County requires prevailing wages

STEUBENVILLE -The Jefferson County commissioners Thursday signed a road maintenance agreement with a company looking to build a large pipeline associated with the gas drilling industry across the county that includes a requirement contractors must pay prevailing wages to improve or repair county and township roads used in the construction process.

The commissioners have been lobbied by the Laborers International Union to include the prevailing wage requirements in road use maintenance agreements.

County Engineer James Branagan said the Ohio Attorney General has issued an opinion that states work done by private companies on public roads must contain the prevailing wage requirement.

The Laborers have been complaining the companies have been using cheaper, out-of-county workers to perform the work on county and township roads, thereby taking away jobs for local laborers.

The commissioners contacted the county prosecutor’s office about including the prevailing wage requirements in the road use maintenance agreements.

Branagan said the prevailing wage requirement will now be included in all road use maintenance agreements.

Enterprise Liquids Pipeline is beginning construction of the Appalachia to Texas liquid ethane pipeline. The pipeline will transport liquid ethane produced from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Pennsylvania and Ohio westward across Ohio to ethylene manufacturing plants in Texas and Louisiana. Liquid ethane is a key component in the manufacturing of plastics.

The pipeline will begin in Washington County, Pa., and will cross under the Ohio River near Pottery Addition and continue west across Jefferson County.

Branagan said the road use maintenance agreement with Enterprise Liquids Pipeline includes the requirement for the company to upgrade county and township roads prior to construction or make repairs after the work is completed, The agreement also includes a $221,000 bond.

The commissioners also opened four bids for the repair of a retaining wall along Permars Run Road (county Road 77).

Ohio-West Virginia Excavating of Powhatan Point submitted the apparent low bid of $43,490. The county engineer’s estimate was $55,000.

Branagan said about a 60-foot section of retaining wall will be replaced with rock-filled gabion baskets. Work is expected to begin in the next several weeks and could result in the closing of the road for a month. Permars Run Road is one of the most heavily traveled county roads.

Commissioners also approved the reappointment of three citizen representatives to the county Regional Planning Commission – John Hartline of Empire, Mike Paprocki of Mingo Junction and Brandon Andresen of Wintersville.

Commissioner Thomas Graham was absent from the meeting.