Ferry welcomes commissioners

MARTINS FERRY – Belmont County Commissioners held a town hall meeting Wednesday before the regularly scheduled city council meeting.

The purpose of the town hall meeting was to give council members and residents a chance to talk and ask the commissioners questions.

The majority of the conversation and questions involved the growing gas and oil industry whose presence in Belmont County continues to increase every day, resulting in growth of businesses and new businesses coming.

“It is unbelievable what has transpired in the county,” said Commissioner Ginny Favede. “There is so much opportunity that is not going to be knocking for long, and we need to take advantage of it now, and we are doing absolutely everything we can to address these issues.”

Favede went on to say that there are new businesses opening up everyday. Much growth can be seen at the Ohio Valley Mall with Boscov’s opening in only a few weeks, as well as Sheetz and CVS that will also come to the area.

The commissioners also acknowledged that along with the positives of the oil and gas industry, there are also several negatives as well.

Another talking point that was addressed was the cuts to local government funding and the effect it has on municipalities. In recent months, there has been an increase of drugs and violence in the area, but due to cuts to local governments, local police departments have suffered several cuts.

In the Ferry council meeting, Mayor Paul Riethmiller gave council an update on the JB Green Team’s new curbside recycling test project that will take place in the first ward. Letters were sent out last week to 755 residents and already 115 residents have responded. The first 400 residents will participate in the program.

Riethmiller also announced that the Trick or Treat in the city park will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26 from noon to 2 p.m. The Martins Ferry Police Department is still accepting donations, and all local businesses are encouraged to come to the park and participate. Door to door Trick or Treat will be held on Oct. 31 from 6 -7 p.m.

Service Director Chuck Bennett stated in his report that the sign department is now back up and running and is currently getting ready to work on painting curbs, lines and handicap parking spaces.

The Fall Clean-Up Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 26 from 8 a.m. to noon. Residents, who must show proof of residency with either a driver’s license and/or a utility bill stub, can bring excess trash to the city garage. They are not accepting the following items: Roofing shingles; Building materials; Tires; Chemicals; Oil base paints; Concrete; Plaster; Bricks.

During that time, Electronic Recycling Services will be present to haul away computers, monitors, telephones and radios, as well as other electronics such as flat screen LCD TVs. For all tube type and projection TVs, there will be a $15 cash fee that will be accepted by Electronic Recycling. They will not accept checks.

Van Dyne may be reached at kvandyne@timesleaderonline.com