County accepts $33,000 for emergency center

Washington County commissioners accepted a $33,000 lump sum proposal for the creation of the new Emergency Operations Center at their meeting Thursday.

DLH Design LLC, a contractor located in Marietta, made the proposal. They now have three weeks to create design plans for the new facility.

Washington County Commissioner Tim Irvine admitted that the three week deadline is fairly tight.

“We were awarded a grant to establish the Emergency Operations Center,” Irvine said. “In order to use the funding from the grant the project needs to be completed by the end of June.”

DLH Design LLC wasn’t the only company that offered a lump sum proposal.

M + A Architects, based in Columbus, provided an estimate of $42,900 for the project citing travel and shipping expenses for the difference in cost.

The Emergency Operations Center will be located in the basement of Washington County Children Services on Davis Avenue in Marietta.

Also on Thursday, the commissioners extended recognition and appreciation on behalf of the citizens of Washington County for Marie Gustke’s accomplishments as a small business owner in the area.

Gustke is retiring after 66 years as a small business owner in Belpre. Gustke’s Department Store was the first of her four local businesses and it opened in 1946.

After that she owned Gustke’s Variety Store, Gustke’s True Value Hardware and eventually Memory Mall.

The Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce will be holding a celebration of Gustke’s accomplishments at Rockland United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

The event will be free and open to the public, according to Jackie Cassady,a Belpre Area Chamber of Commerce board member.

“We only ask that if you plan on attending you call the chamber first so we have an idea of how many refreshments we will need to serve everyone,” she said.

Gustke’s contributions to the community over the course of the past 66 years go way beyond the businesses she owned, Cassady said.

“Marie exemplifies what a dedicated small business owner means to a community,” she said. “It’s just amazing for her to have been in business for so many years and still have been able to volunteer her time to the community.”