BOARD ROOM … Meeting at the East Annex conference room requires the Williams County Port Authority to set up each time they meet. For the September 30, 2022 meeting, they had a board room look to them with members (from left) Tyson Stuckey, Dick Reed, Bart Westfall, and John Drinnon facing Dawn Fitzcharles, Dave Newcomer and Sean Rupp. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
Williams County Port Authority met on Friday, September 30, 2022 at 1 p.m. in the East Annex Conference Room. All Board members were present, with Dave Newcomer leading the meeting. Approval was given for:
-the meeting minutes for August 24, 2022
-Williams County Port Authority Resolution 2022-002 A resolution designating Farmers and Merchants State Bank (F&M) as a public depository
-Authorization of Sean Rupp and Dawn Fitzcharles, Clerk-Treasurer and Secretary, to be assigned to the depository accounts with F&M State Bank
-Williams County Port Authority Resolution 2022-003 Authorizing Clerk-Treasurer to apply for, accept, and enter into a loan agreement for the project located at 503 Ohio St., Montpelier, with the State Bank and Trust Company. (Sean Rupp explained that this will have a $125,000 line of credit and as they sell the house, the money will go back into the line.)
-A line of credit established in the amount of $70,000 with Menards and $60,000 with Big C Lumber, for the purchase of lumber and supplies as the houses are built
-The budget of $120,000 for 503 Ohio Street home
-Expenses for the month ending September 30, 2022
There was some discussion surrounding the house on Ohio in Montpelier. Sean Rupp said they hope to get started on the building of it in October.
He also informed the board that Montpelier Village Council has been very helpful in doing whatever they can to keep the costs down.
Dave pointed out that they want to get started so that they can have it closed in for the winter.
Before going into an executive session, Sean Rupp introduced Zeb and Stacy Lillard to the group.
He stated that as they are looking for someone to recommend to the commissioners as the replacement for Bart Westfall when he moves into his newly elected office of commissioner, he feels strongly that either both or one of these would be great for the group.
Stacy does residential housing sales and Zeb works for Saneholtz McKarn, making either of them a great fit to fill Westfall’s seat.
“They could help us with a lot of the things we are doing, and I think of them as a package deal and would like to have both of them on the board,” Rupp said.
He welcomed them and said he hopes that they will consider coming on board, and offered to sit down with them for more information that might help them make a decision.
Newcomer said that only one could fill the seat and thanked them for coming and considering the position.
John Drinnon thanked them for coming also and for the interest they are showing, and Newcomer asked them to take a little time to discuss it and get back to them.
Bill Martin, who was also present, thanked the group for all they are doing and said he is working on fundraising all over the county.
He pointed out the large need for employees in the county and said that employers are showing a willingness to make donations.
He also said that the employers are a little confused on the public side of this picture.
Martin stated that all the government groups are going to need to kick in some money to get this to work.
Dawn Fitzcharles said that it is a multi-faceted problem and will take several different solutions to solve.
She reported that she and Newcomer have been working on another point of interest to get things rolling for the county.
Recently they “made contact with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency which is the agency that is in charge of a lot of the larger developments, and issuing credits.”
She went on to explain that the financial growth map of Williams County “is completely backwards and it is not what we really need here.”
“They have agreed to come and take a tour of the county with us and help us to make some of those changes.”
Newcomer added that this will be really important. Fitzcharles shared that a few years ago the IRS said that the east side of Bryan is an opportunity zone, but the group who determines points for money to be given, said it is on the west side of Bryan.
They are in the last year for that criteria and are hoping to get it changed at the state level, putting in other areas of the county instead of just one spot in Bryan, and that one being the wrong one.
“This will draw in the larger scale developments,” Fitzcharles said, “and it will help to make the money work as it all comes down to money.”
She said they are preparing for the tour they will give and look forward to it even though any money would not show up until 2024 or 2025.
The group went into executive session at 1:35 to discuss the acquisition of property, asking Bill Martin to stay for the session. No action was expected to be taken.
Rebecca at firstname.lastname@example.org