The Village of Strasburg is seeking state grant funding to tear down a vacant building on North Wooster and convert the property into a public green space. (Photo by Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV)
Strasburg, Ohio - Village officials are eyeing state grant funding to convert an eyesore in the downtown area into a public green space.
Strasburg’s Solicitor, Attorney Richard Fox, says the village is planning to apply for just over $174,000 in funding through the state’s Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Fund to purchase and demolish the vacant building at 116 North Wooster Avenue.
Fox says the two-story red brick building has boarded up windows and is located between the Village Garden Bulk Food Store and Strasburg Post Office. He says the building once served as a residence and then several businesses but has remained vacant for the last three to four years.
Fox says the village has been trying for several years to get owner Wesley Tolle to demolish or remediate the building. He says the village ultimately secured an agreement to purchase the property through litigation.
“The purpose of that, from the Village of Strasburg’s perspective, is to demolish the building, and to obtain funds for that, we have applied for a Clean Ohio grant,” he says.
Fox says grant would cover 75 percent of the total cost to purchase the property, demolish the building and convert the area into a public green space. He notes that some of the preliminary work has already been completed and will count toward the village’s local share of the project.
“We had an appraisal of the property. We had a review of the property for asbestos purposes, and we have a cost for asbestos remediation. We’ve done a lot of that,” he explains.
Fox says that a public green space would not only enhance the aesthetic of the downtown area but would also give locals and visitors an additional place to enjoy a picnic, hang out and relax.
“It’ll just be a nice, relaxing area. The only place for people to have green space in Strasburg is basically the Strasburg Park, which is of course what we believe to be a very wonderful park, but it’s kind of out of the way for people utilizing the downtown. We’re just thinking it’s going to be a nice area for people to chill,” he says.
Fox says the space would initially be a grassy area but might also feature some picnic tables or gazebos later down the road.
Should the project be approved for funding, Fox says the property must remain a public green space in perpetuity or else the village will be required to pay back the grant money plus interest.
Stacey Carmany, Tusco TV