Walbridge wants real estate, but an ice cream shop may be up | News

Wollbridge – After the village was unable to obtain a reasonable offer of vacant property downtown, the council decided to pursue the prominent domain.

But, a man who runs a nonprofit art group said he wanted to use the space to sell ice cream, with the proceeds going to the program.

At a meeting on Wednesday, after a 10-minute executive session, the board voted unanimously to obtain a full appraisal of the building and the property strip that extends into the alley at 102 Main Street.

Mayor Ed Kolanco said there was already an appraisal from a push car, which estimated the building at $30,000.

With a full assessment, he said, entry will be made to the building.

“Once this assessment is done, if there is no agreement yet on the price, the next action would be to move forward with potential court proceedings to acquire the property,” Kolanko said.

Kolanko said the village tried to work with the landlord.

“We already had contacts between our village attorney, the village manager and the landlord, and there were no amicable terms,” he said.

Kolanko said his landlord at one point offered to sell him the village for $100,000. Calling it unreasonable, he said they wanted to be fair.

“We intend to provide the full estimated value to the owner of the property,” he said. “We are not looking to undervalue or offer less.”

He said the eminent sovereign is a serious move.

“We don’t take this decision lightly,” Kolanko said. “We feel there is a very good reason to move in this way.”

He said the property holds a lot of hope.

“It makes sense to get it, and improve it for the betterment of the whole village,” said Kolanko. “Looking at the long-term perspective, we all feel this angle needs improvement.”

The building recently housed a thrift store. Been there for a dog groomer for a few years.

It was last purchased by James Irving, et. al. , in 2001 for $15,950, according to the Wood County Auditor website.

It’s a vacancy, it’s been vacant for a while,” said Kolanko.

Last year, the council purchased two more downtown properties.

The Kings Men Building on the corner of Main and Union Street was purchased for $36,000. It is hoped that it will be developed after the demolition of the building.

The building is located at 102 Main next to the Owl’s Nest Building, which has been demolished. This was purchased by the Board for $35,000. This area will contain 20 parking spaces.

If the 102 Main is purchased, there will be a total of 50 new parking lots downtown.

Additional parking is expected to be used by Skillet customers and people visiting VFW, Veterans Park and the library, which was expanded and renovated in 2017.

The Kings Men buying continues.

After this story was posted online, David Overholt, who directs the Northwestern Ohio Rural Arts Program, said he’s trying to rent out the building and turn it into an ice cream shop.

“They’re not telling you the truth,” Overholt said of the village and Irving, who did not wish to comment on this story.

Overholt said the money from ice cream sales will help fund the nonprofit arts program.

Currently, the program is using space in the VFW Building across the street from 102 Main. Overholt said he teaches drawing lessons there every Thursday.

The plan is to make and sell premium homemade ice cream from the building at 102 Main. Overholt said he and Irving were painting the building and working on the plumbing. Overholt also said he has obtained a Safe Service Certification, which helps pass a health department check to open an ice cream shop.

Overholt also said the village should have the 102nd Main Street property to finish off the new car park. He said just owning the old Owl’s Nest doesn’t give them access from the street.

“They made a mistake, they didn’t plan properly and now they’re trying to make up for it by doing it,” he said.

Kolanko, in a follow-up interview, said parking would be more efficient with the 102 Main property.

He said Overholt recently came to a board meeting and asked for $30,000 for his nonprofit, which was denied.

“We don’t feel it’s a good use of taxpayer money,” Kolanko said.

Kolanko also said that there are other buildings in the city that are better suited to his idea.

The mayor added that they still hoped to reach a deal with Irving and not pursue a high profile property.

“We actually hope we don’t have to. We hope that there will be some cooperation between us, the council and the current owner of the property,” Kolanko said.

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