Village Buy

A group of people has asked to become residents of this southeast Ohio village, mostly bought out by American Electric Power because of its proximity to a power plant.  More than 80 Cheshire Township residents want Gallia County commissioners to annex a two-square-mile piece of land, making them residents of the village.  Columbus-based A-E-P negotiated a 20 million-dollar buyout with Cheshire officials for its 221 residents in 2002.

Residents long had complained that pollution from the plant's smokestacks caused health problems.  The buyout deal said residents who agreed to move could not sue A-E-P over health issues.  Utility executives insist the air is safe and the buyout was mainly to give A-E-P more land for plant operations.