County extends sewer deadline

STEUBENVILLE – Jefferson County commissioners on Thursday approved another 90-day extension of the deadline for residents to connect homes to the Crestview-Belvedere sewer system.

But the commissioners said it is the last extension they will approve.

The new deadline is April 15. After that, the commissioners will turn over the list of houses not connected to the county health department for enforcement. Those homeowners also will be sent a monthly sewer bill.

The county first informed approximately 340 homeowners in July that they had 90 days to connect homes to the sewer system. The 90-day connection notice was twice extended.

The county water and sewer department supplied a list of qualified contractors to make the connections. Jerry Mathieu, a contractor, got the bulk of the contracts to make the connections but hasn’t been able to finish all the jobs.

Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said 198 homes are connected to the sewer system. But 139 are not complete. Mathieu has contracts for 45 of those homes, the water and sewer department reported.

Mathieu told the commissioners he could be done finishing the contracts by July.

County Commissioner David Maple said the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provided grants and loans for the project, is not in favor of further extensions.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham said there are a lot of homeowners under contract for the connections, and he favored the extension.

County Commissioner Tom Gentile said there should be a reasonable extension for those under contract.

Maple said the county can’t be held accountable for Mathieu taking on more work that he can get done in the time period.

Gentile said he believes the county water and sewer department should have been tracking the number of contracts Mathieu had and recognized it was going to be a problem,

In another sewer matter, commissioners said they plan to discuss a sewerage treatment contract with Mingo Junction for 160 county sewer customers in George’s Run.

The county installed sewers in 1986 to the area and the loan is now paid off. The residents were paying a lower monthly sewer bill than other county customers.

The commissioners were asked by the county water and sewer department to bill the residents the same as other customers.

Mingo Junction provides water and treats sewerage from the homes.

Gosbin said other county customers pay sewer bills base on water used. Mingo Junction has a meter on sewerage entering its treatment plant from George’s Run. The sewerage amount has been twice the amount of water sold.

A letter inadvertently was mailed to the customers. Commissioners said the residents should ignore the letter until a decision is made on the sewage rate.

Commissioners also were informed the Brilliant Water and Sewer District will not be increasing its bulk water rate to the county as previously announced.

Commissioners reaffirmed a decision to charge a tap-in fee of $2,500 to homes in the Bradley area outside Smithfield once a new water line is installed.

Commissioners also:

– Were informed the county engineer’s department received a safety grant from the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation. County Engineer James Branagan said the state will pay $36,764 of the $49,019 cost to purchase a portable traffic signal to be used during road or bridge construction.

– Approved a road use maintenance agreement with Chesapeake Exploration for a new gas well site on county Road 43, 2 miles east of state Route 43. The agreement calls for improvements to be made to the county road prior to the start of well construction.

– Approved a road use maintenance agreement with Cardinal Gas Services for the construction of a pipeline on county Road 78 in Springfield Township and township Road 267. The agreement calls for improvements to be made to the county road prior to the start of construction.

– Agreed to advertise for bids for aggregates for the county engineer’s department for summer road construction.