(Posted July 19, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The Madison County Veteran Services Office could soon be equipped to issue veterans identification cards. Some businesses offer discounts to veterans; the cards serve as proof of military service.
Various counties in Ohio have been issuing cards for about the last five or six years, said Jennifer Moore, local Veteran Services director. In August 2016, the state legislature adopted material and design standards for the cards, making the process uniform across the state.
On July 17, Moore and Chuck Reed, county recorder, requested permission and funding from the county commissioners to move forward with card issuance in Madison County. Reed said the estimated cost of the equipment to make the cards is $4,800. The commissioners gave Reed the green light to secure quotes for the equipment.
Eligible veterans can apply for the cards in any county that issues them. Madison County veterans have been traveling to Clark, Fayette, Franklin and Pickaway counties to get cards, Moore said.
Once issued, the cards are good for 10 years. Veterans can reapply for cards. Veterans service offices and county recorder offices can issue the cards; they also can charge up to $2 per card.
The Madison County commissioners said they would like to see the Veterans Service Office handle the process, since they work directly with veterans. Reed said his office could provide assistance. The commissioners also agreed that Madison County should issue the cards at no charge.
Standards for issuing veterans identification cards were set by the Ohio Recorders Association, in consultation with the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Ohio State Association of County Veteran Services Offices.
In other business, the commissioners heard from Wayne Roberts, executive director of Friends of Madison County Parks and Trails (FMCPT). The non-profit volunteer group has been integral in the establishment and maintenance of the portion of the Ohio to Erie Trail bike path that runs through Madison County. The group works in conjunction with the Madison County Park District board, comprised of the three county commissioners.
Roberts said that because FMCPT’s membership is aging, he is concerned about the group’s sustainability and, by extension, the future of the trail’s upkeep, for which FMCPT volunteers have set a high and respected standard.
To address the issue, Roberts and fellow FMCPT members have started meeting with Rob Slane, county administrator, and Julia Cumming, Madison County Park District consultant, to work on solutions. They are researching what other park districts do, how many employees and volunteers they have involved in trail maintenance, their expenses, whether or not they’ve asked for levies, and their responsibilities.
“We as commissioners encourage anyone interested in Rails to Trails to hook up with FMCPT to continue the great work they have been doing over the last 15 years,” said Commissioner David Dhume. To learn more, go to www.fmcpt.com.