County to raze old elections building

LISBON — County commissioners intend to raze the old county elections board/municipal court building on West Park Avenue.

Commissioners agreed at Wednesday’s meeting to hire Total Environmental Services of Toledo for $9,865 to perform the asbestos abatement, which must be done before the one-story brick building can be demolished. This was the lowest of the three bids that were sought.

“It’s a health hazard,” Commissioner Jim Hoppel of the building.

The building sits at the bottom of an alley that extends uphill for several blocks and runoff during heavy rainfall has long caused problems with water accumulating in the basement. A mold problem in the elections board portion of the building caused health problems for some employees in the late 1990s.

The local municipal court office housed there was relocated to the new county municipal court building on Saltwell Road about 10 years ago, while the elections board moved to the new county government services building on Dickey Drive after it was built about five years ago. The building has sat vacant since then and has been used mostly for record storage, although it was opened briefly in 2011 to make room for more title searchers during the height of the oil/gas leasing frenzy.

The village has a new architectural and historical review board that requires anything being done to a downtown building be run past the board first. Commissioner Mike Halleck said he already informed the village zoning clerk of their plans. “First off, it’s not a historical building, and I think the powers that be realize that,” he said, noting the building was constructed in the 1950s.

Halleck said they also intend to contract with Russ James Contracting of Zanesville to do the demolition. James is the company commissioners brought in to finish demolishing the old County Home complex after they fired the initial general contractor when he became embroiled in a pay dispute with the subcontractor it hired to remove the asbestos.

“I’m sure they’ll (James) do it in accordance with the rules and regulations of the village,” Halleck said.

tgiambroni@mojonews.com

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