Habitat breaks ground in Belpre

BELPRE – Bid proposals soon will be accepted on the second of three Habitat for Humanity homes planned near Belpre-the 18th in Washington County.

It’s been a week since ground was broken and dirt was moved to prepare the site for the concrete foundation walls, said Dennis Thomas, executive director of Washington County Habitat for Humanity.

Thomas announced the purchase of six acres of land in February 2010 near Braun and Veto roads. Then, work on the site was slowed because of weather, and Habitat construction might have disturbed the habitat of a rare toad. Documentation, however, found that ultimately to not be the case.

Giving another boost to its work, Washington County Habitat For Humanity received a $10,000 grant from the Marietta Community Foundation to renovate a Marietta-area home and help with the project.

While having a few odds and ends to finish on the first home near Belpre, Thomas said the Brian and Christine Sydenstricker family was able to move before Christmas of 2012.

“We really like it,” Brian Sydenstricker said. “It’s been a blessing.”

The Sydenstrickers also worked on much of the house, as do other Habitat families. The family spent every day working, while Habitat volunteers work only Tuesdays and Saturdays. The family has been in a Habitat home for 10 years and were able to move to the Braun Road site. Their former home, about five miles from Marietta off Ohio 26, will undergo renovations. Organizers expect the home’s renovations to be completed by year’s end.

Habitat volunteer Jim Seevers, 82, of Marietta, said he expected the renovated house to be completed by Aug. 17. He supervised the construction of the second house for the family.

“We didn’t have that many helpers so it took quite a while,” Seevers said. “Sometimes, it is hard so get good help or (any) help.”

Habitat for Humanity depends on the help of volunteers and partnerships with local companies for discounted construction materials for the homes it builds.

The organization accepts applications from qualifying families. The application is available on the organization’s website, wcfh.com.

The family must live and work, demonstrate a need for the new home and the ability to pay. Applicants must meet income requirements.