Two options open for excess money from CDBG project

An excess amount of money from one project in the 2013 Community Development Block Grant funds allowed Washington County Commissioners to redistribute the funds to still-open projects Thursday morning.

Michelle Hyer, development specialist III for Buckeye Hills, said a demolition project on Washington Boulevard in Belpre came in under the expected price.

“The bids came in way under; we weren’t going to have to pay out as much as we thought because there was no asbestos in that building,” she said. “We have a remaining balance in that line item of $2,510.”

Hyer said two options are open.

“We can move the money to the Little Muskingum Volunteer Fire Department, to purchase the squad,” she said. “So it would just lighten their local match by $2,510. Their current allocation is $58,400. Or you could move the balance to administration, which is for Buckeye Hills and the commissioners to use for advertising expenses, processing purchase orders and payments to contractors and vendors. Those are the only two projects, two line items, that are still open.”

Commissioners ultimately opted to put $2,000 into the fire department’s project and $500 into administration.

Hyer said the squad is ready, payment just needs to be made before it can be delivered. The total for the squad is $132,106, with the fire department expected to pay $73,706.

Commissioners David White and Tim Irvine voted yes while President Ron Feathers voted no, saying he wanted all the money to go to the fire department.

Hyer said she would get an amendment letter together, authorizing the movement of money from the Belpre project into the fire department and administration line items.

In other business, Levi Morrow, agriculture and natural resources program director for the Washington County Ohio State Extension office, met with commissioners to share program activities.

Since the beginning of the year Morrow said he’d had about 20 meetings with a reach of 970 people. An important soil and water meeting was held in January.

“We did a manure management meeting,” said Morrow. “It was more over managing the nutrients that come out of the manure, so trying to get these guys to do manure sampling tests and figuring out what’s in their manure so they can offset the cost of their production costs and commercial fertilizers…So many of the guys were just going out and applying the manure, not taking into account what nutrients they were putting on their fields.”

Morrow said excess nutrients can translate into water quality issues quickly.

“It’s kind of hitting two sides of things: trying to help them save money; it’ll lower production costs and trying at the same time to improve water quality,” he said, adding that the meeting entailed how to apply the manure and when to apply it to avoid runoff issues.

Washington County has about 2,400 dairy cows producing 52,800 tons of manure a year, which doesn’t take into account the 17,800 beef cattle in the county.

Morrow said another meeting dealt with the beef industry, which totals $5.9 million across the county.