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State of emergency could prove beneficial to Martins Ferry

That recent declaration may be more beneficial than originally thought for the city of Martins Ferry.

A few weeks ago, Ohio Governor John Kasich declared a state of emergency in Belmont County after the flood damage the county sustained.

That recent declaration may be more beneficial than originally thought for the city of Martins Ferry.

The Ohio Water Development Authority, or OWDA, has offered to allow Martins Ferry to waive one or two loan payments they have with them on past loans and projects.

Each payment is $4,800, with two resulting in $9,600 available.

Service Director Chris Cleary hopes the money can be used to repair a troublesome culvert near Cemetery Road.

"Instead of that money, which we would be normally be paying back for the loan that we had done on Cemetery Road, that money would actually help us go to the contractor, and pay off the project, and help us get the job done,” Cleary said. “There's really not too many other ways we could do this without their help."

The culvert poses a problem to the nearby road.

Given the recent flooding, Cleary would love to see it taken care of to avoid future issues.

"The amount of water that would go over there, instead of going into the storm sewers that we have up there, would actually run down the road,” Cleary said. “It's a newly paved road. Debris and everything would get to the bottom of Cemetery Road. And of course, flooding, as everyone sees, when it piles up, it gets worse."

The OWDA loan was originally used for storm sewers, but the city was never able to make the repairs needed.

City leaders will apply to use the funding for the new repairs.

Cleary is happy to have to opportunity.

"This is actually something that we didn't expect,” he said. “It's great to have this kind of help. We're anxious to get started and see what we can do."

Cleary said they could receive official word in the next week.

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