Harrison road complaints aired

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

CADIZ - Scio resident Bill Harmon lives on Crimm Road in the village and came to the Harrison County Commissioners meeting Wednesday to voice his concerns about the increasing traffic from the Harrison Hub.

Harmon questioned the board as to why the access road connecting the facility to Ohio 151, which he believed would alleviate much of the truck traffic through the village, had not been completed. "I am not against the oil and gas industry," Harmon explained. "The plant is now in production and I have truck loads of volatile chemicals coming by our homes and through the village, some going right past the school house. My question is why isn't the road to the plant open yet?"

"This should never have happened," said Commissioner Dale Norris, who explained that the original completion date was November of last year. Norris said that the first 200 feet were completed last fall but weather delayed the construction until January.

Commissioners agreed with Harmon that the county may have exceeded their resources in taking on the project. "That is not our call," Norris added, saying that County Engineer Rob Stewart is "his own boss."

"He is an elected official and he bid on the road," Norris added. "In his defense, there have been complications."

Doug Crabtree, Harrison County Engineer's Office business service officer, said that the railroad crossing had been a delay but was nearing completion. That project along with the bridge construction were bid out to other companies.

The bridge project was slated to be completed by the end of this month, but Midstream changed the load limit requirements for the project which has further delayed the construction.

"When they got to the bridge, the head walls were poured and they came up a little short," Norris explained. "Also the original specs were for a 50 ton load limit, which they increased to 100 tons earlier this month."

Harmon complained about the dirt from the traffic causing problems and feared that the increased traffic from the production, along with new construction traffic as the plant begins Phase II, would only exacerbate the problems.

"I am not complaining about the construction, I understand that was all for the progress," Harmon replied. "But these volatile chemicals coming past our houses, 24-7, seven days a week is a concern, and it is only going to increase."

"This is something that we have discussed, and we understand the public's frustration with no question," Commissioner Don Bethel answered. "This is something that is certainly out of our control, but we will get back with the engineer's office and try and get this wrapped up because they are feeling the pressure as well."

Crabtree assured the board that he would consult with the engineer and come back to the board with a completion date estimate at their next meeting.

In other business: The board approved $110,226 for the court system to purchase and install document scanners in the Probate, Juvenile, County Courts, Clerk of Court and Adult Probation offices. The system will be installed and the employees trained by the software company. Records will be available to the public in house and eventually online.

Commissioners signed an agreement for the UEO 24 Phase II pipeline crossing at Scio. Formerly known as the Scio CF Discharge line, the line will bore under the Conotton Creek Trail. All proceeds from the easement go to the trail committee.

Commissioners also signed agreement 79-13 with Markwest for an easement along US 250 near the Heavlin farm.

Leslie Milliken, Deputy Registrar for the county, announced that the BMV will be closed Thanksgiving and the following Friday and Saturday. The offices will also be closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years Day.

A representative from the Bluegrass Pipeline met with the board showing a planned route through the county.

The project calls for construction of a natural gas liquids pipeline from the Utica and Marcellus shale plays in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to processing and storage facilities in Louisiana.

Palmer can be reached at mpalmer@timesleaderonline.com