Barnesville council discusses park usage

BARNESVILLE-Park board member Denise Stephen and swim coach Bobbie Jo Johnson updated Barnesville Village Council on Memorial Park activities and statistics at Monday night’s meeting.

“I’m interested in what’s going on with the feasibility study [for the proposed recreation/community center,]” says Stephen. “Our park needs some improvements, and our kids deserve a nice park.”

According to Stephen more than 500 adults and children play ball on the fields on 45 teams; there are at least 90 coaches and another 90 umpires ; there are 900 swimmers. She estimates that one quarter to one half of Barnesville’s population uses the park when these activities are combined with horseshoes, tennis, basketball and other park sports.

Johnson added that there are pool activities for women and senior citizens and that Barnesville Hospital is also involved with park programs.

Stephen praised people who run the programs and asked council to support improvements to the facilities. Councilman Dale Bunting pointed out that there are some improvements in progress that were approved at the last council meeting, though he acknowledged that they take time.

Councilman Brad Hudson added that board members appreciate workers who came from Warren Township to work on the baseball fields and said, “They did a real nice job.”

The annual Beast of the East will be held Thursday, July 4 to Sunday, July 7. Barnesville’s Fourth of July fireworks display will be held Saturday, July 6. There will be children’s activities that day at the park, as well as the annual chicken dinner. Hudson added that the fireworks fund is working in the red, and any donations would be appreciated. The event costs $5,000, and the fund total this year is $1,700.

On Saturday, July 13, the Albert S. George Youth Center will celebrate its 50 year anniversary. The celebration will begin at 9:30 a.m.

Council approved extending the new water line along State Route 800 to the Interstate 70 interchange. The water line was constructed to service the Eastern Ohio Regional Industrial Park, but with the growth and potential in the area, members decided to extend the line another 11,080 feet. Stonegate Construction, the contractor for the water line project, offered a bid of around $622,000 to extend the line and continue construction.

Larry Merry, director of the Belmont County Port Authority, says he is pleased with Stonegate’s work so far and will be able to amend their contract to include the extension. The Village and Warren Township will need to discuss altering the JEDD district in that area regarding properties along the new water line. Merry added that the Belmont County Commissioners support the extension project.

Councilman John Jefferis suggested funding the project in part from recent water sales to the oil and gas industry.

Roger Deal, village administrator, called the approval of the extension “good news” to tell the EPA. The agency encourages towns to build inter-connective water systems in case of emergencies.

Members also approved a water line extension to 65 residents in Salesville. The line will be built and monitored by Quaker City, but Barnesville sells water to Quaker City.

Olney Friends School in Barnesville has asked the Village if the school can tie into the village sewer system. Bunting noted that the school property will need to be annexed to the town in order to connect. The school will have to make that decision.

A work session on water and sewer issues will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the water office.

The town will be getting a new dump truck for just under $127,000. It will replace the 1996 International truck. An amount of $163,000 had been budgeted for the purchase under capital improvements. Members voted to offer the old truck for sale to Sommerset Township for the trade-in value of $7,500.

Barnesville property, 238 S. Lincoln, has been torn down with funds from the Moving Ohio Forward grant. It was the first of three properties for which the grant will be used.

B arnesville Village Council meets every other Monday at 7 p.m.

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