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Pizza shop submits top bid for property

THORNVILLE – Village Administrator Beth Patrick will recommend that village council members accept a bid from a Thornville business owner to purchase property formerly home to the Thornville Hardware store.

“Council has the final say,” Patrick said. Fire House Pizza owners Joseph and Lilly Langwasser offered to purchase the property, which is adjacent to their pizza shop, for $11,501. The only other bid the village received was for $5,100.

The village accepted bids until Oct. 25 and opened them Oct. 28.

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.

Patrick said council likely wouldn’t vote whether or not to accept the bid until the Nov. 12 council meeting (the meeting will be Tuesday night instead of the usual Monday night because of Veteran’s Day).

Patrick said she didn’t know what the Langwasser’s have in mind for the property, should council approve the bid.

Thornville Council President Mary Renner said she would like to see outdoor seating on the property. “I think that would look really nice there,” she said. “But, once it’s sold its their decision.”

Mayor Gavin Renner said previously 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.

The Langwassers could not be reached for comment.

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