VERSAILLES — The Village of Versailles Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to enter into a contract with the Montrose Group to help establish Downtown Redevelopment Districts (DRD) there.
“It’s $15,000, it’s not a little amount of money, but it’s a 30-year deal,” said Village Administrator Rodd Hale. “If we have something in place, and if we have someone who’s looking at building, it’s just another thing to say, ‘By the way, if you want to buy a building, and you’re going to do some work, we’ve got a plan in place.’”
Hale noted that through the DRD, the city would be able to offer developers possible tax breaks and discounts on supplies.
“If someone does take advantage of the program, they don’t have to use a specific lending institution, they can use any lending institution they want to use within our community, and secondly, for their discount on supplies, they’ll be able to utilize local businesses for their supplies, that the local businesses have agreed to give them discounts. I want to make sure that we’re keeping as much in our community as we possibly can and not having those dollars [go] elsewhere,” said Councilwoman Kim Custenborder.
Montrose Group Director of Economic Development Nate Green had previously spoken to the Versailles Council, explaining what services his Columbus-based group offers communities. Under the agreement, Montrose will set up one or more DRD’s for the village, which would allow the village to offer tax incentives for building, remodeling and repairs in the downtown area. Green told council the work would likely be completed within 4 or 5 months.
“Every year we put money towards economic development through [Darke County Economic Development], but it’s each year,” said Mayor Jeff Subler in support of the motion. “This is a one-time fee. Some years we’ve benefited greatly from it, some years it doesn’t work out.”
After the meeting, Hale expressed satisfaction with council’s decision.
“I’m happy the village council has decided to move forward with creating a Downtown Redevelopment District (DRD),” he said. “The council has always placed a high priority on helping businesses and economic development in general. This will provide another opportunity to incentivize and reward business owners or developers to build or improve buildings within the Downtown Redevelopment District. I hope to begin working with the Montrose Group immediately to get the DRD established. ”
Council also approved a recommendation to establish a health and wellness program for village employees. Council agreed to set aside $1,500 and the program will be administered by Versailles EMS administrator Matt Harvey.
“Every employer needs to do whatever they can to help employees become and stay healthier,” said Hale. “If the program helps one employee to have a healthy lifestyle change, prevents one heart attack, or helps detect one potential health risk it is will be worth it. On top of that, fewer health issues can lead to lower premiums for employees.”