Note: This story appears in the Wednesday, July 10 newspaper on Page A1.
Although details need to be worked out, the Athens County Commissioners said Tuesday that they are open to the idea of sharing the former Dollar General building in Glouster with the village.
“We’re going to try to make it happen,” said Commissioner Lenny Eliason.
The county owns the building and the commissioners have said their priority is to use it for the county’s records center, which is operated by Peg Six. Glouster officials have said they would like to use at least part of the building for village offices.
Commissioner Chris Chmiel said he met Monday with village officials, including Council President Sandra Gyure, administrator Rick Nott and Fiscal Officer Jan Browning and toured the building.
According to Chmiel, the Glouster officials indicated they want approximately 2,500 square feet of space to put the Water & Electric Office in there and an office for the police department. That would be in addition to a community meeting room the commissioners have discussed putting in the building.
Chmiel asked the other commissioners if they thought it was time to hire an architect to do a layout of space in the building for county and village use.
“For me, before hiring an architect, I’d like to at least figure out what space we need for Peg,” Commissioner Charlie Adkins.
Eliason said the commissioners need to be able to indicate to an architect what they want to do with the space.
“We could start to rough it out ourselves, what we need,” Eliason said, with Adkins suggesting the commissioners go to the building next week to try to figure it out.
Another question that needs to be resolved is what Glouster will pay to lease space in the building.
“So what are we doing for ongoing expenses, are we going to have a lease?” Eliason asked. “We have to start talking about a lease.”
The 7,200-square-foot building is mainly open space, so remodeling would be needed to turn it into a records center, offices and a community meeting room.
“They are going to have to contribute something to it,” Eliason said of the village. “It’s part of lease negotiations.”
Where to put the county’s record microfilming operation is another question. It’s overseen by County Recorder Jessica Markins, but is located in Athens at the current records center in a North Lancaster Street building the county owns. The commissioners want to empty that building so they can sell it.
In a meeting last month, Glouster officials said the village is willing to help maintain the former Dollar General property.