Menefee named to Belmont council

BELMONT-Belmont Village Council elected a new member at Tuesday’s meeting. Rich Menefee has been a resident of Belmont for six years and will fill the vacancy created by J.B. Flood’s resignation.

Belmont Fire Chief Mike Stewart suggested that the EMS division of the department go to “plan B.” Though the unit is doing a good job of servicing calls-usually reaching the scene within five minutes–deposited revenue is paying only about 50 percent of the payroll. Collecting outstanding invoices would take care of the gap, but red tape with various insurance services is slowing the process. Some bills will now be sent for collection.

His suggestion of reducing the paid manpower to one EMT on a shift with one volunteer should remedy the situation until the revenue comes in. Deposits for July totaled $1,255.35, and to date the fire department has answered 113 calls during 2011.

The department answered a total of 126 calls during 2010. “We’re trying to make due without a levy,” said Stewart. “We haven’t missed any calls. It’s very important to me, as Chief of this squad, to be taking care of these people.” Council members gave their approval to the reduced hours.

EMS squad leader Jeff Doty reported that the EKG monitor has been tested and is ready to go. EMTs will now be able to prepare the patient at the scene and transmit vital information to area hospitals. An air pack needing repair has been fixed and returned to the fire department, and a company should be out to repair a faulty pump. The truck is still in service.

Mayor Richard Thompson received a letter and donation from a Belmont School alumnus now living in Columbus. He recently toured the school when in town for a family reunion. He suggested that a group of alumni work on a fund to cover building expenses when it isn’t rented and enclosed a check for $500. Mayor Thompson said that volunteers have fundraised for expenses in the past by doing fish fries and haunted houses and may consider doing activities again. Rentals for July were $375.

Councilman Dan Shreve is interested in having youth sentenced to community service doing some maintenance and upkeep at the school and gym. He will be contacting the Belmont County Commissioners for information on possible groups.

Property concerns were also discussed. Residents attending the meeting asked about alley repairs, and those repairs will be done this week. Someone brought up an issue with two dogs running loose and going after other dogs on leashes. The issue was referred to Officer Dave Wines of the Belmont Police Department.

Another resident asked Council President Jack Elliott about clearing poison ivy from the water tower lot next to his house. He is concerned about his grandchildren getting into it when they visit. Council and the water department gave the okay.

The mayor received a letter from a Second St. resident regarding a tree between the curb and sidewalk, which she says is causing moss on her roof. The mayor and council’s response is that all trees are the responsibility of the property owner, as is clearing sidewalks in the winter.

Council members will be looking at three separate catch basins with a state representative from Ohio Department of Transportation. One is collapsing due to frequent truck traffic. The other two are filling with slag from runoff.

Water Board President Kenny Davis reported that there are 69 meters left to install, and all of the fire hydrants have been painted. He noted that a fire hydrant on Abbey St. needs repair, and the mayor said he would take care of it.

Town Clerk Paula Fankhauser gave the second reading for the replacement levy approved by council at July’s meeting. The new millage amounts will cover costs for the police department. Three readings will take place before the town submits it to the County Auditor for calculations of the millage to include on the fall ballot.

All minutes and bills were approved and vouchers signed.

The Belmont Village Council meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.

Valenti can be reached at