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Villagers elect 2 new councilmen

Fire levy passes

COAL GROVE — In a race where neither incumbent sought re-election, two newcomers will fill the seats of Coal Grove council.

Joe Ross and Nick McKnight came out on top with 34.71 and 33.93 percent of the votes, respectively. The only other candidate and former councilman, Frederick Phillip Roush, was close behind with 31.36 percent of the votes.

According to unofficial results, 1,283 ballots were cast.

Ross, 50, chief detective with the Ironton Police Department, said the race was a close one but he’s glad it’s over.

“It’s been a long six months,” he said.

When he takes office in January, Ross said he would prioritize getting the police department up to date on software, as well as work toward adjusting residents’ water bills.

“The police department talked to me about getting updated software, LEADS Online,” he said.

McKnight, 45, ran in a previous election but was defeated by four votes after a recount.

“This time I really worked hard,” he said. “It just tells me the people of Coal Grove are wanting a change.”

McKnight thanked the villagers for voting for him and said his goal would be to clean up the village.

“I hope to clean the village up a little bit and make it look a lot better,” he said. “… Everyone wants a good environment for their kids to grow up in.”

Ross and McKnight will replace outgoing councilmen Tim Sexton and Samuel Hall.

Residents in the village also vote in favor of a fire levy, with 452 votes for and 378 votes against.

The 2-mil tax levy is expected to bring in $40,250 a year and cost the owner of a $100,000 house $63 annually.

Funds generated from the levy will go to the Coal Grove Volunteer Fire Department to help with the cost of keeping equipment updated.