Spring prep underway in Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County Commissioners held their weekly meeting Wednesday during the ending days of winter to review continuing projects.

Richard Hord noted the value of a recent grant of $150,000 of federal and state funds to the Department of Job and Family Services for the purpose of retraining individuals on public assistance in a collaborative effort among numerous agencies including Senior Services, and the CAC.

Commissioner Ginny Favede credited the departments for their collaboration and brainstorming efforts in making the plan a reality to create an opportunity when a grant was available.

Hord also inquired into when new kitchen facilities might be available to serve the growing demand for senior meal services. Commissioners are working on the issue.

Commissioners granted a $5,000 per year salary increase for David Ivan, director of Belmont County Emergency Management Agency, effective the pay period beginning March 23, 2014, compensation for Ivan’s 2009 appointment from interim director to director. Commissioners noted that economic concerns made it unfeasible to adjust his salary at the time.

Commissioner Matt Coffland was authorized to sign a subgrant award agreement on behalf of the sheriff’s office for personal crimes investigator. Award periods are Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2014. OCJS funds are $28,796.76, with an in-kind match of $9,615.82 for a project total of $38,412.58.

Commissioners held a subdivision hearing and granted the final plat for Shirbish Drive Extension, a 40-foot private road of Smith Township, pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code.

Commissioners will advertise for bids for the Belmont County Engineer’s Project for installing guardrail on portions of County Highways 5, 10, and 56, based on the recommendation of the county engineer. The clerk of the board was authorized to proceed with the required notice to bidders. This is for County Road 5, the Crescent area, County Road 10, or Crescent-Barton, and County Road 56, or Route 9 to Maynard to the county line. Funds came from a grant application.

County Engineer Fred Bennett reported that the Federal Highway Administration provided 100-percent funding. Bennett said the project must be advertised and bid before May 15. The commissioners provided an addition $200,000 for added guardrail. The county also provided $300,000 toward bridge beams. The federal money may only be used of federal highway, which only covered half the county’s roads. Bennett said the material will probably be sufficient for 10 bridges, with four already ordered. Some leftover funds could be devoted to road paving.

Commissioners adopted the resolution authorizing the county engineer to participate in the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Winter Use Contract for the purchase of rock salt effective Nov. 1, 2014-May 31, 2015.

Commissioners entered into contract with Crossroads Counseling Services, Inc., for professional services on behalf of the Belmont County Court of Common Pleas Probation Department, effective March 1, 2014-June 30, 2016. This contract is subject to the terms of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation’s Smart Ohio Pilot Funding Subsidy Grant that helps provide resources to the court for alternative sentencing options for low-level, non-violent felony offenders using community-based treatment programs.

Commissioners entered into a vendor agreement with Zeakes Sunoco and Carryout, and Sun Shop Exxon and Carryout on behalf of Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services in the maximum amount of $5,000 effective March 26-June 30, 2014 for gasoline for Title XIX eligible clients.

Commissioners adopted a resolution assigning authority to the DJFS to serve as the board’s designee with authority to request and sign inter-county adjustments of allocations on behalf of Belmont County.

Commissioners will enter into a pipeline right-of-way agreement with PVR Utica Gas Gathering, LLC for a parcel located in Mead Township in the amount of $8,175 for the construction and installation of up to three pipelines and pipeline facilities.

A regular work session will be held Tuesday, April 1 at 9 a.m. instead of Monday.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com.