CALCUTTA - St. Clair Township Trustees share the Columbiana County Commissioners' concerns about the closing of the AEP station in Glenmoor.
Trustees Robert Swickard and James Sabatini II voiced their thoughts about the move at Tuesday's trustees meeting. Board president James Hall was not present at the meeting due to illness.
AEP announced last week that they will be closing the AEP facility in Glenmoor and relocating its employees to a facility in Steubenville.
Columbiana County Commissioners announced late last week that they do not see the logistical advantages of the move and that they have requested that AEP allow the Glenmoor facility to stay open.
Trustees expressed a desire to learn more about what the move will mean for the area, calling it a "wait and see game" at this point in the process.
Swickard advised that he has consulted county commissioner Tim Weigle for more information.
Like the county commissioners, the trustee's main concern is the local response time of AEP crews in case of emergencies.
"My biggest concern is on house fires because they get the power company called as soon as they respond to get the power shut off to the home," said Swickard, citing an instance where AEP crews are needed on short notice.
Trustees reported they have been assured by AEP representatives that three employees at the Glenmoor facility who drive their AEP company trucks home will be available to respond to local emergencies without having to first drive to Steubenville.
"From an efficiency standpoint and a business standpoint, we understand the move but from a township perspective I think we need to keep a close eye on how fast they respond," said Swickard adding, "If it's a huge storm the guys that live here are going to work here first, if they go to Steubenville they could be dispatched anywhere else - their priorities may be a factor."
Trustee James Sabatini II contended that although it is true that many AEP workers are dispatched from Steubenville to do work in the southern Columbiana County area, this is the case only because the Glenmoor station has not been staffed to its full potential.
Sabatini also expressed his disappointment at seeing the area lose jobs, even if those job are just moving to a nearby town. "We have 13 jobs that are now moving out even though they (employees) still live here," said Sabatini. "It's no different than moving those jobs somewhere else whether it be to your neighboring town or another country."
The trustees stated they know many of the Glenmoor facility's employees personally, and are sympathetic to the plight of Glenmoor AEP employees who now must drive an additional half an hour to work in Steubenville. "As workers, you have more travel time involved so you're spending more money to keep the same job," said Sabatini.
Trustees will decide in the coming days if they want to send a letter to AEP stating their opposition to the move. Madison Township trustees motioned Tuesday night to draft a letter objecting to the closing of the AEP Glenmoor facility.