STEUBENVILLE - Jefferson County commissioners next week are expected to decide whether to again extend the deadline for Crestview-Belvedere residents to connect their homes to the new sewer system.
Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, asked the commissioners Thursday for direction on whether to extend the connection deadline.
Commissioners Tom Gentile and Dave Maple decided to delay a decision one week because of the absence of county Commissioner Thomas Graham from Thursday's meeting.
Gosbin said more than half of the 334 homes in the Crestview-Belvedere area have connected to the system. The deadline for making the connection is Jan. 15.
Gosbin said notices to make the sewer connections were mailed in July, with the original deadline set for October. Commissioners then extended the deadline 90 days.
Commissioners could extend the deadline again, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which provided grants and loans for the $10 million project, wants the county to begin collecting sewer bills to pay for part of the loan. Residents also had to pay a $6,500 tap-in fee.
Gosbin said the list of homes not connected to the sewer system will be turned over to the county health department for enforcement if the commissioners don't extend the connection deadline.
Gentile said there was a list of contractors provided by the county water and sewer department to do the connections from the home to the sewer system but many residents chose the same contractor, who is behind in making the connections. Gentile said there are residents who haven't entered into an agreement with a contractor to make the sewer connection.
In other matters, commissioners discussed an agreement with Steubenville to demolish the county's former animal shelter located near the city's old landfill. The city owns the ground on which the building sits. Domenick Mucci, city mayor and acting city manager, said the city will arrange for an asbestos analysis at the county's expense.
The city will then prepare specifications for the demolition of the old animal shelter, constructed in the late 1960s.
The county built a new animal shelter more than two years ago at the county airport.
Commissioners also agreed to apply for a $600,000 brownfield grant through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of the county's regional planning commission. The grant agreement includes the cities of Toronto and Steubenville and the villages of Mingo Junction and Yorkville. The county received a $1 million brownfield assessment grant from the federal EPA in 2009.
Commissioners, in a letter to the federal EPA, said the economic development of the area with the oil and gas industry would benefit from the grant money.
- Were informed the county's juvenile court received a $36,667 grant from the Ohio Department of Youth Services for the continuation of the court's drug-court program.
- Approved an additional $10,250 in engineering fees to Burgess & Niple in the design of a bridge project on county Road 39. County Engineer James Branagan said property easement will be needed for the project, increasing the engineering costs by $10,250 to a new total of $213,060.