State money will help Fairfield upgrade roads

COLUMBIANA – Fairfield Township will receive $250,000 for road upgrades to the Buckeye Transfer Realty transloading facility from Jobs Ohio and Ohio Jobs and Commerce, Trustee Barry Miner said Wednesday.

The hub handles trainloads of fracking sand and plans to build a station to transfer oil and condensate from trucks to railroad cars, store pipe and eventually recycle frack water on the site.

Located at the former National Refractories, the 95-acre tract has quick rail access and state Route 11 stands adjacent to it.

Anticipating the increased heavy traffic through the facility, trustees worked to find money to improve access off state Route 344, Cherry Fork Road and Esterly Drive.

Miner confirmed the money, $125,000 from each agency, was recently approved while explaining the county engineer’s office will draft upgrade plans and help with a bid description.

“We have to place it out for bid,” Miner said, noting the Ohio Rail Development Commission, which requested a reply regarding the township’s position on a rail crossing at Esterly Drive near Bieble Manufacturing, will have to wait.

Miner said the county plans will be based on the $250,000. If more is needed, he said they would have review the bids after they are opened.

Other entities were asked to contribute and Miner said Buckeye Transfer was not interested.

“Why not?” Trustee Chairman Bob Hum asked. “They’re the ones benefiting from this.”

Miner said the company had committed money in other places.

The road upgrade estimates were placed at $431,696, Hum said, and Miner mapped out revised plans with trimmed costs.

He said Esterly Drive from state Route 344 to Cherry Fork Road (south), about 1,165 feet, had an estimated cost of $166,865 while the measurement on Cherry Fork from Esterly Drive, about 1,500 feet was estimated at $126,146 for a total of $293,011.

Applying the tax-funded $250,000 left an outstanding balance of $43,011 to which Miner said, “We’ll see about that when the bids come in,” noting they might come in below the estimates.

Hum said, “Hopefully everyone needs some work.”

In other business, Miner meet with Crestview Superintendent John Dilling, Sheriff Ray Stone and Unity Township Trustee Brian Henderson about sharing costs to bring a deputy into the townships for 178 days while the school received the benefit of resource officer.

Miner explained the school was moving ahead regardless and the proposal was expanded to provide patrol coverage solely for the two townships for eight hours a day for 82 days each.

Miner said the deputy would patrol both townships the same day and the township could determine the hours.

The overall cost would be $60,000 divided by the three and the sheriff would donate fuel and the cruiser, Miner explained.

Miner said the sheriff wanted a three-year contract “because he didn’t want to lay anyone off.”

Hum said he was interested.

“We need to look into it if we’re going to have a deputy,” he said and Miner noted that a lot depended on Unity Township … “82 days, eight-hour shifts in Unity and Fairfield townships,” he said.

Hum said he would like some input on the hours and Miner said, “The sheriff did say there was a lot of flexibility and they could schedule a deputy to the township’s choosing.”

The next regular meeting is scheduled for July 18 at 7 p.m.