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JFS benefits, policies adjusted

Minor modifications were recommended after the State of Ohio completed a review of the Washington County Job and Family Services’ fiscal monitoring.

The housekeeping modifications were discussed during Thursday morning’s meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Flite Freimann, JFS director, said the state had recommendations for its Prevention, Retention and Contingency Plan after the three-month intensive review.

“The PRC plan is our way of directing Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funds into our community,” Freimann said.

In several categories, the maximum benefit level per 12 consecutive months for eligible PRC households was increased from $1,000 to $1,500, he said, adding the state felt the extra $500 was a better cushion for the families.

Other modifications included additional language that makes it clear that case workers can be in the child’s home prior to the child’s removal, updated language due to COVID-19, and a portion to allow for help to families who need internet access.

After the regular business meeting, Bruce Kelbaugh, president of the Washington County Board of Health, and Health Commissioner, Roger Coffman met with commissioners. Commissioners approved the reimbursement of COVID expenses, but no hazard pay was allowed.

Kelbaugh read a statement about the Devola sewer project, which he presented to the health board at their last meeting.

“Prior to being appointed to the WCBOH approximately four years ago, I was pro-sewering relative to Devola. I came to this conclusion based on what I read in the local newspaper and misinformed acquaintances,” he said. “Since becoming a WCBOH member, I have reviewed documentation relative to the issue from its beginning.”

He said he has seen no compelling scientific data to support the sewering once the reverse osmosis project was completed.

“I am certainly not aware of any imminent health threat in Devola,” Kelbaugh said, noting he does not support the OEPA’s “overreach” regarding the sewering. “It is my personal opinion that the OEPA usurped the authority of our local WCBOH’s authority.”

In other commission news:

• A resolution was signed for a new business park on 13.5 acres off Ohio 7 behind Big Hometown Motorsports at 1301 Pike St. Two 20,000-square-foot buildings will be built at the park, which will be named Hometown Business Park.

• Bid specifications were signed for the paving of County Road 46. There were also bid specs for resurfacing and paving projects on County Roads 9, 20, 98, 236, 348 and 333.

• Bob Lane’s Welding was awarded two bids for FEMA funded landslip repairs. There are three emergency landslip repairs on Fifteenmile Creek Road that were contracted for $111,948,50, with an engineer’s estimate of $165,990. They also had the winning bids for landslip repairs on Veto Road, Caywood Road, Sandhill Road and Warren Chapel Road. That contract was for $299,570.75, which was estimated by the county engineer to cost $368,675.

•R.C. Construction was awarded a bid for rock channel repair on County Roads 8 and 15 for $189,137. The engineer’s estimate was $196,784.50.

The JFS Collective Bargaining Agreement was approved by the commissioners.

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

Dates to remember:

• Monthly finance committee meeting, 10 a.m. Tuesday at courthouse.

•Regular commission meeting, 9 a.m. Thursday, 1115 Gilman Ave.

•Courthouse closed for Labor Day, Sept. 7.

Source: Washington County Commission Clerk.

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