Housing Units Cater to Seniors; Parking Being Studied

When you reach the age of senior citizenry and the children have left the nest, would it not be a dream to have a new home with an attached two-car garage and not have to worry about shoveling the snow in the winter?

Likewise, would it not be just as enjoyable to have such a home with a well-kept lawn and not have to worry about the weekly chore of mowing, trimming or doing other heavy yard work?

Such a housing development has been plotted. Earthmoving and construction should be started in the very near future with completion anticipated before the end of this year.

John Goodman, president of Harvey Goodman Realtor, has completed plans for such a housing development on a six-acre site along historic National Road at its junction with Mills Road, about a mile west of St. Clairsville.

“With the development of Richland Pines,” Goodman explained, “I’m targeting the senior community. I have had many requests from people who want homes with just one floor.”

He pointed out these are people who are tired of two-story residences where they have to climb stairs and they’re also tired of high ceilings that cause higher heating and cooling bills.

“These detached units, 14 of them ranging in size from 1,600 to 2,200 square feet, will be on one level with three bedrooms, two or two and one-half bathrooms and a two-car attached garage.” Even though all of the units will have a basement, Goodman said the laundry room will be situated on the main floor and not the lower level.

“These will be more modern units with bigger bathrooms and bigger bedrooms. And they won’t have the 9-foot ceilings,” Goodman noted. The development will be served by a homeowners association which will be responsible for getting rid of the snow in winter and mowing the lawns in the summer. He added that heavy yard work will be done by an outside concern.

Goodman said the new units will be ideal for residents who want to downsize from the homes in which they reared their families and now are retiring or are close to retirement age. “I started working on this project three years ago.” He added that the homes will be in the $250,000 range.

The entire subdivision covers six acres and each of the 14 units will be on a lot measuring approximately a quarter of an acre in size. It is situated on the west side of Mills Road.

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The white squirrel saga continues. An email received last week contained the following brief message: “Sorry for your loss…BUT we are enjoying daily midmorning visits … Greentree Area: The Galbreaths.”

To prove their claims, accompanying the email were two photos of four squirrels – two white ones and two gray – cavorting around a feeder on a fence in their yard.

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In answer to the parking situation outlined here last week, Belmont County Commissioner Matt Coffland had a quick response: “I’ve been working on that parking problem about six months … to repair the crumbling wall on Newell Avenue and to possibly get some additional parking.”

But that was not his initial venture. He produced an aerial photograph of a vacant lot which contained an architect’s outline of a parking lot development at the corner of Newell Avenue and N. Market Street, directly behind the former Thoburn Church building.

He said the plan was drawn up several months ago.

“I couldn’t recommend going ahead with this project,” he declared. To establish a lot with a maximum of 14 parking places would cost $40,000, according to the engineer’s estimate. “I couldn’t justify spending $40,000 to create just 14 parking places,” Coffland exclaimed.

At a glance the lot looks as though more than 14 parking places could be established but Coffland said city regulations and setback requirements had to be followed in establishing a new lot and that takes up a large portion of the space.

In regard to the two parking lots directly behind the courthouse, Coffland said he met at the site with Bill Street of Street Engineering & Surveying recently and a tentative plan was reached to repair the collapsed wall bordering Newell Avenue .

“We also agreed the back wall of the lot could be moved back several feet to expand the lot.” Coffland said Street’s firm has already begun plans for the repairs, expansion and paving the lot. “It’ll be a little bigger lot with more parking spots and improved access and exit.” In addition, he said, consideration is being given to having permit parking in both lots to insure access by county employees..

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Even though six days had passed before receiving one of my Father’s Day gifts, it was one that was very welcome and a most enjoyable one: My daughter, Sara, treated me to a trip to see my first Pittsburgh Pirates game this year.

It was strictly a father-daughter occasion. Sara got only two tickets so Mommy had to stay home to watch the game on TV. And it proved to be great game because the Pirates tamed the Detroit Tigers to continue their winning ways and remain in the upper level of the league standings.

Being at the game was totally fun in all respects. But there was one drawback prior to the game – getting to PNC Park. We left St. Clairsville in plenty of time to arrive more than an hour before game time so we’d have time to roam around and see the sights. But it wasn’t to happen. When we got to the ramp from I-79 to the Parkway leading to the stadium, we stopped dead in a double line of traffic that extended to the Fort Pitt Tunnel and downtown Pittsburgh.

It was only 2:15 p.m. then and the game wasn’t scheduled to start until 4:05. We moved at a very discouraging snail’s pace. At that rate, I told Sara we probably would arrive at the game around the third inning. She was more confident and positive.

The problem was the ramps to the North Shore and the stadium were closed. We finally pulled into the downtown area and decided to park in a garage there. That was a good move. We walked across the Clemente Bridge (a first for Sara) and arrived in the park just as the Tigers recorded their third out in the first inning.

From there on, it was fun.

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On the same day that some residents of Richland Township spotted a black bear romping through the area, I caught a rare glimpse of another wild animal not seen too often in this area. While driving on Mills Road about a mile south of National Road, a beautiful red fox made a swift dash across the road about 50 feet in front of my car. It quickly disappeared into the dense thicket.

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Some of the job seekers who attended the recent Ohio Valley Regional Oil & Gas Jobs Expo at the Carnes Center were offered employment but turned it down.

A recruiter at the Ohio Cat exhibit told me jobs were offered to those who contacted them “but they did not want to move. We have operations and job openings all over the state but some of the people we talked to just don’t want to move away.” She indicated there are openings in the northern part of the state and in the central and western areas – places too distant for daily commute.

Ohio Cat was one of 18 firms that took part in the Expo which the sponsors said was a success. A total of 900 job seekers registered to attend the event.

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Have a safe, enjoyable Independence Day.

Al Molnar can be reached via email at:amole0420@aol.com.