The Paulding County Mayors Association recently held its quarterly meeting at the Paulding County OSU Extension building here with all 11 of the county’s villages represented.

Paulding County Economic Development Director Tim Copsey asked the mayors to continue to develop their goals and strategies for infrastructure needs.

He explained that if “we can get a ‘top 5’ list of projects from each village that we could put them all together on a spreadsheet and let the mayors of the county view them and rank them by need. In doing this and adding a tentative timeline, the county may be able to get better funding in committing the majority of funds toward one large project in the county rather than spreading funding out over two or three projects each year.”

Copsey noted that the mayors have been asked to submit their list prior to the next meeting, which is planned in July.

Continuing with the collaboration discussion, Copsey also brought up the need to think about collaborating on projects. Rather than having two neighboring small villages invest in new water or sewer plants, he asked if a line from the reservoir could be run to have good water flowing all the time.

“Not only would it save costs on water plant operators it could also open up a lot of area supplied by municipal water and provide opportunity for further economic development, he stated. “It would take more than collaboration from the villages involved, it would also include discussion with township officials. The development of a water district would put Paulding County in the same development discussions with surrounding counties that have already made this move, and put us ahead of those counties that haven’t.”

Discussion will continue, Copsey added.

Paulding County EMA Director Ed Bohn presented the group with the tentative maximum amounts each village could possibly receive from the American Rescue Plan. Bohn noted that county and village distribution will come directly from the federal government. If the townships also receive funds they will come directly from Ohio. Although there is not a definitive list of what these funds can be used for, there was great discussion on tentative uses and projects these could not be used for.

Paulding Commissioner Roy Klopfenstein gave a history of the PC Land Reutilization Corporation and where it stands today including listing the board members: Klopfenstein, Commissioner Mark Holtsberry, Paulding County Treasurer Lou Ann Wannemacher, Paulding Mayor Greg White and local businessman Mike Kauser.

Klopfenstein wants the mayors group to continue to think about possible properties to submit for the PCLRC. Klopfenstein also took the time to follow up on some of the information Bohn had presented.

Each mayor was provided time to bring up any thoughts or questions to the group. There was discussion about condemning properties and better utilization of social services network connections were two topics along with the Paulding County EMA’s early involvement in flood and railroad mitigation.

Copsey rounded out the meeting by mentioning workforce development and the need for good village utility workers from around the county. He suggested that if any mayors or councils have suggestions on putting a training program together that there could be training help from Northwest State Community College or Vantage Vocational School as well as funding help from Ohio Means Jobs.

Copsey also noted that Maumee Valley Planning is a valuable resource that all villages should be using in any project or funding discussions.