County Approves Project Funding

The Ohio County Commission chose its officers Wednesday and welcomed its newest member – Orphy Klempa – to his first meeting.

Klempa won the seat during the November general election, replacing David Sims who was appointed circuit court judge. During the few months leading up to the election, Wheeling resident John Clarke was chosen by Commissioners Tim McCormick and Randy Wharton to fill the seat temporarily. Clarke was appointed and did not seek election to the seat.

”I plan on doing the best I can for the commission and for the citizens of Ohio County,” Klempa said.

Wharton noted Klempa has always been a ”great friend.”

”And you will be a good commissioner,” he added.

McCormick echoed Wharton’s comments, congratulating Klempa and wishing him a happy new year.

”Welcome aboard,” he said.

McCormick was chosen to be president of the commission, while Wharton will fill the vice president role.

Meanwhile, commissioners approved funding requests for two municipalities’ infrastructure projects. The town of West Liberty requested $48,400 to pay for the installation of Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant sidewalks. And the village of Valley Grove asked for $40,000 for a new pump house. The money will be taken from the county’s existing pipeline fee fund, which Administrator Greg Stewart estimated has about $100,000 remaining in it.

In other business, the commission approved leasing space for storage of various county department records for $2,950 a month from Just Us Inc. at 2200 Main St. The county will use the second floor, 11,000 square feet, of the Wonder Bread building. For many years, various department heads have complained about the lack of available space for storage of records, many of which, by law, must be kept for several years or forever. Stewart hopes the extra space will help alleviate such issues.