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Commissioners deny request for cellphones

The Washington County Board of Commissioners live streamed their first meeting Thursday after gatherings of more than 10 people were banned. Once the meetings stream, they are put on the commissioners’ YouTube channel, which is available through the board’s page on washingtongov.org.

Cindy Thomas, director of Washington County Family and Children First, submitted a request for the commission to approve monthly stipends of $40 per person for two personal cellphones for employees.

The employees are the service coordinator and wraparound facilitator.

Washington County Probate Judge Tim Williams asked the commission why stipends would be paid for these employees, when he uses his personal cellphone with no reimbursement.

“This will essentially pay for that person’s entire phone that they’re going to have anyway, whether it’s needed for the job or not,” he said. “I guess I’m not sure this is something the county should pay.”

Commissioner David White agreed with the judge.

He said that when he became a commissioner eight years ago, the county wanted to provide him with a cellphone. His personal phone had unlimited talk, so there was no need to for two phones.

“I see no reason why we should pay this,” he said.

The request was unanimously rejected.

Washington County Engineer Roger Wright submitted for approval bid specifications for the emergency repair of five landslips on Bells Run Road and one landslip on Sheets Run Road.

The estimated cost of the repairs is $290,788.42 and will be funded through the Motor Vehicle and Gas Tax. The bid opening is set for April 14 in the engineer’s office. The entire project is expected to be finished by Aug. 1.

In other commission news, a resolution was passed that mirrors an executive order passed by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine on March 9 which declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Washington County Board of Commissioners declares that a State of Emergency exists in the county and shall take effect immediately until the emergency no longer exists,” the resolution states.

The next regular meeting of the board of commissioners will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday at 1115 Gilman Ave., Marietta. The meeting will be live streamed on their page on the county’s website.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

• Washington County Commissioners are now live streaming their meetings.

• The meetings are on the commissioners’ site at washingtongov.org

• Bid specifications were approved Thursday for landslips on County Roads 46 and 47.

•The landslip repair will cost an estimated $291,788.

• A request from Family and Children First for stipends for cell phones was denied.

Source: Washington County Board of Commission.

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