PAULDING – Could two former industrial properties in Paulding be turned into new manufacturing sites, or even a solar farm? Paulding Village Council learned about interest in the properties at the regular meeting Monday, Nov. 1.

Bagged leaf collection started last week and will continue on Mondays and Thursdays until further notice. Leaves must placed at the curb.

Tim Copsey, Paulding County Economic Development director, addressed council on possible interest in brownfield properties in the village. Brownfields are former commercial-industrial properties potentially impacted by contaminants from past use.

Copsey said the Land Bank has discussed the former Grizzly factory site on West Caroline Street. Money is available to the county to clean up brownfields and/or commercial buildings. Copsey and the Land Bank have started collecting data on the site and what it might take to make the 30-some acres usable again, either as a greenspace or to return it to a state where it could be used for a manufacturing facility again.

In addition, Copsey has received inquiries through Regional Growth Partnership about the Stokely Ponds site, owned by the village, and also the Grizzly site. Both are located on the west side of the village. The company might be willing to purchase the properties “as-is” and clean it up themselves.

Copsey asked if the village might have any interest in selling the Stokely Ponds, across the road from Grizzly. He asked if the ponds – which were used for tomato processing waste at the Stokely cannery – are a brownfield site.

Councilman Randy Daeger raised another possibility: installing a solar farm. The electricity generated could offset the village’s electricity costs.

Daeger suggested the village might be able to hire a contractor to bulldoze the banks of the ponds, fill them in and level the site.

“I need some guidance from you guys of where you want it to go and how to proceed, because I’m getting hit from several different angles for that property,” Copsey told council.

Copsey has asked for Phase 1 study cost estimates for the former Stokely and Grizzly properties. He expects to have more information soon.

Mayor Greg White told council members to think about options and discuss them further at a committee of the whole meeting, to be scheduled later.

Before leaving, Copsey commended village administrator Jason Vance for all he has been doing for economic development. “He’s doing a lot to help us out, not only on this project, but several other projects around the village.”

Council discussed problems with delays in processing some utility bills, causing late fees.

Some residents who pay their bill with online banking may experience delays of about eight days before the village receives the payment. Council noted the situation should improve when the new billing software goes live next spring.

In the meantime, officials said online customers should be aware their bank funds may not be released immediately, and to plan ahead when paying bills to avoid late fees.

Vance was asked on the status of recent bug inspections on several properties. He responded that letters are being drafted to the property owners about future expectations.

Inspections were completed where village officials could get access to the buildings. The owner of the Three Brothers building and apartments did not respond to the village’s letters.

Vance told council the swimming pool renovation contractor has completed the final coatings so the pool should be ready for the 2022 summer season.

Councilman Tim Boss reported on the joint meeting between the salary and allowance committee and the recreation committee to discuss pool worker wages and requirements. The committees recommended the following compensation for next year:

• Pool manager, salary $7,000 to $8,000.

• Head lifeguard $12-$13 per hour.

• Lifeguards $11.50 per hour.

• Concessions $9.75-$10 per hour. They further recommended a minimum of six lifeguards to safely operate the pool.

Council unanimously approved the report, which authorizes the recommendations.

Daeger said the utilities committee met Oct. 19 to discuss the proposed Gasser Road (Road 144) utilities extension project. The committee was satisfied that all funding for the project is in place. Council approved the report, which allows Vance to move forward with engineering and bids.

The police department during October responded to 255 service requests and five traffic accidents; issued three traffic citations; wrote one parking ticket; completed 324 security checks; sent 12 junk notice letters; and issued zero junk ordinance citations.

In other business, council:

• Heard CoRP will be decorating the light poles around the square with garland and lights on Saturday, Nov. 6. Volunteers are needed. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Herb Monroe Community Park on the square.

• Heard registration forms are available on CoRP’s Facebook page for the annual Merry & Bright Christmas Parade on Monday, Nov. 29. Applications are also available for CoRP’s Christmas signs, to be placed on North Williams Street between Marco’s and the bank.

• Passed a motion to put Finance Director Cheryl Halter’s name on the village’s bank accounts.

The next regular council meeting is 6:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15. The public may watch via Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/4451352151. The meeting ID number is 445 135 2151.