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Citizens discuss improvement areas

Adam Panas, a grant writer and administrator for Maumee Valley Planning Organization, led a community meeting Monday to get more information on what areas of the village need improvements for a Community Revitalization Grant. Pictured from left are: Montpelier Manager Jason Rockey, Nick Walters, community development Planner for MVPO, and Panas.

Lucas Bechtol | The Bryan Times

MONTPELIER— A small group of Montpelier residents are discussing improvements needed at the village as part of a grant application process.

Village officials are working on an application for a Neighborhood Revitalization Grant.

“Through that program, you can conduct a minimum of three projects and apply for up to $750,000 to help fund those improvements,” said Adam Panas, a grant writer and administrator for Maumee Valley Planning Organization, which is writing the grant application. “To be able to even apply for that, we need to conduct community participation outreach.”

That outreach included a survey distributed to residents as well as a meeting Monday night held at the firestation.

The survey served as the basis of the conversation Monday. Survey respondents reported street improvements as the main focus area, with 76.3% responded they were “somewhat” or “very” needed.

Land use and storm water drainage facilities were the next two highest reported, at 72.4% and 57.7%.

“This (meeting) is to supplement the survey data and give you guys an open forum for the next hour or so to add anything you couldn’t express so well in survey responses,” Panas said.

Village Manager Jason Rockey said the project area for the grant was chosen on income.

“The higher the low-to-moderate income rating of a particular plot group, the higher it ranks,” he said.

Therefore, the project area for this grant would be bounded by Snyder Street to the north, the railroad tracks to the south, the river to the west and Fairview Street to the east.

River Street was quickly suggested as needing help in that area, with another person soon saying “I second that.”

North Platt Street was also suggested. Both streets were described as crumbling with a lot of patches.

The 200 block of South Monroe Street was described as settled and uneven.

With the potential of alleys qualifying for funding, residents suggested the alley by the post office, which is located on Empire Street.

This alley is heavily used because it has two mail drop boxes.

Another alley discussed was one off Opdyke Street heading to Madison Street.

“This is good,” Panas said. “Well, the participation is great.”

Sidewalks were also discussed, with one person saying just about any street in that area have sidewalk issues.

Councilman Chris Kannel said the sidewalks in the 200 block of West Jefferson Street were “almost non-existent” on the south side of the road. When it comes to land use, Panas said a lot of the category had to do with demolition or renovation of unsightly properties or buildings and dealing with blight. “Everywhere needs some of that,” he said. Several different properties were suggested here, including properties on Empire Street, West Court Street, West Jefferson Street and East Madison Street. Village officials will take all of these ideas and more discussed at the meeting or in the survey to decide on what projects they want to use in their grant application. “We’re going to have one stakeholder meeting and one final, local meeting with the public where we will present a final draft,” Panas said. After that, he said the application would be filed through the Williams County Commissioners by June 14.

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