The Henry County commissioners Thursday awarded the bid for the cash rent of approximately 204.91 acres of farm ground near the former county home.

The bid was awarded to Michael Beck Farms in the amount of $342 an acre by a 2-1 vote, with Henry County Commissioner Bob Hastedt voting against. The bid is for the cash rent of the farmground near the former Country View Haven on County Road 15 for four years.

The bid opening was held earlier this month, with nine bids received, although one was not accepted because it was not for cash rent. The initial bids ranged from $150 an acre to $300 an acre.

The highest five bidders — Cape Precision of Edgerton at $300 per acre, Michael Beck Farms of Napoleon at $215 an acre, Lucas Hesterman and Ben Gerken of Defiance at $212 an acre, Brad Bockleman of Napoleon at $210 an acre and Robert Schlatter and Roger Lane of Liberty Center at $205 an acre — were given the opportunity to raise their bids if they chose.

Two of the bidders opted to do so, with an auction then taking place between Cape Precision and Michael Beck Farms. Michael Beck Farms won the auction at $342 per acre.

While noting the higher price is beneficial for the county, Henry County Commissioner Glenn Miller said it’s not indicative of what the rent should be in Henry County.

“We’re not going to turn down the additional revenue, but the concern is how it will affect the attitudes of other landowners around that area and how it will affect cash rent for those operators,” Miller said.

Hastedt agreed and said it’s an important subject to talk about.

“I’m not upset about the county making money on it, but it’s not fair to other renters in the county,” Hastedt said. “Other people who are paying cash or are receiving cash are looking at this and saying, ‘Hey,’ and farmers can’t afford to pay that. That’s the bottom line. I think it should be said.”

In other matters, the commissioners also:

•Approved participation in the Ohio Department of Transportation purchasing program for the Henry County engineer.

•Approved the annual mileage certification to show 399.81 miles of public roads maintained by the county.

County offices will be closed Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tuesday’s agenda includes an executive session at 9:30 a.m. regarding security matters.

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