WEDCO DIRECTOR … During the Thursday morning, August 12, 2021 Williams County Commissioners sessions, Megan Hausch of the Williams County Economic Development Corporation shared her thoughts on the newly formed Williams County Infrastructure Program. Seated across from Ms. Hausch are Commissioners Lew Hilkert, Terry Rummel and Brian Davis. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Thursday morning, August 12, 2021, began for the Williams County Commissioners with their regular session at 9 a.m. in which they approved the following:
-Resolution 277 Supplemental Appropriations on behalf of Commissioners, Engineer’s Office and Hillside Country Living
-Resolution 278 Entering into a Point Click Care Agreement on behalf of Hillside Country Living
-Resolution 279 An Emergency Resolution to accept the Material terms of the OneOhio Subdivision Settlement pursuant to the OneOhio Memorandum of Understanding and Consistent with the terms of the July 21, 2021 National Opioid Settlement Agreement.
In the discussion on this resolution Commissioner Terry Rummel stated, “it appears that we are going to get between $212,000 and $303,000 from this settlement and I appreciate our attorneys for working on that. I know Katie Zartman spent a lot of time with it.”
Commissioner Brian Davis pointed out that it was done as an emergency because it had to be done by a certain date. It was also agreed that a meeting should be scheduled with Vickie Grimm to determine where the money should be placed.
-Resolutions 280 and 281 Funds for WC Dept. of JFS
-Resolution 282 Contract Amendment on behalf of WC Dept. of JFS
-Resolution 283 Entering into a Capital Improvement Project Grant Agreement – MARCS.
-Also Signed: Special Hauling Permit#21-047 Pat & Son Towing and Recovery, LLC; Quotation from Service Supply, Ltd., Inc. for benches and trash receptacles; Dog Warden Report for Week of August 2-8, 2021; Permit for Use of County Property for NAMI Four Co. Purpose is to Kick off Mental Health Awareness in All Four Counties on October 3, 2021; Change order #2 Final – Bruce Drive Storm Sewer Project
-Minutes and payment of bills
Following a short recess, Mr. Davis began the process of reviewing bids for the Maumee Valley Planning Project #3-2021 Pioneer South State Street with Denny Bell opening the bids. The bids were: Hillabrand & Sons Construction from Millbury, Ohio for $1,753,337.81; Miller Bros. Construction from Archbold, Ohio for $1,667,996.30; Bryan Excavating, LLC from Bryan, Ohio for $1,497,211.05; Vernon Nagel from Napoleon, Ohio for $1,494,580.00; and ER Zeiler Excavating from Temperance, Michigan for $1,530,402.50.
Another Bid Opening was held shortly after, for MVPO Project #4-2021 Pioneer North Street, Mulberry and Lincoln St. with Mr. Bell opening these also. The bids were: Miller Bros. Const for $2,378,906.90; Vernon Nagel for $2,181,646.62; ER Zeiler for $2,148,550.00; and Hillabrand Construction for $2,539,688.67.
Also that morning, the Commissioners held an Executive Session for negotiations with Fred Lord from JFS. They came out of the Executive Session WITH ACTION – Resolution 287 Approving Wage Re-opener on behalf of Williams County JFS was approved by all three commissioners.
At 10:30 the Commissioners met with Ms. Megan Hausch of Williams County Economic Development Organization (WEDCO). Ms. Hausch shared information concerning agreements with Moore Industries/Leslie Products.
The company, located in Montpelier, Ohio will be doing an 18,000 foot expansion of the facility, creating twelve jobs to go along with it. A portion of the space will be used for warehousing.
The terms of the agreement are ten years at 75% for the tax abatement, with no school donations required. Appropriate notices were sent to the school districts letting them know that the project is happening but they will still continue to get their regular taxes from it. They just don’t get a private donation from this agreement.
Hausch also spoke about the newly formed Williams County Infrastructure Program (WCIP) to which all new companies will sign an agreement to give a 1% yearly donation.
Moore Industries is one of the first companies signing this new enterprise zone agreement, that has the 1% donation on it. Companies will be asked to donate 1% of the savings to the infrastructure program or a minimum of $200 per year.
“We will be managing that along with the auditor’s office and MVPO annually,” Hausch explained. “So that is a great way to continue to invest in infrastructure in Williams County.
“This is going to be a part of every single enterprise zone agreement from here on out, so the expectation is standard for everyone.”
She spoke about how this is “long term strategic planning” for Williams County with each company giving at least $2000 over a ten year period.
There are still some details to be worked out on who will be invoicing the companies, but “there has been a fair amount of discussion on that with the auditor involved.
She has had some conversations with the state auditor and committee members, and we now feel that we have that line where that money should flow to,” Hausch clarified.
Another aspect of the WCIP is that eventually it will be a loan and/or grant program designed to reinvest in infrastructure from qualifying projects. There is an application sheet with eligibility requirements which has already been developed for use in the future.
“So the fund is actually going to continue to be capitalized by the Williams County Enterprise Zone. That 1% mandated for every single agreement, or when there is payback from waived RLF funds, will all be used for infrastructure.”
A Board will be appointed to release those funds, with Dennis Miller of MVPO guiding that process.
The commissioners then voted to approve resolutions applicable to Ms. Hausch’s report:
-Resolution 284. Approving an Enterprise Zone Agreement between Village of Montpelier and Leslie Products, LLC dba Moore Industries
-Resolution 285 Approving Donation agreement between Board of Commissioners of Williams County and Leslie Products, LLC.
-Resolution 286 Approving Donation agreement between Board of Commissioners of Willismas County and Altenloh Brink & Co. U.S., Inc.
Commissioner Lew Hilkert added a clarification for new companies to know, “In regards to these enterprise zones and the agreement that is entered into to help the company locate or establish their business, etc., when the Tax Incentive Review Committee meets each year, like Megan said, we have a bus that we check off – did they meet this goal, this goal, this goal?”
“If for some reason a company does not pay their amount that they had agreed to, that agreement can be considered null and void and they would have to start paying tax on the full valuation of the property.”
“To my knowledge we have never had to do that, but that is what would happen if a company would default on a tax incentive agreement.”
Hausch added, “It also makes them ineligible for any future abatement, so that is also very important to the companies.”
“The payment of these will be “picked up when the first tax roll is picked up. It will probably be next tax cycle or it could be the year after that.”
Before ending the sessions for the day, the Commissioners also met with Becky McGuire, the OSU Extension SNAP Educator for Williams County. She is an agent for ages from Head Start to the elderly population and is happy to be moving back into more in person meetings.
She met with a group from the Board of DD for a nutrition and exercise class, as well as a group from the Bryan Municipal Court Probation, teaching about how to shop for healthy foods on a budget, reading labels, etc.
They are also in person with Maumee Valley Guidance Center, JFS in October, and have been busy with the Summer Food Service Program, Open Hands Caring Heart Food Pantry. All of the Head Start classes are scheduled with four in the Pulaski center and one class in Montpelier.
Other places she is in touch with to start going there are CDI on Union St. in Bryan which is part of Four County, Edon Senior Center, and Pioneer Nazarene Church food pantry, working with Pastor McBride.
She is on the CHIP Board for WC and they meet to go over how to provide more fresh food access. The Farm to School, which is part of Head Start is progressing well and they are also working with the United Way on helping all of their food pantries to have more access to Fresh food.
Following her report, the Commissioners adjourned until 1:00 when they met with Job and Family Services for their Quarterly meeting.
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com