Transportation fee issue partially resolved

BELLAIRE The issue of a transportation fee to area departments taking arrestees on open warrants to the Belmont County Jail has been raised lately.

Bellaire Police Chef Mike Kovalyk reported Thursday that the issue has been reolved. At least one-third of it has anyway.

Effective Thursday, any county law enforcement agency will receive $20 per warrant in transport costs for any open warrant issued through Eastern Division Court.

This was a decision by Judge John Vavra.?It was one that Kovalyk thanked the judge for and one he hopes the other division courts in the county will follow Eastern’s lead.

“We’d worked on this for a long time and want to thank Judge Vavra for initiating this,” Kovalyk said. “We’re hoping that the other courts follow suit.”

The ongoing property dispute over the building of batting cages on Belmont Street by city resident Dan Brown appears to be over.

Mickey Wallace, the village’s zoning administrator, reported that as previously said, Brown’s initial plans didn’t meet B2 zoning requirements within the village.

However, Brown’s resubmitted construction plans, along with altering the intended purpose, do meet the requirements.

Wallace stated that the facility will be classified as educational as it is being dubbed a hitting and pitching training clinic.

It will also be housed in an enclosed metal structure.

“As submitted, it meets regulations under B2,” Wallace said. “But the business has to be operated as a pitching and hitting training facility. Any time that ceases to happen, the zoning certificate is invalid.”

Councilman Jim Piatt asked about hours and the type of staff that would be working.

Brown noted some high school coaches will be utilized, along with some other big-named people who didn’t want to reveal as of yet as he was waiting on final approval.

Piatt motioned for approval with Councilwoman Pat Thomas seconding. It passed 5-1, with Councilwoman Lou Ann Bennett casting the lone no vote.

Council passed ordinance 2013-01, establishing wages for part-time, temporary and substitute employees for the service department.

All part-time service employees possessing a CDL or other specialized training/license/certification will make $12 per hour. All other part-time service employees will make $10.

Part-time employees can work up to 39 hours per week. There are no benefits.

This is similar to an ordinance passed this summer, but clears up language about temporary and substitute positions.

Village Clerk Tom Sable updated council on the village’s financial report after the first month of 2013. As expected, the general fund is the main concern.

“It’s showing a negative of $16,000 at the end of January for the general fund,” Sable said. “All other funds are maintaining and supporting themselves. We’re hoping to get this turned around by March.”

The auditor’s office in the village will be closed Friday as working is being down on the second-floor of the municipal building and the power will be off intermittently.

Village Administrator Dan Marling wanted to pay his thanks to village work crews in dealing with the snow removal and salt spreading recently.

He added that the village’s salt supply is running low.

Marling stated that one of the village’s packer trucks, the substitute one, is again having issues and is being repaired. This particular packer has cost the village roughly $3,500 in repairs.

The municipal building’s thermostat is now in a lock box and on a cycle, and that, along with some other minor changes in supplies and disbursement recently implemented should help with some cost savings.

The next meeting of Bellaire council will take place Thursday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.

Hughes may be reached at