Senior Program

GOOD THINGS are worth waiting for, as is the case of the transformation of the old South School in Martins Ferry. Local senior citizens will be the prime, but not sole, beneficiaries once the project comes to fruition, although the wait will be a little longer than first anticipated.

Belmont County commissioners have spent much time and attention on consolidating operations and available space in their constant quest to save money and provide enhanced services to county residents.

That came into play once again Wednesday, as commissioners approved a bid for a roof replacement project at the former Martins Ferry school.

The work will be costly, carrying a $179,000 price tag, but will provide a first-class home for both the county’s senior program and the Martins Ferry Senior Center.

The Department of Job and Family Services is poised to oversee the county’s seniors program, officially taking the reins Oct. 1. DJFS is looking to have the renovated South School in use by year’s end.

The county purchased the Ferry property more than a year ago. Originally, it was expected to be up and running by now, in the process providing a financial windfall to the Purple City coffers.

The move to South School is another prudent move by the current commission triumvirate. It is one that we believe will eventually serve three purposes.

First, Belmont County continues to make the best possible use of available space while saving money; secondly, Martins Ferry will realize an economic bump; and thirdly, we expect senior services to be a more efficient and accountable program.

The takeover of senior services by DJFS has fueled much heated debate over the last few months. We hope the South School project helps bring some harmony to a sensitive topic.