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County-owned buildings to be assessed

Washington County Courthouse, 205 Putnam St., Marietta. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

The condition of all county-owned buildings will soon be assessed by the Southeast Ohio Building Department.

In a recent meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners, Commissioner Jamie Booth said this was something he was interested in getting done.

“When you’re elected as an official, the citizens trust you to take care of their property, i.e. the buildings,” Booth said Tuesday. “We are not doing our due diligence if we do not assess where we are with maintenance.”

He said he’s never heard of the county assessing all of its properties before.

“I can tell you this, and I mentioned it to the inspectors, but Russ Metz has been here for 25 years and he was elated that we’re finally going to get to do this,” said Rick Dostal, chief building official. “To his knowledge, this has never been requested, not from the building department.”

Washington County Health Department, 342 Muskingum Drive, Marietta. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

Inspections will begin Thursday with the Washington County Health Department, which is housed at the former children’s home on Muskingum Drive.

Booth said the commission owns a lot of buildings, but the main focus for now is the occupied buildings. At the top of the list are the Washington County Courthouse; 202 Davis Ave., where the OSU Extension has offices; 204 Davis Ave., where Washington County Job and Family Services, Children Services, Washington County Emergency Management Association and the Washington County Board of Elections are housed; the health department; and 1115 Gilman Ave., the home of the commissioners, OhioMeansJobs, some JFS offices and the Washington County Board of Behavioral Health.

“Those are the ones we’re going to start with first,” Dostal said.

Dostal noted there are dozens of county-owned buildings and he is working with county officials to get an active list of the properties.

“There’s going to be some challenges, so the commissioners are going to have to assess what will be priority,” Booth said. “We’ll get the assessment and see what makes the most sense.”

1115 Gilman Ave., Marietta, which houses Washington County Job and Family Services, Washington County Behavioral Health Board and Washington County Board of Commissioners. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

He said grading would be a general synopsis of what work needs to be done at each property. They don’t want any permits for residential or commercial work to be held up, so the building department is working on it as they can.

Buildings will go through an inspection similar to a home inspection, where windows, roofs, HVAC, and interior and exterior conditions will be assessed.

Dostal still believes it could all be done by the end of March.

The last year and a half, agency moves were discussed and started by the previous board of commissioners. The board moved to the Gilman Avenue property, along with the board of behavioral health.

Booth said nothing has been determined as to whether the health department will still move to Gilman Avenue.

OSU Extension Office, 202 Davis Ave., Marietta. (Photo by Michele Newbanks)

“This is the reason for the assessment of the buildings, because it’s crazy to move anyone around if there’s work to be done.”

Agency moves previously announced included housing the entirety of Washington County Job and Family Services at 202 and 204 Davis Ave., while the OSU Extension and health department would relocate to Gilman Avenue.

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