ASHLAND -- The former Roepke gas station in Nankin could finally be cleaned up in the near future. 

On Thursday morning, the Ashland County Commissioners approved an agreement between Orange Township and the Ohio Development Services Agency, allowing the township to obtain Abandoned Gas Station Cleanup Grant program funding of up to $250,000 for the gas station, which is located along Route 58. 

"The county owns the property," said Commissioner Mike Welch. "It went through two or three sheriff's sales, and we took it so we could access the grant, and Orange Township is doing the administration of that grant."

Eventually, the structure is to demolished. No timeline was shared at the meeting. 

Later, the commissioners approved $7,264 for Spire to create a new county website. Commissioner Denny Bittle brought the suggestion to the meeting, saying he'd considered several companies.

"We'd like to keep our constituents a little more updated than they are now, and obviously websites are a good way to do that," he said. 

The annual hosting fee is $489. 

Bittle is hopeful the site could be launched by March 1. 


Representatives of the Rape Crisis Domestic Violence Safe Haven, Ashland County Dog Shelter and ACCESS Program attended the meeting for the presentation of the county's "Maintain No Gain Contest" donations.

The contest challenged participants to maintain or lose weight over the holidays. Fifteen teams of 61 people participated. All but one team lost weight. The total was 108 pounds lost combined. 

Registration fees benefit Access, and donations brought in benefitted the other two organizations.


In other news from Thursday’s meeting:

— The commissioners approved the enterprise zone application agreement between the city of Ashland and REMM LLC and Ohio Electric LLC. 

The 75 percent, ten-year tax abatement is the first tax incentive the business has received since founded 42 years ago. It has expanded nearly a half dozen times, moving from the family’s garage where it began to Cleveland Avenue where it expanded three times to Rock Road in the industrial park where it had already completed one expansion on its own.

— The commissioners authorized a quitclaim deed to process the transfer of a lot located on the south side of West Main Street that is known as house number 279 West Main Street from the City of Ashland to the County of Ashland. 

This is part of an agreement in which the city also benefited. 

— Heard a presentation about its health insurance for county employees. 

The county is staying with Anthem as its health care insurance provider. 

— Accepted a $1,200 donation from the Samaritan Hospital Foundation for equipment expenses of the county's Emergency Management Office. 

-- Voted to rescind a resolution adopted by the Board of Ashland Commissioners on Jan. 2 to reduce appropriations to Cigarette Tax, as requested by the auditor's office.

-- Authorized the building maintenance supervisor to purchase a 2011 Ford E150 Cargo Van at the cost of $5,325.

-- Authorized the reappointment of Amy Banaga, Intersystem Coordinator of Ashland County Family and Children First Council as one of Ashland County's representatives to the Ohio Children's Trust Fund Northeast Prevention Council for a two-year term effective Jan. 15, 2020 through Jan. 14, 2022.

-- Authorized the appointment of Sarah Stikka of the Department of Job and Family Services to the Driver's Eligibility Guidelines Committee, effective immediately to replace Rick Moger. 

-- Other action included authorizing appropriations, then and now certificates and more. 

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