Newcomerstown Village Council appointed local Pastor Jim Reed to the council seat vacated by councilmember Janet Bush.

There were four local residents seeking the one-year term. Council brought forth the nominations of Pastor Reed and former councilmember Earl McCormick for a vote.

"All of you bring great knowledge to the table," said councilmember Heather Stein-Wells, who was referring to the four applicants who sought the position.

Pastor Reed, who serves as the pastor of the Newcomerstown Church of Christ in Christian Union, was not given the oath of office last Monday, but will be sworn-in prior to the next council meeting which is set for Monday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m. at the David Barber Civic Center, Newcomerstown.

However, there will be four seats up for election this year and petitions of those running for office have been circulating throughout the community. Mayor Jim Friel said he is excited about the community's involvement and thanked all those that applied to fill this vacancy.

In other business, council agreed to switch electric companies for government-owned properties in the village in order to save money.

Councilmember Stein-Wells said by switching to Aspen Energy rather than AEP, it would save the village approximately $27,932 a year. She said the power lines would still be maintained by AEP because they own the lines but Aspen Energy would be supplying the electricity.

The village agreed to sign a one-year contract with Aspen Energy after meeting with representatives who have the electric supplier and are satisfied with the service.

The new contract is expected to be signed immediately.

Councilmember Jim Carr asked Mayor Friel about the vacated former Simonds Industries property on Heller Drive. He asked what is being done. Mayor Friel said he is checking on it and had asked one individual about purchasing it.

Carr said he has had several telephone calls about the condition of the property.

In other business, council approved a motion to amend the Employment Personnel Policy Manual section 8.1, which refers to a full two-week notice must be given upon resignation from employment with the village.

After an approximate 40-minute executive session to discuss personnel, council voted to not extend the contract of the former fiscal officer Kim Meek in order for her to continue training the new fiscal officer Beth Ferguson-Pollock and finish the year-end reports. Instead, council agreed to allow her contract to expire with the village.

Council also approved Pay Ordinance No. 2 in the amount of $104,083.72 for payment of certain bills.