ST. CLAIRSVILLE - The Belmont County Commissioners turned an eye to future economic developments during Wednesday's meeting.
The commissioners reviewed budget hearings for 2013. The county departments submitted requests totaling $20,047,064.90. A total of 14 departments submitted requests for an increase, while 17 requested less than last year. Six departments reported no net change.
In total, the budget request was an increase of $281,819.28 from last year.
Commissioner Charles Probst Jr. noted that total available funds came to $17,400,000 and said the commissioners would work with each office to keep the budgets in line. Commissioners commended the departments on their performance in keeping within their means.
In other issues, Port Authority Director Larry Merry reported that plans were being finalized for the purchase of the Armory Reserve Building in Bellaire for $205,000. It will be leased to MPR, which plans to extend a rail spur through it. The operation is expected to result in 60-70 new jobs in the county.
"This will give Belmont County one more area where we could put the railroad and the river together," he said, adding that he planned to initiate purchase Monday and hopes to receive the deed soon after.
In other matters, Larry Bayless, CEO of Family First Senior Care, announced the launching of his new family effort to start an in-home non-medical senior care business covering five counties in Ohio and four in West Virginia. It will provide companionship, meal planning, incidental transportation, light housekeeping and other assistance.
He complimented the Belmont County Connections Office for its assistance in obtaining training and clients for his new business.
Commissioners motioned to adopt a resolution authorizing an application with the Attorney General's office to participate in the Moving Ohio Forward Grant Program. A.C. Wiethe of Belomar Regional Council will act as the official representative of the county in applying for financial assistance for residential demolition in compliance with program guidelines.
The city of Martins Ferry is applying for $58,000. Barnesville is asking for $40,000, Bridgeport $40,000, Bellaire $30,000 and Powhatan $30,000.
Commissioners also adopted a resolution and declaring the necessity of levying a tax in excess of the 1-mill limitation and requesting the county auditor to certify the matter. The issue would cover the Belmont County 911 public Safety Emergency Radio Communication and Equipment Levy. Commissioner Ginny Favede noted a similar levy had been defeated in 2011 and voters had voiced concerns that it had been a continuous levy. She pointed out this was now a five-year levy. She noted the importance of 911 services to the safety of county residents and those traveling through the county.
Also, Favede was authorized to execute a Master Group Policy with THP Insurance Company Inc., for health insurance coverage for eligible Belmont County employees for a period of one year commencing June 1.
Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a renewal of the Purchase of Performance of Services contract between the Department of Job and Family Services and Harmony House Inc., effective July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 for a maximum amount of $160,000 to provide for a children's advocacy center.
Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a renewal of the Purchase of Performance of Services contract between the DJFS and Cindy Bacon for a maximum of $18,000 effective July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 to provide Family Team Meeting services for Belmont County Children Services Department.
Commissioners renewed another Purchase of Performance Services contract for $18,000 between Bacon and the DJFS effective July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 to provide Kinship Support Services, or home studies, for the Belmont County Children Services Department.
Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a renewal of the Purchase of Performance of Services Contract between DJFS and the Belmont Community Action Commission for the WIA Youth Program for July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013 in an amount not to exceed $65,000. The purpose is to provide work experience, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring and follow up services for in-school youth and out-of-school youth in the county.
Commissioners motioned to approve the request from the Belmont County Tourism Council to forward an additional $25,000 from the lodging tax receipts for the month of July for the Carnes Center manager's salary. This is an addition to their monthly $20,000 allotment for operating expenses.
Commissioners motioned to rescind a Feb. 1 motion to adopt an amendment to the Special Purpose Flood Damage Reduction Resolution of Belmont County, since two public hearings are needed first. The hearings were scheduled for July 25 and Aug. 1, 10:45 a.m. in the commissioners' office.
Commissioners motioned to approve and authorize Favede to execute a pay application for Chambers, Murphy and Burge, Ltd., in the amount of $5,925.63 for construction engineering services on the Historic Sheriff's Residence Adaptive Reuse. The federal and state match comes to $4,740.50 and the local match comes to $1,185.13 for a total of $5,925.63.
Next week's meeting will be held Tuesday, July 3, 10 a.m.
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