Commissioners declare an emergency

By Kyle Shaner -

SIDNEY – The Shelby County commissioners passed a health emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic during their regular session on Tuesday.

The commissioners met with Cheri Drinkwine, director of the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency, whose agency urged them to declare an emergency.

“This is certainly no time to panic,” Commissioner Bob Guillozet said. “The health emergency declaration allows Shelby County to be able to access state and federal resources related to the costs Shelby County will incur. We are working in cooperation with the Emergency Management Agency, the Sidney Shelby County Health Department and others to deal with the issue of COVID-19. While we do not have any diagnosed persons in Shelby County today, it is only a matter of time.”

The declaration states in part that the commissioners recognize that COVID-19 will disrupt services and cause economic injury. It also states that local first responders and health care workers need additional resources.

The village of Lockington Council held an emergency meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the COVID-19 situation. The council approved a resolution to declare a state of emergency in the village.

The Lockington declaration exempts the village from competitive bidding process purchases related to the emergency that are greater than $50,000 but less than $100,000 as long as at least three informal estimates are obtained.

Lockington’s declaration encouraged residents to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and encouraged residents to shelter in place, especially the elderly and those with compromised immune systems and underlying medical conditions. It also encouraged good disinfection practices and good hygiene, such as washing hands for at least 20 seconds.

Lockington’s state of emergency will end in 30 days unless renewed by a majority vote of the council.

The village of Anna announced the front door of its office will be locked and closed to the public. Entrance into the building will be permitted on a case by case basis only, and individuals should call 937-394-3751 prior to coming to the office.

The drop box on the west side of the town hall building, in the alley, is available 24/7 for Anna residents to drop their utility payments. In addition, credit/debit card payments can be made by visiting the village’s website,

The village of Anna is accepting income tax returns through the night drop box. All envelopes should be sealed. Any income tax questions may be directed to the income tax administrator.

The village of Botkins has closed its Village Office to the public, and as much work as possible should be done by phone or email. Those who need a permit or a face to face meeting should contact Village Administrator Randy Purdy at 937-693-4368.

All Botkins water/sewer bills need to be paid through the mail or through the village’s night drop location adjacent to the front door of the Village Administration Building. Anyone who is experiencing difficulties with a bill due to the pandemic should contact Purdy.

The village of Fort Loramie announced the front door of its office will be locked and closed to the public. Individuals may reach the village by calling 937-295-3088. Entrance into the building will be permitted on a case by case basis only, and individuals needing to enter should call in advance.

The village also said the drop box to the east of its building in the alley is available 24/7 for residents to drop their utility payments. Cash payments are being discouraged.

The village of Minster announced access to village facilities is restricted to village personnel only.

Minster residents are encouraged to consider signing up for automatic utility bill payments, pay utility bills by credit card online through the village’s website or over the phone or use the drop box at the rear of the building to submit payment. The utility drive-thru window located at the rear of the Administration Building will still be open for those who would like to pay their utility bills in person.

Minster residents who are interested in obtaining a zoning permit are asked to submit applications and drawings electronically or through the utility drop box. Outside meetings conducted in Council Chambers or other public buildings have been suspended until further notice, and all parks and recreation activities are canceled until further notice.

The village of Versailles announced all business at the Village Administration Building will be conducted using the drive-thru window only. Access to the building only will be allowed if warranted. Versailles’ Emergency Services Building is now closed to the general public.

The Versailles Police Department will not respond to non-emergency calls and instead will take reports over the phone. The department still will respond to calls if someone is posing a threat or danger to the public is present.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced Wednesday afternoon the state is closing 181 Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles registrar locations. Five will remain open because they are essential to issue/renew commercial drivers’ licenses so that the state’s transportation system can keep moving, DeWine said.

The governor instructed the Ohio State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies to not issue tickets those who have an expired license due to the fact that they can no longer get a renewal.

By Kyle Shaner

Reach this writer at or 937-538-4824.

Reach this writer at or 937-538-4824.