Jerusalem Township won't sell to Dollar General

Kelly J. Kaczala

        Jerusalem Township trustees recently decided not to sell 1.2 acres of public land along St. Rte. 2 in Bono to Dollar General due to concerns raised by residents.
        Dollar General’s purchase of the property was contingent on acquiring at least two adjacent private parcels. The store sells food, snacks, health and beauty aids, cleaning supplies, basic apparel, housewares, seasonal items, and some groceries at low prices.
        Dollar General contacted trustees months ago interested in buying the township property.  Residents who were adamantly opposed to the store signed a petition to present to trustees.
        “It’s been going on for months now. But it was just resolved,” Jerusalem Township Trustee Mark Sattler said to The Press last week of the decision not to sell to the retail store.
        “We declined to sell,” he said.
        At a township trustee special meeting in April, residents expressed concerns about drainage, traffic backups, competition to Jack’s Superette, the township’s only grocery store, the fact there was already a Dollar General Store in the township at N. Curtice and St. Rte. 2, and the possible negative impact of the store in the community.
        “Bono is a quiet, peaceful village, and the center of the historic site for the beginning of Jerusalem Township,” said Linda Gray, who started a “Stop Dollar General” petition.
        In the 1800s, two brothers with the last name of Shepherd, came with their families from Erie County, Ohio to find jobs and settled in the township, she said.
        “Our trustees bought abandoned property along Route 2 in Bono where the Shepherd boys lived and want to sell that property to Dollar General. Of course, I don’t want our history to be covered by a retail store,” said Gray. “Besides that fact, I also believe it will impact our traffic pattern on Route 2. A few years ago, our trustees at the time made sure we had turning lanes installed coming from the East to turn into Bono. The Ohio Department of Transportation would not make turn lanes coming from the west because of Wards Canal. Now, with Cedar Point traffic, the marina, and CCYC (Cooley Canal Yacht Club) traffic coming from the west, and the extra traffic from the new metropark from the east, is it practical to add another distraction? Also, as you look at the lot under consideration, it is constantly underwater. So if you put in fill, a building, and a paved parking lot, where is that water going to go? Yep, right into the residential areas surrounding it.”
        Resident Bill Tank asked at the special meeting in April, “When did the township get into the real estate business? Is the township going to profit on that piece of property?”
        “We’re not in the interest of owning property,” said Sattler. “What happens is when the Lucas County Land Bank takes possession of property that has back taxes due, they will clear those back taxes and turn it over to the township. If it’s not a buildable lot, the township will approach an adjoining property owner and work an arrangement. It’s our desire to turn that property over, which is why we put it up for sale, and if someone wanted to come in and build on it, we would be delighted to sell that property to a new resident so they can build a home on it,” said Sattler.
        “But you’re going to put a commercial business on that property,” said Tank.
        “That’s not what we’re going to do. It’s been proposed,” said Sattler.
        Tank also said St. Rte. 2 will not be able to handle the extra traffic.
        “You have Metzger’s Marsh, you have the yacht club, Meinke Marina, the new metropark, and you have Cedar Point traffic. Where are you going to put all of that?” asked Tank.
        “So help me understand, you are opposed to Dollar General because of infrastructure reasons, or are there other reasons that you would like to share?” asked Sattler.
        “All of the above - traffic, sewers, runoff. We don’t need it. I travel this country. I see these stores go up everywhere. I go by them constantly. Within three years, they’re dead, they’re done. The building sits vacant,” said Tank.
        Sattler told The Press on Wednesday that the property is zoned residential, “and we’re waiting to see if there are any adjacent residential property owners or other residents who want to purchase that property for residential purposes.”
        “As far as commercial, it runs up against other residences. We’re not sure commercial is appropriate at the edge of a neighborhood.”


The Press

The Press
1550 Woodville Road
Millbury, OH 43447

(419) 836-2221

Email Us

Facebook Twitter

Ohio News Media Association