ABERDEEN, Ohio — Village council is now back up to full strength after a new member was named. But the city will need to find a new base of operationis, council learned.
Members of the Aberdeen Village Council met in an executive session Tuesday evening to finish interviews and deliberation on selecting a candidate to fill a vacant seat within the council. Among the three community members who applied for the position, the council said its decision was a tough one.
Following the resignation of former council member Tony Combess following an ongoing investigation, the council invited the community to apply for the position. Since Combess’ resignation was accepted by the council during its Sept. 20 meeting, three candidates pursued the vacancy — Margie Bowie, Don Daring and Hope Hughes.
After the final interviews were made and the council exited executive session on Tuesday, members said they selected Bowie.
Bowie, a resident of Aberdeen for 40 years, owns and operates Bowie Tire Company on Budig Drive in the village.
“I’m happy that they have enough confidence in me to appoint me,” Bowie said.
Bowie said because she owns a business in Aberdeen, she has a lot at stake and wants to see the village improve. While in office, she said she would like to see more businesses come into the community as well as better crime and drug control.
“I just want to see (Aberdeen) be a place where people are proud to live in again,” she said.
After the decision was made, council moved on to a more pressing matter, which involves the impeding need for newer facilities. Council member Billie Eitel laid out the situation the council is in during the meeting.
“We had an anonymous employee file a Worker’s Comp (claim) against an unsafe working condition,” Eitel said, “which is where we are and where (Chief David Benjamin) is.”
Officials said villages and other government agencies in Ohio are governed under Worker’s Compensation. A representative from the agency has already visited to inspect the buildings behind the old Aberdeen-Huntington School, where the village of Aberdeen and the police department operate, and pointed out various issues with the structures.
The council as a whole cited many issues with its current facilities, ranging from leaking roofs, electrical and internet interference during heavy rains and even damaged or corroded electrical outlets.
“As a council, we still need the levy,” Eitel said, “but we’re basically being forced out of the building too, because any money that we put into this building now is going to be going down the drain.”
The best course of action, according to the council’s decision, is to find another facility. Luckily, someone from the community is willing to assist in the endeavour.
“We’ve had an offer from a businessperson within the village to build a building, and lease it to us,” she said
The village resident responsible for the offer is Randy Scott, owner of H and S Excavation. Officials said the new facility will be located where the old Rax Restaurant is located on U.S. 52. The building will be demolished to make way for the construction.
Lease for the new facility will be set at $3,000 a month for the first two years, with the following two years being increased at $3,400 and then finally settle at $3,200. Maintenance for both the inside and outside of the new building will be covered by Scott.
Plans for the new structure are still being finalized, according to Eitel, however she said Scott intends to begin demolition and construction as soon as possible.