David Trouten, Belmont County Clerk of Courts has announced that the Branch Title Office in Bellaire will be closed for the next four to eight weeks while the building is repaired from fire damage.

"We will continue to provide service in St Clairsville," Trouten said. "And we will reopen as soon as the facilities are back on line."

Trouten added that it has been necessary to maintain contact with the State Title Office so that they would not have to remove any of the hardwired equipment during reconstruction. "However," Trouten said, "for security, is was necessary to remove certain titles, records, and other office necessities. Jack Regis, our buildings and grounds supervisor has worked with us to insure that we could provide service in Bellaire for as long as possible and so that we can return as soon as we can when repairs are finished."

In other news, the Title Office filled a vacancy by hiring Wendy Swisk as a Deputy Clerk. Trouten pointed out that the vacancy existed since November, before he took office, but he was able to save the county money by holding off on filling the spot until the case load picked up to the point that it became necessary.

Trouten released the report of his office's activities for April of 2017. The Clerk of Courts administers all legal documents of the Common Pleas Court, including the calling of jurors for trials, and also administers the Title Department in the county.

The monthly report is as follows:

Clerk's fees totaled $60,935.96 and interest fees totaled $323.92.

Vehicle and watercraft titles totaled 2,904 with 2,576 of those titles at the St. Clairsville office which included: 47 all purpose vehicles, eight manufactured homes, 105 motorcycles, six motor homes, 233 new cars; 89 new pick up trucks; 10 new trucks; 16 outboard motors; two off-road motorcycles; 13 trailers; 65 travel trailers; 1,423 used cars; 387 used pick-up trucks; 64 used trucks; 43 vans and 62 boats including inboard motors.

The Bellaire office had 328 titles including: 10 all purpose vehicles; one motorcycle:; 18 new cars; 17 new pickup trucks; three outboard motors:three travel trailers; 196 used cars; 64 used pickup trucks; two used trucks; four boats, and 10 boats including inboard motors.

New cases filed in the legal department included: 31 domestic relations; 28 civils; 34 criminals; 27 certificates of judgments; 19 state tax liens; two court of appeals.

Reminder: The Bellaire Title Office is closed during repairs of damage to the building.

The St. Clairsville Title Office number is 695-5406 or 695-5407.