Washington County projects need funds

MARIETTA – Projects in Belpre, Beverly and Dart are expected to move forward into the application phase for funding.

Washington County commissioners conducted a brief public hearing Thursday morning on the three projects and the application. No one came to the session to dispute or support anything on the application or any of the projects.

Belpre plans to raze a dilapidated building at 1002 Washington Blvd, near the Kroger entrance, at a cost of $5,000. The building’s roof is caving in and it is an eyesore, officials said.

In Beverly, Mayor Rex Kenyon is crossing his fingers his village doesn’t need the two new stationary generators before the village will be able to buy them after the first of the year. The water treatment facility has no generators.

“If we had a power shortage like we had in 2012 with no power for a day and half, and it hadn’t come on before the tanks went dry, the village would have lost water for residents, businesses and fire protection. The firefighters would have been forced to pump water from the Muskingum River,” Kenyon said.

“The generators would provide a pressure system to have water (service) continue during a power outage,” Kenyon said. “We’ll get along without it (for now) and hope we don’t have any major catastrophe.”

The Little Muskingum Volunteer Fire Department plans to replace its ambulance with one that is four-wheel drive at a cost of $132,106. The commissioners will pay $58,400. The remaining $73,706 is coming from the fire department.

Michelle Hyer, developmental specialist 3 with Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District, said the application is due June 21 to the Ohio Development Service Agency.

The application then goes into a review phase, and if the application is complete, a grant agreement is expected Oct. 1, which means funds are available. Next, an environmental review, a requirement which takes about three months, looks at the effect on the environment, including animals or plants, takes into account floodplain regulations and solicits public comment.

“We are probably looking at January before any of the projects can get started,” Hyer said.

Every year, Buckeye Hills conducts a training session in February and releases the applications to the townships or villages to apply for funds. The applications were due in April to the country.

Because the money was cut so drastically by the state budget cuts, Hyer said, only three applications were submitted to the county.