Jefferson County tables Brilliant’s water plant grant request

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County commissioners on Thursday again tabled a request to apply for grant money to build a new water plant for Brilliant until it can be determined that a new plant is in the best interest for the entire county.

Mike Nichols, Brilliant Water and Sewer District president, said the district wants to construct a $3.2 million water treatment plant. The state is offering the district a chance to get a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, but the county commissioners have to be the entity to apply and administer the grant. The county has no money in the project.

Brilliant water and sewer sells the county water used to feed customers in the south end of the county.

Commissioner Tom Gentile said that by signing the grant, it may be moving forward with a project he may not necessarily agree with.

Commissioner David Maple said he has to determine if the project fits into a countywide strategy, especially if Brilliant is forced to charge the county more for its purchased water. He said the county, during the past several years, has assumed ownership or responsibility of water and sewer systems from small communities.

Commissioner Thomas Graham asked Michael Eroshevich, county water and sewer director, to prepare a report on the need for the new Brilliant water plant and its impact on regionalization, especially with Mingo Junction having an underutilized plant a mile away.

Commissioners also said they need a written answer from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on the need to build a new water plant in Brilliant. Nichols said the state agency refuses to state that in writing but verbally has said a new plant is needed.

Commissioners said they will make a decision once Eroshevich finishes a report.

The commissioners received the annual report from the animal shelter, which showed 814 dogs were brought to the shelter, with half being strays. The shelter reported 545 dogs were adopted, 184 were reclaimed and 57 were either sent to foster or rescue shelters. Eleven dogs were euthanized throughout the year. Twelve dogs died from natural causes, mainly puppies.

Commissioners were informed by the regional airport authority that David Wadsworth of Clyde was hired as the airport manager. According to Wadsworth’s resume, he has more than 30 years of aviation experience and was the manager at the Sandusky County Regional Airport.

Nicholas Belluardo, airport manager, resigned in November to take a position with Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Commissioners also:

¯ Agreed to place the renewal of the 1.5-mill levy for the county 911 system on the May 2 primary election ballot.

¯ Agreed to advertise on behalf of the county engineer’s department for bituminous and asphalt products and aggregates for summer road work.

¯ Received the Ohio Department of Transportation certification noting there are 260.1 miles of county roads.

¯ Received a road-use maintenance agreement with Ascent Resources — Utica for a new well on county Road 26. Ascent will make improvements to more than 9 miles of the county road prior to construction of the well, said county Engineer James Branagan.

(Law can be contacted at mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.)

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