A decision was made on Wednesday in Belmont County to go forward with the mall interchange project.
After months of debate between them, Belmont County Commissioners have voted 'yes' to commit to funding for the mall road interchange project. The commitment is to provide funding up to $1.9 million, which allows the Ohio Department of Transportation to move forward to apply for additional funding.
Commissioner Mark Thomas said, "The sole purpose of this is to help facilitate the traffic flow ... if you see the studies from ODOT of what's going to happen in the next 10-20 years, this project makes all the sense in the world to get it done"
Commissioner Ginny Favede continued, "I have asked for a status meeting with ODOT, with interested parties, that would be the commissioners, the TID, ODOT, Stewart's and the city of St. Clairsville and Potentially Equity, he has agreed to come down and have that meeting so we're all on same page together moving forward."
Right now, the commission only has $900,000 of the original $1.9 million set aside for the project, but are expecting nearly $3 million to be presented to them next month after signing a lease with Rice Energy.
Commissioner Matt Coffland said, "Sales tax is up, everything is up, I feel very confident the money will be here to move when the time comes."
Commissioners noted that the $1.9 millions will be moved out toward the summer.