Development discussed in Belmont Co.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Belmont County Board of Commissioners heard a subdivision hearing and gave conditional approval to grant the final plat for Kettler’s Ridge, Richland Township, during Wednesday’s meeting.

An additional hearing will be held July 31 at 10 a.m. Commissioners heard from Trustees Greg Bizzarri and Greg Reline of Richland Township, County Engineer Fred Bennett and attorney Mark A. Thomas, representing St.Clair 001 LLC, the Portsmouth developer. The mapping is in order.

Thomas noted the location of the property, on the north side of U.S. 40 across from Whiteside. It is to house a new CVS Pharmacy, an Advanced Auto Parts store, and a Sheets as well as a hotel. A restaurant site is also available. The project has been ongoing for an estimated two years.

Thomas noted the process will involved the transfer of real estate from the owners to the developer.

Bennett said the issues will be in order once the property owners sign. He added that no new roads are involved and all the lots of the proposed subdivision front on public roads. From U.S. 40, access will be at the traffic light at Valley Plaza Drive. Bennett said the reason for the urgency is the large amount of dirt that must be moved.

The developer has an option to buy additional acreage to the north for further development.

The Richland Township trustees noted the potential of the project but voiced concerns about the amount of traffic that may result.

In other matters, Jim Cook of the Barnesville Senior Center, which is owned by the people of Barnesville, asked the board to consider providing financial aid to the center for the purpose of upkeep. Commissioners will consider the matter, but noted that the county currently pays for the center’s utilities.

Commissioners approved a motion to award a contract for the county engineer’s project to resurface various county highways to the low bidder, Lash Paving Inc., in the amount of $690,395.48.

Commissioners motioned to advertise for bids for the Sand Hill bridge replacement project based on the engineer’s recommendation. Funding source is the Ohio Public Works and MVGT fund.

Approved was a motion regarding the allocation of $18,750 to the Belmont County Department of Development/Community Improvement Corp. for program operation and administration for the third quarter of 2013.

Commissioner Ginny Favede was authorized to execute the satisfaction of mortgage by separate instrument for Shawn Smith for a mortgage deed dated July 20, 2000, as recorded in the recorder’s office. He was a CHIP Grant recipient, and the lien has been satisfied.

Favede was authorized to execute a memorandum of understanding between the Department of Jobs and Family Services and the Tri-County Help Center Inc. DJFS has agreed to promote the help center by including its toll-free number to clients for information and services related to domestic violence in the automated answering system.

Favede was authorized to execute the Family Service Agency budget allocation transfer request on behalf of DJFS. This allows two federally funded pass-through allocations to be increased in the Public Children Services Agency. They are a Medicaid Child Welfare grant of $35,000 and a post-adoption special of $15,000.

She also was authorized to execute a monthly cost reimbursement for the month of June 2013 on behalf of DJFS for the business resource network grant.

Favede was authorized to execute the state DJFS non-emergency transportation report on behalf of the county DJFS for April-June 2013.

Commissioners approved appointments to the Belmont County Local Emergency Planning Committee, effective June 18, 2013. to Aug. 15, 2013, to fill the unexpired terms of previous members. Law enforcement appointees are Sheriff David Lucas and Bethesda Police Chief Jeremy Campbell. Health is Robert Sproull, health department. Local environment is Michael Freeman, health department.

In addition, commissioners motioned to make reappointments to LEPC for a two-year term beginning Aug. 15, 2013. Elected officials are Commissioner Charles R. Probst Jr. and Pease Township Trustee Roger Weaver. Law enforcement is Lt. Jeff LaRoche, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and representing firefighting are Robert Smith and Michael Smolenak of the Barnesville and Barton fire departments, respectively. First aid is American Red Cross Disaster Director Glenda Hollandworth, and representing hospitality is Allen Bradley Simmis of East Ohio Regional Hospital and EMSTAR. Emergency management representatives are Belmont County Emergency Management Agency Director David Ivan and EMA Executive Administrative Assistant Becky Horne. Transportation are County Engineer Fred Bennett and Ohio Department of Transportation Superintendent David Schafer. Media is Ed Polli of The Times Leader. Industry representatives are Joseph Redinger of Ohio Valley Chemical, Michael Bianconi of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel and Doug Longenette of United Dairy. Auditor financial expertise representative is Auditor Andrew Sutak. Additional groups are John Green, amateur radio; Rose Grear of the Barnesville Kiwanis Club, Gary Obloy of the county Community Action Commission, Kurt Turner of the clergy and John A. Regis, Jr. of DJFS.

Commissioners appointed Tom A. Zuzak as layperson representative to the county 911 board, effective immediately through Dec. 31, 2014.

Favede was authorized to execute a grant application on behalf of DJFS for the Ohio Family and Children First-County Family and Children First Council Operational Capacity Building Funds for Fiscal Year 2014. Total budget is $15,750.

The board will reconvene July 25 at 9 a.m. for an executive session concerning personnel exception.

DeFrank can be reached at