Versailles Village Council discusses possible truck route


By Meladi Brewer

VERSAILLES — The Versailles Village Council met Wednesday to discuss a new possible truck route.

Village Administrator Mike Busse and Asst. Village Administrator Kyle Fancis are having discussions with ODOT concerning a possible TRAC funding application for a proposed Truck Route Project. The application enrollment dates are May 1 through May 31.

“If council approves, we intend to submit a funding application to continue the preliminary engineering, environmental review and detailed design of the project,” Busse said.

The recommendation was to include a new roadway from St. Rt. 47 to Industrial Way. Industrial Way would also be extended to West Street. Busse said the village was encouraged to get the detailed design down if they wanted the best shot at getting funding for the project.

“We had a few different options that we were looking at. One was going up Baker Road where we’ve had a few concerns about adding truck traffic,” Busse said.

The Industrial Way route is more expensive, but he said it is probably a better option to run truck traffic through the industrial park and West Street instead of Baker Road.

“This is all conceptual because there are people that own property there that we would have to work with to secure property,” Busse said.

He advised the first part of the process has nothing to do with property acquisition or construction. The process is strictly just designing. Once the design is completed, and the council decides it is the plan they would like to pursue, they will get together with property owners to see if it is something they could get onboard with selling the property.

“Could that road go on a little different path, it certainly could. You know if you had a property owner interested working with the village and one right next to them that wasn’t interested, you may end up realigning the road a little bit,” Busse said.

All the village is currently doing is looking at getting funds to complete a preliminary design or designs.

“There is no commitment to buy land or put in a road,” Mayor Jeff Subler said.

Out of all the proposed designs, Council Member Cory Griesdorn advised he believed the Industrial Way design was the better option, as he would like to see the truck route stay away from Baker Road.

“This could open up the door for future development for commercial/industrial development,” Busse said.

He had also been in contact with Choice One Engineering to obtain estimates for the engineering work to be included in the application process. If the project is selected for funding, the village will be required to request RFQs from engineering firms before contracting with an engineer for the actual design work.

Busse also advised the council on gas aggregation. Per the council’s decision, he entered into a new gas aggregation agreement for 2023 through 2024. The new agreement with IGS is for 12 months beginning in October. He said it was cheaper to go with a 12 month plan instead of a 24 month one. The new rate will be $5.69 per MCF, down from the current contract rate of $7.57 per MCF.

By going with a 12 month plan instead of a 24 month plan, the council is not only moving forward with the cheapest option, but they are able to monitor the situation and hope prices come down.

“The wild card with this whole thing is the United States is sending a lot of liquefied natural gas overseas. You can get a lot more money for it that way, and it’s kind of a balancing act between what we produce, ship out, and how it affects our cost here,” Busse said.

He said there is no way of telling how much gas Europe is going to use nor how much is going to get shipped overseas, so “there is no way for the village to know long term what the price is going to be”.

“I hope it gets lower, but I don’t expect to see prices get back to the upper three’s like we’ve seen a few years prior,” Busse said.

This aggregation program is one that the customers can always opt out of if they find a better price on their own.

A congratulations was sent out to all the 2023 Tree Lottery Winners. The drawing took place on Friday, April 14 at 12 p.m. at 177 N. Center Street. The results were the following: Tony and Sandy Rose, Tom and Shila Magoto, HB and Brenda Hole, Robert Barton, Wayne and Phyllis Gromm, John Wagaman, Michael Shimp, Jacqueline Moorman, Joe Taylor, and Bryan Bartram. Busse has notified all lottery entrants if they were successful or not.

The Mother on Main Event will be held on Saturday, May 6 from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The garden club will be selling plants and several food trucks will be on Center Street between Main and Wood Streets. Several craft venders are participating again this year and local businesses will have special sale items.

For residents ready to make a splash, the Versailles swimming pool opening day in scheduled for May 27.

The next Versailles Council meeting will take place Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m., in EMS Building, 320 Baker Road, Versailles.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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