The owners of the Woodville Mall have taken the first step in response to a court order to demolish the structure by next May.
A Wood County Common Pleas Court judge on Aug. 8 set a timeline for the owners to prepare for the mall’s demolition by May 2, 2014. First on the court’s list is the construction of a fence around the property’s perimeter by Sept. 2.
Northwood City Administrator Bob Anderson said that a permit was recently pulled to install the fence, which was partially completed on Wednesday.
|In response to court orders, a fence is being constructed around the
Woodville Mall, which must be completed by Sept. 2. (Press photo by
“A little hope has sprung up,” said Anderson. “Someone came into the office about a fence permit last Friday. They have started putting up the fence. We’re skeptical. But it appears they have taken the first step. It looks like the fence is going to be up by this weekend. They’re complying with the court order. The next thing is working on getting a bond and a permit to tear it down. That allows them to get in there and start cleaning it out.”
The mall has been shut down and boarded up since December 2011 due to violations of several Wood County Health and Ohio Building codes.
City Councilman Dave Gallaher said at a council meeting on Aug. 22 that the city should be prepared to put funds aside for the task if the mall’s owners do not raze the mall next year.
“With everything happening at the mall, and what I’m guessing is not going to happen at the mall, should we be looking at putting some money away for that project?” asked Gallaher. “There’s no free lunch. I’m not psychic. But I’m guessing that nothing is going to happen unless we make it happen. So we might as well put ourselves in a position to make it happen. We have to find the numbers before we even start budgeting money. We really have to prepare ourselves to make something happen there.”
Councilman Mike Myers, chairman of the Finance Committee, said he will schedule a committee meeting on Sept. 12 before the next council meeting to discuss the matter.
Anderson said after the meeting that he also has doubts that the mall owners will have the mall demolished by May.
“Historically, the mall owners have not been very responsive to the needs of the city,” said Anderson. “That’s why we had to go to court to force them to do something. We really have to do something. I am not in favor of demolishing the mall for someone else. But if they’re not willing to do it, we have to do something.” He added that the city would try and recoup the costs if it razes the mall.