Bellaire administrator making a difference

BELLAIRE – Dan Marling’s tenure as village administrator for Bellaire has been short.

Marling was officially elevated to the recreated position in early December after council voted to do away with the board of public affairs and return to the use of an administrator.

In that short time span, Marling, with the cooperation and assistance of village employees, has gotten a lot accomplished with more to go.

Marling spoke during the Belmont County Commissioners’ meeting Wednesday and gave council a brief recap on that, noting he hopes to make it a monthly visit to keep in contact with the commissioners and keep continued cooperation flowing between the two government entities.

He also touched on work being done within the village.

“We’ve got seven of our goals completed with five still pending. Of course, those are the big issues, but we’re chipping away,” Marling noted.

“The council committees have been working well. We’ve been meeting a few times per month (for each committee).”

The utility committee met early Thursday and made some progress in how to deal with a number of outstanding water bills in the village. The committee, along with Marling and solicitor Joe Vavra attended.

“We were able to get through about 12-13 different cases,” Marling said.

He also reported that the installation crew will begin again Monday in getting the new water meters installed throughout the village.

He noted work crews have been handling water leaks and breaks in the city. An outside contractor was brought in to identify the few major leaks and a plan of attack has been formulated to handle those.

  • Police Chief Mike Kovalyk relayed that his department has been busy this week.

It begin when a pizza delivery driver from Bridgeport was robbed at knife point in the area of Washington St.

Then early Wednesday morning, there was a drive-by shooting on Franklin St. that resulted in a multi-state, high-speed chase ending in the Elm Grove section of Wheeling.

“It’s been a hectic week,” Kovalyk said. “We’ve also arrested 17 people on warrants. There were a couple of domestics, a theft, some drug arrests.

“We’ve had 34 incidents thus far in February and that’s not including traffic stops.”

Kovalyk reminded those in attendance to take extra caution on the roads Friday morning with the anticipated icy roads expected to have hit between 3-10 a.m.

Kovalyk also reminded council that 2013 marks the eighth straight year his department has gone without any type of pay increase, stating he felt it was an injustice to the police department.

  • Councilwoman Lou Ann Bennett gave a rundown of Thursday’s Bellaire Chamber of Commerce meeting that was held at Country Club Retirement Campus.

A collection drive is being held for items that will be sent to U.S. soldiers overseas. Items being accepted include shaving cream, razors, shower gel, iTunes gift cards, used DVDs and other items. Items can be dropped off at CCRC, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the chamber office and the village municipal building.

Bennett also noted that the birth records for Belmont County from 1909-1920, along with the death records from 1904-35 and 1936-75 are in book form and are available for purchase at the chamber office.

  • Councilman Jim Piatt noted he met with the Pultney Township Trustees, along with Neffs Fire Chief John Driscoll in separate meetings to discuss to potential formation of a fire district.
  • The Imperial Glass Museum in Bellaire informed council via letter that it will be holding its re-dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 6 at 4 p.m. The ceremony will take place outside the museum, with the Bellaire Public Library to serve as host should weather turn foul.

The ceremony will coincide with the National Imperial Glass Collectors Society’s annual convention that runs from June 6-8. The museum in Bellaire will be celebrating its 10th anniversary during the re-dedication as it first opened June 3, 2003.

The next regular meeting of Bellaire Village Council is set for Thursday, March 7 at 6 p.m. inside council chambers.

Hughes may be reached at