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Jefferson County creates airport zoning board

STEUBENVILLE — The Jefferson County commissioners on Thursday approved a resolution creating an airport zoning board, an effort to limit hazards at the county-owned facility.

Commissioners received an opinion from the prosecutor’s office about zoning around the airport. The issue was raised in response to a proposal to reopen the Crossridge Landfill. Greenway Reclamation of Garden City, N.Y., is proposing to reopen the landfill and make existing environmental remediations in exchange for the ability to accept a large amount of out-of-state waste.

The commissioners next week are expected to name the five members of the airport zoning commission, which will be charged with developing regulations limiting hazards around the airport. The hazards could include the height of buildings or activity.

Airport officials said an operating landfill close to the airport creates safety concerns because of the possibility of planes hitting birds, which are attracted to landfills. The end of the runway is about 4,500 feet from the landfill.

County Commissioner David Maple said he expects the airport zoning commission will take about six months to develop regulations. The commissioners, as the airport zoning board, will then act on the regulations.

“The airport zoning commission will have a lot of homework to do,” he said.

Maple said it is a specific process, which will include public hearings.

Numerous governmental bodies have approved resolutions in opposition to Greenway’s proposal. A citizens committee has been formed by Cross Creek Township residents to fight the reopening of the landfill.

The landfill has been the subject of several state environmental lawsuits in Jefferson County since 1999, with court orders to stop the dumping of leachate and to properly close the landfill.

Commissioners opened bids to replace the roof at the Justice Center and its cooling tower used for air conditioning throughout the building.

The bids for the roof replacement included different materials and the amount of roofing to be replaced. Bids ranged from $281,575 to $1,061,000.

The cooling tower replacement bids ranged from $175,500 to $195,463.

McKinley & Associates of Wheeling, the county’s engineering consultant, will review the bids and make a recommendation to the commissioners.

Commissioners agreed to the reappointment of Geary Bates of Wintersville to the county regional airport authority for a four-year period. Bates has been a member of the airport authority for 28 years.

Commissioners agreed to advertise for bids on behalf of the county engineer’s department for a slip-repair project on county Road 28 in the Goulds area. The estimate is $207,400.