PAULDING – The December meeting of the Paulding County Land Reutilization Committee (Land Bank) was hosted at the office of the Paulding County Commissioners.

Matt Wagner, with EPA consultant Tetra Tech, shared that the long-awaited letter of approval from the US Army Corps of Engineers has finally been received.  The letter confirms that the bodies of water located on the former Stokely and Grizzley properties were man-made and are not actual designated Ohio wetlands.  With this confirmation the water can be drained and the property leveled for approved future development.  As the committee establishes criteria for a future excavation bidding, the current owner of the former Grizzley brake factory, Arvin Environmental Management, LLC. has committed to some property border foliage remediation and fence repair on the site.

The Paulding theatre building and adjoining Noneman building demolition will begin after the first of the year.  There continues to be research in regard to an adjoining wall on the west side of the theatre with a neighboring building.  Legal pieces are taking place to make sure everything is legally covered should the demolition of the wall hurt the integrity of that building.  The entire project must be complete by June 2024 for the Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) funding to be used.  The committee and Wagner are making sure the timeline will be met.

In regard to the residential and commercial blight removal program, completed applications continue to flow in.   Estee Miller, Planner with Maumee Valley Planning Organization, shared the updated list of Paulding County completed applications that have been received.  The committee discussed the list and also noted the several properties that applications have been sent out but not yet received.  The group understands there may be more applications this year than funds to provide remediation for all properties.  The committee will begin prioritizing the list.  The applications will be submitted to the state by April 1, 2024.

Miller also shared that the remaining $50,000 in funding from the first round of ODOD residential funds was approved to be used for existing projects.  This allowed four more projects to be bid for remediation.  These properties should see demolition work starting immediately.

Paulding County Economic Development Director, Tim Copsey updated the committee on the properties located on the Paulding County side of the Village of Scott.  A good meeting with the village council provided the detailed information requested by the county health department in regard to sewer and water connections there.  This should allow future new residential development on the four Paulding County Land Bank owned properties including a potential new Vantage Career Center student-built home.  If all details worked out the home would not begin until the 2025-26 school year.

The committee closed out the meeting going into executive session to discuss additional properties to acquire for potential remediation.  No decisions were made.  The land bank will continue to accept and work with property owners looking to find relief for properties that are behind on taxes or they are struggling to maintain or keep up.