ANTWERP – Antwerp drivers are no longer allowed to make a right turn without stopping at Canal and Main Street, effective immediately.

Police Chief George Clemens addressed the stop sign news at Monday night’s Antwerp Village Council meeting. The state of Ohio determined that the sign that read “you must stop unless turning right” was deemed illegal, and the sign had already been removed by the start of the evening council meeting. Chief Clemens clarified this was not the decision of the village of Antwerp but the state of Ohio’s. However, it is now the law.

Water continued driving discussions, as the council held a second reading on water rate increases. As previously reported, residents can expect to see a $75 increase in their quarterly water tap rate. Councilman Bryce Steiner stated he had a resident tell him that he would rather see water lines replaced before a new water treatment plant was constructed.

Village administrator Davis stated, “I would not disagree with that. In reality, it’s going to take a couple of years to have a water plant. The village would be able to generate revenue during that time that could be used to replace the water lines.”

He was then asked about the water regionalization study that was released this week and whether it would be discussed or not. Davis told council it would be better for members to read the report before discussing it.

Councilmembers Stan Jordan and Jason Franks attended the meeting where the study was discussed, and Jordan highlighted some concerns that came from the report. To start, Jordan said the Ohio Department of Development stated that Antwerp is projected to be the fastest growing part of Paulding County due to its proximity to US-24. This would put added strain on the water system. After giving a brief recap of the regionalization meeting, he added that it all comes down to which option is cheapest and whether or not the village can afford to wait for regionalization to occur if it has a five-year timeline.

Davis concurred, “I think we run in a tangent until we get to a point where one is more attractive than the other. I mean I don’t want to sit back and they spend two years on a study, only to find out that we still need a water plant and then we’re two years behind.

He added that he would sit down in the next month and access the current systems in order to develop priorities to focus on in the future.

In other action, Davis has been working to secure grant funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Davis applied for the grant to the county commissioners CDBG funding, and the state responded saying the village has to expand the downtown area. Davis further explained that this is not a zoning matter but will only create a new boundary line on the map to extend the downtown area and will not affect property taxes. Council approved expanding the downtown business district as an emergency, in order to meet the time frame to qualify for the grant.

Funding from the CDBG program will be used to improve the roads and sidewalks along Railroad Street. Repairs will include all new sidewalks from Main St to Cleveland St. There will be some trenching and digging required for new water lines to provide sufficient water flow. Some new stonework will also be required, along with complete resurfacing of the road with new asphalt. There will be parallel parking and the street will be one way. The council hopes to bid the project by the end of the first quarter.

The village fiscal officer was approved to transfer $5,000 from the general fund to the street lighting fund.

Council held a second reading for establishing the times and places for the 2023 meeting.

Visitor Bill Boylan was in attendance to represent the zoning commission to assist council members with amendment to the zoning ordinance.

(Julie Anna Densmore is a staff writer at The Paulding County Progress. She can be reached at jadensmore@progressnewspaper.org.)