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Good Stewardship of Natural Resources, Environmental Sustainability, & Civic Engagement

The commissioners are committed to providing good stewardship of natural resources and other environmental sustainability measures to preserve our world for future generations and to help build a more resilient community.

They have created a number of community gardens around the county and support thoughtful community planning, and zoning and code enforcement to improve the quality of life and safety of county residents. They also work hard to engage the residents of Franklin County in their county government to help make sure that our local government is working for all of us.

The Sanitary Engineering Department provides safe water and sewer services in more than 30 separate neighborhoods around the county, operating a water treatment plant and four sewage treatment plants.

Franklin County water customers
Franklin County sewer customers
Gallons of clean water delivered to customers
524,518 CCF 
Sewage treated
Elevated water tank on tower
aerial view of treatment plant in DarbyDale

Fleet Management

The commissioners' Fleet Management agency provides purchasing, maintenance, repairs, towing, fuel, and other services for the more-than 500 vehicles belonging to 56 county departments, including those operated by non-commissioner agencies. That total includes cars, trucks, passenger busses, ATVs, and the sheriff’s SWAT and bomb squad vehicles.

commissioners van with happys people image on the side
Sherif's fleet of SUVs in a garage

The Public Facilities Management team takes care of more than 40 of the county’s buildings, from high-rise office towers to the jail, and from the sheriff’s firing range to the dog shelter, working to maintain a safe, comfortable environment for county employees and the public to conduct business.  They are also responsible for new construction administration and management for the county.

retaining brick wall with adoption shelter sign
franklin county building

The electricity for 71 county facilities is provided by contract via 100% renewable energy sources, and five of the buildings that PFM manages are LEED certified.

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a designation awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for buildings that help save money, improve efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and create healthier places for people to live and work. Construction projects earn points for how well they address carbon, energy, water, waste, transportation, materials, health, and indoor environmental quality, and they can receive one of four LEED classifications: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Certified.

The commissioners have two LEED Gold-certified buildings, and three LEED Silver-certified buildings, including the new Forensic Science Center which opened in 2021 and the county’s new jail building that will open in 2022.
Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio Logo

A partner agency that works closely with the commissioners and their team to help keep our community clean and green is SWACO, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, which operates the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill and offers programs and services designed to help residents and businesses reduce their reliance on the landfill.

landfill waste charaectrization graphic of compostable,recyclable, and recoverable material

The landfill took in more than a million tons of material in 2021, three-quarters of which could possibly have been diverted through composting or recycling, so SWACO began a new program last year called Save More Than Foodan awareness campaign to share the impact that food waste has on the health of our community, economy, and environment.

In addition, SWACO provides hazardous waste disposal, works on the Environmental Crimes Taskforce, offers grants to encourage waste reduction, and partners with local schools to provide recycling infrastructure and education.

As part of their work to encourage civic engagement, the commissioners themselves partner very closely with other local government agencies. One challenge that the Franklin County Board of Elections has faced during the pandemic is a critical shortage of poll workers, so the Board of Commissioners has partnered with them to help recruit neighbors to help run our elections.  

Serve Your Community - Be a Poll Worker

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The commissioners also partner very closely with MORPC, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, which serves as Central Ohio’s regional council and a resource for local officials as they make decisions about economic growth, transportation, energy, and environmental sustainability.

MORPC is working to transform mobility, investing in a sustainable future, and building infrastructure for the modern age. Through programs to help homeowners improve efficiency and lower energy bills, MORPC is building sustainable neighborhoods with improved quality of life and tracking community progress through the Sustainable2050 program.

One of their tasks is monitoring patterns impacting air quality in Central Ohio. During the 2020-21 season, temps were higher than average and precipitation was below  average. Despite those conditions, the region didn’t experience any high ozone pollution days and environment.  

MORPC also oversees the Central Ohio Greenways board and is working to expand the region’s 230-mile trail network, and is an invaluable resource for data and maps as the communities in Franklin County work to maximize the return on their public infrastructure investment.

local chart showing local air quality
four bikers along the scioto river in downtown columbus