STEUBENVILLE -- Bids were opened Thursday by the Jefferson County commissioners for the runway extension project at the Jefferson County Airpark.
But the opening was delayed about 30 minutes because the engineer for the project didn't have an exact estimate for the work. The county received $1.5 million in state grants for the project, with the county contributing $500,000.
An engineer with Michael Baker Jr. Inc., the engineering firm, said there had been numerous changes in the project to ensure it comes in under budget. After a delay, the engineer and representatives of the county airport authority returned with an estimate of $2.17 million.
Commissioner David Maple said he was concerned with not having an estimate because commissioners are forced to reject bids if the bids are more than 10 percent over the engineer's estimate.
Six companies bid on either electrical, earthwork or paving. The airport authority now will review the bids and make a recommendation.
Commissioners also heard complaints from residents in the Crestview-Belvedere area about reconstruction work not being properly completed by Rudzik Excavating after the installation of sewers.
The residents said topsoil and grass seeding wasn't properly done, and yards are in worse condition after the job. The county had an agreement with residents that the yards would be restored to the same condition after construction.
Commissioner Tom Gentile said there appears to be a reoccuring theme with Rudzik -- the company did a good job in installing the sewers but aren't doing as good of a job in restoration of yards.
Shannan Gosbin, county water and sewer department director, said there are about 10 property owners making the poor restoration claims out of 430 property owners in the project area.
Anthony Recinella of 225 Hilda Circle, Bloomingdale, said there are many more residents upset over the yard restorations but believe nothing will be done if they complain.
County Commissioner Thomas Graham said the commissioners will continue to investigate the complaints.
"We aren't going to let this sit," he said.
Commissioners said they won't pay the remaining 10 percent owed on the contract until the restoration issues are resolved by Rudzik.
Commissioners also met in executive session with six employees of the Jefferson County Job and Family Services, Children Services Division, concerning complaints about Elizabeth Ferron, agency director.
Ferron wasnt present at the commissioners' meeting on Thursday.
Commissioners also discussed a verbal contract with Miller Septic, which exchanges pumping services at county sewage treatment plants and in other areas of the system in exchange for dumping septic waste at the countys sewage treatment plants. The verbal agreement dates back to the late 1990s.
Commissioners received a letter from another septic pumping business wanting to dump septic waste at the county's sewage treatment plant but was told the county's water and sewer department wont allow it.
Only Weirton's sewage treatment plant allows septic haulers to dump waste. Other sewage treatment plants in Steubenville, Toronto, Brilliant, Wintersville and Mingo Junction do not allow the practice, according to Gosbin. She noted the county's sewage treatment plants currently operate above permitted capacity.
Gosbin said Miller Septic has served the county well over the years under the verbal agreement.
Graham noted the board doesn't operate under verbal agreements.