The June 24, 2021 Thursday morning meeting of the Williams County Commissioners began with a half hour Executive Session to consider employment with Sheriff Tom Kochert.
No action was taken and the commissioners went straight into a meeting with Port Authority Board member, Dave Newcomer and, representing MVPO, Dennis Miller.
Newcomer informed the Commissioners that there is a need for them to appoint two members as two terms are expiring this year.
He said that Dick Reed, who is appointed by Bryan City, is interested in staying involved, at least for the duration of his term, and that one individual who “would be quite appropriate” has expressed an interest to Commissioner Lew Hilkert.
Hilkert said he is waiting to hear back from the individual and it was agreed amongst the group that they need to find people that have a desire and the drive, “especially with the housing problem” in the county.
A long discussion was held about the responsibilities and advantages of the Port Authority concerning land purchases and the building up of housing areas.
Holiday City is in the process of purchasing some land on which homes could be built, and Newcomer explained that if they do buy the land, “then they would eventually turn that over to the Port Authority and we would be trying to raise funds to develop I, and then of course, the unique ability of the Port Authority is to then sell it, and we don’t worry about market value and all that stuff, so we can try to find people who want a spec housing, which is what we need.”
It was pointed out that in order to build a home on a spec lot, it takes about $40,000, with the street, sewer, water and lights. The thought that not many people are willing to do any significant size subdivision as it is a risk.
Hilkert mentioned that the community cannot invest in the infrastructure so that would need to be private money, unless it was available through the Port Authority.
Newcomer stated, “That is where the Port Authority shines, and is what it is going to do. As the Port Authority would hold the property it would then be eligible for grant money which is where
MVPO comes in.” Commissioner Terry Rummel said there are other possible sources for money and that other communities in the county are eligible for it as well.
Other thoughts during the lengthy discussion included:
-The representation on the Port Authority needs to spread out for fairness
-How to allocate the lots without favoritism
-There is a tax increment financing being looked into at state in which they could borrow money at a reasonable rate
-That the Port Authority is an “appropriate beneficiary” for funds as they can give and receive money
-The need to “get this up and rolling by midsummer” so they can have the Board all appointed and be able to meet with the Bryan Area Foundation.
The Commissioners ended the discussion by saying that they will start working on coming up with names for appointees to the Port Authority Board, and thanked Newcomer and Miller for coming.
Items approved during the Regular Session:
-Resolution 234 Supplemental Appropriations on behalf of WC Common Pleas court; Hillside country Living; Prosecutor’s Office; and Sheriff’s Office
-Resolution 235 Approving employment agreement by and between WC Emergency Services and Todd Brookens, D.O. to oversee all clinical and patient care aspects for EMS at a cost not to exceed $12,000 per year
-Resolution 236 Approving Wage Reopener on behalf of WC JFS
-Resolution 237 Extending the Law Enforcement Professionl/Errors & Omissions coverage for the WC Humane Society for those performing duties of the Dog Warden, through July 31, 2021 at such time that they will need to obtain their own coverage
-Minutes of the June 21, 2021 meeting and payment of the bills
-Also Signed Courthouse Permit for Alive at 5 for July 15, 2021; Monthly Credit Card Appropriation for the month of July for the Commissioner’s office; Special hauling permit #21-040 SHP IT; dog Warden Report for weeks of June 7-13 and June 14-20, 2021; Permit to work within County/Township Road Right of Way Limits for Frontier Communications; Elevator Violation Notice; MVPO Request for Pay to Dan Nixon Construction
Juneteenth, the new holiday, was covered during the Commissioners meeting on Monday, June 21, but a new aspect came up on Thursday.
The following elected officials, Judges Stelzer and Gallagher, Vicki Grimm, Patti Rockey and Kellie Gray, dropped off a letter to the commissioners on Wednesday, June 23, stating that they will all be closed on July 2 for Junteenth, as even though it was much appreciated that the commissioners did not shut down for Friday, June 18th, they felt they should close for a day to hold it for this year.
Commissioner Rummel made a motion that a resolution be prepared for them to pass on Monday, June 28 to officially close the Courthouse for July 2, 2021.
Commissioners’ Clerk Anne Retcher gave updates, with some discussion on each topic, on the Law Library Renovations; the Resolution passed on April 2, declaring a State of Emergency needing to be replaced with a Resolution cancelling the declared public health emergency; the Courthouse Windows project; Memorial Benches; the need to get updates on other 2021 projects and on the 2020 projects that need to be wrapped up; and a complaint about a hog farm.
Commissioner Hilkert stated that in regards to the land for the Opdycke Park and that Land Purchase the appraisal has been complete and there is a chance that could close this month.
Commissioner Davis said that once that is complete they should set a date for an official dedication of the park.
With no further business, the morning sessions ended at 11 a.m.