2013-10-05 / News

Hardware store property up for bids

By Scott Rawdon

THORNVILLE – Thornville Administrator Beth Patrick hopes that whoever purchases the former Thornville Hardware Store property does so with construction in mind.

“Hopefully, someone would want the property to develop it-something that would benefit the village,” she said. Thornville is accepting sealed bids to purchase the property until noon, Oct. 25. While doing so makes its purchase more likely, it takes control of what it will become out of the village’s hands, as long as the buyers plans conform to zoning laws.

Last September, the village razed the old hardware store, which was in extremely poor condition. There was some debate over whether to try to restore the building for its historical value, but the village received a $60,000 donation to raze the building, provided the village accepted the donation by Sept. 1 of last year.

Previously, Thornville Village Council president Mary Renner said council members have not decided on a minimum bid for the property. Patrick said council members have the right to turn down all bids if they believe the bids received are unreasonably low. She said the property could be used for residential or commercial development.

“Folks come in to inquire (about the property),” said Patrick, but as of Oct. 2, the village had yet to receive any bids. She said she would far rather see it go to someone who wants to develop it than let it remain an open lot, even if park space. While she’s all for parks, Patrick said the lot could benefit the village’s economy if the right business takes it over.

“Should the hardware store site be sold, control over what happens with the site will be out of the control of the village and be in the hands of whomever purchases it,” said Mayor Gavin Renner. “It would be up to a private property owner to make decisions on whatever they’d like to do with the property.”

With that in mind, Renner said the lot is zoned as an Old Town Center district. Historically, the downtown area of Thornville has functioned as the geographic, cultural, social and economic center of the community. The purpose of the Old Town Center district is to promote and foster the economic and physical revitalization of the village.

“The maintenance and improvement of the downtown physical environment is important in promoting an active and vital community business environment,” said Renner, adding that the downtown should contain a healthy mix of land uses. “The marketplace, not regulations, should be the primary force driving the mix of downtown uses,” he said. Renner believes the downtown should be particularly receptive to small local-based entrepreneurship and start-up businesses. Housing, particularly owner-occupied housing, should be an integral component of the physical fabric of areas adjacent to and around the downtown. Renner said development standards and regulations should encourage the adaptive use of older structures.

The sealed bids will be opened and read publicly during the Oct. 28 Thornville Village Council meeting.

In other Thornville news:

• Patrick said residents will receive notices in the next several weeks explaining a change in trash collection – the Dover based Kimble LLC takes over at the beginning of the year; Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014 is the first collection day. Waste Management, the existing contractor, will make its final collection in Thornville Tuesday, Dec. 31.

“My understanding is that without this change, residents would have experienced an increase in costs for trash service,” said Renner. “The bids received from our current provider were significantly higher.” He said additionally there were more restrictions in the number of large items the existing provider would be willing to take. Kimble LLC was able to provide a competitive rate for service.

Renner said residents could expect several changes with the new contract. As a cost-saving measure, the Kimble contract provides one free 95-gallon, two-wheeled refuse cart to each household. This allows Kimble to use a side-loading truck that mechanically picks up the containers. Residents who contact Kimble for service before Dec. 31 will not be charged a delivery fee for the cart. Those contacting Kimble after Dec. 31 will be charged a $15 delivery fee. The notices will provide contact information.

Quarterly fees for trash collection$ 35.22 and $32.22 for seniors 60 and older – are paid in advance and billed quarterly.

• Renner believes that the vandals who are also believed responsible for vehicle break-ins have been apprehended. “We’re operating on the assumption that the incidents of vandalism are related to a rash of vehicle break-ins that had been occurring in the village over the summer,” he said. “The reason for this is because the graffiti spray painted on buildings, signs and walls is a marijuana reference and we did find drugs to be a factor.” Renner said charges are pending against several individuals for theft and possession. “Some of these individuals are unfortunately juveniles and we are still conducting our investigation on other suspects. I won’t be able to release any names,” he said. “If we do discover that there are additional suspects, or receive reported incidents of theft, vandalism or assault in the village we will pursue the maximum charges available under the law.”

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