Funds in hand, Buckeye Transfer road work can move forward

FAIRFIELD TWP. – After securing $38,916 to cover the balance of road upgrades for Buckeye Transfer Realty from the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, trustees said after final approvals – under a best case scenario – work could begin in 30 days.

At the last meeting, trustees approved the low bid of Central Allied for $288,916 for road improvements for the hub that distributes fracking sand by the trainload and plans to build a transloading station to transfer oil and condensate from trucks to railroad cars, store pipe and eventually recycle frack water on the site.

In July, the township received $250,000 for road upgrades to the facility from Jobs Ohio and Ohio Jobs and Commerce, leaving a $38,916 funding gap once the bids were opened.

The final money component was secured through Ohio Mid-Eastern Governments Association (OMEGA with the assistance of Jason Wilson, Trustee Barry Miner said.

“Between all three, it looks like we’ve secured the funding for the project,” Miner said but Trustee Chairman Bob Hum was concerned about cost overruns and change orders on the project that anticipates increased heavy traffic through the facility on the former National Refractories property.

The 95-acre tract has quick rail access and state Route 11 stands adjacent to it.

The project will improve access on about 1.5 miles of road from state Route 344, Cherry Fork Road and Esterly Drive.

Buckeye Transfer attorney Lisa Wallace, who is also its CEO, presented a letter from Buckeye Transfer owner Jerry Stoneburner affirming the company was willing “to step up” and pay “any reasonable cost overruns.”

After the meeting, Hum, also an attorney, said he took “reasonable” to mean anything the county engineer’s office thought should be done.

Bob Durbin, the chief deputy Columbiana County engineer, drew up the plans for the upgrades.

Trustees unanimously approved a resolution authorizing Fiscal Officer Pat Hoffmaster and Hum to sign the the final documents once assured the money is in place.

That was as far as the board could go “tonight,” Hum said.

Miner suggested a conference call with Ohio Jobs and Commerce and Jobs Ohio and Hoffmaster regarding the procedure.

In other business, Road Supervisor Mel Miller said 500 tons of asphalt millings were received and the township’s reserve of ash stands at 330 tons.

In other business, trustees approved holding trick or treat on Oct. 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. which is the same time the city of Columbiana holds its trick or treat.