no authority to accomplish anything.  We serve on a Board of Commissioners for a reason and it is critical that the County has three commissioners that can talk and work together. And I am proud to be a part of this current Board of Commissioners.

In the past year I think we have made some great strides for the county.  While I cannot begin to list them all, I think there are many that deserve mentioning.

The County has been a member of the Buckeye Hills Regional Council for several years, this past year we joined the Mid-Ohio Regional Council as well. Through this membership and work with MORPC we can continue to leverage beneficial projects and funds into the county. According to the year-end return on investment report we were able to show benefits to Perry County in the amount of $1,439,170.  Which is a return of $152 for every dollar invested.

Early in 2017 we assisted in forming the Perry County Land bank and sit on that board. The Land Bank successfully received $500,000 in grant funds to tear down and remove many condemned houses in New Lexington and other communities. We successfully got the Perry County Health Department and the Board of Elections office moved to new locations to better serve the people of the County.  The Perry County Children’s services building is currently undergoing some long overdue roof repairs and remodeling of the interior. Once completed our Children’s service staff will be able to offer a modern, and secure facility to better serve their clients.

The 911 Center was moved back into our County Annex building and we continue to work with the Sheriff’s office and IT staff to make the 911 system as efficient as possible.  We hired a new Dog Warden and Assistant Warden and are very happy with the level of assistance they provide to the public and the positive direction they have taken the Perry County Dog Shelter.

We are in various stages of design and construction of several projects for the Northern Perry Sewer and Water Districts. The Phase 3 expansion of water lines throughout areas of the County is underway. This is a $2,500,000 project that will provide extended water lines to people in underserved areas with municipal water. There are two new sewer projects in the county as well. One in the 6-mile turn area and one in the Rehoboth area. Both these projects are mandated by the OEPA due to the EPA’s assessment of private septic systems that are failing. In these cases, the County Commissioners are required to install a municipal sewage treatment system. The good news is that the OEPA also has a principal forgiveness program in which the bulk of the money needed to install the systems (80%-100%) is forgiven. This allows us to provide a much cheaper rate to the people that are forced by law to go on the system.

There are so many projects and funding sources available to us that it is critical to me to try to keep the public informed and updated. Feel free to call the office at 740-342-2045 any time or email us at

We have started some new projects to better reach out and provide better communication with the people of the county. My attempt to provide a regular column in the Tribune is just one. We also have a monthly spot on WHIZ TV Live at noon broadcast in which I bring along other County representatives to share news and innovative projects. The Commissioners noon broadcast airs the third Tuesday of each month.  “Coffee with some Commissioners” is another new project to help provide access to your Commissioners. This is a monthly 7:30am breakfast meeting that provides us the opportunity to listen to others. Whether it is comments from the public or updates from other County offices and agencies, it is a great way to network with one another, share information and exchange ideas.  We have also started an open public comment session during a Board of Commissioners meeting. These public comment sessions are set for the third Thursday of each month at 1:00pm. Anyone can come in at 1:00 and talk about any topic, no appointment is needed.

As Commissioners, we know that there are many issues throughout the County and there are many things that still need attention. We are working to provide the very best service possible to the citizens of Perry County.  I would guess that every reader has probably witnessed elected officials that never seemed to care about their responsibilities, or even show up for the job.  I can assure you that I not only care, and take this responsibility seriously, but I will also continue to work for you on a daily basis.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses”


Ben Carpenter,

Perry County Ohio Commissioner

Upcoming Events
American Red Cross Blood Drive - New Lexington High School Jan 24, 2018 08:00 AM - 02:00 PM — New Lexington High School - 2547 Panther Dr, New Lexington, OH 43764
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Workshop Jan 24, 2018 02:00 PM - 03:00 PM — Perry County JFS - 212 South Main Street New Lexington, OH  43764
American Red Cross Blood Drive - American Legion Hall Jan 27, 2018 08:00 AM - 01:00 PM — American Legion Hall - 110 Logan St., Junction City, OH 43748
American Red Cross Blood Drive - New Straitsville United Methodist Church Jan 30, 2018 02:00 PM - 07:00 PM — New Straitsville United Methodist Church - 101 Clark St., New Straitsville, OH 43766
You're A Good Man Charlie Brown Feb 01, 2018 07:30 PM - 09:00 PM — Perry County Calvary Arts Center - 447 S Main St, New Lexington, OH 43764
Upcoming events…