Delaware County’s Commissioners hosted their first in-person social gathering since the COVID-19 pandemic began on Tuesday, April 20. The 2021 State of the County was a socially distanced event held at the Columbus Zoo’s Africa Event Center.

“Traditionally, we have held our State of the County event at the end of February,” said Commissioner Gary Merrell, president of this year’s board. “But we hoped that by delaying a couple of months, we would be able to safely gather in-person again and we are very happy that we could, thanks to the excellent protocols in place at the Zoo.”

The event, which brought together a variety of community and business leaders, featured presentations by Merrell and his fellow Commissioners, Barb Lewis and Jeff Benton. Together, they highlighted the board’s accomplishments in 2020, which included the distribution of nearly $3.1 million to date in direct grants to residents, businesses and community organizations.

Also spotlighted by Lewis were achievements by the Pre-Hospital Care System Board, which has assembled first-responder agencies throughout the county, and the creation of the county’s first Public Defender’s Office. Benton updated attendees on the facilities projects that the county is undertaking, including the consolidation of its locations to create more efficient functional centers for administrative, judicial, executive, development and public safety needs. Benton also introduced a “guided tour” video of the newly renovated Historic Courthouse.

“Because of COVID-19 challenges, we haven’t been able to host an open house for the public, as we did when we opened the new Courthouse in 2017,” said Delaware County Administrator Michael Frommer. “But, with this video, we want to share the results of this historic preservation project.”

The videos and the Commissioners’ PowerPoint presentations from the State of the County event can be viewed at: