Engineer’s Department Nets $663K in Road, Bridge Funds

Jefferson County commissioners Thursday discussed financing of the Towers building, forcing sewer connections in Pottery Addition and $663,000 in road and bridge grants obtained by the county engineer’s department.

Commissioners authorized the county auditor’s office to seek interest quotes on financing $1 million for the purchase of the Towers and for installing a new roof on the county Job and Family Services building. Commissioners agreed last month to purchase the Towers building at 500 Market St. for $750,000, plus $100,000 for four adjacent parking lots. The new roof on the county Job and Family Services building cost is estimated at $198,000.

Commissioners said they will use other funds for the demolition of the Courthouse Annex to make public parking available for people who visit the courthouse. Commissioners want to move other county offices into the Towers. The county already is paying rent at the building for county offices.

Meanwhile, commissioners will work with the county prosecutor’s office and the county health department to force 22 property owners in Pottery Addition to connect to the new sewer lines in the community. State law mandates property owners to connect buildings or houses to a sewer line when it becomes available. The county has completed the sewer work.

Most of the 22 buildings not connected are abandoned, but there are at least two homes that haven’t connected. The county’s regional planning commission has money available to assist low-income property owners with the connection fee.

The commissioners said the county will be facing similar problems in the near future when the Crestview-Belvedere sewer project is completed. Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said the residents in that area can start connecting to the sewer system in May.

Commissioners also were informed about three Ohio Public Works Commission grants on behalf of the county engineer’s department.

The county received the following grants: $361,082 grant for a bridge replacement on county Road 51, slip repair on county Road 26 and paving on various township roads; $188,000 for slip repair and resurfacing on county Road 15; and $114,083 for bridge work and paving county Road 9.