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Prospects for Barnesville water project promising

BARNESVILLE — Village officials recently learned that a significant portion of funding for the Slope Creek Waterline Project is closer to being secured.

Village Administrator Roger Deal updated council at a regular meeting Feb. 1 concerning the progress toward receiving an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to help fund the installation of a new 16-inch plastic waterline to transfer water nearly 5 miles from the Slope Creek Reservoir to the village water system, replacing the 12-inch concrete and asbestos line that has been in place since 1963. The new line would be placed along a route that will allow for easier access and maintenance.

“Going into the district, which is 10 counties served out of Marietta, out of 49 applications with 23 being presented for funding we ranked No. 8, so we’re good and solid,” Deal said.

During a council meeting held Jan. 19, Deal had informed council that an extensive discussion with the Belmont County subcommittee that reviews and ranks projects for OPWC funding had resulted in the project being increased in priority from sixth to first at the county level and that the amount of the grant would be $400,000 with an additional $400,000 coming via an interest-free loan.

According to Deal, Barnesville supplies water to more than 10,000 customers in four counties with more growth expected in the coming years, making the replacement of the old line a necessity.

Deal also informed council that an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency program that helps communities Geographic Information System map their infrastructure was looking at Barnesville as a possible replacement for another similarly sized community that had backed out of the program.

Deal said the village had been looking to get GIS mapping done for some time and that it would make locating water and sewer lines and taps far simpler and faster for village crews.

Deal said the exact cost to the village was not yet known, but he estimated it would be around $24,500 plus an estimated $5,000 of “in kind” labor to be provided by the village. He added that when finished, the village would receive over $12,000 in equipment and software.

After some discussion council approved moving forward with the program, asking that Deal first check with some other communities that had been through the same program to see if they were satisfied and would recommend doing so.

Deal also informed council that he had ordered the last load of road salt on the yearly state contract and that if the winter weather continues the village may have to purchase salt from another source.

Fire Chief Tim Hall informed council that the new emergency squad is now in service.

Mayor Dale Bunting announced Mayor’s Court figures for the month of January, saying the state received $666.50, the county received $25.50, and the village $1,254 for a total of $1,946.

In other business, council approved paying bills in the amount of $66,299.27 and approved building permits for Isaac McPeek to install a chain link fence at 906 Bond Ave., for A.J. Corder for demolition of the Chestnut Lanes bowling alley building that succumbed to fire in November, and for Ohio Hills Health Services to install new windows, doors and signs for a COVID-19 Test Center at 113 E. Main Street.

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