NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) - Officials have a plan to figure out why they can’t fill the vacant Howden Buffalo property. Mayor Joel Day says he met with state representative Brett Hillyer, officials from Ohio Means Jobs, and Team Northeast Ohio to discuss how they can find a way to put the property off Mill Ave. to good use. Day says it will include conducting their own research and trying to get answers from Howden directly.


“What came out of it was, they’re going to try to make contact with the Howden people. One point of frustration for me is, I’ve contacted them and the realtor numerous times asking why isn’t this property selling?” says Day. “Well, I’ve just been stonewalled in it.”    


Day says they’ve been trying to find new owners for the property for four years now with no luck. He says once they can understand why it’s not selling they’ll be able to address those issues and find new momentum.


“What the whole group is committed to helping us do is put together a development plan so we can make that site more attractive and also identify how it can be reused.”


Day says with the railroad tracks behind the property, Waterworks Fields and the new boat ramp in front of it and the 250-on-ramp less than a mile away, it’s a prime location in the city that he would like to see put to good use. 


“It’s been vacant for four years. There have been people that have gone through and toured it, but that’s where it ended. To our knowledge, no offers have ever been made; if they have, I’d like to know that, and why weren’t the offers accepted?”