Belpre deals with Farson Street landslips

BELPRE — Belpre City Council approved an emergency resolution to deal with a pair of landslips on Farson Street at Monday’s regular meeting.

Council unanimously approved all three readings of a resolution accepting the best low bid for the repair project and giving the safety-service director authority to enter into the contract.

Mayor Mike Lorentz said the slips are on the section of Farson Street north of Ohio 7 as the road begins to ascend the hillside in that area. They began to slip during the spring of 2018, during a period of constant rainfall which caused multiple groundslips throughout Washington County, he said.

The city of Belpre, Belpre Township and Washington County combined their efforts on the Farson Street slips project and were approved for $119,000 in FEMA funding for the project. Lorentz said the project has already been bid out and the contractor, R.C. Construction, has been approved.

Monday’s council action now allows the contractor to place the project on its schedule of upcoming work projects. Lorentz said council’s emergency approval means that can occur as soon as possible, although he didn’t have a firm timeline Monday night. He also didn’t yet know how long the work would take and how much of an impact it might have on traffic flow during the construction period.

In other action, council heard from Anne Goon, MS, RD, LD, health commissioner for the Marietta-Belpre Health board, regarding the board’s annual report which she presented to council for the first time since both cities combined their health departments in 2018.

The Marietta/Belpre City Health District has its basis in Ohio Revised Code and is governed by a Board of Health, whose members are appointed by the mayors of both cities. State law requires the board to report and take measures to control disease, enforce state public health laws, and promote health and well-being within Marietta and Belpre.

It is responsible for the health district’s budget and must employ a health commissioner to serve as the chief executive officer of the agency. Goon is responsible for administering the public health programs of the district, managing day-to-day agency operations, and performing functions and duties imposed by law and rules, regulations and orders of the Board of Health and the Ohio Department of Health.

At the mayor’s request, council approved re-appointing Dr. Joel Whitaker to another three-year term as Belpre’s representative on the health board.

Council member Penne Riffle told council the Belpre Area Veterans will conduct an American flag retirement ceremony from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at Howes Grove Park at 1614 Washington Blvd. in Belpre. The event will be held weather permitting. The public is invited to bring unserviceable flags to the park for proper disposal.

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