EAST PALESTINE - At 19 minutes, village council's first meeting in the new administrative building was shorter than the ribbon cutting ceremony held outside an hour earlier.
The ceremony drew curious residents, a large portion of the police force, and council hopefuls, all eager to see the building's renovated interior.
The move began in July, when council approved buying the bank building and selling the current building at 144 N. Market St. In mid-August the building was sold to local businessman Ronnie Fuller for $55,000.
Mayor Margo Zuch (center) prepares to cut the ribbon to the new administrative offices on North Market Street Monday. Present for the ribbon cutting were (from left to right) Village Manager Pete Monteleone, Officer Richard Burbick, Police Chief Kevin Dickey, Officer Brian Moore, Councilwoman Ellen Beagle, Village Solicitor Shirley Smith (behind Zuch), Officer Don Johnson (behind Smith), Councilwoman Endia Wisser, Officer Jen Calko and onlookers.
Council Clerk Misti Martin said the administrative offices will remain at 144 N. Market St. until Nov. 4, when everything will be in place at the new building not far away on the other side of the street.
The offices will be closed on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 for the move, she said.
Mayor Margo Zuch said the move has been a "joint effort" between the village and citizens and thanked everyone involved.
"We are so fortunate we got this wonderful building ... I'm very happy and very grateful and I hope to remain here for many, many, many years. We could run a city three times this big out of this building," she said.
The main reason for the move is the lack of space at the current building, and the new building has many more rooms, including private offices for Zuch, Martin, Monteleone, and Finance Director Traci Thompson.
Monteleone said the building is quadruple the size of the current offices and additional space is available on the first floor for a board meeting room, building and zoning inspector office and mapping department.
The village is looking to hire a building and zoning inspector at the start of next year, and a mapping department does not exist at the current location.
Monteleone said maps are kept in various places throughout town, including the park and water department. Some maps are available at the administrative building.
The second floor of the new building is currently being used for storage.
He added the building was renovated by the bank a few years prior and didn't need extensive renovations. Minor renovations include new coats of paint and cleaning and moving of furniture.
As agreed to during the purchase negotiations the bank left several pieces of quality furniture the village is now using, including desks and chairs, he said.