Defiance County commissioners received updates from several officials during their Monday meeting, including the county’s economic development director.
Defiance County Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) Director Erika Willitzer made mention of Keller Logistics’ planned investment in Defiance, saying she would return to commissioners for support in the future. This likely will concern an economic development incentive for the project.
A proposal by Keller to construct a new building on Commerce Drive for its packaging business (now in Napoleon) was considered by the city’s planning commission Monday afternoon (see related story).
“I still have to get (city) council’s support, which I don’t see any issue with, but I have to do that along with a waiver because some of those jobs will be coming from Napoleon to Defiance,” said Willitzer. “That was all communicated with Henry County a long time ago. Once I get that done I will be bringing that before you for support as well well.”
Henry County commissioners had agreed to a tax incentive for the Keller Packaging building near Campbell Soup Company in Napoleon in the past.
Willitzer also made mention of her office’s “manufacturing breakfast summit,” which is scheduled for 8 a.m. on July 29 at the K of C Hall, 111 Elliott Road as well as efforts to diversify the county’s potential industrial sites. She said the CIC has three new “good” sites to offer.
The summit will include a number of speakers from Ohio Means Jobs, Northwest State Community College, Four-County Career Center, the Dream Center and the Regional Growth Partnership.
Additionally, Willitzer explained that she has conducted 71 business visits since she took over last year and is working with the Village of Ney on a community reinvestment area while a CIC website revamp is underway.
She also mentioned a new welding program offered by Northwest State and the Dream Center that attempts to match persons with companies that need welders. The program begins Aug. 4.
Later, Willitzer met with commissioners in executive session to discuss economic development.
Also Monday, Randy Vogel delivered his monthly report which noted that his office handled 74 complaints and made 37 arrests while taking 18 dogs to the animal shelter.
The majority of these charges were failure to confine a dog while six failure to register violations were issued as well. Five dog bites were investigated during June.
Vogel’s office is searching for an assistant dog warden as the assistant is stepping down.
He told The Crescent-News that the position will go from part-time to full-time with a 35-hour week and pay in the $15-$16 range. Vogel noted the difficulty of finding part-time help in the current economy.
In other business Monday, commissioners:
• received Defiance County Engineer Warren Schlatter’s weekly update. He noted that paving recently was completed on Conkle and Farmer-Mark roads while work is beginning on Kramer Road. The county’s cement stabilization program, in which certain roads are churned up and reconstituted as a cheaper alternative to a full reconstruction, also is underway.
• met with Brad Fritch, the county’s wastewater operations supervisor, for his monthly update.