MARIETTA - Washington County commissioners and Washington-Morgan County Community Action have entered into an agreement signed at Thursday's county commissioners meeting to assist low- to middle-income families in Washington County with broadband services.
Community Action was awarded $21,400 by the county commissioners to offer assistance to low- to middle-income families where no Internet service is available.
"This is in connection with the $100,000 broadband grant we received (from the Appalachian Regional Commission)," said Commissioner Cora Marshall.
"It's a one-time program that falls within the guidelines for the grant," said Commissioner Tim Irvine.
County households that qualify will be enrolled in and must complete Connect Ohio computer training at the Washington County Career Center.
According to Marshall, those who receive this assistance will benefit in two ways.
"They'll receive training...that otherwise they don't have," Marshall said. " And it's an opportunity to learn more about the Internet and how to use the equipment."
In addition, "End users will have access to high-speed Internet at very affordable rate," said Marshall.
Community Action will pay Smart Networks $60 for each modem, plus two months of Internet service at a monthly discounted rate of $14.99.
In other business Thursday:
* Anticipating the damage to county roads that will come when the frost thaws in early spring, county commissioners approved the county engineer's 2013 Frost Law.
The law will be effective Jan. 14 to March 30, 2013.
"This frost law is comparable to ones in previous years," said Commissioner Steve Weber. "There are weight limits in spring so (heavier vehicles) do a little less damage to county roads."
Under Ohio Revised Code, frost laws must be adopted to reduce weight limits during times of thaw and moisture.
However, special permits may be issued to the owners or operators of vehicles based on need. A special permit must be obtained from Washington County's engineering department and handling fees and overload permit fees must be paid.
The permit fee, based on gross vehicle weight, ranges from $100 for weights between 56,001 and 70,000 pounds, to $2,000 for loads more than 100,000 pounds. A $15 processing fee is charged for weights more than 28,001 pounds.
No permits are required for county and township government vehicles based within Washington County, emergency vehicles and school buses.
* A change order for $6,504.22 was approved for Joy Excavating Co. for completion of the Lauer Bridge replacement.
According to Washington County Engineer Bob Badger, the extra money reflects changes in actual quantities needed to complete the work at the unit price bid, including additional rock channel protection and #2 stone required due to soft sub grade at the site.
The original contract was for $32,117.28. The new total for Joy Excavating's work will be $38,621.50.
* In honor of the upcoming retirement of Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Susan Boyer on Monday, Washington County commissioners signed a resolution offering Boyer "congratulations on a job very well done" and "best wishes in retirement."
Boyer was appointed to fill Judge Roland W. Riggs II's unexpired term in January 1986, and served four consecutive six-year terms as judge.
"On behalf of the citizens of Washington County, (we) extend...recognition and appreciation for 26 years of exemplary service to Washington County, ...having faithfully demonstrated in her service professionalism, respect, cooperation and enthusiasm," the resolution stated.