Decisions Made on Belpre Auditor, Marietta Alcohol Sales, Frontier School Levy

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Belpre's city auditor kept her office and two Marietta businesses get what they hope is an economic boost, but the lone school levy went down to defeat.

After making changes in how Belpre does its payroll and collects city income taxes, the auditor's office won an award from the state auditor's association.

Now, Auditor Leslie Pittenger is returning to office for a second term.

She, like the rest of the city, is looking forward to continuing recent economic developments, particularly on the city's west side.

"We've seen a lot of growth there, we hope to see some retail growth on that end of town," she says. "Some businesses that have been vacant are now filling up, so we're very encouraged by the economic status of Belpre."

John Newberry and Susan Abdella were both re-elected Tuesday to Belpre City Council at-Large. They will be joined in January by newcomer Donna Miller.

Also hoping to see economic improvements are two Marietta west side restaurants, Spagna's and the Harmar Tavern.

Voters in their ward approved allowing alcohol sales both on weekdays as well as Sundays.

"I'm counting on adding some jobs, because we'll be adding another shift here," says owner Keith Whitby. "The businesses in Harmar Village will have more traffic on Sundays. And this being a tourist economy here, I think it's going to be better overall."

But a major disappointment for the Frontier School District is the crushing defeat of a 9.9 mill school levy.

Nearly 85% of those casting ballots Tuesday voted against the levy.

The school system has run defecits and seen enrollment decline in recent years.

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