Sewer contractor to return

STEUBENVILLE – The contractor for the Crestview-Belvedere sewer project is expected to return to the job next week to finish the remaining items on the punch list, including restoring yards damaged during the installation of the sewer lines.

The Jefferson County commissioners were told the news after receiving more complaints about the work during Thursday’s meeting.

Michael Eroshevich of the county water and sewer department said there was a meeting with Rudzik Excavating of Struthers and CT Consultants, the county’s engineering consultant, to discuss the remaining work. The sewers are working and residents are connecting home lines to the sewer system.

Rudzik has pulled all its equipment and workers from the project, leaving the commissioners wondering when the final work will be completed. The county is holding back the final payment to Rudzik.

Eroshevich said Rudzik officials said the company will return to the site next week to finish the work.

County Commissioner Tom Gentile said he wants a letter from Rudzik setting in writing the schedule for the final work. He said Rudzik was remiss in pulling its equipment and workers from the job when the growing season for yard restoration is coming to an end.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham said the county will hold Rudzik accountable based on the specifications of the contract.

“We are getting to the end of the project, and people aren’t happy,” said county Commissioner David Maple of the yard restoration work.

Commissioners also opened seven bids for the pouring of a concrete pad and erection of a steel storage building for the county water and sewer department.

E. Mullins Construction of Bloomingdale submitted the apparent low bid of $143,250. The engineer’s estimate was $161,000.

The 60-foot by 120-foot building will be used to store materials and equipment.

Commissioners also received qualifications from six firms for engineering services at the county water and sewer department. The county asks for the qualifications every four or so years.

The list will be narrowed down and the remaining firms will be asked to attend an interview.

Frank Bruzzese, county assistant prosecutor, said the lawsuit filed by Dave Sugar Excavating concerning the company’s rejected low bid on the Pottery Addition sewer project has been dismissed but can still be refiled. Sugar filed the lawsuit in 2011 after the commissioners selected Rudzik, the second-lowest bidder, for the sewer project in Pottery Addition.

In other matters, commissioners agreed to spend $25,000 to install fiber optic computer lines throughout the Towers building for use by public agencies and private companies. Of the amount, $4,000 will be used for tools to install the lines. The tools can be used for similar work at other county buildings.

Commissioners were told by Thomas Hartwig of Malcolm Pirnie, the county’s water and sewer engineering consultant, that the water line extension project to the Bradley area outside Smithfield is 99 percent complete. He said the county is applying for state permits for the project, which may be under construction in the spring.

Maple announced an agreement with the JB Green Team to provide a litter-control officer, with vehicle, in Jefferson and Belmont counties. The JB Green Team will provide the vehicle and money for the litter-control officers, with the commissioners paying for the maintenance and fuel on the vehicle in Jefferson County.

Gentile and Graham commended Maple for his work on getting the litter-control officer in place.

Commissioners also received a letter from Dr. Patrick Macedonia of the Steubenville Board of Health concerning the vacant plumbing inspector position at the county health department. Macedonia said the city health department sent a letter to the county health department offering assistance in enforcing plumbing codes in the county.

The county health department has instead decided to fill the position instead of sharing the services of the city plumbing inspector.

“The members of the Steubenville Board of Health realize that for quality public health services to be available throughout our community and the county, sharing resources may be one of the most cost-effective ways to do so. In December 2012, the members of the city board of health sent a letter to the county board of health for that purpose, to begin open discussion about services. To date, nothing has occurred,” Macendonia said in the letter.

Bruce Misselwitz, county health administrator, said the county has contacted a soon-to-retire plumber about taking the county job. That person still has to pass a state test to be certified.

Maple said the two boards of health need to share services to reduce costs.

Commissioners accepted the retirement of commissioners’ Clerk Linda Porter. Porter will continue to work part time at 29 hours a week, without health insurance. She has worked for the commissioners’ office for 40 years.