UPDATE … Williams County Mayors Association held an informative meeting with Williams County Port Authority members Sean Rupp and Dave Newcomer. (PHOTO BY LINDSAY PHILLIPS, STAFF)
By: Lindsay Phillips
Williams County Mayors Association began their meeting on Wednesday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Village Hall.
Those in attendance were welcome to a yummy meal prior to the business portion of the meeting.
Following a roll call, minutes from the previous meeting on October 19 we’re approved as well as financials. Mayors from Blakeslee, Edon, Holiday City, Pioneer, West Unity along with Williams County Commissioner Lewis Hilkert were in attendance.
Two members of Williams County Port Authority attended the meeting, Sean Rupp and Dave Newcomer, to give an update on what has recently been going on.
Rupp began their update by stating, “We’ve been working hard on getting some projects off the ground, we’re still working on our focus which is trying to develop more buildable lots in the county.”
“We don’t have a lot of places for that, so the process is very slow and tedious to get it going.”
“So, we have redirected our efforts to something with a little more instant gratification.”
“We started our first house in Montpelier and started talking with the land bank and people in town, decided that we should be looking for lots with nothing on them except water and sewer.”
Rupp added, “We started trying to build those, fill them in and make something happen while we’re waiting for infrastructure, funding, and everything.”
“The land bank meted us over a lot in Montpelier where a house had been removed and were building a thousand-foot square house.”
Rupp explained the idea behind this is, “Trying to find something that fits in there and not be ridiculously out of place but bring up the quality of the neighborhood and encourage neighbors to upgrade their houses.”
Rupp went on to share, “Dave took the information started going around to our local industry here and in Bryan, wherever we they can find an ear and do some fundraising.”
“What we really need money for is to try to help get these new developments going. The cost of road, water and sewer in those developments is extreme.”
“The reason we don’t have many of those around here is because they cost more to develop than the lots will sell for.”
Rupp addressed, “Were trying to get it down to where families that work in the factories and are looking for something to buy and move here and not be income subsidized or anything like that but be something they can purchase.”
“We are taking information from the WEDCO Housing Study that also said we need rental units, single family, multi-family.”
Dave Newcomer shared, “There are four subdivisions right now in the funnel, and it’s well over 200 lots, but I don’t think we can get it down to thirty thousand a lot.”
Following a long discussion had between Dave Newcomer, Sean Rupp and Mayor of Pioneer, Edward Kidston, information on the next scheduled meeting was brought up.
After a unanimous vote, the next Mayors Association Meeting originally scheduled for December 21, was cancelled due to the holidays.
With no further business the meeting was adjourned at 7:37 p.m.
Lindsay can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org