Industrial park moving closer

BARNESVILLE-A unanimous “yes” vote at Monday night’s Barnesville Village Council meeting moved the Eastern Ohio Regional Industrial Park one more step toward completion. Council approved going ahead with designing one of the sewer project feasibility study options.

Richard Waugh of ADR and Associates told members that he had presented four options for consideration in constructing a sewer line from the EORIP on State Route 800 to Barnesville’s treatment plant. He noted that Roger Deal, village administrator, has a copy of the full proposal.

The Belmont County Board of Commissioners and the Port Authority Board of Trustees chose one option last week that appeared to be the most expedient and efficient to get the park tenant-ready. The County and Port Authority also agreed to share the near $800,000 project cost, proposing to split it three ways with the Village of Barnesville. The Port Authority’s share is contingent on expected revenue.

Councilman John Jefferis asked about reducing the engineering firm’s fees, and Waugh said that there can be a discussion with other members of his firm. When questioned about fee standards for this type of project, Port Authority Director Larry Merry and village economic development consultant William Knox responded that the 10 percent fee was not out of line, but there may be room for negotiation.

“The objective is to see this to fruition,” Belmont County Commissioner Ginny Favede said. “Fox Commerce Park is now full. We need another industrial park, so we can grow Belmont County.”

Councilman Terry McCort called this “a good deal” for Barnesville, and other council members were pleased with the partnership aspect.

Commissioner Mark Thomas added, “It’s a prime example of three public entities working for one goal. It’s terribly exciting.”

The historic municipal building will be getting a new elevator. Members approved a three-stop elevator in a 4 to 2 vote. The village received only one bid on the project, and it was much higher than the original estimate. Deal discussed the discrepancies with the architect and contractor and arrived at the final estimate of nearly $196,000.

McCort noted that, while this is an expensive project, the plans will improve access to offices and council meetings for the public and employees and help preserve Barnesville history.

Deal informed council that he is “having a hard time” getting enough road salt and chips this winter. Orders are taking two to three weeks to arrive, and he believes it is a combination of the bad weather and a new supplier through the State bidding program. Council commended the street department for their efforts in keeping the streets clear.

Warren Township Trustee Jimmy Grear asked for council’s assistance in planning this year’s JB Green Team clean-up. Grear said that budget cuts will be affecting the 2014 clean-ups, starting with reducing the number of them from 10 to four. JB Green Team will be charging for some items, and Grear would like to minimize those charges for area residents. Councilmen Tim McKelvey and Dale Bunting will be meeting with Grear in the next two weeks.

Police Chief Dave Norris announced that the village now has a fitness room located at the municipal building available to village employees at no charge. The fire department donated weights and an elliptical machine. Barnesville Hospital has donated a treadmill, and Deal is looking at additional equipment.

Deal added, “We hope to keep people fit. We care about our employees.”

Antero Resources has staked a pad at the Memorial Park site. Deal recommended that council members take a look at the site because it is close to the trail.

Mayor Ron Bischof distributed the list of committee appointments for 2014. The committees and chairmen are as follows: Finance, Contract & Ordinance, Terry McCort; Safety, Scott Gallagher; Cemetery, McCort; Street, Alley & Sidewalk, John Jefferis; Buildings & Grounds, Les Tickhill; Park & Recreation, Dale Bunting; Personnel, Tim McKelvey; Water & Sewer, Bunting.

Barnesville Village Council meets every other Monday at 7 p.m.

Valenti can be reached at gvalenti@timesleaderonline.com.