BELPRE - Belpre City Council passed the third and final reading of legislation to rezone property for a nursing home and assisted living facility to be built during its regular meeting on Monday.
Councilwoman Susan Abdella asked Mayor Mike Lorentz if the city had heard from the Ohio Department of Transportation regarding building another access road to the west end of Hill Street for the facility as previously discussed.
"I was told by someone with ODOT that they are in the process of working on this project," said former mayor and city treasurer Bill McAfee. "It looks like it is a go."
Photo by Jolene Craig
Belpre Mayor Mike Lorentz, right, and Allison Gherke, a senior at Belpre High School, look at council as she takes his seat during the annual Belpre City Council Student Government Day where students filled in for city officials and council members for the final meeting of the year on Monday.
The access road has been a topic since the Nov. 12 council meeting when the rezoning of the 48 acres was first brought up. At the time, members of council and the neighborhood voiced concern about the road access because there is only one way to get to the property and if there were to be an emergency that might be an issue.
The change in zoning is expected to be enacted on Jan. 9, 2013. At that point the procedure to begin construction can begin, said council president Will Neff.
Continuing Healthcare Solutions of Coolville owns the 48 acres of land with plans to construct a more than 50 bed live-in and 12 assisted living units facility.
The facility would add about 75 full-time jobs to the city and would take a year to build following groundbreaking.
In other business, Monday marked another year for city council to be taken over by Belpre High School seniors for the annual Student Government Day event.
About 20 members of the social studies senior class at BHS were chosen to represent city officials during the day. They began with swearing-in ceremonies Monday morning and ended with the students sitting in for council members and city officials during Monday night's council meeting.
The students performed all of the actions council members and city officials perform during the meeting.
Council also passed all three readings of a resolution to allow ODOT to complete sidewalks and other pedestrian improvements along Rockland Avenue at no cost to the city. Lorentz said council had to pass all three readings Monday because it was the final meeting of the year and ODOT asked that the legislation passed before the end of the year.
Council also reminded everyone the city has canceled the Dec. 24 meeting, as traditionally done with the last meeting of the year.