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Brilliant Profits From Power

March 28, 2013
By JOSELYN KING - Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BRILLIANT - Former Wells Township Trustee John Goosman - a current member of the Brilliant Water and Sewer District board - said his greatest fear is that someday he will look out his window and not see the smoke coming from the nearby Cardinal Power Plant.

The non-incorporated community of Brilliant now profits from "the smoke" and tax collections stemming from the American Electric Power facility, which lies within Wells Township.

Brilliant voted to disincorporate and be serviced through Wells Township in 1993 - and it was just the third community in Ohio to ever do so. The village of Brilliant was officially dissolved at midnight Dec. 31, 2003.

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Since then, the community has not had a mayor or council. The former Brilliant municipal building now serves as home to the Wells Township trustee office.

Goosman said the move to dissolve the village has proven to be a financial beneficial for the community.

"I was initially opposed," he said. "But when you looked at our finances, you saw we had to do something. ... If not, we wouldn't have had the money to fix our road."

Brilliant was initially named "Phillipsburg" when the post office opened in the community in 1832, but travelers often confused the Jefferson County village with another Phillipsburg in Tuscarawas County, according to the book "Brilliant," compiled by the community for Ohio's bicentennial in 2003.

The community owes its name to the the Brilliant Glass Co., which opened in the former Phillipsburg in 1880. To honor the business, village leaders changed the name of the community to "Brilliant" in 1882.

Not long after, the Brilliant Glass Co. burned to the ground. It was rebuilt but never recovered and experienced financial difficulties. After changing hands many times, the facility reopened as Brilliant Glass in 1888 but moved to Greensburg, Pa., the following year. The firm then became the Greensburg Glass Co.

Graham and Co. reopened the facility as a prescription bottle facility in 1894, calling it the Brilliant Flint Glass Works. The factory burned down yet again in 1895 and was not rebuilt.

Goosman said he grew up in Brilliant.

"It's a wonderful place for me," he said. "It's a typical small town where everyone knows everybody and helps everyone."

The community is "safe for the kids," he continued. Goosman also pointed to the amenities found in Brilliant, including good public services and nice public facilities such as the community's park and pool.

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