State Route 800 waterline extension discussed by council

Cathryn Stanley Editor Published:

The possible extension of village water lines down State Route 800 North to the Interstate 70 interchange was discussed again at the Jan. 2 Barnesville Village Council meeting.

The topic was introduced by councilman John Jefferis who said he felt the project needed to be researched more by council, before moving forward. This fall, a waterline was extended to the Eastern Ohio Regional Industrial Park.

Jefferis said now that money is being realized from the sale of water to the oil and gas industry, perhaps that money could be earmarked for the project.

Council President Dale Bunting felt that not all the money should be earmarked for the SR 800 project, as there were other projects being discussed.

At least one council member thought that the council had already committed to extending the water line to Hendrysburg.

Village Administrator Roger Deal said that council had not made a former declaration to extend water beyond the industrial park and he did not believe that the contractor would continue the water line project for the same price.

Councilman Terry McCort and Jefferis agreed that a conversation with the contractor and Belmont County Port Authority Director Larry Merry was needed.

“It is a good idea and will lead to future development,” councilman Brad Hudson said. “If we build it, develop will come. There is always development where there is water and sewer at an intersection.

Hudson said the extension of sewer lines to the SR 147 Joint Economic Development District was proof that infrastructure leads to development.

“Things happened fast on SR 147,” he said. “It was a shame that we had to go through that circus. We missed two businesses and who knows what that would have led to.”

Council President Dale Bunting felt that not all the money should be earmarked for the SR 800 project, as there were other projects being discussed.

At the request of Police Chief David Norris, council approved the hiring of Brian Sellers as part-time weekend and fill-in dispatcher. Norris said Sellers currently works as a dispatcher for Belmont County 9-1-1.

Council also gave Chief Norris the go-ahead to bid on a new vehicle for the department. Norris said the Chevy Tahoe he had previously told council about was not available through the state bidding program. Norris said he was still checking other options, but was given permission to bid on the vehicle.

Council approved purchases for the Fire/EMS totalling $1,723.67 for office supplies incurred in switching billing back to the EMS department.

Fiscal Officer Darla Fuller brought the expense to council’s attention due to the fact that it exceeded $50,000. Council had previously voted that all department purchases over that amount had to be approved by council.

Due to the absence of councilmen Tony Johnson and Bill Stottler, two ordinances - one establishing six days of holiday pay for dispatchers and an appropriation of $5,160,612 for the EMS - were tabled.

Council did approve an addition of $150,753.32 and the December 2012 financial statement.

Council approved a Resolution showing their support of plans by WODA Group, LLC to redevelop the Barnesville Commons. Deal said the resolution was needed to help WODA secure federal funding for the project. The project will include the development of 60 multi-family housing units, as well as a name change to Summerton Place. It is one of seven affordable housing properties in Belmont County owned and managed by WODA.

Fuller informed council that a year-end cash back check for $1,282.68 would be sent from the village’s credit card company.

Mayor Ron Bischof announced the council committees for 2013. They are as follows: Finance, Contract and Ordinance, Terry McCort, Dale Bunting, Tony Johnson; Safety, Brad Hudson, Johnson, Bill Stottler; Cemetery, Stottler, McCort, Johnson; Street and Alley, Johnson, Bunting, John Jefferis; Buildings and Grounds, Jefferis, Bunting, Hudson; Park and Recreation, Bunting, McCort, Johnson; Personnel, McCort, Stottler, Hudson; Water and Sewer, Bunting, Jefferis, Stottler.

Council will meet Monday, Jan. 14 at 7 p.m.

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