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Ferry officials looking for help from ODOT

City hoping for financial assistance with Ohio 647 repair

Temporary traffic signals are being used to route motorists past a large slip on Ohio 647.

MARTINS FERRY — City leaders are trying to make sure slips get repaired on Ohio 647 without the city needing to foot a portion of the bill.

During a recent Martins Ferry City Council meeting, Service Director Scott Porter said with the coming closure of East Ohio Regional Hospital the city’s coffers likely are going to have even less money coming into them, which in turn means less money for infrastructure and road projects.

Porter said he recently explained the situation to Ohio Department of Transportation officials.

“It’s going to hit our general fund and our streets — it’s going to hit everything. … I requested from ODOT an additional funds to cover our 20 percent share on this project,” Porter said.

EORH’s owner, Alecto Healthcare Inc., announced recently that it planned to close the hospital as soon as Oct. 7.

City officials are hoping the Ohio Dept. of Transportation will cover its share of the repair project for Ohio 647.

It also announced it would close the sister hospital, Ohio Valley Medical Center, in Wheeling.

It was announced this week by hospital officials that OVMC’s acute and emergency room services would close late Wednesday instead of initial date of Oct. 7.

“In previous projects, they have come up with an extra 12 percent, which leaves us with an 8 percent balance.

“I’m requesting 100 percent. … We’re setting up an meeting to see if they can help us with that.

“This is to include $9,300 or 20 percent of the lighting costs up there.

“That was thrown on us two weeks ago. I told them we don’t have it in our street fund.”

Porter said ODOT officials told him they were confident they would be able to come up with at least 12 percent of the 20 percent being asked of the city.

“I also inquired about the de-annexation of 647. … They are working through Columbus to see how that would effect us — basically the pros and cons of that decision,” he noted.

Meanwhile, patching potholes and other paving work continues across the city. Patching Alumni Road involved the use of 23 tons of asphalt. Clinton Street also was recently paved.

“We need to look at getting that guardrail put back up on that turn where it slid over the hill. I’m talking with the street department to see if this is something we can do or have to put out to a contractor. … It looks like the slip has stabilized.

“I don’t want to spend more time and money if it hasn’t stabilized,” Porter said, noting he was going to have engineer Jeff Vaughn check out the situation.

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