Monroe urging PUCO to assist Ormet

WOODSFIELD – A resolution urging the Public Utilities of Commission of Ohio to intervene and prevent the permanent loss of Ormet’s aluminum smelter in Hannibal and related jobs was approved Monday by the Monroe County commissioners with copies sent to Gov. John Kasich, individual members of the PUCO and the United Steelworkers of America.

The resolution notes that American Electric Power, “a private corporation on pace to record $1 billion profit, almost doubled Ormet’s electrical bill this year, making it impossible to continue production” and that the PUCO “has so far refused to intervene or grant Ormet relief from the rate hike.”

It also was pointed out in the resolution that it is unquestionably in the community’s best interest to retain more than 1,000 family-supporting jobs at Ormet.

“The loss of Ormet will have a predictably devastating impact on thousands of families and small businesses throughout the Ohio Valley’s already struggling communities,” according to the resolution.

Commissioners requested that department heads follow up with letters to the governor, PUCO and USWA, which represents the workers at Ormet.

In other matters, the possibility of raising the cost of dog tags and kennel licenses was discussed, and commissioners also heard about road problems in Jackson Township.

Dog Warden Ronda Piatt and commissioners talked about possibly increasing the cost of dog tags from $11 to $14 and kennel licenses from $55 to $70. No action was taken, but indications are that it will be discussed later. If increases are improved, the action must take place before the end of August.

Piatt also asked for an executive session in regard to personnel, but action about personnel wasn’t taken after that session.

Five persons from Jackson Township, including two trustees, reported about township roads being torn up by oil drilling companies, and mentioned especially were the damages to Jackson Township 0006.

Albert Clutter, Jackson Township trustee, was spokesperson for the delegation. He told of damages to the chip and seal surface of the roads and noted the company had been contacted about the matter. A company representative suggested a list of damages be provided, and this was done so. The list was sent to the company Friday.

Using figures from the county engineer’s office, the estimated road damages in the township was listed as $4,976, but that doesn’t include equipment and labor so the overall total will be more.

According to the group, oversized trucks and loads are causing the damages.

Prosecuting Attorney James L. Peters who was at the meeting suggested the group contact the sheriff’s office to be in the area to check on the weight load of the equipment.

David Kuhn and Teri Knowlton of the Monroe County Emergency Services Association presented the monthly EMS report.

Commissioners said they will be at the county fair’s entertainment center Monday from 9 a.m. to noon, and their meeting will convene in the office that day at 1 p.m.