In order to remain true to their mission, the Williams County Port Authority said local municipalities will need to redesign planned subdivisions for the authority to get involved.
The port authority wants to help bring affordable housing to the county, and some local subdivision plans would simply be too expensive.
Dave Newcomer, president of the authority, recently said he met with the West Unity Village Council to discuss a planned subdivision in the village consisting of 24 lots.
“They have an engineers estimate for the cost of that subdivision and it was $1.2 million,” he said. “If you do the math, that basically comes to a per-lot price of $50,000. Those are lots that we don’t think we should sell for more than $15,000 or $20,000. That’s a huge financial loss.”
Newcomer said they couldn’t make it work and get houses built for the price range the authority is targeting.
However, the lots were plotted out to be large.
“They are trying to bring the lot size back down, bringing the cost per lot back down,” Newcomer said. “That $1.2 million would go up a bit, there would be more taps, but not that much. The big price is the street and that won’t change.”
While talking with West Unity Mayor Don Leu last week, Newcomer said Kamco Industries, a building materials distributor in West Unity, wants to see more housing come up in the community.
To help with that, the village happens to own some land that would work for multi-family housing.
Newcomer asked for permission from the port authority board to apply for funding from the West Unity Area Foundation to get a basic layout for a multi-family housing on that land.
He stressed it wouldn’t be a proper engineering layout, just some plans to help get a conversation started.
The board unanimously approved the application.
Separately, Newcomer received permission to send out requests for proposals for the Brown Subdivision, which would be east of Bryan City Schools.
There is a possibility for 13 lots, but currently there’s room for six lots to complete a street in the area.
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