CIRCLEVILLE — Following a tradition set two years ago by transferring the property on South Pickaway Street to the Pickaway County Commissioners, the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities has once again transferred to the county another property.
This property, located at 548 Lancaster Pike in Circleville, just east of Sutherlands, was the former location of Pickaway Diversified Industries (PDI) who moved out of the building earlier this year.
Mike Pelcic, superintendent of the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities, said they wanted to transfer the building over to the county since county taxpayers paid for it.
“It’s going to need a little bit of cleanup and work, but as the county board we look at it as that building originally was paid for by tax payers for the board of DD to serve the community,” he mentioned. “Now it will be able to serve the community through the county commissioners office.”
Commissioner Harold “Champ” Henson said the Pickaway County Board of Developmental Disabilities has been very generous.
“They’ve been easy to work with and we can’t say enough about what they’ve helped us do there,” he stated.
Brian Stewart, commissioner, said at Jobs and Family Services, which moved to Pickaway Street in a former Board of Developmental Disabilities space, has allowed the county to do so much and this new building will be another example of the what the county can do.
“We’re doing things at the new JFS facility that were impossible at the other space,” he explained. “Now we’re going to be able to do a better job of taking care of county property, serving county residents and providing services than we could in the past at a reasonable cost. It’ll be a good fit.”
The commissioners approved $150,000 in funding to renovate and upgrade the building.
“It’s for roof repairs, HVAC replacement, door repair and the general things that need done,” Stewart explained. “Compared to having to buy land, construction costs, we know how expensive that is. We’re really thankful to the board for their community-minded approach to how they’ve disposed of these properties.”
Plans for the building include becoming the Building Maintenance Operations Center for the county and depending on space and needs of other agencies, storage for the Emergency Management Agency and potentially another office, such as the Park District.
“The EMA is going to have some space for PPE storage,” Stewart added. “Now we have a need for more storage and there’s a whole bunch of uses for this building.”
“We have stuff stored all over the city,” Commissioner Jay Wippel, added. “It would be nice to store it all here and be more efficient with what we have. It’ll be nice for maintenance to have a home base; they’ve never had one. We’ve moved them all over.”
John Brown, Pickaway County maintenance manager, said they’re looking to purchase some equipment for the new building that will allow them to do more work in house.
“We’re looking to do vehicle maintenance and buy specialty equipment that just physically won’t fit in our space now,” he remarked. “We either have to hire out for that or rent the equipment now.”
Henson said it saves on time too.
“You won’t have to be put on a waiting list and you can do things when you need them,” he explained. “If you need them, you need them and you can do it right away.”
Stewart said Brown and the whole maintenance department have stepped up during the pandemic and he saw this as a way to reward their hard work and allow them to do more of what they’ve been doing.
“They’ve all gone above and beyond, especially during this COVID era,” he added. “They’re doing extra cleaning and projects. When we couldn’t get sanitizer, he would get the materials and make it. To be able to give them a space that’s going to allow them to better do their job and more easily do their job is a good way to return the favor.”