Senior services changeover underway

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Senior services were under discussion during Tuesday’s meeting of the Belmont County commissioners.

Vince Gallagher, president of a local AARP chapter, commended the commissioners for their efforts in answering the needs of seniors. He added that on Oct. 27, the new Senior Services coordinator will attend his organization’s regular meeting. Gallagher also asked about the status of the changeover.

Commissioner Ginny Favede said that the changeover to the Department of Senior Services as a separate entity is underway and will be complete and official Nov. 1. Gallagher inquired into next year’s budget. Favede said the budget had not yet been approved and submitted. The new coordinator was in the process of visiting all the senior centers.

Gallagher also asked if all of the senior services were the same or enhanced. Richard Hord, guest, also asked if more information about the additional use of senior services such as food and medicine and attendance at senior centers could be made readily available.

Commissioner Matt Coffland answered that the increase in food services came to about 200 more meals daily, with few complaints once the initial issues were smoothed out. He commended the DJFS for its accomplishments in expanding senior services while remaining in the budget and reaffirmed his opposition to the changeover, calling it a bad financial move.

Hord also suggested Belmont County Connections might offer a more convenient service by having Medicaid applications on the premises.

Commissioners could not comment on rumors of future development coming to Shadyside.

In other matters, commissioners amended the Sept. 25 motion for the creation of a new job classification for the Belmont County Water and Sewer District to change the title of executive assistant to administrative assistant. Commissioners also approved the reclassification of sanitary sewer district employee Rebecca Hughes from billing clerk II to administrative assistant, along with a salary adjustment of $1 per hour, retroactive to July 31, 2013.

Commissioners approved the continued employment and a 50-cent per hour raise for Nicole Stewart, billing clerk for the sanitary sewer district.

Favede was authorized to offer employment for the position of registered nurse for the Belmont County Jail.

Favede was also authorized to sign an extension for the State of Ohio Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Residential Public Infrastructure Program. Project completion is set for Nov. 30, 2013. The final performance report is set for Jan. 31, 2014.

Commissioners entered into a roadway use maintenance agreement for pipeline projects and infrastructure with Blue Racer Midstream, LLC for the use of 1.56 miles of County Road 80, or Lloydsville-Bannock road, for the purpose of ingress and egress for pipeline activity at the Hess Lude Lateral pipeline facilities.

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