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Jefferson County moves forward on water project in Bradley

December 21, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County commissioners Thursday discussed a water line extension to Bradley outside Smithfield and possibly requiring gas and oil company subcontractors doing road maintenance work to pay workers prevailing wages.

Commissioners approved design work to begin on the project, which includes 16,000 feet of 8-inch water lines, to bring water to about 80 residents who have been requesting water for more than a decade. The project will cost about $1.5 million.

The project will be part of a debt the water and sewer department is assuming for the Brilliant booster station project.

Shannan Gosbin, water and sewer department director, said the water and sewer department had anticipated spending upwards of $4.3 million on the improvements to the Brilliant booster station to supply water to the southern end of the county, but bids came in at $3.1 million. She said the money not spent on the booster station work could be earmarked for the Bradley water line extension.

"This is great news to the residents of Bradley. It is hard to believe in this day and age for people to want county water and have a difficult time in getting it," said county Commissioner Thomas Graham.

Commissioners were approached by Daniel Kurczi of the Laborers International Union about putting a requirement in the county's road-use maintenance agreement for gas and oil drilling companies to pay prevailing wages on work done to improve county roads prior to drilling.

Kurczi said the Ohio Attorney General has issued an opinion about the prevailing wage issue, but county Engineer James Branagan said the opinion isn't clear.

Kurczi said several counties in the region have adopted the prevailing wage requirement.

Graham said the commissioners already are looking into the issue and have requested the county prosecutor's office amended the road-use maintenance agreements with gas and oil drilling companies to include prevailing wages.

Branagan said he has been told by oil and gas companies they won't provide payroll information to the county to show prevailing wages are being paid.

Commissioners also:

Approved county Job and Family Services Department contracts with Checker Cab of Steubenville to provide nonemergency medical transportation services to county residents. One, for up to $33,000, will be for residents not eligible for Medicaid but who don't have transportation. The second, not to exceed $950,000, will be for Medicaid eligible residents. The money comes to the county through the federal government, and the transportation services are mandated by the state, said Elizabeth Ferron, county Job and Family Services Department director.

Were informed county Auditor Patrick Marshall has received the certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting, the highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. Marshall said he has received the award several times in the past, adding it is every department working together that made it possible.

Agreed to submit $41,000 in indigent defendant attorney fees for December to the state for partial reimbursement. The county has spent $241,000 this year on the fees, the auditor's office reported.

Approved a new storm water consortium agreement overseen by the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District, a requirement of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

Signed an agreement with the Ridgefield Group to do a feasibility study on improving communication with the public from the county's oil and gas committee. The $49,900 state grant also is for the development of a website for the committee.

Approved a $29,157 agreement with Michael Baker Jr. Inc. to do ecological and environmental survey work associated with the runway extension project at the county airport. County Commissioner Tom Gentile said U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, was instrumental in getting the Federal Aviation Administration to agree to an abbreviated study since a full environmental review was done several years ago, thereby reducing the cost.

Approved a three-year contract between the county Developmental Disabilities Board and the Service Employees International Union for about 35 workers at Shaffer Plaza.

The agreement calls for a 2 percent wage increase in the first year, with wage reopeners in the remaining two years.

Announced the next meeting will be held on Jan. 3.

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

 
 

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