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County grants Fairboard request for funding

By Carol McIntire

The racetrack underpass at the county fairgrounds could soon be “re-installed” thanks to a donation from Carroll County Commissioners.

On Monday, commissioners granted a request made by Fair Board President Ed Trushel Feb. 20 to provide half the cost of a new box culvert ($8,500) to be installed where the former underpass was torn down.

Trushel said Carroll County Engineer Brian Wise deemed the old underpass “unsafe” after last year’s county fair and donated his department’s time and materials earlier in February to tear it down.  Trushel produced a paper with Wise’s figures noting it cost his department $2,268.57 to tear out the old cement structure. He said the time and equipment was an “in kind donation,” made in exchange for the fair board allowing the county to use barn space for storage.

“Originally, we were just going to put a culvert in there to drain the water from the centerfield,” explained Trushel. “Then we found out we really need the underpass for handicap and ambulance access to the back side of the fairgrounds.”

Trushel said the lowest price he found for a replacement is $16,775 for an aluminum “vehicle underpass” measuring 12 feet wide, 11 feet tall and 40.5 feet long from Pipeliners of East Liverpool.

“They told me it will hold the weight of a semi with 18 inches of cover on it,” Trushel said.

Commissioner Bob Wirkner asked Trushel about the lifespan of an aluminum structure.

“Aluminum are usually lifers,” Trushel replied.

“We appreciate the money you grant us each year,” Trushel said of funds which are deposited into the fair board’s general fund.

“This is the first time in the 26 years I’ve been on the fair board that I’ve been here asking for money. We would be grateful for whatever you can give us; half of it or all of it.”

Ohler said he viewed the project as an emergency need for the fair board. “I’d call it an emergency need for the entire community,” Trushel added.

See COMMISSOINERS, A-Trushel said the highway department is willing to install the new structure, but it must be done before the weather breaks because Wise told him the men will be busy with road projects at that time.

In other business, commissioners:
-AGREED to borrow funds from Huntington Bank of Carrollton for the purchase of police cruisers and voting equipment for the Board of Elections on Thursday and then rescinded the Motion Monday agreed to a lease with Huntington. Ohler said payments for a loan from the two departments must be deposited into the general fund and would not be available to make payments until the county auditor determines the county has met anticipated income for the year and recertifies available funds; usually in the last couple months of the year. With a lease, Ohler said that is not the case.  Interest rates are 2.1 percent for cruisers and 2.57 percent for Board of Elections equipment.

Ohler also said the cruisers were not built as was previously reported by Sheriff Dale Williams when commissioners Tom Wheaton and Wirker voted to lease the vehicles from Ford Credit. That motion was rescinded Thursday prior to agreeing to a loan with Huntington Bank.

-ADVISED they were notified by AEP Ohio Transmission Company of plans to construct 1.35 miles of overhead 138 kilovolt electric transmission line to serve the natural gas processing facility to be build in Leesville. The steel pole construction line will require a 100-foot right-of-way. The matter is before the Ohio Public Siting Board.

-RELEASED the names of 24 applicants for the office manager position vacated last Friday at Heather Campbell. Campbell was hired last September and the title changed from clerk to office manager. Commissioners said they will begin scoring the 24 applicants next week and then conduct interviews.

-APPROVED the continuation of existing tax abatements for Colfor Manufacturing (expires in 2016), Seven Ranges (expires in 2015) and JoMac (expires in 2014).

-WERE visited by officials of the Carroll Soil and Water Conservation District who presented their annual report and introduced Josh Britten, who was recently hired as a watershed specialist for Carroll and Harrison counties under a grant agreement with the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

-GRANTED a request for an additional $12,000 in appropriations from the Carroll County office of Ohio State University Extension.

-MET in executive session with Economic Development Director Aaron Dodds and his assistant, Tana McClelland.

-AGREED to contract with Fritz Leighty for the administration of the CDBG Formula program since the program is transferring to an Internet system this year from a paper-based reporting system. Wheaton noted normally commissioners bid the administration of the program, but noted there is not time this year as a meeting is scheduled this Friday at Columbus where information will be distributed. Commissioners have completed administration of the program in-house for the past few years.

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