STEUBENVILLE – After depleting all but $ 3 from the first round of coronavirus relief funding, Jefferson County Commissioners have taken another step toward hiring a consultant to help oversee and administer the next rounds of funding.
Commissioners did not waste the remaining $ 3 from the CARES Act, however, and suggested the money could go to M&M Hardware hand sanitizer and add it to a larger overall order.
Between the initial funding for the CARES Act and the subsequent funding for the American Rescue Plan Act, the county received approximately $ 20 million. These funds are available in stages and although the CARES Act funds are depleted, there is approximately $ 6 million in ARPA funds left now and an additional $ 6 million for next year.
If the commissioners have what they want, someone will help oversee the convoluted and still unclear guidelines regarding the allocation and monitoring of this money.
Commissioner Thomas Graham has appointed fellow Commissioner Dave Maple to work with Jefferson County Auditor EJ Conn and others to come up with a framework for a request for proposal to find an ARP fund administrator.
“I’m sure there are other counties that have started to think about it”, Conn talked about reaching out to others to see what they might have in place. Maple said he already had some ideas on what he wanted to see.
The three commissioners agreed to cast a wide net.
“Would a local lawyer be interested in this?” “ Commissioner Tony Morelli asked Conn and Mike Warren, also from the auditor’s office.
“There are maybe some who will probably find out and be able to put together projects”, Conn said. However, the time required can be considerable.
“I think the time they will have to devote to herd management on some of these big projects is going to be important”, Conn added.
“I think they (a lawyer or anyone interested in the job) decide”, Graham said. “I mean, if we put it out and the local entities want to apply… they put their information together like everyone else if they’re interested. “
“It would be nice to know which countries have tendered and get copies of what they have done” Conn said.
The commissioners will come together and study any information gathered before deciding on the language of their own tender, and then bring the idea to the public.
Jeanette Evans spoke to commissioners at a proposed site for a drug addiction clinic in Wintersville, but her presentation may have been moot, according to Morelli.
At the November 14 meeting, Morelli shared what he saw as good news in the fact that Landmark Recovery, a company with a nationwide presence, was bringing an inpatient treatment center to the county and considering a building. adjacent to Jefferson County. Christian School.
Evans expressed concern about the facility’s proximity to the school and worried about the amount of traffic involved. Evans had part of the revised Ohio code in his PowerPoint presentation and suggested that the code states that a drug addiction center should be at least 500 feet from a school.
Morelli said he had a phone conversation with officials at Landmark Recovery and told Evans, “There’s a good chance they won’t come – probably a better chance than not.”
The complication came from the fact that Landmark Recovery got the wrong building classification from officials in Wintersville, and the company would likely move to other locations due to potential delays, according to Morelli.
Morelli, who has campaigned on the issue of finding solutions and ways to tackle drug addiction, said he still believed some sort of treatment or rehabilitation center was needed.
“We have problems here and we want to solve them” Morelli said.
“I guess as a Christian organization you would like to help these people and see them get help to some extent”, Graham told Evans.
While Evans said she believed a treatment center was needed, location was the concern.
Maple and Morelli stressed that the building will likely be purchased at some point and that Commissioners have no say in who buys it and what the company may involve.
“I just want to reiterate that we are not the approving authority and we do not zone”, Maple said.
Evans said she was on the agenda for the Wintersville council meeting on Thursday night.
At the start of Thursday’s meeting, the commissioners opened bids for the modernization of the Ridgeland wastewater treatment plant. Bids ranged from $ 1.27 million to $ 1.5 million.
Water and Sewer Director Michael Eroshevich said the estimate was $ 1,485,000.
Offers will be forwarded to ARCADIS, the county water and sewer district engineering consulting firm, for further review and recommendation.