Barnesville officials look forward to 2019

BARNESVILLE –Mayor Dale Bunting said 2018 was a good year for Barnesville with improvements to infrastructure and efforts to revitalize the downtown, and officials look forward to more of the same in 2019.

At the council meeting Monday, Village Administrator Roger Deal informed council that McConnell Contracting had submitted a low bid of $333,474.50 for the South Street Bridge replacement project.

Council had previously rejected a bid of $369,334 in November, since it was the only bid received and came in 30 percent over the $282,000 estimate given by Hull and Associates, the village’s engineering firm for the project. Deal said Hull and Associates had reviewed all the new bids and recommended that the McConnell bid be accepted.

Council voted to move forward with the bridge replacement, which is being performed as part of an Ohio Department of Transportation project with funding from a Transportation Alternatives Grant. The project will convert the old B&O Railroad right-of-way that runs through the village into a walking and biking trail with additional funds for the project coming from the Belomar Regional Council.

Deal also informed council that roof repairs had been completed on the Water Office Building, but that the roof would need to be replaced due to significant water damage. He said Triad Roofing had submitted a low bid of $7,909.66 to do so. Council voted to approve the roof replacement.

Also during the meeting, council granted Fire Chief Tim Hall permission to apply for a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant to acquire a new fire chief’s pick-up truck. According to Hall, this grant is similar to the one used last year to get a new K-9 police cruiser. A loan to the village will pay half the cost of the truck and the grant will pay the other half, he said.

Bunting announced Mayor’s Court figures for the month of December. The state received $1,184, the county received $45, and the village received $1,941 for a total of $3,170.

Fiscal Officer Vicki Magers informed the mayor and council that the 2018 financials and footnotes had been submitted to the Ohio Auditor’s Office and that the 2019 appropriations have been submitted to the Belmont County Auditor’s Office.

During an earlier council session, Bunting commended council members for approving the purchase of several downtown properties during 2018. These include the old pool hall and the St. Vincent DePaul building on West Main Street, which were demolished to make way for additional parking to serve businesses. He also spoke about the purchase of the Bohandy Building on the corner of Main and Chestnut streets, which subsequently received a number of emergency repairs before it was announced that Barnesville Hospital would be leasing the building.

“I want to thank you guys for taking the big steps in purchasing the buildings and lots downtown and trying to make our community a lot stronger,” Bunting said at the Dec. 26 council meeting. “Stuff like that really means a lot. I know we take some heat sometimes, but it’s all in the best interest of the community. That’s what we’re here for.”

Bunting also requested council’s permission to establish a new contract with Fiscal Officer Vicki Magers, noting that the village had neglected to do so last year. Council approved the request.

At the request of Fire Chief Tim Hall, council approved the appointment of council members Brad Hudson and Scott Gallagher as the village’s representatives on the Firefighters’ Dependents Fund Board for 2019. Gallagher and Hudson served in that capacity during 2018.

Hall also asked permission for the fire department to renew its contracts with Warren and Kirkwood townships for fire protection; council approved.

In other business, council approved paying bills in the amount of $199,312.50 and passed ordinances amending the 2018 appropriations and establishing the annual appropriations for 2019.

Barnesville Village Council’s next regular meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Municipal Building.