Powhatan Point project progressing

POWHATAN POINT – A completion date of Oct. 31 for the first phase of a drainage project was welcome news to members of Powhatan Point Village Council, which is also working toward completion of forms for Federal Emergency Managemenet Agency reimbursement monies.

Mayor Mark McVey reported Tuesday night that Bryan Hendershot of Ohio-West Virginia Excavating is preparing to begin work at the southern end of town. The company will install drainage pipe and cover the extremely large ditch that runs along the west side of Ohio 7. According to McVey, the drainage project will extend about 1,000 feet from the southern end of town north to the area of Belmont Street and should be completed by Oct. 31.

The village will receive a $65,000 Community Development Block Grant to help pay for the work. The grant will be administered by Bel-O-Mar.

According to Interim Police Chief Rich Young, there has been “a rash of daylight burglaries.” He asked that anyone seeing anything out of the ordinary, to please call the police department.

Councilman Dave Walters reported that he, Councilman Brady Dierkes and Clerk-Treasurer Lisa Armann-Blue attended the recent applicants’ briefing meeting held by representatives of the FEMA. The meeting was just one step in the process for local governments to be reimbursed for storm damage.

Walters said forms requesting FEMA reimbursement are being completed. The village will seek about $15,000 for work done to clean up after storms that downed trees, poles and caused other damage due to intense winds, which left the village without power. Walters said the village has been told it may remove the storm debris currently piled near Captina Creek. It will be taken to a compost site.

In another matter, Walters reported that two companies have been contacted with regard to replacing the village’s ice machine. Both have machines whose price tags start at $3,000. Walters indicated that an ice machine under $3,000 would not serve the village’s needs. He reported on information gathered and said a third company also will be contacted. The ice is used by firefighters battling large fires, and several organizations also use the ice.

Councilman John Mitchell thanked emergency squad members for “getting the squad on the road” after recent calls.

Becky Bier, former squad chief, asked council how long they expect the money to last now that squad members and fire personnel are being paid. She said money can be billed for squad runs, but there is no money coming in to pay for fire runs and every firefighter gets paid for fire calls and accidents. Councilman Jerry Binni reminded her that volunteers will only be paid until Oct. 31 at which time the ordinance will terminate. The matter will, at that time, come under consideration.

According to the ordinance, in part, “volunteer squad members” will be paid $60 per run for runs made per individual member. This payment is to be made to up to three members per run unless the run is a severe trauma, Code 99, fire call or car accident. In this event, each volunteer responding is to be paid $60. The ordinance calls for up to three squad members to be paid $30 each on no-transport runs.

David Lucas, candidate for sheriff, introduced himself to officials and reviewed his credentials. He has 28 years of continuous service in law enforcement, having retired as a major from the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office in 2007.

Council entered into an executive session to discuss personnel with regard to hiring. The session was called at the request of Mayor McVey.