Boys and Girls Club starts program in Belpre

Rebecca Johnson, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Marietta, speaks at Monday’s meeting of Belpre City Council about a new program the club will be offering in Belpre with the start of the school year in August. (Photo by Wayne Towner)

BELPRE — The Boys and Girls Club of Washington County will be offering a satellite program in Belpre beginning with the new school year in August.

Rebecca Johnson, executive director of the club in Marietta, gave a report at Monday’s meeting of Belpre City Council regarding the new program.

Johnson said the new Belpre program will be an “impact site” at Belpre Church of the Nazarene on Putnam Howe Drive. It will be capped during the first year at 30 students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

The program will be held after school hours and the club has discussed transportation assistance with the Belpre City Schools administration, she said. The school year will begin Aug. 14 in Belpre and Johnson hopes to have everything ready to go at that time for the new program.

There will be a $3 daily fee to participate in the program, although students in the free or reduced lunch program may qualify for scholarships, Johnson said. Volunteers are being lined up and all staff and volunteers will go through the Boys and Girls Club’s mandatory background check.

In other business, Council member Judy Drake said the Republican Party Central Committee responsible for filling the council president vacancy left by Will Neff’s retirement has a meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. July 9 in Belpre Council Chambers. Two people have expressed interest in the position so far, she said.

Mayor Mike Lorentz said the process of eliminating bottlenecks for the Dominion Gas issues is underway. City officials met with gas company representatives on June 20 to discuss rights of way and routes for the installation of a natural gas line which helps address the natural gas shortage in Belpre which is slowing potential economic development.