Barnesville inks million dollar agreement

BARNESVILLE-The Village of Barnesville has signed another lease agreement with Antero Resources, this time for water sales.

Council members finalized and signed the contract at Monday night’s meeting. The village agrees to supply up to 1.5 million gallons of water per day from the Slope Creek Reservoir for the next five years for $1 million paid over those five years, plus a water fee per 1,000 gallons used that could mean an additional $11 million dollars in revenue.

An analysis done by a Dublin, Ohio firm found that the reservoir is able to maintain that level of withdrawl and replenishment. Randall Randolph, supervisor of land surface operations for Antero, says this specific agreement has been in the works for about six months. Council president Dale Bunting noted that revenue from this program will allow the Village to improve and replace water line running from Slope Creek to Barnesville at no cost to the taxpayers.

Richard Sidwell of the Barnesville Area Rails to Trails Committee and the Ohio Valley Trail Association, presented a history of the local rails to trails project and a proposal for council review and comment. He noted that in other parts of the country the program has increased property values, attracted businesses and employees, added economic diversity, and provided infrastructure improvements. He noted that a recent Barnesville Hospital needs assessment called for “more easily accessible exercise options.”

Marlin Harper, village solicitor, and council members agree that, while they are in favor of the idea, the first step will be to determine ownership of the identified property. Should the Village or BARTC acquire ownership or rights to all of the parcels, Phase 1 of the proposal would begin measures to develop a .75 mile trail from the Depot to the western Village line. Sidwell says that they would like to include the tunnel along the trail, something that is considered an asset for tourism. Harper and council will be researching previous title search records as the initial action.

Village administrator Roger Deal reported that the only bid received for the Municipal Building elevator project is approximately $90,000 over the architect’s estimate of $112,200. The extra costs come from adding a third stop (to the garage floor,) moving a back stairway, underestimating the electrical work and remodeling costs for the Mayor’s office and entrance lobby.

Deal also asked council to consider matching an EPA licensing pay raise for workers who are certified for backflow devices. Currently they receive .25 less per hour than those with the EPA license but are required to re-certify annually. Harper said he will draw up an ordinance to reflect the new pay scale, and council will vote at a future meeting.

Councilmen Scott Gallagher and Dale Bunting were appointed and approved to sit on the Volunteer Fire Fighters’ Dependents Board. The board handles paperwork and support for fire fighters killed in the line of duty.

Pay Ordinance #1 was approved in the amount of $21,533.06. At a special council meeting on Jan. 6, members approved the proposed 2014 Village budget.

There will be a recreation center meeting on Friday, Jan. 17 at 3 p.m. at Barnesville Hospital. Deal noted that the committee appreciates and welcomes community involvement in this process, and urged interested parties to attend.

A work session on the industrial park sewer project will be held Monday, Jan. 20 at 5 p.m. in the village administrator’s office.

Barnesville village council meetings are held every other Monday at 7 p.m.

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