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Runway bid opened after delay

June 14, 2013
By MARK LAW - Staff writer (mlaw@heraldstaronline.com) , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - Bids were opened Thursday by the Jefferson County commissioners for the runway extension project at the Jefferson County Airpark.

But the opening was delayed about 30 minutes because the engineer for the project didn't have an exact estimate for the work. The county received $1.5 million in state grants for the project, with the county contributing $500,000.

An engineer with Michael Baker Jr. Inc., the engineering firm, said there had been numerous changes made to the project to ensure it came in under budget. After a delay, the engineer and representatives of the county airport authority returned with an estimate of $2.17 million.

Commissioner David Maple said he was concerned about not having an estimate because commissioners are forced to reject bids if the bids are more than 10 percent over the engineer's estimate.

Six companies bid on either electrical, earthwork or paving. The airport authority now will review the bids and make a recommendation.

Commissioners also heard complaints from residents in the Crestview-Belvedere area about reconstruction work not being properly completed by Rudzik Excavating after the installation of sewers.

The residents said topsoil and grass seeding wasn't properly done, and yards are in worse condition after the job. The county had an agreement with residents that the yards would be restored to the same condition after construction.

Commissioner Tom Gentile said there appears to be a recurring theme with Rudzik - the company did a good job installing the sewers but isn't doing as good of a job in restoration of yards.

Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said there are about 10 property owners making the poor restoration claims out of 430 property owners in the project area.

Anthony Recinella of 225 Hilda Circle, Bloomingdale, said there are many more residents upset over the yard restorations but believe nothing will be done if they complain.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham said the commissioners will continue to investigate the complaints.

"We aren't going to let this sit," he said.

Commissioners said they won't pay the remaining 10 percent owed on the contract until the restoration issues are resolved by Rudzik.

Commissioners also met in executive session with six employees of the Jefferson County Job and Family Services, Children Services Division, concerning complaints about Elizabeth Ferron, agency director.

Ferron wasn't present at the commissioners' meeting on Thursday.

Commissioners also discussed a verbal contract with Miller Septic, which exchanges pumping services at county sewage treatment plants and in other areas of the system in exchange for dumping septic waste at the county's sewage treatment plants. The verbal agreement dates back to the late 1990s.

Commissioners received a letter from another septic pumping business wanting to dump septic waste at the county's sewage treatment plant but was told the county's water and sewer department won't allow it.

Only Weirton's sewage treatment plant allows septic haulers to dump waste. Other sewage treatment plants in Steubenville, Toronto, Brilliant, Wintersville and Mingo Junction do not allow the practice, according to Gosbin. She noted the county's sewage treatment plants currently operate above permitted capacity.

Gosbin said Miller Septic has served the county well over the years under the verbal agreement.

Graham noted the board doesn't operate under verbal agreements.

Commissioners also:

- Agreed to advertise on behalf of the county's regional planning commission for Community Development Block Grant sidewalk replacement projects in Adena, Rayland and Richmond and a paving project in Richmond.

- Agreed to provide $5,719 in funding to the county fair board to purchase a brush hog from Kuester Implement to cut brush on county fairgrounds. The fair board obtained five quotes for the equipment.

- Proclaimed Saturday as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on behalf of the county's Job and Family Services Department.

- Entered into five contracts on behalf of the county Job and Family Services Department to house children with special needs at facilities outside the county. The per-day cost ranges from $99 to $360.

- Entered into a contract with the Steubenville Health Department at a cost of $3,244 to inspect 17 home day care providers in the city. County job and family services inspects home day care providers outside the city.

- Entered into a contract between county juvenile court and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services for court services to children meeting income guidelines. The two-year agreement allows the county juvenile court to recoup up to $1.5 million a year for the services. Joseph Colabella, juvenile court administrator, said the court receives between $600,000 and $1 million a year.

 
 

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