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Village hires new administrator

New Enon leader is coming from job in Huber Heights city government.

The village here will have a new administrator next month after he was hired by council and sworn in by the mayor Tuesday night.

Christopher J. Lohr, 28, of Huber Heights, will take over the administrator duties March 4 from current Village Administrator Kristy Thome.

Lohr has served the city of Huber Heights for the majority of his public service career, working in areas of code enforcement, planning and zoning, staff management, budget preparation and grant funding, Mayor Tim Howard told council and residents.

“One of the things during the interview process that I did like about Chris was his desire and his passion for public service, and in particular to provide good service — customer service — to residents,” Howard told council before Lohr was confirmed unanimously by the five councilmen on hand. “That’s the type of person we need in Enon.”

Councilwoman Lorri Jenkins was absent.

Lohr holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Wright State University and graduated from Greenville High School in Darke County. He and his family moved to Greenville in the late 1980s, he said.

In the short term, upgrading the government center’s computer systems and updating the village’s website will be quick and easy fixes at a relatively low cost, he said.

Long term, the village has a strong vision for the future, Lohr said about council’s unanimous approval Tuesday of the second chapter of the Enon Strategic Plan. The plan is designed to guide the village into the next decade.

“I’ll be implementing that plan while maintaining the values of the community the residents find important to them,” Lohr said. “The residents of Enon definitely have strong community values, and my experience in Huber is going to work well with engaging residents and preserving those values.”

The Springfield News-Sun will publish a more detailed report about the final ESP Chapter 2 plan in Sunday’s paper.

Lohr was chosen among 41 applicants, 20 of whom met the minimum qualifications and 12 of whom were highly qualified, village officials said. His starting salary will be $47,000 per year, according to Howard.

“This selection process was competitive. It was tough to make the final decision because we did have such a good group of individuals to choose from,” Howard said.

“One thing I really liked was when I asked him a question, he looked me straight in the eye and he gave me an answer, and he didn’t try to beat around the bush.” Councilman Jerry Crane said. “I liked that and that he said, ‘I’m very active. I’ll get there in the trench if I have to to get these problems solved.’ ”

Lohr, his wife Kristen, and their 1½-year-old son plan to move to Enon when their current house is sold, he said Wednesday. Kristen was on hand to witness his swearing-in.

Thome will continue village employment by assisting the Enon Police Department in its bid for accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and continue her duties with Enon’s Mayor’s Court. She was appointed by Howard and approved by council as administrator in January last year.

In other business, council approved a resolution that will allow the water department to apply for a 20-year, low-interest loan to replace customers’ old water meters with new ones capable of being read remotely. The system will also include leak detection technology.

Water Superintendent Steve Durall told the Springfield News-Sun Monday that the project was low on the priority list among other communities statewide and that if it were somehow bumped up to recipient level, it would be subject to a 3.75 percent interest rate.

But Tuesday night, he updated the community that he’d received word later Monday from the Ohio EPA that the village was on the list to receive funding and that the interest rate would actually be 1.75 percent.

Principal and interest for the project is estimated at more than $429,300. It will go out for bid if the village is approved for the loan later this year.

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