ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Young people in the area will have an opportunity to earn some money and work experience during the summer.
Commissioners Wednesday approved and signed a contract with Belmont County Community Action Commission on behalf of the Department of Job and Family Services for the Summer Employment Program for Youth effective May 30 through Aug. 31 in an amount not to exceed $209,284.03.
The program is funded by Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and administered through Prevention, Retention, and Contingency Programs.
T-L Photo/ ROBERT A. DEFRANK
PICTURED FROM left are Department of Job and Family Services Director Dwayne Pielech and Belmont County Community Action Commission Director Gary Obloy outline the upcoming summer employment program.
Dwayne Pielech, DJFS director, reported receiving their state allocation to operate the program. The youth program has been active since the 1990s. He noted that it became necessary to work with the Community Action Commission due to a change in state policy requiring an outside contractor.
The program is 10 weeks with 35 hours per week for students ages 16-24, acceptance is based on income. Pielech noted that word has spread throughout the county and 80 students have solicited an interest. They plan to kick off work by June 11.
Pielech added that they will operate a community crew to provide transportation. One crew operator will be hired.
Gary Obloy, director of the Community Action Commission, said they would employ about 60 students. Potential worksites, employers and communities are being contacted.
Any community wishing to be involved may contact Kathy Klee at Belmont Connections, 740-633-5627.
In addition, the summer food program will start June 11. Food will be provided to children at sites at Martins Ferry, Bridgeport and Bellaire. They expect to provide 90 meals per day and 4-5,000 meals by August.
In other matters, Peace Township Trustee Mike Bianconi inquired about utilizing the county rehab center near the sheriff's office. He said he was opposed to selling the property. He suggested razing it and constructing a building to house county offices and records so it would no longer be necessary to rent space.
Commissioner Ginny Favede thanked him, but said the process to sell the property is already under way through the port authority. She added that the property would be utilized to provide jobs and economic development.
Commissioner Matt Coffland said the building has been empty for about five years. The county has not received a suitable offer. He added that starting in 2009 the county has spent less money in rent than any time since 1995. They are currently renting two buildings.
"We're moving forward," he said. "It's the best offer on the table right now."
In response to other questions about the former courthouse annex on Ohio 331, commissioners noted that the structure was condemned as beyond repair and would most likely be razed. The county is gathering the estimated $180,000 needed to raze it. The structure was built about 1870.
Guests from the United Steel Workers remind workers facing layoffs due to plant closings to attend the upcoming oil and gas career expo.
Commissioners motioned to authorize the clerk of the board to establish the date and time and give notice of public hearing on the Belmont County budget for fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2013.
Commissioners motioned to enter into a roadway use and maintenance agreement for drilling projects and infrastructure with Gulfport Energy Corporation for use of 1.25 miles of County Road 100 (McMillan Road) and Bridge for drilling activity at the Shugart Site. The portion to be utilized by the operator is that exclusive portion beginning at State Highway 40, south to Winding Hill Road.
Commissioners motioned to approve the purchase of utility location equipment as part of the Neffs Sanitary Sewer project to assist in the location of waterlines within the project area. Estimated cost is $5,000, to be paid from the Neffs Sanitary Sewer Project Fund.
Motion to approve the request of the Belmont County Tourism Council to forward an additional $50,000 from the lodging tax receipts to cover the cost of adding extensions to the two buildings at the Belmont County Fairgrounds that bear the Tourism Council's name.
Commissioners motioned to accept proposals from Flag Floors and Barnesville in the total amount of $8,491 for removal and replacement of the carpeting, wall base and transitions at the Belmont County Health Department. $5,653 will go to reception and office areas and $2,838 for lead room area and office.
Commissioners will hold a town hall meeting June 14, 6 p.m. at the Martins Ferry Veterans Memorial Recreation Center, 401 S. 4th St. Public input is welcome and citizens are encouraged to attend.
DeFrank can be reached at email@example.com