At its Monday, July 27th meeting, Barnesville Village Council approved Assistant Fire Chief and EMS Coordinator Tim Hall’s request to increase EMS coverage to 24-hours, seven days a week during the closure of State Route 147 East between Barnesville and Bethesda for an Ohio Department of Transportation bridge replacement project. Hall said it should be no more than two weeks before the road is open to emergency personnel enabling Bethesda EMS to once again assist Barnesville EMS with hospital transports. As soon as the road is open  to them, the squad would go back to its original schedule.
The SR 147 closure led to a discussion by council about the closure of the Barnesville exit on Interstate 70 that day, making travel to Barnesville from the east difficult. Fire Chief Bob Smith said the closure was temporary and was due to an accident that tore out over 20 feet of guard rail. Hall noted the accident was the third one in that spot in the last two weeks.
Council gave Smith the go-ahead to look for and purchase a portable generator.
 Smith noted that the building across from the water office was torn down after being used by the department for training. It will be used for village employee parking.
Council approved Mayor Dale Bunting’s appointment of Justin Armstrong to the fire department and Christian Pace to the fire department and e-squad. Smith said Pace was already certified.
Police Chief David Norris said officer Megan Phillips would be resigning by the end of the week, having found another job offer. Norris said Phillips had done a good job. Mayor Bunting agreed, adding that she “fit right in” at the department.
Norris asked council to approved the appointment of David Ryan to the department for a one-year probationary period. Norris said Ryan was a deputy at the Belmont County jail and had been interviewed by himself and another officer.
Council authorized Norris to begin looking at options for a new four-wheel drive vehicle for the department. Norris said the 2103 Chevy Tahoe needs to be taken out of regular use and used as a spare.
Administrator Roger Deal asked council to set a work session with engineering firm ADR & Associates for the Slope Creek waterline project. It was held on July 30th in Deal’s office.
Deal updated council on funding for the village’s paving project. At the July 13 meeting, Deal informed council that an estimate for the project was $25,000 higher than the amount submitted to ODOT for the grant, leaving council with a choice to either eliminate some streets from the project or fund streets from the water department that were scheduled for water line replacement as well as paving Deal said he estimated that 26 percent of the grant money would be used for those three streets, equalling  $45,057.56 that could be taken from the water department funds for use in the project. Deal said that would leave $39,000 for the village’s share of the project and enable the village to pave additional alleys. Council President Tim McKelvey said that while he thought using water department funds was an excellent idea that would prevent having to eliminate streets from the project, he was not sure about taking an extra $20,000 from the water department.
Bunting told council that he and Deal would like to hire someone to do an assessment of the former B&O railroad tunnel which is now owned by the village “before it was too late”. “It is definitely our responsibility,” Deal said. Council approved Bunting’s suggestion.
Deal informed council that the village received a $30,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for the  purchase of equipment to test for harmful algae blooms. Deal said that while Barnesville has had no algae problems, St. Clairsville has. He credited water plant operator Doug Frye for being “instrumental in getting the grant” and having experience in finding harmful algae blooms, having worked in St. Clairsville. Deal said Frye was “a great addition to the team at the water plant”.
Mayor Bunting reporting that resurfacing of the tennis courts at Barnesville Memorial Park began that week, and that finer gravel had been put down on the trail to make walking and running easier.
Council approved Deal’s request to sign a contract with ODOT for road salt. Deal said the village was committed to purchase 450 tons at a cost of $74 per ton.
Council approved pay ordinance 15 for $143,850.53.
Building permits were approved for National Church Residences (The Manor) of Barnesville, 485 N. St., construction of a gravel lot for employee parking and Randy Woodward, 344 S. Broadway St., changing wood to metal shingles.
Council discussed working with the Barnesville Exempted Village School District to fix water flow problems in the Sleepy Hollow area caused by a blocked culvert in the parking lot near the football stadium. Deal, Village Manager Scott Baker, and school officials are to look at the problem and see what can be done.
Council will meet again Monday, August 11 at 7 p.m. in council chambers in the municipal building.