Land bank coming to Belmont County

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County Commissioners took the initial step in creating a land bank to assist in gaining funds for the demolition of dilapidated structures and facilitating such projects. The entity will be designated the Belmont County Land Reutilization Corporation (LRC). The initial articles of incorporation were approved and the treasurer will file them. The commissioners will apply for $500,000.

Pease Township Trustee Michael Bianconi spoke in praise of the LRC, noting its potential and the need in the area, evidenced by the numerous dilapidated structures.

“This is an ability for us to help local governments,” said Commissioner Ginny Favede. “You all have in most of the municipalities, including the townships, dilapidated buildings and no money to deal with them to take them down.”

She added that profit is not a factor in the project.

“This is an ability for the county commissioners to help bring money into the county to disperse to local governments to help remove those buildings. It’s not about making money,” she said.

In other matters, Bianconi complimented the commissioners on their choice of Vince Gianangeli as DJFS director and for the county’s expenditures in water related infrastructure around the county.

Richard Hord inquired about Gianangeli’s dual role as director and fiscal officer. He asked about any effect this might have on the system of checks and balances. Commissioner Matt Coffland said the department was subject to a yearly audit.

In answer to other questions, the possibility of naming another fiscal officer remains, but Commissioner Mark Thomas noted that many other counties have officials acting in such a dual role. Gianangeli may delegate more director duties to the senior managers to allow him more time to concentrate on his fiscal duties. Questions of compensation have not yet been resolved. Gianangeli is still being paid his current rate.

Hord also invited all to attend a June 16 town hall meeting in the Martins Ferry Council Chambers at 6 p.m. State Rep. Jack Cera will speak.

In other matters, commissioners awarded a bid for an engineer’s project applying liquid bituminous material for dust control on various county highways to the low bidder, Youngblood Paving, Inc., for $194,654.50.

Commissioners adopted a resolution authorizing the issuance of $1,644,000 of notes to pay part of the cost of acquiring and constructing sanitary sewer improvements in Belmont County Sanitary Sewer District 2, including the Exit 215 Sewer Line Project, the village of Belmont Pump Station and Forced Main Project, and the Village of Morristown pump station. This is a renewal of existing notes in a reduced principal amount.

Commissioners approved and signed the Engagement Letter with Dinsmore & Shohl, LLP, to act as bond counsel regarding the $1,644,000 Sanitary Sewer Improvement Bond Anticipation Notes, Seventh Series, Eighth (2014) renewal of the county, dated June 4, 2014, maturing June 3, 2015.

Commissioners accepted a proposal from H.E. Neumann for $7,516 for all labor and materials to supply and install one new Carrier water source heat pump for the juvenile/probate court area of the courthouse.

Commissioners assigned authority to the DJFS director to serve as the board’s designee with authority to request and sign the inter-county adjustments of allocations on behalf of the county.

Commissioners accepted an estimate from Allied Plate Glass for $913.75 for all labor and hardware to furnish and install two new sliding glass windows in the reception/switchboard area of the courthouse.

Commissioners accepted a proposal from Capitol Business Interiors for $4,507.50 for construction and installation of one custom workstation for the commissioners’ office.

Commissioners approved and signed the agreement with regarding terms and use of the COSA preventative maintenance program.

Commissioners also accepted a proposal from FacilityDude for $2,152.50 for a one-year subscription to MaintenanceEdge facilities management software. The total cost of $8,610 is being subsidized 75 percent by CORSA.

It is a program wherein the county will work with CORSA. The software will place all maintenance and repair issues on computer and permits anyone within use of the system to make requests. Commissioners will see requests, locations of maintenance and repairs, in the interest of greater efficiency in building repairs and maintaining or lowering the insurance premium.

“It is an interesting program and one of the many, many advantages of being part of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio,” said Commissioner Mark Thomas.

The next meeting will be held Thursday, May 22 at 9 a.m.

DeFrank can be reached at