Children service contract to expire

CADIZ – Scott Blackburn, director of the Harrison County Department of Job and Family Services, told county commissioners Wednesday a contract with the Tuscarawas County DJFS expired on July 1.

That contract provided legal representation for the agency’s children service division.

Blackburn, when questioned on using the county prosecutor’s office, told commissioners that former Assistant Prosecutor Rhonda Greenwood, who left that position in 2009, and then Prosecutor T. Shawn Hervey had not renewed the contract.

The disagreement between the two offices was reported to be due to a lack of funding, and Prosecutor Michael Washington declined the assist in the process due to his transition and current lack of an assistant prosecutor, according to Blackburn.

The contract with the county prosecutor’s office was for $48,000 back in 2009, and Blackburn told the board Tuscarawas County had provided the services for $12,000 from their own inside counsel.

“We are currently soliciting bids for the job,” Blackburn said. “We will keep the bidding open until July 12 at noon, then we will make our decision from there.”

Blackburn told the board that until new counsel is hired, his department is temporarily without legal representation.

In other matters, Harrison County once was dependent upon coal for its survival, and the county commissioners reaffirmed their support for the industry by sending a resolution supporting the coal industry.

The request for the resolution was made by Doug Matheney, Ohio director for Count on Coal.

“This is a campaign to make America aware of the benefits of affordable, reliable coal-generated electricity,” said Matheney.

“From homes to businesses to schools, hospitals and local governments, we all benefit from affordable electricity with stable prices and reliable delivery.”

Count on Coal is a grassroots organization that seeks to identify, educate and recruit Americans to support our mission to keep electricity affordable by protecting and promoting the use of our abundant coal for power generation.

“Coal provides jobs and affordable electricity,” Matheney told the board. “In the U.S., coal provides 43 percent of U.S. electric power generation and 73 percent of Ohio’s electricity, providing power for more than 60 million homes and 3.4 million businesses nationwide.”

“It is not financially feasible to abandon an affordable and abundant source of energy,” commission Chair Don Bethel said.

“Coal has been an important part of our economy here in Harrison County; it is both a part of our heritage and our future.”

The board also approved an easement with Energy Resources to bore under the bike trail near the new access road being constructed to the Scio Atlas Gas Midstream facility.

The discharge line to the Kensington Cryogenics plant near Hanoverton will pass under the bike trail, and a 100-foot easement for a flat fee of $4,000 was granted.

“That money will be directed toward the trail committee,” Bethel said.

Sheriff Ronald J. Myers gave his final traffic count from the Scio Midstream entrance and it showed a total of 45,108 vehicles entering the facility. “Peak time for traffic is at the 6 p.m. shift change,” Myers reported. “That brings the total to 351,355 since Nov. 19 of 2102.”

The sheriff reported the traffic speed sign trailer will be relocated to Bowerston and Jewett in the coming weeks.

Myers noted a safety meeting will be held at 10 a.m. on July 29 at the library at Cadiz.

“This is the only one in the Tri-State Area and it has been very productive. We invite anyone interested to stop in and join us,” he said.

In other business;

Commissioner approved deeding 27 acres of land in the industrial park to the county CIC. The board qualified the transfer as facilitating development by a business wishing to buy the property and promised more details in the future.

The board also deeded an easement of a crossing of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad tracks near Harrisville to Jason and Laura Florence for access to their property.

Commissioners congratulated all champions and winners from last week’s county fair and thanked all of the buyers for the livestock auction, which set a new record.