Sunday, May 20, 2018
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$1.78M plan for utilities, road work is approved in Waterville

Waterville Village Council approved an agreement last night to provide a road and utilities that would support both a local businessman's development plans and future activity on adjoining village-owned land.

Under the plan, the village will spend $1.78 million for road construction and water and sewer lines to the 30 acres that Thomas Duvall owns at 7551 Dutch Rd. Duvall Woodworking Inc. occupies part of the parcel, and Mr. Duvall plans to divide the undeveloped portion of the land into smaller lots for a business park.

The road would also extend to the parcel's southern boundary, beyond which is 120 acres the village owns.

Councilman Norm Witzler cast the lone dissenting vote, arguing that spending so much village money to support development of land that is now in Waterville Township "doesn't make any sense to me at all."

But Mayor Chuck Peyton noted that the agreement becomes void if, once the subdivision is approved, the land isn't annexed to the village. And James Bagdonas, the village administrator, said that $911,000 worth of the improvements would be needed in any event to support development of the village-owned acreage.

Mr. Witzler also cast the sole dissenting vote, with six in favor, against an ordinance authorizing village officials to seek condemnation of a shuttered restaurant at 11 North Third St. if an ongoing effort to negotiate a purchase fails.

Waterville has received a $78,500 federal Community Development Block Grant to buy the building, raze it, and install a new parking lot on the site, which is owned by Culvur and Marie Knollman.

Mr. Witzler questioned why legal proceedings needed approval so soon when negotiations have not run their course. But Mr. Bagdonas said it is merely an authorization, and that even if an impasse is declared in the future, talks could continue right up to the point that a condemnation suit was heard in court.

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