Dollar General Logo - Putnam Sentinel

PANDORA – The construction of a proposed Dollar General store in Pandora, discussions about which began six years ago, has shifted from likely to probable.

The Pandora Village Council discussed updates to the proposed Dollar General project during its Feb. 26 meeting. The project originally began in 2012, but the company opted not to proceed. Greg Kuenning of GBT Realty of Brentwood, Tenn., approached Village Administrator Rick Morrison last fall about proceeding with the project that involves the village being paid $65,000 for land in the industrial park but the village has to make some improvements to the area that will take almost half that amount. The village will need to widen Main Street and run a sanitary and storm sewer in the area. During the Nov. 13 council meeting, council approved the transfer of 1.45 acres to the Putnam County Community Improvement Corp. by warranty deed who will complete the deal with Dollar General.

The village, however, has yet to see a final commitment, nor any money. Morrison has been speaking with Kuenning about the project given the commitment by the village to the improvements which need to be completed prior to the building of the store. Kuenning asked Morrison how the improvements were coming along. Morrison told Kuenning the village is not going to put $30,000 into the project without a definite commitment that the store will be built. Kuenning tried to reassure Morrison by telling him they are moving along with the project.

“He (Kuenning) said we are 95 percent sure we’re coming. They never give 100 percent,” Morrison said.

Meanwhile, Morrison said he and Mayor Jeremy Liechty attended the first hearing of the CDBG funding at the courthouse. The village is applying for funds from the Critical Infrastructure Grant for a new water tower. The grant should be awarded by September.

Council learned from Poggemeyer Design Group officials last fall that grant opportunities for the water tower fell through. Council was told the requirements for the Critical Infrastructure Grant program had changed which only allow projects with a maximum cost of $600,000. The village also only scored 38 points of the 55 needed for the Residential Public Infrastructure Grant Program. Council was told their only choice was to take out a loan for the entire amount of the project or try to seek funding next year.

Liechty said there is a total of $300,000 in the grant this year, but the villages of Leipsic and Continental are also seeking funds. Andy Shuman, project manager at Choice One Engineering of Sidney, will assist with the application. Choice One was approved by council to complete the engineering for the water tower project and is also constructing a new lift station for the village lagoon system.

Council also gave approval for Pastor Jerry Meyer of Breakthrough Harvest Church to conduct a community event July 7 at the community park. The event will involve a service followed by free hot dogs and hamburgers and games for children. The pastor told council he did a similar event last year in Leipsic that went along well with between 80 to 100 people turning out.

“I think it’s a great service to the community,” Councilman Paul Burkholder said.

In other business, council:

• approved the second reading of purchasing the 2019 edition of the Code of Ordinances of the Ohio Basic Code.

• forgave two water bills per village ordinance of allowing a one-time forgiveness of a water bill under special circumstances. One bill was reduced for a resident by $113.05 and the other by $575.62.

• agreed to a one-year contract for Fields of Dreams Mowing doing the mowing of the village cemetery at a cost of $2,400. Morrison told council the company does a good job and in addition to mowing, they weed, and pickup flowers. Morrison said it would likely cost the village that amount if village staff performed the job.

• discussed with school board member Dick Wahl, who was in attendance, about getting the bus garage roof painted. The village owns the building, but the school district maintains it. Wahl said he will bring it school officials’ attention.

The next regular meeting of the Pandora Village Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 12, at 7 p.m. in the village offices.