Renovation efforts lauded

THE?BELMONT County Board of Commissioners were honored by Project Best at the 26th Annual Project Best Holiday Breakfast. The commission was presented a Project Best Award for its efforts to renovate the Historic Belmont County Sheriff’s Residence.

The award recognized their use of local labor in recent construction and renovation work.

In addition to the commissioners, Belmont County Auditor Andy Sutak and Facilities Supervisor Jack Regis were in attendance on behalf of Belmont County.

Project BEST stands for “building efficiency by striving together.” The group is a cooperative effort involving building trades contractors and craftspeople throughout the Ohio Valley.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, keynote speaker, commended the work of Project BEST, and noted that since 1971 it has brought labor and management in the trades together to improve the local community.

Project BEST honored the following for their construction projects this year, and for hiring Project BEST union contractors for the work: Belmont County Commissioners, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Hancock County Board of Education, Hess Corp., Indian Creek Local School District, Iron Workers Local 549, Main Street Bank, Ohio Valley Mall, St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church, West Virginia Economic Development Authority and West Virginia Northern Community College.

“We are pleased to recognize these local businesses for their leadership in the Ohio Valley and utilizing local contractors and building trades craftsmen,” said former state Sen. Orphy Klempa, current Ohio?County commissioner, who serves as co-chairman of Project BEST.

Thomas Cerra, also co-chairman of Project BEST, noted the construction achievements in the Ohio Valley during 2012.

“Project BEST provided a productive labor climate in the Ohio Valley that has restored and maintained good relations between management and labor, steadily improving the construction industry while attracting investors and delivering a new and significant growth to the area,” he said.

“We are tremendously honored to be recognized by Project Best for our efforts on behalf of the Historic Sheriff’s Residence,” said Commissioner Ginny Favede. “I have had the good fortune of being involved with the restoration of the project for nearly eight years. It is a thrill to see the renovation finally underway and especially meaningful for our efforts to be recognized by our friends at Project Best.

“Walking into Olgebay’s Wilson Lodge and seeing this breathtaking photo of our courthouse and newly renovated Sheriff’s Residence displayed around the room on huge screens was a moment I will always cherish.”