Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, Sept. 11 newspaper on Page A1.
Plans for the old Dollar General building in Glouster, now in the hands of Athens County, have just about been settled.
The county commissioners met Tuesday morning with members of Glouster Village Council to determine how much space the village needs inside the building.
The county now owns the building, and Commissioner Lenny Eliason said that with small modifications to it the village could have 1,100 square feet of space for the Glouster Water and Electric Office. This includes a large conference room that is more than twice as large as the current village meeting space.
The village had initially requested 2,500 square feet of office and storage space.
Glouster officials want the space because the existing village buildings are rife with maintenance issues, including leaky roofs and pest infestations. Village representatives described being “between a rock and a hard place,” and that the former Dollar General Building is one of the last options for having a less “toxic” place for village workers to use.
The village hopes to move the Water and Electric Office into the county-owned building, and move the Glouster Police Department into where that office was located.
The county intends to use Dollar General building’s remaining space as the new records center and for community meeting space.
The commissioners said they will have the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office draft a lease agreement for the building use. Eliason said that a good possibility would be allowing the village to pay for one or more utilities in exchange for using the space. The remodeling project is expected to be completed by the spring.
The commissioners also heard an update on proposed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility changes to their building on Court Street. Architect Dick Planisek submitted documents detailing the necessary changes, which would cost the county about $40,000.
The changes would widen several doors; lower some drinking fountains; and designate the “back” door to be the main entrance. The “front” door on Court Street would still be used as an entrance, but would need remodeling to become more accessible.