Water plant upgrades continue

T-L Photo/JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUGH Area residents make up a small audience for the Martins Ferry City Council meeting on April 17.

MARTINS FERRY — The ongoing effort to upgrade Martins Ferry’s water treatment plant continues, with Safety and Service Director Andy Sutak announcing plans to enclose the well field with fencing.

Sutak told council during its April 17 meeting that a well field survey is being performed. That will allow the city to install fencing around the field to help clarify its boundaries and ensure vehicles from nearby businesses are not driving on the property. He said the city has applied for funding to build the fence through the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

In addition, Sutak said he filed a report on the impact of recent Ohio River flooding with Dave Ivan, director of the Belmont County emergency Management Agency. He said the city is also seeking funding to repair a couple pof slips that resulted from the heavy rain early this month.

Regarding the treatment plant itself, Sutak said needed parts are arriving and being prepared for installation. He said ERB Electric will be adding electrical connections for new air dryers, while H.E. Neumann will install ductwork for a new heater and dehumidifier.

Sutak also said the city’s Well 5 was being cleaned before a new pump was to be installed.

In other matters, Mayor John Davies reported that street crews were still using cold patch on potholes but said hot patching material would soon be available, and that the hot material works much better. He also noted that the street sweeper was running last week and again this week. It will not run again until Nov. 1.

Davies also expressed appreciation to the Pease Township Park District. He said the city borrowed $30,000 from its permanent improvement fund this year to get the swimming pool up and running. The park district donated $5,000 toward repaying that money to the fund.

Auditor Jack Regis requested a Finance Committee be held, and it was set for 10 a.m. today. On the table for the committee is re-establishing the full-time captain position for the emergency medical service after it was eliminated and replaced with a part-time position in 2020-21.

Police Chief Jerry Murphy provided his end-of-month report for March. He said the department received 722 calls in total, 570 of which were for the police, 119 calls were for fire and EMS and 33 were for city services. Officers performed 250 complaint investigations, 36 follow-up investigations, 146 traffic stops and provided assistance to other units 27 times. They made 20 criminal arrests, responded to 12 suspicious activity calls and 13 domestic violence calls, as well as 15 animal complaints, among other calls.

“The total month of March fees collected from the police impound lot was $875. Total month of March revenue collected of … impound vehicles was $3,000,” Murphy said, noting the department also had two forfeited vehicles on the lot.

Murphy said that on March 11, K-9 Patch assisted Bridgeport police on a traffic stop. The dog indicated there may be drugs in the vehicle, and a search uncovered methamphetamine, cocaine, needles, drug scales and more.

Finally, he said officers are now working 12-hour shifts and said the officers’ reactions to the new schedule have been nothing but positive.


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