BELLVILLE – A new residential development is in the works for the village.
Rules for how that should happen were on the minds of council members at its most recent meeting.
Joe Shrock, of Shrock Premier in Loudonville, is about to develop 49 acres on State Route 13 south.
Rules governing inspection fees, on construction of infrastructure, were debated by council.
Council member Josh Epperson said at his firm inspection fees run 10 percent. He said municipalities considering such projects contract with outside firms to do those procedures. After much debate, council members agreed to start construction of Shrock’s project at the 10 percent figure. Those fees would be paid up front. In the event the project is finished more quickly, some of that fee could be returned.
Epperson, also a senior project manager at SJCA P.C. in Columbus, aid the 10 percent figure is “appropriate.”
He said two older developments in Bellville didn’t receive the right scrutiny, and now roads in those areas — Hamilton Hills and Greenbriar — are falling apart.
Swisher said the Shrock is “nowhere close to pushing dirt” and the inspection fee should be started low.
Council member Jason Guilliams said a “lot of asinine decisions” were made involving Hamilton Hills, where those roads are falling apart. He said it is important for the village to follow through on “what standards are” and “not what they can get away with.”
Swisher suggested starting the fees at 7 percent. He said it “is not like he is rolling in money,” referring to Shrock.
Guilliams said Bellville has a hot real estate market and it “would be foolish” for him to walk away from the project.
Swisher talked about the efficiency of another operation in town, trash collection. He said there are five firms doing that work, and it might be more efficient for the village to use just one firm.
Guilliams asked: “Are you trying to bait and switch us” on this?
Epperson said if the village could get the 10 percent figure it would be good. He said Shrock is “already getting a deal out of this” and that he “showed his cards a bit” when he asked what he would get out of working on the development.
Swisher said nobody was bidding at the auction on the sale of the land, which was offered by the Clear Fork Valley Board of Education.
“They begged him to make an offer,” said Swisher.
Swisher and council member J.J. Burkhart cast the only no votes on the motion to set the fees at 10 percent.
Also, council approved the appointment of Aimee Ann-Marie Brown as fiscal officer for the village.
She has credentials involving service as budget officer for the Air National Guard in Mansfield and as a substitute teacher. She also served as interim comptroller and superintendent at the Air National Guard.