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Making paying taxes easier

June 15, 2012
By MARK LAW - Staff writer (mlaw@heraldstaronline.com.) , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - County Treasurer Raymond M. Agresta asked the county commissioners Thursday for permission to install a drop box on the sidewalk outside the courthouse so residents can drop off tax payments.

Agresta said there is a problem finding parking near the courthouse. He said people, especially senior citizens, pay their real estate taxes in person and may have difficulty climbing the steps and going through the metal detector at the courthouse.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham agreed, saying the courthouse is not the easiest to get in and out of because of only one entrance being open due to security reasons.

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Jefferson County taxpayers could get dropbox

Agresta said he will work with county Engineer James Branagan to install the drop box on the sidewalk along Court Alley. He said the drop box also could be used by the county auditor's office for people dropping off payment for a dog license.

Agresta said his office will buy the drop box. County Commissioner Tom Gentile said the commissioners will use other funds to have it installed.

Gentile wants to make sure the security cameras outside the courthouse have a good view of the drop box.

County Commissioner David Maple was absent from the meeting.

In other matters, Graham said Smithfield has approached the commissioners with an offer for the county to take over the village's water system.

Smithfield owes the county more than $100,000 for water purchased from the county. The commissioners had offered to take over the system and forgive the debt but village officials initially refused.

Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said the village this week had a major water break that drained the village's water tank. Gosbin said the county had to send crews to help fix the break.

Commissioners also signed contracts between the county Job and Family Services Department and the Community Action Council. One contract is for youth employment programs in the amount of $193,538, which will serve about 55 youth.

The second contract is for dislocated and adult job training services in the amount of $487,654, which will serve 54 adults and 70 dislocated workers.

Commissioners approved road-use agreements for gas drilling operations at the request of Branagan.

Hess Ohio Resources signed a road-use agreement on county Road 26 in Cross Creek Township. The other two road-use agreements are with Chesapeake Exploration for two wells on Springfield Township Road 267.

The road-use agreements call for improvements to be made to the road prior to drilling operations beginning in exchange for the county engineer's department waiving road bond requirements and waiving reduced weight hauling amounts in the spring in the frost-thaw season.

Branagan noted Chesapeake appears to be slowing down on drilling operations in the county and is concentrating on the northwest section of the county, where a pipeline is under construction.

Branagan also prepared a request for qualifications for architects and electrical engineers to prepare specifications for work on the main electrical service into the courthouse.

Graham announced a ceremony will be held at noon Monday on the courthouse steps to recognize the 200th anniversary of the start of the War of 1812.

Gosbin announced individual connections to houses in Pottery Addition have begun as part of the county's sewer project. Graham announced the city and county next Thursday will sign an agreement for the city to treat the sewage.

Commissioners announced the hiring of Brian J. Bowman and Shawn Losey, both of Wintersville, for laborer positions at the county water and sewer department. Gosbin said it is the first hiring at the department in six years. Gentile said there were a lot of qualified applicants for the positions.

Commissioners helped conduct the final interviews for the candidates.

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

 
 

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