Fanning the flames of Bellaire discontent

AS A Bellaire resident, I am not keen on being serviced by a volunteer fire department.

The Neffs Fire Department, currently delivering coverage for the village, is a quality outfit of dedicated firefighters. The Neffs department also came to Bellaire’s rescue many years ago when the All-American Town was in financial trouble and could not afford the expense of the paid Bellaire Fire Department.

Now, village council is pulling the plug on its deal with the Neffs Fire Department for the same reasons — finances. The village is battling six-figure debt.

The severing of fire department ties will save big bucks, no doubt

However, you cannot put a price tag on safety.

I foresee staffing problems for a volunteer department in Bellaire. Outfitting the manpower will also be cost prohibitive.

I have been told by several close to the situation that the formation of a volunteer fire department is the first of a two-step plan. Purportedly, the VFD would then tie in with the village’s EMT service.

Time will only tell if such a scenario plays out.

It wasn’t too long ago that a fire district was proposed for Pultney Township, which encompasses Bellaire.

As Cumberland Trail and OR&W have shown, fire districts can be a very effective route to go.


THREE INFORMATIONAL meetings have been scheduled by the Pultney Township trustees. The trustees are looking to residents on the township’s financial situation as well as getting feedback

The meetings are Tuesday, June 10, Spirit of ’76 Fire Department; Tuesday, June 17, Neffs Fire Department and Wednesday, June 18, Rock Hill Community Center.

All three of the meetings begin at 7 p.m.

We urge Pultney residents to attend and get involved with the township.


IN LAST week’s column I mentioned about the poor condition of a railroad crossing on Ohio 150 near Buckeye Local High School. Wheeling Lake Erie owns the crossing. Complaints may be phoned to 1-877-767-7203. The crossing number is 473010L

CONGRATULATIONS GO out to Jim Fogle. The principal of Martins Ferry Ayers Elementary School was recently awarded the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian School’s 2014 Principals Leadership Award. The mission of the Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools is to advocate for and support the public schools of Appalachia Ohio in the continuous improvement of educational opportunities available to all the region’s children. Fogle has been the principal of Ayers for five years. He taught at Hilltop and Elm schools prior to becoming an assistant principal.

THE SECOND major tournament of the pro golf scene unfolds this weekend at Pinehurst. Tiger Woods remains sidelined with back issues. My U.S Open pick is Jason Day. He has contended in several majors, only to come up short.

PRESIDENT OBAMA dropped the ball twice this past week. His deal with the Taliban to release five terrorists is one that I fear will come back and harm U.S. security. Secondly, Obama’s restrictions on emissions is ill-advised and yet another unnecessary blow to the Ohio Valley’s economic well-being.

CONGRATULATIONS TO St. Clairsville’s Jaylon Brown, River’s Abby Caldwell and St. John’s Fallon Doyle on their fine showings at the state track meet this weekend at Jesse Owens Stadium.

SATURDAY IS Flag Day. In conjunction with the observance, the Belmont American Legion Post 312 will conduct the annual Flag Disposal ceremony that day at the post home on Barrister Street, Belmont, at 6 p.m. Anyone with a worn, torn, faded or otherwise unserviceable American flag may bring it to the ceremony, give it to a Legion post officer or leave it at the Belmont Post Office.

THE WHEELING Island pool is not opening this year due to plumbing problems. That is another reason to patronize the Martins Ferry pool.

THE?MARTINS?Ferry Chamber of Commerce will be holding a hot dog sale Wednesday (weather permitting) along with a lemonade sale. Pre-order by 11 a.m. at 633-2565. No delivery. I have had the chamber’s dogs in the past and will be a customer again this week.

I SALUTE the efforts of the All-American Days Festival Committee. The annual Bellaire festival played out very nicely the last three days. The entertainment was top shelf.

Kapral may be reached at