OTTAWA — Representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation met Tuesday with Putnam County Commissioners, the Putnam County Engineer, Ottawa Township Trustees and Ottawa Mayor Dean Meyer to discuss the possibility of a joint building project.
“Our Putnam County garage facility in Ottawa has been on the replacement list for a few years,” said Rod Nuveman, highway management administrator for ODOT District 1. “Back in 2016, we bought a parcel of land off state Route 109 in Ottawa.”
Nuveman said the parcel is 22.3 acres, but ODOT only needs about 12 to 14 acres. This led ODOT to offer the officials gathered Tuesday the chance to either purchase plots of the leftover land to build their own facilities. They could even gain access to ODOT resources like brine, salt and gas, Nuveman said.
The facility would either be completed in 2021 or 2024, said Tony Lotz, facilities manager for ODOT District 1 and lead on the project. The 2021 date is dependant on a bond being approved for the project. The facility would cost an estimated $10.4 million, which would be ODOT’s cost, Lotz said.
“From my perspective, obviously the county is interested in this,” said Putnam County Engineer Michael Lenhart. “I have a salt facility, but I have an off-site storage [for] rock salt so that’s an issue for me. The building is aging and everything else.”
Tentative plans for road access to the new garage, access to ODOT resources and the cost of the parcels were discussed during the meeting, but no official decisions were made.
Ottawa Township Trustees Don Croy and Jim Leopold said they were interested because the township garage had sustained damage during the 2007 flood. They would continue to attend the meetings and consider the possibilities, Leopold said.
“I think from my standpoint, I’m interested in participating,” said Meyer. “I don’t know yet, at this point, to what extent.”
Meyer said the village would save money because the state can purchase those resources in larger bulk at better prices than the village.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.