PAULDING – The Paulding County Mayors Association recently held its 2023 organizational meeting. The group was introduced to Shawn Gerber, the new mayor of Latty. Shawn replaced former Mayor Tom Sinn who recently retired following years of service to the local community.

The meeting was opened by Paulding Mayor Greg White who led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance. A presentation followed by Sheriff Jason Landers. Landers shared information about the new Paulding County mobile Sheriff app. The app is different from a website in that it will push information out to individuals, rather than a website where someone needs to find the information. Early reviews have been very positive. Landers also shared with the group that they could reach out to his office at any time with comments, questions or concerns.

Also sharing information was Dylan Worden with Midstates Energy Solutions about municipal solar. Worden recently presented information to Payne and was invited to share it with all the villages to see if municipal solar would be a good fit. Worden indicated he would be working on a presentation with the USDA, and they could present to the group in February.

PC EMA Director Ed Bohn communicated to the group about the last round of mitigation plans for the county. Final meetings will take place January 19, at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., and January 20, at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The meetings are designated for villages that have not yet participated. Bohn then communicated information about a new EMT reimbursable training grant just won by the Payne EMS. This template can be used by other EMT providers in the county and can offset the cost of training new EMTs through the Ohio Tech Cred program. Bohn also brought up how the April 8, 2024 solar eclipse meetings will begin January 30. This will be to prepare the county in communication about the total eclipse and the possible influx of traffic and people as we are located near the epicenter of the event. Bohn finished by answering questions about MARCS radios.

New Paulding County Commissioner Lisa McClure was present to introduce herself and let the group know she is there to assist the municipalities when called upon.

Economic Development Director Tim Copsey guided the balance of the meeting to discuss:

• Updates from the villages of Oakwood, Latty and Antwerp on the strategic planning meetings

• Continued discussions about the overabundant number of rental homes in the villages

• Updates on the state commercial brownfield and residential blight programs.

• Shared a request for council meeting minutes to local media for distribution and communication

• Led discussion in regard to current procedures for collecting delinquent water/sewer bills when needed.

The group will hold its second quarter meeting on April 20, 2023.

(Tim Copsey is the Executive Director of Paulding County Economic Development.)