Officials answer questions at fair

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County commissioners answered questions from guests during a brief meeting Wednesday before presiding at the opening ceremony at the county fair.

A guest raised the issue of workers assigned to clear Captina Creek of trash and deadfall. He noted that the work has gone on for two years and has involved from one to 11 people up to five days per week. He said the process has been wasteful and the wood disposed of by burning could have been given to the needy. He also added that the trees being cleared away could slow water during flood periods and shield younger trees. He also pointed out issues of trash left there.

Commissioner Ginny Favede noted the project is operated through a federal grant program run through DJFS. She said she will inquire about the crew and project, but noted that they had done good work for the county on other projects.

In other matters, commissioners approved a change order for $24,598.83 for Lash Paving, Inc. for resurfacing various county highways.

Commissioners accepted a proposal from Kelly’s Suite II for $5,340 for furnishings, draperies and accessories for Common Pleas Court Judge Frank Fregiato’s courtroom renovation.

Commissioners motioned to accept a quote from Moore’s Music Emporium for $2,650 to repair and upgrade the chime system at the courthouse. The original system was installed in 2001.

Commissioners motioned to approve and sign an amendment to the vendor agreement with Barnesville Taxi Service on behalf of DJFS for the provision of transportation for Title 19 individuals to medical appointments, to increase the maximum amount of agreement from $150,000 to $400,000 due to increases in usage. Attempts are made to secure vendors around the county who will work with the department to provide this service.

Favede noted that these individuals are bound by the court to drug treatment therapy available only in Youngstown. There is some talk of changing state laws to permit the individuals to be transported across state lines to Wheeling.

Commissioners motioned to enter into vendor agreements on behalf of DJFS for the provision of gasoline and other services for Title 19 individuals to medical appointments out of the local area, effective July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014. Vendors include Belmont Carson Petroleum, not to exceed $12,000; Hissom’s Car Care, not to exceed $12,000; and Smith’s Sunoco, not to exceed $17,000.

Commissioners appointed Roger Deal, Barnesville village administrator, to the board of trustees of the Belmont County Regional Airport Authority effective immediately through Dec. 31, 2017 to fill the unexpired term of Michael Koonce.

Commissioners motioned to appoint Favede to the Eastern Ohio Development Alliance board of directors for a two-year term commencing Jan. 1, 2014-Dec. 31, 2015.

Commissioners motioned to accept the estimate from Petticord & Son, Inc., for $3,745 for all labor and materials required to prepare and paint the office area, two restrooms, bottom wainscot and bookcases for Frigiato’s courtroom at the Belmont County Common Pleas Court.

Commissioners will reconvene today at 10 a.m.

DeFrank can be reached at