Defiance commissioners briefed on CIC activities | Local News

A commercial development may soon be coming to Defiance’s corporate industrial park, according to a local official.

Defiance County Commissioners were briefed on the matter during their regular Monday meeting with Erika Willitzer, executive director of the Defiance County Community Improvement Corporation, providing her monthly update.

Willitzer first lamented the passing over the weekend of one of the owners of the aforementioned industrial park (Larry Plummer). She praised his efforts to continue the project in the park, located just west of Precision Way on the southwest side of town.

“It’s really sad news there,” Willitzer said.

A company is looking to buy 45 acres in the industrial park developed by Plummer and his brother, Ray.

“We’re hoping for an announcement in January if we can tie it all together,” Willitzer added.

She also spoke of CIC’s efforts to partner with schools to promote “school to work” initiatives.

While Willitzer told commissioners she looks forward to 2022, that year brought in $161 million in economic development investments. This includes things like the new Harmon Business Park in Defiance and the EnviroKure fertilizer plant being built near Hicksville.

According to Willitzer, business interest in Defiance County remains strong.

“Last week we have already seen a lot of interest in other projects and other companies that are looking to grow here, so very promising despite the pandemic,” she said.

Two of the things his office hopes to do in 2022 are reach out to businesses that “have a history of leaving their state and wanting to expand into the Midwest,” and launching CIC’s “in-house” program that will focus about companies already here .

On the first, she said, “For example, we’re going to start reaching out to businesses in California. Instead of waiting for job leads coming from JobsOhio, we’re actually going to be more aggressive and play more offensive in that regard.

Regarding the “home” program, Willitzer said CIC wants to “intensify support for our local businesses launching in 2022” focusing “on a lot of things that just provide great resources for existing businesses.”

Additionally, Willitzer praised the efforts of CIC’s workforce manager, Kortney Williams, who “does gangbusters” and offers “tailored programs” to companies. This includes new software that helps companies locate the type of candidates they want.

Willitzer also noted the need for a new county commissioner on the CIC board with the selection of Commissioner Ryan Mack as the next Defiance trustee.

Mack will step down as county commissioner on Dec. 31, so his colleagues will have to appoint a new representative to the CIC board. Commissioner Mick Pocratsky has indicated that he or his colleague Commissioner David Kern will fill the upcoming void on the council for the time being.

In other business, commissioners opened bids for the roof replacement project at Defiance County East, 1300 E. Second St.

Offers were received from Richland Roofing, Defiance, $156,992; and Damschroder Roofing, Inc., Sandusky, $242,849, when the engineer’s estimate was $150,000.

The commissioners have taken the bids under advisement and will award a contract at a later date.

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