Tiffin mayor proposes $200,000 downtown project - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Tiffin mayor proposes $200,000 downtown project

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TIFFIN, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz proposed the city buy the land and two buildings downtown as a way to bring in new business. But is it worth the risk?

Montz's proposal calls for the purchase of two buildings at 25 East Market Street, and to then knock down the buildings. City council members aren't sure if they're ready to spend almost $200,000 on the project.

The buildings in question are the old Pryzm Hotel and a warehouse. Both have been abandoned for over 10 years. Montz says two different parties are interested in developing the property, if the city foots the bill for knocking the buildings down first.

"We're tired of seeing the eyesore," Montz said. "We also see it…being a real opportunity for economic development."

One of the interested parties wants to build and be open for business by this football season. But council members still have questions and are hesitant to say yes.

"Council is really considering whether or not there is definitely going to be a business move in there right away," Council President Paul Elchert explained. "Plus the lack of funds. We don't have the money in hand to do it."

It would cost $120,000 to purchase the land, and another $70,000 to demolish the buildings. The money would come from the city's venture capital fund – not tax dollars. To the mayor, the potential reward is worth the risk.

"A potential $2.5 million, plus investment in the downtown, jobs created, bring individuals on from not only Tiffin but the surrounding communities to our downtown, which is what our long-term plan calls for," he said. "We're right in the period of time where we're seeing our downtown here in Tiffin take off, and all these new businesses and restaurants going in…At the very worst, we're going to have a wonderful green space where we can hold festivals along the river, with parking attached, so I really don't see the huge risk that we're taking."

The matter could be voted on at the next council meeting, but is expected to be tabled once again.

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