Tavern Building case nearing settlement


By Matt Clevenger

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TROY — Members of the Troy City Council have given their approval to a tentative settlement agreement that could transfer ownership of the controversial Tavern Building to the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance (THPA), resolve all pending litigation and set a deadline for the building’s repair or demolition to allow for the re-opening of West Main Street.

Council members passed a resolution authorizing the tentative settlement following a lengthy executive session at their regularly scheduled meeting held on Monday, Dec. 4. Details of the settlement are confidential, and the deal still needs be approved by the other parties involved in the Tavern Building case.

“At this time, we still have to get everybody to ‘yes,’” Troy Law Director Grant Kerber said. “There was legislation passed this evening to pull the trigger, when or if that time comes. It could be the final step, so long as everybody comes to the table.”

“There’s continued mediation to clean up the loose ends, so I can’t give you anything definite,” Kerber said. “We are still somewhat within the confines of the court’s mediation order, where we have to keep things confidential, but that won’t be that way forever.”

The ordinance passed by council on Monday authorized a settlement that permits the transfer of the property located at 116-118 W. Main St. to the THPA, terminates all pending litigation and “establishes deadlines for the expeditious repair and/or demolition of the building.”

“The city of Troy, Ohio, 116 West Main LLC, Randy Kimmel, Evil Empire LLC, Cheryl Cheadle and the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance have reached a tentative settlement that will allow the prompt and expeditious repair or demolition of the building at 116-118 West Main Street,” the ordinance said. “This resolution is an emergency measure necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety of the city of Troy. This agreement must be executed to allow for the re-opening of West Main Street without delay.”

The THPA decline to comment for this story.

“We’re trying to respect the process right now,” THPA President Ben Sutherly said.

Troy resident Steve Schmidt also spoke about the Tavern Building during the public comment portion of the meeting.

“I find it awful funny that we finally do something once certain people are going to get deposed,” Schmidt said. “There’s two reasons why you don’t want to be deposed; one, you’ve got something to hide, or you’re afraid you’re going to commit perjury when you do it.”

“I think it’s sad that it took that,” he said. “As far as it being closed, the only people who agreed to close it are people they had influence over. You had independent studies that said it was OK to open it, and you didn’t.”

“This is supposed to be a transparent government, and I don’t see it,” Schmidt said. “That’s my complaint, but I do want to say thanks for the change of the signals down at Walgreens.”

In other business, council members also voted to approve a moratorium of 180 days on the granting of any permits allowing adult-use cannabis operators to establish within the city of Troy. Effective immediately, the moratorium was passed as emergency legislation due to changes from State Issue 2 taking effect on Thursday, Dec. 7.

“The moratorium would allow staff time to review and make recommendations of adequate regulations on this issue,” Council member Lynne Snee said.

Council members also voted to approve an ordinance rezoning 58.093-acres of property located at 3054 W. State Route 55 and approving the general plan of the Somerset Reserve subdivision, and held public hearings and the second reading for two ordinances to rezone part of the Swank annexation on Fenner Road from general agriculture to single-family residential, and a property located at 1304 W. Main St. from single-family residential to office-residential district.

Council members also approved a resolution authorizing city staff to advertise seeking bids for the North Elm Street Resurfacing Project, and heard the first reading of a proposed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Troy City Schools and the board of park commissioners.

“The project is estimated to cost $500,000,” Snee said of the North Elm Street resurfacing project. “The city received a grant of approximately $265,000 to help offset the cost; the project area is North Elm Street from the city limits to West Main Street.”

“The MOU says we’re going to demolish the buildings and leave them shovel-ready,” Troy resident Steve Hendrikson said of the proposed agreement with the Troy City Schools. “I was just wondering if anyone has thought about contacting a developer to see if a developer could find some economic value in those buildings before you knock them down.”

“With some creative developing, you might be able to find some way of putting people there and getting some tax revenue,” Hendrikson said. “They’ve got to be fairly structurally sound, because we’ve got children in them every day.”

“This is the second time the MOU has come before the park board and council,” Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington said. “The city, the Troy Development Council and the schools all had tours with several developers; we have attempted to look at re-development projects and we’ve gotten no interest, which is why we’re where we’re at now.”

The resolution authorizing the MOU will be held over for a second reading.

“With the recent comments, we could explore this a little further,” Council member Todd Severt said.

Council members also approved an ordinance adopting the city of Troy’s annual budget for 2024. Council member Samuel Pierce voted against the budget ordinance, due to the inclusion of funding for Flock Safety cameras.

“I appreciate the work of the administration on the budget,” Pierce said. “With the ties that Flock Security has to Matrix Partners, which also owns Jingwei Investments, based in China, I oppose this legislation and will be voting no due to the connection with the Chinese Communist Party and the search terms agreement that allow for the worldwide access to the data for business purposes.”

“Even though we own the data, we still sign over a license agreement that permits access locally and worldwide,” Pierce said.

“I’m committed to the budgeting process,” he said. “This is one thing that if we need to fix, we can.”

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