Glenwillow Village fights to preserve 7 historic homes from demolition

Tenants living in houses want to them to stay

GLENWILLOW, Ohio - Residents and business owners along the historic Glenwillow Village Boulevard are worried about the future of seven century homes in their community.

The homes are owned by Republic Services are now scheduled to be torn down because the company believes they are just too costly to rent out and maintain.

Residents living in the homes, originally built by the Austin Power Company, were given notices that they have to be out of the houses as early as October 1.

Johanna Griffin recently moved from one of the houses because she claims living conditions were poor and the house was not properly maintained.

"People pay rent to live here, they want a good school system for their children, so they should just keep up the properties, and do what's best for these properties," said Griffin.

Griffin and other residents, like Stephanie Harris, who lives in one of the homes with her family, believes Republic Services is taking the easy way out.

"Do you not want us to come to you with every problem we have, because it's cheaper to tear it down," said Harris. "It leaves us with a sense of insecurity that now they're going to tear it down if we complain too much."

Harris and Glenwillow business owners along the historic boulevard claim the demolition of the homes will severely hurt the village.

Business owners, like Glenwillow Grille General Manager Billy Kish, believe taking down the homes will negate years of of work and thousands in upgrades that have made the historic boulevard special.

"It would be a huge loss for us, our patio is right there, it looks at these houses," said Kish.

"It's important for the whole village. Our bar area used to be the general store for the Austin Powder plant. And these homes were where the employees stayed in. That's kind of the whole draw of the village, the historic end of it."

NewsChannel5 contacted Glenwillow Mayor Mark A. Cegelka about this issue and the Mayor was already in the process of contacting Republic Services in an effort to potentially save the historic homes.

Mayor Cegelka met with Republic Services to determine if there was a way the village could obtain the properties set for demolition.

NewsChannel5 contacted Republic Services and the company responded immediately.

Republic Services confirmed it is working on deal that could potentially save the historic homes.

The company reports its now waiting for Glenwillow leaders to craft a proposal for the acquisition of the homes. 

A Republic Services spokesman said one proposal could keep the homes as rental properties or have the properties re-zoned for business use.

Glenwillow business owners believe saving the homes is critical, a decision that has thousands of dollars hanging in the balance.

"These houses are extremely important to the community," said Kish. "We hope both sides can reach an agreement that will be good for everyone."

NewsChannel5 and newsnet5.com will continue to follow-up on this developing story.

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