STEUBENVILLE - Island Creek Township trustees asked Jefferson County commissioners Thursday for help in cleaning out or replacing storm water sewers that have led to flooding in Pottery Addition.
Island Creek Trustee Sam Grafton said sections of the storm water sewers in Pottery Addition are completely clogged with debris. He said Rudzik Excavating is currently installing sanitary sewers in the community for the county water and sewer department and offered quotes for cleaning out the storm water lines and replacing lines as needed. The quote was $40,700 to flush the lines and replace sections or $19,700 to just flush out and make minor repairs, Grafton said.
County Commissioner Thomas Graham said the county procesuctor's office will be asked for an opinion as to whether county money can be used to help out the township trustees.
County Commissioner David Maple said there is a problem in Pottery Addition with the storm water sewers. He said it would make sense for Rudzik to do the work while the company's equipment is already there.
Grafton said the contractor will be done with the Pottery Addition work by the end of June.
Maple said the project for cleaning out and replacing sections of the the storm water lines may require competitive bidding because of the cost.
Grafton said the township can afford about $10,000 of the cost.
Maple questioned whether the county is setting a precedent by financially helping the township with work.
Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said the storm water lines are so clogged it may be difficult to get the lines unplugged. She added it isn't known how much of the lines would have to be replaced once the lines are cleaned out.
Also, county Engineer James Branagan said slip repair work was expected to be finished today on Austin Lake Road (Knox Township Road 285A). The county will be assisting the township trustees in applying for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding for the project.
Commissioners also were updated by Domenick Mucci, Jefferson County Regional Planning Commission director, on how a $75 million demolition grant through the state attorney general's office will be administered.
The $75 million comes from the national mortgage settlement reached earlier this year by the attorneys general with five of the nation's largest mortgage servicers over foreclosure abuses, fraud and deceptive mortgage practices.
Mucci said Jefferson County will receive $277,274. He said about 29 house demolitions will be done with the money. He said Toronto and Steubenville will split 10 demolitions, with townships getting 12 and villages getting seven.
How the demolitions will be distributed was reached by an agreement at a regional planning commission meeting this week, Mucci said.
Were informed by Graham of a 5 percent increase in the cost of the county's self-funded health insurance program for employees. Graham, who heads the insurance committee, said the 5 percent increase from June through January will be paid from a surplus of funds in the program. He said premiums to departments or employees will have to be increased by 5 percent come January. Graham noted it was the first increase in health costs since 2004. "Eight years of no health insurance increase is almost unheard of," he said.
Opened one bid for the paving of various township roads using an Ohio Public Works Commission grant. The engineer's estimate was $252,800. Shelly and Sands of Rayland submitted the only bid of $269,699.
Opened two bids for the rehabilitation of a bridge in Irondale. The engineer's estimate was $51,000, with U.S. Bridge of Cambridge submitting the low bid of $45,471.
Agreed to advertise for bids for a slip repair project through the county engineer's office on county Roads 43, 47 and 55. The engineer's estimate is $140,000.
Discussed the lack of grass growing around the county's new animal shelter. The county is holding $9,000 back from the contractor because the commissioners aren't satisfied with the grass. Commissioners announced they may seek another company to plant grass around the shelter.
Were informed by Janine Yeske of the Ohio State University Extension Office that the parenting program may be eliminated because of budget cuts. She said the OSU Extension state administration will have the final say in eliminating the program. The extension office will continue with its agriculture services and 4-H programs. Commissioners said they will hold a meeting with the county Job and Family Services about taking over the parenting program or incorporating it into current services.
Approved a new three-year contract with corrections officers at the county jail that includes a 1.5 percent wage increase in the first year and a 1 percent increase in the second and third years.