Senior services draw attention

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Belmont County commissioners answered several questions regarding senior services during their Wednesday meeting.

Commissioners motioned to authorize the senior services coordinator to advertise for candidates for the position of fiscal administrator for senior services under the commissioners. The board also authorized the interim director of the Department of Job and Family Services to abolish the recently vacated position of senior services unit support worker. Commissioners Ginny Favede and Charles R. Probst, Jr. voted in favor, with Commissioner Matt Coffland opposed.

Favede pointed out that the new senior services fiscal administrator position will cover the duties of the former senior services unit support worker post.

Guests also inquired about the future of senior services.

Among the guests was Richard Hord, who noted a prior statement from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services approving of the original plan to combine the two entities. He inquired about the state agency’s view of the decision to create a separate entity under the commissioners.

Coffland agreed that the state viewed the combination favorably. He expressed reservations that the separation would end the sharing of employees, computers, equipment, materials and benefits from the combination.

Favede brought up the possibility that the computers may be donated, as is a common practice. She added that the seniors would probably put greater trust in the analysis of the commissioners, who are more familiar with the local operation.

Vince Gallagher, AARP chapter 2994 president, invited the new senior services coordinator to attend their meetings. They spoke about the upcoming senior services levy.

Hord inquired about a prior meeting’s decision to approve a contract between DJFS and the Jefferson County Community Action Council, Inc. for administrative entity services for Workforce Investment Area 16 in the amount of $64,276.56. Coffland noted that the funds are paid back to the county for its fiscal work in the program.

John Henthorn of Barton again noted the need for repairs on culverts and sidewalks.

Commissioners held a subdivision hearing and motioned to grant the replat of lots 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 18 in Ohio Riverview Estates, Pultney Township.

Commissioners motioned to accept the proposal from Hamilton & Associates, Inc. for $1,050 for the survey of Lots 7 and 8 in Flushing to survey area intended for a new senior center.

Commissioners motioned to adopt the Preliminary Consent Legislation resolution empowering the engineer to enter into contracts with the director of the Ohio Department of Transportation to complete a project establishing a paved park and riding lot in the county off County Road 102 near the interchange of I-70 and State Route 800. This project will include drainage, curb, lighting and fence. The entire cost of the project will be borne by ODOT. Coffland added that a park and ride currently exists on 870, which will be upgraded and maintained by ODOT.

Commissioners motioned to accept and sign a revised Belmont County Prevention, Retention and Contingency Plan effective October 2013, as submitted by DJFS in coordination with the Belmont County Family Service Planning Committee. The program provides assistance to Children Services families and emancipated foster care youth with a child and to Ohio Works First OWF work required individuals.

The board’s next regular meeting was moved to Tuesday, Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

DeFrank can be reached at