ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Belmont County Commissioners sent a letter of rejection to Columbus when they passed a resolution Wednesday in opposition to Gov. John Kasich's severance tax proposal within the upcoming budget bill.
The governor's office proposed at 4.5 percent severance tax with 75 percent going to a statewide income tax cut, 25 percent remaining in the region, with only a quarter of that 25 percent going to local governments and the remainder to be distributed among 33 Appalachian counties.
Commissioners noted there is no guarantee that any of the funds will be returned to the county's general fund. The commissioners believe a significant portion should be returned to local governments of the counties currently being impacted by oil and gas drilling industry, to be utilized to offset associated costs for infrastructure repairs and improvements, law enforcement, emergency management services and other government services.
The commissioners concluded that while they do not wish to reject any money that would benefit the residents, they believe this is in fact solely a means to fund tax breaks for the wealthy.
In other matters, commissioners motioned to approve the signing and submittal of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction subsidy grant agreement for community-based correction programs non-residential misdemeanant for Fiscal Year 2014, or July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014, with $94,280 to be paid in four equal installments of $23,570. This is a renewal of the grant for the county's adult probation department.
Commissioners motioned to approve the signing and submittal of the 2013-14 application for VOCA/SVAA funds for the Victims of Crime Act/State Victims Assistance Act for the Belmont County prosecutor's victim-witness assistance program. The VOCA request is $40,468. The SVAA request is $6,640. The project match is $13,490 and project total is $53,958. No general fund money is needed for the match.
Commissioners motioned to authorize the filing of Fiscal Year 2013 Community Development Block Grant Community Development Allocation and Critical Infrastructure Program applications to the state Department of Development for approval.
Commissioners motioned to accept the proposal from Michael Baker Jr., Inc. in the amount of $2,086 for performing an asbestos survey inspection, testing and report for the former Belmont Habitation Center buildings.
Commissioners motioned to award the bid for the Belmont County Engineer's A&B signal improvement at Mall and Banfield roads to the low bidder, Perram Electric, Inc., in the amount of $118,494.18. This project is 100 percent funded by the Federal Highway Administration.
Commissioners motioned to approve and authorize Commissioner Ginny Favede to execute the Master Group Policy with THP Insurance Company, Inc. for health insurance coverage for eligible county employees for one year commencing June 1, 2013. The plan type is PPO.
Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a memorandum of agreement for the deposit of public funds for a four-year period beginning July 1, 2013-June 30, 2017 with Belmont Savings Bank; JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A.; The Huntington National Bank; PNC Bank, National Association; Wesbanco Bank, Inc.
Commissioners motioned to accept the proposal from Erb Electric Company in the amount of $11,620 for material and labor for technology upgrades as part of the common pleas court renovation project.
Commissioners motioned to enter into agreement with the state DJFS on behalf of the county DJFS for a sub-grant agreement effective July 1, 2013-June 30, 2015. This biennial agreement allows the state DJFS to fund the county DJFS offices and allows the state to forward next year's funding.
Commissioners motioned to approve a renewal of the purchase and performance of services contract between DJFS and Harmony House, Inc., effective July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014 in the maximum amount of $160,000 to provide for a childrens' advocacy center.
Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a renewal of the purchase of performance of services contract between DJFS and the Community Action Commission for the WIA Youth Program, effective July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014 in the maximum amount of $65,000. The contract will provide work experience, leadership development opportunities, supportive services, adult mentoring and follow-up services for in-school youth and out-of-school youth of Belmont County.
Commissioners motioned to approve and sign a renewal of agreement between DJFS on behalf of the county Family and Children First Council and the Community Action Commission for the Help Me Grow Program effective July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014 in the maximum amount of $82,145.
Commissioners motioned to accept a proposal from Wm. Cooper Inc. in the amount of $3,770 for decorative drown moulding, wall moulding, and base with all mouldings to have one coat of primer and one coat of finish for the common pleas court renovation project.
Commissioners motioned to accept the proposal from Karras Painting LLC in the amount of $6,595 to remove existing wall covering, patch damaged areas after removal, tape and finish new drywall, paint ceiling, walls, trim, window frames, doors and door frames for the common pleas court renovation project.
Commissioners motioned to accept the proposal from Flooring Foundation LLC, Grove City, in the amount of $7,931.15 for sheet vinyl flooring and carpeting to be installed on the second floor of the former sheriff's residence.
Commissioners motioned to advertise for bids for a project to resurface portions of various county highways for a total of 10.53 miles. Resurfacing includes 2.35 miles of CH 4 Barton, US 250; 2.53 miles of CH 5 Crescent, US 250; 3.17 miles of CH 82 Airport Road; 2.48 miles of of CH 214 I-70 to the mile marker 2.48.
DeFrank can be reached at email@example.com