Commissioners examine road finances

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County commissioners fielded questions about the state of the county’s roads during Wednesday’s meeting.

Glenn Maxwell addressed the board regarding the need for center and outside lines on Route 214. He noted the roadway was difficult to see at night and dangerous for older people to drive.

He asked that something be done before winter.

Commissioner Charles R. Probst Jr. agreed with Maxwell, but added that estimates for stripping the county roads come to about $250,000. He said he would continue to attempt to appropriate money to the county engineer’s office for that purpose.

“It’s impossible to see on the roads at night. I realize that,” he said.

Commissioner Ginny Favede said public safety was a high priority with the commissioners, but noted that the roads were the responsibility of the county engineer. The commissioners have been speaking with the engineer about the possibility of purchasing a stripping machine to avoid the cost of hiring out the work. She speculated that a loan could be acquired for that purpose, but said the engineering department, like other state offices, was struggling.

Commissioner Matt Coffland noted the need for paving and lining work for the county roads, as well as bridge repair and other infrastructure maintenance.

“Our infrastructure, our road, our highway system are falling apart everywhere,” he said, noting this was a problem with both county and township routes. “We need to find some funding source to maintain our road infrastructure.”

He added that with the past two years of cuts to local government funding, local road projects will be the first to see the effects.

In other matters, commissioners motioned to advertise for a human resource manager to replace Mike Kinter. It will be a full-time position with benefits.

Commissioners motioned to award the bid for the Deep Run Road Repair to Ohio-West Virginia Excavating Co. for the low bid amount of $75,145. The project is 75 percent FEMA funded, 12.5 percent OEMA and 12.5 percent MVGT.

Favede was authorized to execute an invoice for Waller Corp. for adaptive reuse of the Belmont County Sheriff’s Residence. The federal share is 80 percent, or $90,418.85, and local share is 20 percent, or $22,604.71, for a total of $113,023.56.

Favede was also authorized to execute a pay application to Chambers, Murphy & Burge, Ltd. for construction engineering services on the project. The federal and state match is $4,524.60 with a local match of $1,131.15 for a total of $5,655.75.

Also, commissioners entered into a roadway use agreement with XTO Energy for the use of County Highway 78 beginning at US 40 and running north .58 miles to the Bedway Gas Well site. XTO will hire a contractor to widen the road where needed with four inches of blacktop, then resurface the total .58 miles with 5.5 inches of blacktop. If the roadway is upgraded prior to drilling, no bond is required.

Commissioners submitted a grant agreement for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program declared July 13, 2011 in the amount of $25,000 effective June 6, 2012 through June 6, 2014. The local match is $6,250.

Commissioners motioned to accept a quote from Physio Control, Inc. in the amount of $15,782.40 for 10 Lifepak defibrillators and 10 AED Wall Cabinets with alarms to be placed in 10 senior centers. The county DJFS received a $15,000 grant for the purchase of the defibrillators with the remainder of $782.40 to come from the senior services levy.

Commissioners motioned to adopt the resolution prohibiting the posting or affixing of signs, posters, banners, balloons or other items to any physical surface of the courthouse except as authorized or directed by the county.

The meeting will remain open until today so that commissioners can award a bid for repairs to the back parking lot.

DeFrank can be reached at