Nursing home planned for Belpre next year

BELPRE — Belpre City Council learned Monday a nursing home will be built in Belpre in 2020.

After an introduction by Mayor Mike Lorentz, council heard a presentation by Kristin Idone, director of business development and strategic partnerships for Foundations Health Solutions.

Idone said the facility, which will be named Rockland Ridge, is expected to begin construction next spring at a site in the 2500 block of Washington Boulevard, a couple of blocks from the Belpre Campus of Marietta Memorial Hospital.

The facility will have a $6.7 million construction cost, with 80 percent of the material and jobs to be sourced locally, she said. It will feature 67 beds and have 60 full-time employees with an annual payroll of $2.5 million.

Idone said Foundation is talking with local hospitals to see if there are any specialties the new center can provide that fill gaps in the current community offerings and will not be competing

In other business, council amended and approved the final reading of a resolution regarding the 2019 supplemental appropriations budget. Council member Susan Abdella said the appropriations, which involved various line items in the city budget, totaled $72,144. That included $25,000 for the Belpre Volunteer Fire Department for required equipment testing before the end of the year which was added at Monday’s meeting to the appropriations.

Council also approved all three readings of a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a contract with Burton Planning Services LLC. Council previously approved funding for the project jointly with the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority.

The authority and the city want to collect information on programs and services that Belpre can use in economic development and planning. That ranges from determining the city’s utility base to developable properties to other types of opportunities available in the community.

Council’s Economic Development Committee will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday, while the Rules Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Oct. 28.

Council received an invitation to a Meet the Candidates event at 7 p.m. Thursday organized by the Belpre Woman’s Club at Belpre Elementary School.