STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County commissioners were informed on Jan. 5 the green light has been given for the Pottery Addition sewer project.
David Maple, county commissioner chairman, signed the notice to proceed with the project.
Rudzik Excavating of Struthers, the second highest bidder, was awarded a $1,827,604 contract for the job.
Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said construction will start on Jan. 23 with substantial completion by July 21 and final completion by Oct. 19.
Gosbin said 9,800 lineal feet of gravity sewer lines will be installed, serving about 110 houses and businesses. No pump stations will have to be built.
The county has received $2.2 million in grants and loans for the project.
The county is under an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency mandate to install the sewers because of a faulty community septic system that is allowing raw sewage to be dumped into the Ohio River
Dave Sugar Excavating of New Middletown, the low bidder by $54,484, filed a lawsuit over the commissioners signing the contract with Rudzik. Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge David Henderson refused to grant Sugar an injunction stopping the awarding of the contract to Rudzik.
The county has reached an agreement with Steubenville to treat the sewage from Pottery Addition but the contract has not been signed.
In other matters, commissioners received a check in the amount of $310.42 from Knox Township for piggyback tax recreation money granted to the township by the commissioners and not used.
Commissioners commended Knox Township for returning the unspent money.
"It is a good sign of their fiscal responsibility," Maple said.
Commissioners approved a three-year lease extension with Innovative Groceries Inc. for office space for Dillonvale county court. The county will continue to pay $2,250 for 3,000 square feet of office space during the next three years.
Commissioners also heard from Harry Andrews of Toronto concerning the public participation requirement for persons wanting to address the commissioners.
Those wanting to speak at a Thursday commissioners' meeting must submit a request in writing prior to noon on Tuesday and state the subject to be addressed.
Andrews called it "arrogance" that the commissioners require the advance notice and do not allow persons at the meeting to address the board.
County Commissioner Thomas Graham said the public participation requirement allows for meetings to be conducted in a professional manner and allows commissioners to research questions posed by the noon Tuesday deadline during the meeting on Thursday.
Graham added the commissioners' chairman also has the discretion to recognize a person at the Thursday meeting and allow him or her to speak.
Maple said the commissioners are available after the meeting to answer questions.
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