GLENMOOR - The Columbiana County Commissioners do not understand why AEP has made the decision to relocate employees working out of the company's facility in Glenmoor to a facility Steubenville.
AEP announced early last week that it will be closing and selling the facility in Glenmoor and moving the building's employees to an AEP station in Steubenville.
AEP has pledged not to lay off any of its workers because of the move but many employees do not seem happy with having to drive to Steubenville to report to work.
AEP representative Vikki Michalski said the decision was an attempt to "improve work efficiency" and cited logistical improvement as the main reason for the move.
Columbiana County Commissioners do not see the logistical advantage of the move according to Commissioner Tim Weigle. "The commissioners just have a hard time understanding why they would send those employees all the way to Steubenville and turn around and send them all the way back into this area," said Weigle when contacted for comment on Friday.
Weigle said the commissioners have composed a letter to AEP requesting that the power company allow for the Glenmoor facility to stay open.
With an ever expanding gas and oil industry and several large customers in the southern part of the county, Weigle spoke to the importance of having crews in the area in case of emergency.
"We know the power requirements are going to increase, and we know that we have some new businesses that are coming in, so we feel it would be beneficial to have that support close by," said Weigle, adding that they never like to see businesses leave the county.
When contacted for further explanation of the logistical advantages posed by the move, Michalski maintained that Steubenville line crews respond to the majority of East Liverpool's service calls and therefore having Glenmoor's workers operate out of Steubenville would not be all that different from how the company currently operates.
"From a customer's standpoint it's not going to effect them," said Michalski maintaining that response times will not change because of the move.
When questioned about the added time employees will spend traveling the approximately half hour drive between East Liverpool and Steubenville, Michalski still maintained that service for the area would remain the same. "From an employee stand point, they'll be working in a new location, and maybe that does entail some traveling time - I'm not familiar with the employees that would be traveling." said Michalski.
Columbiana County Commissioners are not familiar with how AEP handles the logistics of their operations according to Weigle but to the commissioners the move just does not make sense from a logistics standpoint.
"I do know those folks (Glenmoor AEP crews) work on a daily basis in this area so to us it doesn't make logistically good sense to do that," said Weigle adding that logistics may not be the only motive for the move.