Commissioners to sell former Tribune building

| August 28, 2019

COSHOCTON – Following the devastating West Lafayette flood last June, the county saw a tremendous benefit in having the CodeRed system, which is an emergency communication system where residents who are signed up to receive alerts receive either a phone call or text message that notifies them of critical emergencies in the county. Coshocton County Emergency Management Agency Director Rob McMasters wants to expand the system so other local government officials in the county can utilize the system and send out alerts to a specified group of their residents for things like street closures, snow removals, or water line breaks.

Currently, Coshocton County uses CodeRed on a minute-basis with 40,000 minutes available each year, which includes every phone call and every text message sent. McMasters wants to go to an unlimited amount of minutes. Currently, the cost annually for CodeRed is $1,500. To switch to unlimited access, the cost would only increase to $1,295 annually.

McMasters said that West Lafayette had concerns about residents becoming immune to the system and that if they see CodeRed on their phones regularly for everyday alerts like street closures, they might ignore emergency alerts.

“I think of the emergency sirens that goes off every Wednesday,” said McMasters. “When the warning siren goes off, people aren’t looking up at the skies to see if they’re dark. But I don’t think the negative outweighs the benefits here.”

Coshocton EMA sends out half a dozen alerts each year other than weather alerts, but McMasters believes it can be used for so much more.

“The system itself is a great benefit to the county and we really saw that with the West Lafayette flood,” he said.

To sign up for CodeRed, visit Coshocton EMA’s Facebook page or visit their website at

The commissioners recently decided to sell the former Tribune building that they originally purchased for $275,000 for the purpose of using as an emergency medical service building. They asked the director of Coshocton County EMS if the building on the corner Sixth and Main Streets could be used as an EMS facility and the director was told that it could. Since that time, the commissioners had been told that it could be used as an EMS building and also that it couldn’t by different entities. If the building couldn’t be used as an EMS facility, the commissioners originally wanted to use it for another county department.

After there was some interest in the community to purchase the building from the commissioners, they decided to put it up for sale for sealed bids for what the commissioners had put in the building financially.

“If we would use it for something else, we’d have to put more money into it,” said Curtis Lee. “It looked easier to walk away from it at this time if someone else was interested in it. It will make someone else a good building.”

“By selling it, we’re putting it back in the tax base and by someone else buying it, it could be a Main Street building again,” said Gary Fischer.

If the building doesn’t sell, it will eventually be used for some county function in the future.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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