Pipeline Easements Get OK

Ohio County will receive $634,380 for pipeline easements on property at the Wheeling-Ohio County Airport and former county farm, and $30,000 of it will go to help the village of Bethlehem pay for water system improvements.

County commissioners Tuesday approved the pipeline easements negotiated with the AMS company by county Administrator Greg Stewart and attorney Donald Tennant. Stewart announced AMS would pay the county $292,280 for the easement on the county farm property and another $342,100 for placing pipeline on the airport land, resulting in $634,380 for the county. The money is to be paid within 30 days.

Tennant noted the pipeline will be placed on ancillary grounds around the airport, then across the old county farm property. The easements involve three parcels of land at the airport and two at the county farm.

“We negotiated the location so as not to compromise the land for future development,” he said.

Bethlehem Mayor Garrett “Rhett” Daniel previously had requested funding to assist the village with improvements to its water system. The cost of the system was just over $30,000, Commissioner Randy Wharton said.

“The county commission has been fortunate in recent months to receive some revenue – not only in the form of some of these pipeline deals, but we’re going to receive some severance money,” he continued. “We’ve discussed it, and we all feel we should help some of these smaller villages with their infrastructure – especially with one-time expenses that put such a heavy burden on them. It is is such a benefit to the people who live there that this is a good investment for the county to make in the village of Bethlehem. … It will have little effect on our budget, but a great effect on theirs.”

After the executive session, members approved a motion directing Stewart and Tennant to negotiate a contract with the law firm of Bordas and Bordas regarding litigation surrounding construction at The Highlands. Members said they couldn’t discuss the matter further.