Housing and employees were topics of discussion between Archbold Village Council and the Fulton County commissioners.
The commissioners attended the Monday, May 2 meeting of village council and discussed several issues.
Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator, told the commissioners village officials had been in talks with developers about stimulating the construction of averaged-priced homes in the village.
The commissioners noted that the number of homes available for sale in Wauseon is at its lowest point in years.
Bill Rufenacht, a commissioner, said right now, Tim Dennis, a Wauseon-area businessman, was the person building new houses in the area.
Another developer was building one home per year for sale.
Another issue they discussed was the availability of qualified employees.
Lyle Fogerty, plant manager of Bil-Jax, said his firm was having trouble finding qualified welders.
For example, Fogerty said Northwest State Community College had a class of 57 in its welding program, one of the biggest.
Bil-Jax was able to hire one person out of that class.
“And he quit,” Fogerty said.
Bil-Jax put on a clinic at the Four County Career Center. No new employees came out of that effort.
Council and the commissioners told Fogerty they would put him in contact with workforce development contacts.
Rufenacht said even with an unemployment rate of 5.6% to 5.7%, there are not enough qualified people available to fill the available number of jobs in the county.
He noted many companies had signs out, looking for workers.
“There is a tremendous need,” he said.
Rufenacht said construction will start on a complex of two buildings for the Ohio Department of Transportation Fulton County Garage, the Fulton County Visitors Center, and the Fulton County Historical Society.
The project will be built on land the county owns on the east side of St. Rt. 108, north of the Robert Fulton building.
Thel ast available cost estimate was $8.3 million.
Most of the cost will be paid by the state of Ohio.
Rufenacht gave a completion date of summer 2017.
In addition to space for ODOT, the visitors bureau, and the Historical Society, Rufenacht there will also be office space for the county EMS system and an emergency operations center.