County to again seek bids for DD building upgrade

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County commissioners on Thursday agreed to advertise again for improvements to the developmental disabilities workshop building after the first set of bids came in 10 percent higher than the architect’s estimate.

Mike Zinno, county developmental disabilities superintendent, said the workshop building off of John Scott Highway will be renovated and the training facility on Cherry Avenue will be phased out.

Additional offices will be constructed or renovated.

He said there were plans in the original specifications for a community room to be built, but that has been eliminated.

He said that deduction should allow bids to come in at the estimate.

He said the architect is finishing the specific cost estimate, but said it would be about $900,000.

Commissioners also learned the federal housing and urban development agency will not allow Community Development Block Grant funding to be used for improvements at the Dillonvale Community Center.

Betty Lou Tarr, county regional planning commission director, said the building sits in an area where it could be damaged if Short Creek floods. The grant amount was for $208,900.

Tarr said the previous regional planning commission director, Martin Sohovich, had made a mistake when he submitted the project. She said the state is looking for other sources of funding for the project.

Commissioner Thomas Graham said it was another error made by Sohovich, who failed to get an environmental review done prior to the Brilliant Water and Sewer beginning work on a water project, resulting in a loss of $500,000.

Commissioner Tom Gentile said another project other than the Dillonvale Community Center should have been submitted. As a result, the county lost a chance to get the funding.

Commissioners voted to allow the board of elections to spend $13,200 to purchase locking enclosed carts to hold the new voting equipment when it is sent to polling places and then returned to the board of elections. Diane Gribble, board of elections director, said Clark County had purchased 22 carts and then didn’t have a need for them. She said the purchase price is lower than retail costs. The commissioners approved the board also purchasing another 20 carts at retail cost.

Commissioners also:

¯ Heard from county Treasurer Raymond Agresta about returns on investments of county funds. Agresta said the county received $287,524 in interest last year, up from $150,427 in 2017. He said the increase was due to a rise in interest rates.

¯ Received a funding request from the county fair board. The fair board asked for $10,659 to improve electrical connections in the concession and campground areas; $8,000 for miscellaneous maintenance projects; and $15,500 for liability insurance. Graham requested more details on the miscellaneous maintenance projects.

¯ Opened three bids for a slip repair on county Road 14. The estimate from the county engineer’s department is $119,126. Allison Contracting of Wellsville submitted the apparent low bid of $100,779.

¯ Approved amendments to road use maintenance agreements with the county engineer’s department. County Engineer James Branagan said Gulfport Energy and Encino Acquisition Partners, which purchased rights and wells from Chesapeake Energy, took over existing agreements and will continue to make improvements on haul roads for working wells.

¯ Agreed to purchase eight additional lock boxes for guns at the entrance to the courthouse. Law enforcement officers must place their weapons in the boxes when entering the courthouse. On grand jury day, the boxes get full. The cost of the lock boxes is $559, and they will be purchased through M&M Hardware of Steubenville.

¯ Heard from Matthew Maurer of township Road 220, Bloomingdale, about odors coming from the Apex landfill and a gas compression station near his house. Commissioners told Maurer to document the time and date of the odor complaints and submit them to appropriate state agencies.

¯ Signed seven easements for the Amsterdam sewer project. Michael Eroshevich, county water and sewer department director, said face-to-face meetings are continuing with property owners who haven’t signed the easements.

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