STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County commissioners on Thursday thanked the contractor and engineer for the Pottery Addition sewer project coming in nearly $200,000 under budget.
Rudzik Excavating Inc. of Struthers was the contractor, and Malcolm Pirnie of Sewickley, Pa., was the engineer.
Work on the $2.3 million project began in February. About 9,800 lineal feet of gravity sewer lines were installed serving about 110 houses and businesses.
The county connected the system to Steubenville's sewer treatment plant. Residents now are in the process of connecting homes to the sewer lines.
County Commissioner Thomas Graham said it is rare that a construction project is brought in under budget.
County Commissioner David Maple said it was a big project that was closely watched.
"We are pretty proud of our record as far as projects go. Frankly, this one was the best. You kicked butt on this. We challenged you to do the project and you responded with good work," Maple said.
County Commissioner Tom Gentile said the county looked closely at selecting an engineer and contractor for the job.
"You and your companies did a great job," he said.
Gentile said Malcolm Pirnie deserves a lot of credit for the thoroughness of the engineering plans that made work progress smoothly. He said the commissioners received a lot of compliments from Pottery Addition residents about the work done by Rudzik.
Rudzik also is the contractor for the Crestview-Belvedere sewer project currently under construction.
In other matters, Debbie Hukill, county fair board treasurer, gave the commissioners an update on the recently completed county fair.
She said about 30,000 people attended the fair throughout the week. There were more than 500 participants in the junior fair competition.
Hukill said the fair board got a lot of recognition for how it handled the hog flu that was detected at other fairs around the state. The fair board and the county health department took precautions and received praise from Dr. Tony Forshy, state veterinarian, for the proactive stand.
Commissioners also opened three requests for qualifications from architectural and engineering firms to prepare plans to upgrade the electrical system at the courthouse. The commissioners several weeks ago received no proposals.
County Engineer James Branagan will assist commissioners in reviewing the proposals.
Granted the county veterans services commissioner an additional $25,000 for payroll for the rest of the year. Ed Mascio, veterans services executive director, said raises were given to staff for the first time in several years to make the wages more competitive with other veterans services commissions.
Went on record urging the Environmental Protection Agency to give environmental approval of the sale of the RG Steel Yorkville plant to Esmark. "Anything we can do to help our local steel workers," Graham said.
Approved a contract between the Jefferson County Job and Family Services Department and National Youth Advocate Program for the housing of children under the custody of the county's children services division. Elizabeth Ferron, county Job and Family Services Department director, said the county has 17 foster homes but there has been an influx of babies born drug dependent. She said there are 23 children in the agency's custody between the ages of birth to 2, and 75 percent were born drug dependent.
Approved an Ohio Department of Youth Services $30,133 grant for the continuation of the juvenile court's drug court. Maple complemented Joseph Colabella, juvenile court administrator, for the success of the drug court. "Other counties use it as a benchmark and come here to see how it is operated," Maple said. Colabella said the drug court recently received a federal review of the local drug court, and it was ranked among the best in the state.
Accepted an $11,737 insurance settlement for an accident involving a broom truck owned by the county engineer's department. Branagan said a new broom truck will cost about $40,000.
Agreed to sell an old dump truck with a blown engine at the county engineer's department for $500 to the Salem Township trustees.
Approved a total of $126,675 in contracts with two contractors for demolition work, with funds from the county regional planning commission. The structures are located in Dillonvale, Mingo Junction, Smithfield, Wintersville, Bergholz, Rayland and Warren Township.
Approved a new three-year contract with about 40 full-time and part-time workers represented by the Service Employees International Union District 1199 at the Jefferson County Department of Developmental Disabilities. The contract calls for a 2 percent raise.