Interest rate drop costly for Washington County

MARIETTA – The Washington County commissioners learned Thursday the interest rate in the county’s depository account will be dropping.

Halfway through the commissioners’ four-year contract with Peoples Bank, the bank has readjusted the county’s depository interest rate, as it was entitled to per the contract.

The adjustment from a 1.15 percent to a 0.35 percent interest rate will be effective May 10, according to a letter from Peoples Bank.

“Do we need to act on this?” asked Washington County Commissioner Tim Irvine.

The letter specified that the county now has the right to rebid its depository account with another institution.

However, state law might preclude that, noted Washington County Commissioner David White.

“We would have to check with the prosecutor’s office. The Ohio Revised Code says this is a quadrennial contract, but it’s something we might look into,” said White.

The changed rate will cost the county an estimated $153,660 this year and $120,000 next year, said Paul Cunningham, Washington County administrator.

In other business Thursday:

* The replacement of the Baker Bridge in Grandview Township is moving forward, with the commissioners approving the contract for the project Thursday.

County Engineer Roger Wright had advised the commissioners to approve the contract with Bartlett-based Tom Mayle & Sons Construction, which submitted the lowest bid for the project at $130,411.

According to the bid specifications, the amount covers labor, equipment and materials for the bridge on Washington County 9.

* The commissioners opened bids Thursday for the purchase of two 60-passenger school buses, with wheelchair lifts, to be used by the Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

“We got three bids, all pretty close, but with vehicles you have to look at what accessories are included,” said White.

Cardinal Bus Sales & Service Inc. put in the lowest bid at $79,780 per bus, but that bid did not include any options, such as air conditioning or tinted windows, said county clerk Rick Peoples.

A $82,775 bid per bus from Marietta Truck Sales & Service Inc. also included no options.

The final bid from Edwin H. Davis & Son Inc. included some options and was $89,052 per bus.

The bids will be analyzed by Dave Carpenter, the board’s director of transportation.

The funding for the buses will come from the Board of Developmental Disability’s annual operating budget, said Peoples.

* The commissioners agreed to add their signatures to a letter that will be sent to all 22 townships requesting funding on behalf of The Ohio State University Extension Office’s community development program. Having the request letter come from the commissioners possibly holds more weight with the townships, said community development program specialist Darlene Lukshin.

“We think it looks more encouraging coming from you,” she said.

The townships have been supportive of funding the program, with all 22 contributing toward funding last year. This year the community development program is requesting $10,129 from the townships, which in turn benefit through help finding, writing and submitting grant applications, said Lukshin.