Senior Services Divides Officials

The Belmont County Commission on Wednesday voted 2-1 to establish a senior services department that will operate under the auspices of the commission.

Commission President Ginny Favede and Commissioner Charles R. Probst Jr. voted for the measure while Commission Vice President Matt Coffland voted against.

Under the agreement, effective Nov. 1, the contracts with the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services will transfer to the Belmont County commissioners, through Feb. 28, 2014, and will include the following agencies: Helping Hands and Warm Hearts LLC; Interim Health Care of SE Ohio Inc.; Advanced Home Health Inc.; Medical Services of America Inc.; Medi Home Private Care and Just Right Homecare Inc.

In conjunction with the department, the commissioners approved the hiring of a full-time program administrator effective Nov. 1 at an annual salary of $47,885; a full-time fiscal administrator effective Oct. 21 at an annual salary of $40,000 and a full-time senior center coordinator effective Nov. 1 at a rate of $10 per hour.

Coffland noted his opposition to the establishment of a senior services department.

In related business, commissioners approved a measure to pay $21,572.38 to Digital Data Communications for a server, computer hardware and software and necessary user licenses for the senior services of Belmont County.

The quote does not include installation and labor. Coffland voted against that measure as well.

In other matters, Ronald DeNoon visited commissioners to discuss illegal dumping and criminal activity along Ohio 148, near Powhatan Point.

He suggested the installation of a guardrail and was informed that would be an Ohio Department of Transportation issue.

Also approved was a measure to seek a registered nurse for the county jail.