Jefferson County Commissioners to buy airport van

STEUBENVILLE -Jefferson County commissioners Thursday agreed to allow the county airport authority to buy a van that can be used by visiting pilots.

The issue of the courtesy vehicle has been discussed for the past couple weeks by the commissioners and the airport authority.

Gary Folden, airport authority secretary, presented the commissioners with a copy of the written policy for use of the courtesy vehicle, including an insurance waiver of liability for the county. But the commissioners questioned why the policy also included language for use of the courtesy vehicle by airport employees.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham said the first six pages of the policy deal with airport employees using the vehicle.

County Commissioner David Maple objected to airport employees being allowed to use the vehicle to get food and drink and demanded that it be removed. He said airport employees should use their own vehicles to get food.

The airport authority now will remove that language and the policy will be presented again at next week’s meeting for approval by the commissioners. The county’s insurance carrier also will review the policy.

Folden said 42 pilots in a recent six-week period asked about whether the airport had a courtesy vehicle. Pilots are at the airport for hours at a time while passengers are conducting business. Folden said the pilots will get priority over airport employees in use of the courtesy vehicle.

The airport authority will spend $7,400 for a 2005 Dodge van as the courtesy vehicle.

County Commissioner Tom Gentile commended Folden for researching the policy by obtaining similar documents from other Ohio airports.

In other matters, commissioners were informed the deadline for connecting homes to the Crestview-Belvedere sewer system is Jan. 15. Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said 191 homes out of 334 have connected to the system.

Commissioners said they may extend the deadline again because of problems with contractors finishing the work.

Commissioners approved an increase in a contract to repair a bridge on county Road 51.

County Engineer James Branagan said additional steel beams will have to be replaced at a cost of $21,559. D&L Unlimited of Wintersville has the original contract for $45,118 to repair the bridge. Branagan said the steel for the bridge will have to be immediately ordered. He said the condition of the bridge may constitute an emergency.

Commissioners also were informed by the county prosecutor’s office the county-owned school-zone lights that were at the former Jefferson County Christian School can be donated to Mingo Junction or the Indian Creek Local School District to be placed on Wilson Avenue near Hills School and the Indian Creek Junior High School. The school-zone lights currently on Wilson Avenue are broken.

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