• 64°

2 want to lead Proctorville for next 4 years

PROCTORVILLE — The race for the mayor of Proctorville this November will be a rematch between incumbent Mayor Rick Dunfee and village councilman Brian Root.

Four years ago was the first time for each man to run for the top post in the village. Then six candidates were vying for the seat. Out of 213 votes cast then Dunfee pulled 92 or 43 percent. Root came in second with 59 votes or 28 percent.

Root, who is a small business owner, wants to see the village apply for grants in order to improve the infrastructure.

“We need new water lines, new sidewalks,” he said. “There is a lot of tree removal needed that is tearing up the sidewalks. The water lines are very old and they pull out sediment. (Replacing them) has been promised to the residents for four years.”

There isn’t money in the village’s roughly $250,000 budget to fund these improvements, he said.

“There are grants for just about anything,” he said. “My idea is to go for everything we can get and follow up with calls and make them see we really need it.”

Dunfee, who spent 14 years as the village administrator before becoming mayor, sees the need for upgrades but says they will have to wait until funds become available.

“We don’t have extra money to do any of the projects,” he said. “We did refinance the water plant. In three years we will have that completely paid for.”

The plant, which was built in the late 1990s, originally was paid for with a loan from Chase Bank at 8 percent interest. By refinancing the loan through the county’s Neighborhood Investment Program, that rate has dropped to 2 percent.

Both men want to resurrect a wellness program that the village once had for seniors where a medical provider would offer health checks for free.

Root also wants to address the growing drug problem in the area.

“No one wants to admit it is here,” he said. “Probably not on a large scale. I think awareness is probably the best thing with the children. I want to get a Meet the Police (event). We have a wonderful police chief. I would like to have a Saturday were they could meet him.”

Dunfee wants to eliminate dilapidated abandoned buildings in the village.

“You have to go through foreclosure and it is a costly procedure,” he said.

Both men cite their experience as making them both qualified for the job.