New DJFS director to be announced soon

ST. CLAIRSVILLE The future of the Department of Job and Family Services is close to being decided.

After an executive session during Wednesday’s Belmont County commissioners meeting, Commissioner Ginny Favede was authorized to offer employment for the position of director of the Department of Job and Family Services. Commissioner Matt Coffland later added that the new director will be announced soon.

For the past several meetings guests have inquired if a progress report could be made on the progress and future plans for the department and the planned separate Senior Services Department.

In other matters, Pease Township Trustee Michael Bianconi brought up the prior meeting’s decision to utilize funds from a project to install a road to the Ohio Valley Mall for the purpose of needed paving. While Bianconi has long been an advocate of the need for road and bridgework, he is opposed to the allocation of funds from the project. He maintains that other tax sources should be utilized.

He and other guest asked if more time could be allotted for a public forum. Favede noted the extensive business the county must do, adding later that the organization of a meeting represents a week’s planning, and the timing of executive sessions is not arbitrary, but dictated by a number of schedules.

Visitors also complained of tar and high weeds on County Road 10. There is also no speed limit sign on the road and motorists have been known to drive at high speeds. Coffland reiterated that work on the roads is under the authority of the county engineer.

Commissioners approved and signed a public road consent form for an ODNR application/permit granting permission for the American Energy Corporation to perform mining activity within 100 feet of County Road 86, or Hunter-Belmont Road.

Commissioners turned over all bids received for the signal improvement project at Mall and Banfield Roads. The signal light is located between Gabe’s and Ollie’s. The project is funded 100 percent by the Federal Highway Administration.

Commissioners motioned to enter into contract with Lash Paving in the amount of $199,880 to apply liquid bituminous material to county highways for dust control. The funding source is the MVGT Fund,

Commissioners motioned to notify the Ohio Division of Liquor Control that the board does not request a hearing on the matter of a liquor permit. Permit includes the sale of wine and certain prepackaged mixed drinks in sealed containers for carry out, beer for on-premise consumption or in sealed containers for carry out, spirituous liquor for on-premises consumption until 1 a.m., and to extend issued permit privileges until 2:30 a.m.

Favede was authorized to execute a Memorandum of Understanding for WIA Local Area 16 One-Stop Operations effective July 1, 2013 until June 30, 2015.

Board motioned to approve and sign a contract with Burgess Ambulance Sales, Inc., Loudonville, in the amount of $96,240 for a new ambulance chassis for the Bethesda Fire Department. The CDBG Formula Allocation Program will pay $40,000 and the balance of $56,240 will be paid by the Bethesda Fire Department.

Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a pay request for $26,599.15 for Field’s Excavating, Inc. for the Neffs Sanitary Sewer Project Phase I, covering Neffs, West Neffs, and St. Joe Sanitary Sewer.

Commissioners motioned to enter into an oil and gas lease with Gulfport Energy Corporation in the amount of $7,000 per net leasehold acre of property for 3.866 acres, more or less, located in Washington Township for a three-year option to renew, 19 percent royalty.

Commissioner moved to rescind a May 29 motioned to accept a proposal from Kelly’s Suite II in the amount of $6,380.64 for carpet for the common pleas court renovation due to changes in the original floor plan.

Commissioners motioned to accept a revised proposal from Kelly’s Suite in the amount of $1,580.36 for labor to remove existing floor tile and prepare floor for the new carpet installation for common pleas court.

Commissioners announced projects that will be submitted to the Ohio Office of Community Development for funding through the CDBG Small Cities Program. The projects set for Fiscal Year 2013 include clearance activities and the demolition of three dilapidated structures in Martins Ferry to eliminate spot slum and blight, funds totaling $25,000.

Also, street improvements and the resurfacing of 3,087 feet of Front, First, Second and Pine Streets in Union Township to benefit 82 percent low to moderate income persons, funding totaling $50,600.

In addition, street improvements for the resurfacing of 1225 feet of Brick Run Road in Pultney Township to benefit 81 percent low to moderate income persons, funding totaling $28,600.

Also, street improvements including the replacement of catch basin and resurfacing at 41 & Noble Streets, in Bellaire to benefit 63 percent low to moderate income persons, funding totaling $47,800.

Commissioners motioned to hire Marty Wetzel as full-time temporary maintenance employee for the buildings and grounds department at the rate of $9.05 per hour effective June 17.

DeFrank can be reached at