Williams County Commissioners Consider How To Pay For Airport Hanger Proposal

By: Rebecca Miller

The desire to have a new airport hanger is mutual amongst the commissioners and Brent Wilson, with the airport authority, but how to get it paid for is the big question.

During the October 4, 2021, Monday morning meeting, Wilson presented more information and figures for the commissioners to consider. Before that, they took care of regular business which included the approval of the following:

-Supplemental Appropriations

-Also signed – Courthouse Permit for the WC Victim Assistance Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Crime to be held at 5 p.m. on October 13, 2021; Dog Warden report for September 2021; Letter of recommendation to hire Full time business office assistant request to hire E. Tonneas

-Minutes for September 30, 2021 and payment of bills

Commissioner Lew Hilkert reported to the other commissioners that he had received a phone call from Ohio One, concerning the suit on the opiate funds. Adam Schwiebert, of Ohio One called him the day after they got back from the conference in Columbus.

The suit has been settled in the State of Ohio and CCAO is setting up a foundation that will distribute the funds in the future. He was asked by them if he would serve on setting up that foundation or the committee and he accepted.

Commissioner Terry Rummel said that he was confused because he thought he was on that committee that was established for the seven county area, but he is would be fine with Hilkert stepping into that position.

Rummel also said that he had received a hand written letter from county resident, Jane Snyder, “requesting that we spend this money towards opioid related deaths and prevention. I would like to tell her that her wishes are being looked at and I one hundred percent agree with that.”

Following a short recess, the commissioners returned to regular session with Brent Wilson on the phone to “chat about a new hanger proposal.” The conversation lasted from 10:28 to 10:42 and the basic points made were:

-The bid opening for the hanger was held on September 30, 2021 at Wilson’s office

-The bids were higher, as was discussed the last time they talked

-The three ways that companies could bid for the job and which ones save a little money

-The three companies that bid were Rupp/Rosebrock, Inc., Thiel Construction and Strebig Construction

-There was a $200,000 difference between two of them, so he planned to meet with them on October 6 to determine what is included in the actual bids

-It looks like the project is going to have a budget of somewhere around 2 million dollars, due to the steel costs

-He asked for a decision by the end of next week, (October 14) because the steel companies say they will only hold their cost until then and there will probably be a 10% cost increase in the next 60 days

-Other possibilities such as only building portions of the project, like the main building but not the offices, or leaving out the EMA special parts of the project, but said his recommendation is “it is in the best interest of the county to consider building the entire building, because the odds of coming back to do it later are probably slim to none.” His reasoning is that it is just going to get more and more expensive the longer they wait.

-Where the money will come from

-Whether a potential jet is going to come through

-Who else has jets (20/20 Custom Plastics and sometimes Titan Tire for overnight)

-Revenue has doubled as they sell fuel now

It was agreed that Wilson should return on Thursday with numbers that will help them determine what to do. The meeting adjourned at 10:42 a.m. (and the topic was picked up again on Thursday, October 7, 2021 with Mr. Wilson in person at the meeting.)

Rebecca can be reached at rebecca@thevillagereporter.com

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