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A return of home-delivered meals for Defiance County’s senior citizens has been a welcome development, according to one county official.

Senior Services Director Amy Francis informed county commissioners about this and other related matters during her monthly update with them Thursday. Commissioners also briefly discussed an ongoing rate study for areas receiving county wastewater services (see below).

“... the seniors are very much enjoying having people coming every day and seeing them again, and so that has been really good,” said Francis, during commissioners’ regular Thursday meeting.

Defiance County’s senior centers in Defiance and Hicksville remain closed to seniors due to the coronavirus situation, as are others throughout northwest Ohio. However, Defiance County Senior Services is offering some options for clients, Francis indicated.

For example, “grab and go” drive-through meals can be picked up. The number of participants has settled at about 25-30 persons a day, “depending upon the menu,” according to Francis.

The agency offered the same “grab and go” option for its annual Thanksgiving meal, which was offered Thursday. She said 65 seniors signed up for it.

The agency is providing a monthly newsletter to seniors — with puzzles and other information — and making “a lot of phone calls to them,” Francis explained.

Meanwhile, she said the Area Office of Aging has provided the agency with 4,000 masks — at the request of Gov. Mike DeWine’s office — to distribute to senior citizens before Thanksgiving (on Thursday next week).

“... we have to get them out by Tuesday or Wednesday,” she said. “So, we’re trying to figure out how we might get that to happen.”

Francis said there are no coronavirus cases among senior center personnel.

“We have had a few of our people out on quarantine, but we’ve had no COVID cases in the center right now, so that’s good,” she said. “And we’re just trying to stay the status quo.”

That includes keeping the senior centers closed for now.

“... nobody in northwest Ohio is opening,” explained Francis. “I talked to Paulding this week. They were going to open Monday, and then because they had a surge in their county, they cut it back. ... At the moment, nobody in northwest Ohio is opening. It’s just not safe to do that right now.”

Also Thursday, the county’s wastewater supervisor, Brad Fritch, provided commissioners with a monthly update.

He made mention of the county’s ongoing sewer rate study that is expected to be completed by year’s end.

This concerns the future of rates for residents and businesses served by county wastewater systems in five locations: Evansport, Middle Gordon Creek in the Hicksville area, the county’s Evergreen Lane Office Complex on Evansport Road, the Auglaize River area south of Defiance and an express sewer that takes wastewater from the Lake Christi/Brunersburg areas to Defiance’s wastewater plant on Ohio 281 next to General Motors.

Fritch also recommended that a request to tap into a county-owned sewer line serving Defiance Metal Products on Ohio 66 be denied until infiltration and pump station issues there are addressed.

Commissioners followed the recommendation.

Too, Fritch noted an ongoing wastewater problem in the River Chase Subdivision just outside Defiance.

Last year that area exceeded the amount “they’re allowed to discharge to us” (the county) 10 times, he noted. The flow rate was set up by a different group of officials, Fritch indicated.

Commissioner Gary Plotts suggested adding a portable flow meter on the system while Commissioner Ryan Mack said he wanted to do a little more research on the issue and Commissioner Mick Pocratsky encouraged Fritch to keep an eye on the figures (measured through a pump station).

Meanwhile, Fritch reported that his office billed customers for $64,199.94 in October while collecting $62,230.63. Expenses totaled $69,283.42.

Commissioners concluded their agenda Thursday by discussing renewal of CORSA property liability insurance with Larry Woods, Darby Naton and Andy Weisgerber of First Insurance Group.

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