Development coming to Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County Commissioners welcomed new development during their meeting when they gave formal approval of a new plat covering land owned by the Cafaro Company west of the Ohio Valley Mall.

The land is currently being developed with a road, also approved by the commissioners. The road is being built for the purpose of the Cafaro Company to sell a piece of land there for another hotel that will be built as soon as this year. Continued retail development is expected. The property is west of Kmart off of Mall Ring Road.

“It’s going to be a continuation of the mall and a great benefit to Belmont County,” said Commissioner Mark Thomas, adding that the road will ultimately be part of the I-70 Road Connector and be a public road from Route 40 across 70, and around the mall to Banfield Road. “That’s really a first phase of that I-70/Mall Road project in conjunction with allowing the Cafaros to develop a property.”

Guests for the meeting included Richard Hord, who inquired about the process of selecting a new DJFS director. He was told a new director would be announced soon. Also, he noted Senior Services Director David Hacker will be a guest speaker at the AARP noon meeting today at the JB Martin Center in town. He also volunteered for any advisory board for Senior Services.

Frank Papini also inquired about infrastructure repair. He was told hot patching was ongoing daily.

Commissioners also recognized a representative of Sepco, the new insurance consortium for the county.

Also, Port Authority Director Larry Merry reminded all present that the Oil and Gas Expo will be held May 1 at the Carnes Center. The free public event functions to educate the public about the industry and to allow better communication between industries. Last year saw 1,500 people coming through. This year 150 companies will be represented with 20 outdoor exhibitors. Speakers from Rice Energy and the director of the Ohio EPA will be featured, along with the Appalachian Foundation and Robert Beatty, an expert on compressed natural gas. The event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

More information can be found at

Another guest also noted the issue of litter in the county. Coffland reported a litter control officer was originally funded by JB Green Team. The officer is in the process of being transferred back to the county, which will pick up the expense. JB Green Team has faced a loss of funding and is considering a designation fee for dumping. It would mean $4 yearly for all residents. The county is also working on ways to produce revenue.

Coffland said the board has also considered zoning and has approached the Township Association.

Commissioners authorized the Sanitary Sewer District director to offer employment to an individual for the position of Distribution Utility Worker.

Commissioners also signed a change order for signal improvements at Mall and Banfield Roads for Perram Electric, Inc. for $1,659.16. This project is 100-percent federally funded and there is no cost to the county. The project will cover the traffic signals at the Mall/Banfield intersection.

Commissioners cancelled all COBRA administrative services with Ceridian as of June 1.

DeFrank can be reached at