Montpelier Council

The Village of Montpelier Electric Department was honored with three awards at the recent American Municipal Power/Ohio Municipal Electric Association conference in Columbus. Montpelier Village Manager Jason Rockey, right, recognized village electric employees, from left, Drew Shepard and Tim Fry, with the awards at Monday’s village council meeting. RON OSBURN/Staff

MONTPELIER — Montpelier Village Council on Monday approved the first phase of a new single-family residential housing development and also took the first step in preparing to demolish the dilapidated buildings along the south side of the 400 block of West Main Street.

In its first meeting in five weeks, council unanimously approved Phase I of Abbey Meadows, a multi-phase, single-family housing development on the southwestern corner of the intersection of Maplehurst Avenue (Ohio 576) and West Brown Road.

The initial homesites border the west side of Maplehurst Avenue and the south side of Brown Road, according to plans submitted by Shawn Owen, of Montpelier, the principal, along with his wife, Kim, in SKILW Holdings LLC, a company formed to develop the 25-acre property.

Shawn Owen, a 1999 Montpelier graduate, also owns Owen’s Electric, in Montpelier, a residential, agriculture and commercial electric contractor.

In previous comments to The Bryan Times, the Owens — who were present at Monday’s council meeting — estimated the development as a $1 million investment in Montpelier. Potential homeowners will benefit from a 15-year, 100 percent tax abatement on improvements in the development, with the abatement already approved by council.

This is believed to be the first single-family residential housing development within the village since 20 homes were added with the so-called second Porter’s subdivision in 2006, according to village Zoning Inspector Mark Smith.

“This is exactly what the community needs,” noted councilman Chris Kannel.

Council also authorized Village Manager Jason Rockey to seek bids and contract for demolition of three vacant downtown buildings, located at 400-414 W. Main St. The demolition will make way for a trailhead park and open space that will tie in with the village’s efforts to develop the Iron Horse River recreational trail along the St. Joseph River.

Rockey said the demolition does not include the single building at 416 W. Main St., the former home of Saneholtz-McKarns, a regional gas station and convenience store chain that has moved to a location on Ohio 15 just north of Bryan.

The demolition is being negotiated through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and Rockey said while it’s unclear exactly when the demo project will begin, he hopes to have a contract to ODNR by November.

On a related note, Rockey confirmed the village has received approval on an $850,000 state Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant that will be available in fiscal year 2023. The grant — through the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) — will be used to begin construction of the Iron Horse River recreational trail, and Rockey said ODOT officials and village officials will be on site next week to begin analyzing and planning the project.

“I believe with the $850,000 we’ll be able to build a significant portion of the trail,” Rockey said.

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