Rose Award - Putnam Sentinel
The Village of Ottoville was presented the Red Rose Award last Thursday during the Annual Putnam County Community Improvement Corporation meeting. Taking part in the presentation were (from left), Ottoville council member Joe Moreno, CIC director Amy Sealts, Ottoville Mayor Ron Miller, and CIC president Virgil Miller. (Putnam Sentinel/Nancy Kline)

LEIPSIC – A new CIC director, the annual Red Rose award and a review of a successful past year in growth including the county’s largest ever capital investment project were all on the agenda Thursday during the 36th Annual Putnam County Community Improvement Corporation meeting.

Amy Sealts was introduced as the current CIC Director during the meeting hosted at the Leipsic Fogle Community Center. She has held the position since September 2017. “I’m honored to work for the CIC Board of trustees serving the businesses that call Putnam County home as well as all 15 incorporated villages and all 15 townships,” Sealts said. She commended the past relationship building that has resulted in all the villages and townships being a part of the CIC.

This year’s Red Rose Award went to Ottoville. The award is given out annually to a community for its efforts in business retention and expansion, infrastructure development, technology and innovation.

During the past year Ottoville has had efforts in all three areas including working with Geise Transmission as they built a new 9,000 square foot facility inside the corporation limits and assisted Creative Edge Cabinets to retain their Main Street location and expand nearly 2,000 square feet to the existing facility.

New water lines were installed to Lock 16 which was then annexed into the village. Ottoville also installed another line from PSI north to the corporation line to support a residential subdivision and new storm water lines were added to numerous locations in the village. The village also purchased new computers and software to record infrastructure locations inside the village and add these assets to GIS mapping.

When listing the 2017 highlights Sealts told the trustees there were projects in 2017 totaling $30.7 million in capital investments and over $6 million in in infrastructure improvements around the county.

The annual report indicated this resulted in 27 news jobs and the retention of 562 jobs. These projects resulted in new payroll of $1.06 million and helped retain payrolls of $4.06 million.

Sealts said the CIC facilitated seven new development agreements last year in addition to monitoring 52 agreements that are still active from previous years. “And we’re happy to report these numbers have already increased in 2018,” Sealts said. “In addition to commercial and industrial projects, agri-business projects in the county continue to increase rapidly and add capital to the total economy.

“In September 2017, the largest capital investment project in Putnam County history was announced,” Sealts said. “A $400 million expansion at Pro-Tec Coating Company. She said the CIC finalized local development agreements in January and continues to assist as needed with the project. The report indicated this project is expected to be operational in 2019.

The CIC was also a partner in a new county-wide workforce development event, Elevate 2017. This career and job fair gave 35 employers the opportunity to showcase business culture and employment needs and interact with youth who are the next generation of workers.

“The first year was a success and Elevate 2018 was held one month ago, and attracting 43 businesses, 360 high school students and over 130 adult job seekers,” Sealts said.