Bellaire Bridge demolition no sure thing

THE RAZING of the Bellaire Bridge took another step forward Tuesday when Benwood City Council lowered the performance bond sought from Delta Demolition.

The blasting company needs to ante up $500,000 in advance to proceed with the work. The bond was originally established at $1 million.

If Delta Demolition does not do so, the project will remain in its perpetual limbo state. Should Delta start the work and is unable to complete the project, Benwood keeps the half-million dollars and the steel, not a bad deal for the city. If Delta is successful in bringing down the span, it will get its money back along with interest, which is only fair.

KDC Investments owns the bridge. KDC’s owner is Krystle Chaklos while Delta Demolition is owned by Lee Chaklos, who is married to Krystle, which makes for a tenuous working relationship in this matter.

Some reports have Delta failing to complete previous demolition projects. Obviously, that brings the performance bond into play.

Benwood officials would be placing the city’s financial well-being in harm’s way without such protection.

The $500,000 performance bond appears to the final hurdle standing in the way of a long-overdue project. I expect those plans will fall through long before the bridge ever comes down.


LOCAL SCHOOLS are not alone in their financial problems. The Cambridge City School District earlier this month was forced to make $960,000 in cutbacks.

The reductions were painful as the high school and middle school vocal music programs were eliminated; nearly 10 teaching positions were abolished as well as three assistant coaching positions, one secretary and the spelling bee coordinator.

THE VILLAGE of Bellaire will be holding a community yard sale on Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The usual $10 fee for yard sales is being waived for this event.

Those interested in registering for the sale should contact Robin Stephens at the mayor’s office by calling 676-6539 by Thursday. Then on Friday and Saturday, participants may pick up a list of the sales at the mayor’s office from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

THE BELLAIRE Sons of Italy Lodge is holding a bocce benefit today at its home on Belmont Street in Bellaire. The menu includes chicken, spaghetti and ramps. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for children. The dinner will run from noon to 6 p.m. Individuals wishing to play bocce will be able to do so. Proceeds from the event will help to defray costs of the Sons’ new bocce cover. Tickets are available at the door.

YOUNG OHIO hunters had much success during the annual youth spring turkey season, held April 21-22, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife. Hunters age 17 and under harvested 1,632 wild turkeys during the special two-day season, compared to 1,490 wild turkeys last year.

Counties reporting the greatest number of wild turkeys checked included Ashtabula, 73; followed by Muskingum with 60; Tuscarawas, 53; Carroll and Monroe, 49. Next in line were Highland, 48; Washington, 46; Jackson, 42; Harrison, 41; and Knox and Trumbull, 39.

THE BRILLIANT Volunteer Fire Department will hold a dedication ceremony on Saturday, May 19 for its new fire station at the Third Street location. There will be a parade at 11 a.m. followed by a flag-raising ceremony at noon.

The public is invited to attend and there will be guided tours of the new building. The department was chartered in 1923.

THE NFL Draft was finally put to bed Saturday. One of those in attendance for the grid grab bag Thursday at New York’s Radio City Music Hall was former St. John Central three-sport star Ty Liberatore. He is now an executive with Forest Pharmaceuticals, living in the Akron suburb of Green. He was a guest of the Cleveland Browns.

SPEAKING OF the draft, all three-tristate teams hit home runs in the first round. The Browns, however, gave up way to much to move up one slot to select Alabama running back Trent Richardson.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleader