Barnesville council deals with salt shortage

BARNESVILLE-Like other towns, Barnesville is running short on road salt this winter, but Village Administrator Roger Deal informed council of a proposal by the Ohio Department of Transportation that may alleviate the shortage.

Deal said he was part of a conference call about ODOT’s plan to set up seven large stockpiles of salt in different Ohio regions. Barnesville will need to arrange for pick-up of their orders. The closest stockpile to this area would be in Guernsey County, but there would be no charge for the rest of the season. Deal noted that they are still working on details of the program, and the earliest pick-ups will be at the end of February. ODOT is planning to bring in salt from other parts of the country via trucks and railways.

Meanwhile, two loads of salt arrived last week, one of which was used over the weekend. Deal says he is expecting a load of grits possibly this week.

Council approved a quote for a new roof on the youth center.

According to Councilman Dale Bunting the present roof is 15 years old and has been patched three times. The recent renovations on the center could be in jeopardy if the leaks continue. Deal presented three estimates ranging from $17,280 to $18,600. Members chose the lowest bid, which was from Tango & Gatti of Sugar Creek, contingent on their ability to do the project right away.

Mayor Ron Bischof appointed a new police officer to the Barnesville Police Department after council members approved new Ordinance 3651 amending the number of officers on the force to eight. Chief Dave Norris told council a former officer approached him about the possibility of rejoining the department should a position be available. The department will have seven officers after Ben Neuhardt starts in March.

Council voted to absorb the charges of placing bronze markers on the graves of veterans. Deal told council that there has always been a charge of $40 to the families for the concrete holder and labor. Deal said that tracking family members down can be time consuming, and he recommended placing the markers at no charge as a thank you for the veterans’ service.

Barnesville is going ahead with the design for a sewer line project to the East Ohio Regional Industrial Park. At the last council meeting, members asked for some further discussion on fee percentages for the engineering firm. ADR & Associates and the Village settled on 7.4 percent of the construction costs and approved the next step in the process.

The village is accepting applications until March 12 for seasonal positions in the Park and Cemetery Departments, including lifeguards, concession workers and general laborers. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and can pick up and drop off applications at the Barnesville Water Department office, 126 East Church St.

Mayor Bischof appointed a new committee, the Community Development, at the suggestion of William Knox, economic development director. Bunting is the committee chair, and Councilmen Tim McKelvey and Les Tickhill are the other two members. The idea is to coordinate efforts for local businesses, promote growth and get feedback on city issues. Other entities that will be involved include downtown businesses, businesses and boards for both JEDDs, Belmont County Port Authority and representatives from surrounding townships.

Deal reported that Gulfport Energy recently purchased more water from the Slope Creek Reservoir for $223,610. Revenue from water sales now totals around $650,000.

There will be a recreation center meeting on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. at Barnesville Hospital.

A Sewer and Water Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 5 p.m. at the water department office.

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

Valenti can be reached at