CHRISTKINDL MARKET … Russ Davis and Ann Spangler, of Bryan Development Foundation are seen here with Williams County Commissioners, Lew Hilkert, Terry Rummel and Brian Davis, as they gave a power point presentation of their plans for a lovely little vendor village on the green this Christmas. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Russ Davis and Ann Spangler, representing the Bryan Development Foundation, met with the Williams County Commissioners during the Thursday, July 8, 2021 sessions.
Davis shared a power point presentation to explain their hopes to hold a Christmas market in the Williams County Courthouse yard where Santa’s House is put up each year.
The official name of the market is “Christkindl Market of Bryan” and it’s purpose is to draw shoppers to downtown Bryan over the time period between Thanksgiving and Christmas.
The twelve little wooden “shops” would be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday each weekend during that time, with a total of 12 market days.
The hours are to be determined, but the other details of the Bavarian chalet style little village were given and the Commissioners all agreed it is a great idea, and gave it their blessing.
The Christkindl Market will be a European street market celebrating Christmas, featuring unique gifts and foods that cater to all ages, and will be on the sidewalks surrounding Santa’s House.
Each of the market stalls will be approximately 6×6 feet with coordinated decorating.
Davis stressed that it will be a lovely look, with nothing garish. One of the most important aspects of this market is that the vendors chosen to use the twelve booths will NOT compete with current products or offerings on the square.
The Foundation will review Vendor Applications and specifically choose twelve vendors who will bring style, class, fun and no competition to what is already available.
They will be chosen based on cultural fit, experience, hand crafted, quality, uniqueness and overall presentation.
The Foundation believes the market will increase traffic for retail businesses and restaurants, broaden the product/gift offerings on the square, be a high quality experience and increase the marketability of Downtown Bryan as a destination during the Christmas season.
They will be approaching businesses and people to fundraise the money for the stalls and Spangler said they already have a few who have said they are interested in funding one of the little houses. It has been determined that each one will cost around $4000.
Davis said during the presentation, “Bryan does Christmas incredibly well and the idea came to leverage the things that Bryan and Williams County are already doing.
The Chamber has made a significant investment in Christmas lights and our town square looks amazing at that time of year.” They have started building a prototype stall to work out the kinks and get the most efficient and movable buildings possible.
They hope that over the years, depending on the success of the Christkindl Market, they could add on to the twelve they plan to do this year.
There was more information as to aspects including:
-About DORA, with the statement made, “we would certainly be mindful of that and make sure that the education level is there that we don’t have people spilling over into areas where they shouldn’t be.”
-About the grass and whether the houses would kill it. It was agreed that as it is winter and they will be removed long before the grass starts growing in the spring, it should be ok.
-The safety of the buildings for the vendors – The window opens up and serves as a shelf and nighttime they can be locked up so they would be very secure.
-They do not expect the downtown merchants to offer discounts or moonlight sales, as the goal is to expand the experience on the square, not offer a sidewalk sale atmosphere.
-The need for a place to store all of them during the year, and Davis said that at this point in time they think they will be able to use space that the Chamber uses to store Santa’s House, but they do need to find a specific place for the off season.
-The need for electrical outlets and the expectation that the electric cost will be borne by the Foundation, not the county.
After the presentation, the Commissioners encouraged them to get the needed permit and go ahead and move forward with the market.
In regular business, the Commissioners approved:
– Resolution 244 Supplemental Appropriations on behalf of Common Pleas Court; Engineer’s office; FCFC and Hillside Country Living
-Resolution 245 Accepting the Purdue Pharma, LP Bankruptcy Plan
-Resolution 246 Approving Credit Card Application on behalf of Hillside Country Living
-Resolution 247 Approving Ohio Supreme Court Grant on behalf of WC Common Pleas Court
-Also Signed – Change order for Bona Vesta Flood and Drainage Improvements Project; Dog Warden report for month ending June 30, 2021 and Weekly report for week of June 28-July 4, 2021; Permit for use of County Property – Bryan City Band Concerts on July 14 and 21, 2021; and Application for payment for Tower Project
-Minutes for July 1, 2021
-Payment of bills as submitted by the auditor
In other matters brought before the Board, Commissioner Terry Rummel reported, “The Northwest Ohio Juvenile Detention Center has offered their employees a stipend for working mandatory overtime due to the shortfall of workers.
They are requesting a special invoice to be paid for $7,590 in order to get them to right size the budget.” They are struggling financially due to the pandemic and because the number is down substantially, so he foresees that they will need more help in the future.
He mentioned that they are finding ways that they can possibly use the American Rescue Plan money to help them fill the void. Commissioner Lew Hilkert asked that Rummel request credit for future revenues when they are able to do so.
Rummel also said that the JDC is in “desperate need of guards” so they are “going to make a plea out to churches to see if there are some groups of men’s Bible Studies that would be willing to come in and get trained.” Hilkert clarified that when they have a proposal they should bring it to the commissioners for approval.
Hilkert reported that he had a conversation with Sheriff Tom Kochert and Kochert would like to “implement the recent holiday pay to the deputies and the department either in the form of a floating holiday or it could be paid for that holiday as handled in other departments.”
Due to the union contract, it had not yet been addressed. There was some discussion concerning this request with the agreement that its should be regular holiday pay, not two and a half times pay.
The Commissioners also met during that morning with County Treasurer Kellie Gray for their Investment Meeting. It was led by Ms. Gray and lasted only a few minutes as she updated them on paperwork which they had been provided.
An update was given by Commissioner Rummel on the need for public transportation in Williams County. He said he has been in contact with Kim Lammers, mobility manager for Northwest Ohio Mobility. They are trying to bring their transportation network back into Williams County as an inter-county network.
He spoke about the coordinated plan for transportation in other counties with individual vans, that transport anyone who needs a ride.
It is a backup plan to the Job and Family assistance and K&P Transport services. It could be used by anyone who needed a ride.
Rummel will be attending a meeting on July 15 to discuss it with local WC partners and then will bring a full presentation for the Board.
There was some discussion about a 50% matching grant and the possibility of using the “fleet” that Williams County already owns for the Senior Centers.
With no further business, the sessions were adjourned for the day.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org