Unity work readied

LISBON – The final phase of a Unity Township sewer line extension project will get under way soon following action taken by Columbiana County commissioners.

Commissioners voted last week to award the contract to X-Press Underground Inc. of Petersburg, which submitted the lowest bid at $37,439 to install 300 feet of sewer line along North Market Street in Unity Township.

Eight properties that live along that stretch of North Market are under orders by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to replace their malfunctioning septic systems. Commissioner Tim Weigle, who served as a Unity Township trustee, said the solution was to extend sewer service from East Palestine to the target area, which ends at Dr. Valerie Rockenberger’s office.

Unity trustees are contributing $10,000 to the project. The remaining money is coming from the commissioners’ 2013 share of federal Community Development Block Grant money, which is why they had to approve the contract.

In other action at the meeting, commissioners did not request a hearing before the Ohio Department of Liquor Control for a proposed liquor license transfer involving a Center Township establishment.

Csonka’s Sports Complex Inc., state Route 45, is transferring its liquor license to Sundowners LLC, whose president is listed as David Walker, 53, and vice president is Jacolyn Winter, 37. County commissioners did not request a hearing because the trustees had no objection to the transfer.

Commissioners also adopted a resolution declaring August as Child Support Enforcement Awareness Month. The county Department of Job and Family Services administers the county child support enforcement program, and JFS Director Eileen Dray-Bardon said the staff of 20 is about half of what it was several years ago but still keeps track of 11,039 cases.

Approximately $18.7 million in child support was collected last year, representing 66 percent of what is owed, which is slightly less than the 67 percent statewide collection rate. Dray-Bardon said the state’s goal is a 70 percent collection rate.

Although not on the agenda, commissioners recently spent $18,000 to hire R & R Paving of Lisbon to blacktop the courthouse parking lot located on West Washington Street. The contract was never run through a meeting because Commission Chairman Mike Halleck is of the opinion expenditures of less than $25,000 do not require formal board approval.