‘Significant’ project may land in Monroe

WOODSFIELD – A project viewed “as a significant economic development opportunity, with an estimated 150 direct full-time jobs and average annual salaries of approximately $50,000,” has the support of the Monroe County commissioners.

The commissioners sent a letter of support for the project Monday to Jerry Wray, director of the Ohio Department of Transportation, for an upgrade to an existing pipeline along Ohio 7 and the corresponding liquids processing project.

In the letter, commissioners pointed out positive feedback was received from all parties when Eureka Hunter’s executive team met with ODOT representatives to discuss upgrades to the existing 7-mile pipeline owned by K.A. Brown Oil and Gas along Ohio 7.

“This is a critical next step in the development of a 52-acre midstream and liquids processing center with riverfront access for barge loading and refueling facilities,” according to the letter.

After mentioning the estimated 150 jobs, the commissioners’ letter went on to note, “These jobs will also support indirect job creation at existing local and regional companies that provide support services to the oil and gas industry. We understand the importance of the Ohio River as a driver of economic activity and are pleased to see that the pursuit of riverfront industrial development has become a point of emphasis within JobsOhio. Furthermore, we understand the Ohio River’s importance to companies operating in downstream industries such as chemical and plastics manufacturing.

“The requested pipeline upgrade will allow for the development and integration of this site into the larger transportation system along the Ohio River that supports the Marcellus/Utica wet gas development and midstream processing facilities. Gaining approval for the requested pipeline upgrade is an imperative first development step. From there, the Monroe County commissioners will encourage and support efforts to fully develop the barge loading and refueling facilties.”

In other matters, commissioners signed a grant titled High Visibility Enforcement Overtime 2014, approved for $24,588.20 for the sheriff’s office.

The agreement is funded under a federal grant program beginning Oct. 1. Information about the grant was received by the sheriff’s office from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and it was noted safety officials look forward “to working with you to reduce traffic-related fatal and serious injury crashes in Ohio.”

Commissioners also approved a resolution seeking a waiver and submitting a street improvement project for funding through the county’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund. The project is to replace approximately 190 linear feet of curbs in Graysville at a cost of $10,000.

Two executive sessions were held with David Lucid of the Monroe County Care Center in regard to personnel.

A motion was approved giving permission to the Woodsfield Christmas Festival Committee to use all three floors of the courthouse Dec. 7 and to decorate the front of the courthouse. Commissioners noted they had talked with Teresa Clutter, part-time custodian, and she agreed to work that day in connection with the celebration.

Commissioners recessed the meeting to attend a district solid waste management meeting in Caldwell. Upon their return, they met with Bob Tschappat of the Health Plan of the Upper Ohio Valley and County Auditor Pandora Neuhart concerning health insurance rates. Tschappat will return with more options for the insurance to be effective in January.