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Conesville council to build village service center

| March 17, 2021

The Conesville Village Council unanimously agreed to move forward with the construction of a village service center (city hall) to be located at 312 State St. in Conesville.

Council voted to accept the financing proposal of Park National Bank for its first building project.

“Park National Bank has always been good to the village and Park National Bank Vice President Bob Bigrigg in particular. To be fair, we submitted written requests for financing proposals to all of the banks here in Coshocton and were fortunate that Park National Bank offered the best terms and a rate of interest in the twos – a historic and unbelievably low rate of interest,” said Village Solicitor William Todd Drown.

The village also voted to permit Park National Bank to take a first priority lien against the village’s income tax receivables and hired Dennis Schwallie of Dinsmore and Shohl, LLP, as bond counsel.

“We are fortune,” said Mayor Marge Donley. “Dennis Schwallie and his law firm agreed to do all of the complicated bond and financing work for just $1,125.50, which is a fraction of what securities lawyers normally charge. That is a mindboggling reduction in the legal fees customarily charged for this sort of thing and so we want to say a hearty thank you to Mr. Schwallie and Dinsmore and Shohl, LLP.”

The village previously hired Kelly Architectural Services from Zanesville to design the building which is anticipated to cost approximately $156,375. Sealed bids are to be submitted to Drown’s office by noon on April 7. Bid documents are available by calling the solicitor’s office at 740-291-8080 or by submitting an email request to [email protected].

The building will have a garage for storage of the village’s equipment which is currently scattered around the village in various locations and will have a meeting room and storage space for important village records. The village took this historic step because its old building had no restrooms, no running water, no handicap access, and sometimes no heat.

“The new village service center will be handicapped accessible and have handicapped restrooms and most certainly will have running water and both air conditioning and heat for the comfort of our citizens and the protection of our records,” Donley said.

The village anticipates completion of the project withing 120 days from the start of construction.

According to the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) passed in 1990, all government buildings, including those of Conesville were supposed to be made handicapped accessible by 1992.

“And people wonder what keeps lawyers up at night. I will tell you,” said Drown. “It’s the $75,000 fine for a first offense violation of the ADA if we had been challenged.

Donley explained that the village has always wanted to make its facilities handicapped accessible, but prior to her time as mayor, the village had barley $20,000 in its general fund and so it was just not possible. As a result of the village’s half percent income tax, the village currently had approximately $100,000 in its general and street funds.

“A lack of financial ability is not now and has never been a defense to compliance with the requirements of the act. I worked for George H.W. Bush back in the day and I can tell you that he took lots of incoming fire from conservatives because of the costs associated with the act, but Bush refused to back down because he knew he was doing the right thing. And to be clear, it was the right thing to do,” Drown said.

“Now is the perfect time,” Donley said. “We have super low interest rates, we have enough money on hand and enough income to afford a new building, and we got amazing concessions from our architect and bond counsel in terms of their fees for the project.”

Category: Government

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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