MEDINA — The vacant Medina Steak & Seafood restaurant will become a recovery center.
Medina County commissioners approved a two-year lease agreement Tuesday with owner Ken Collins, whose company is CKF Partners.
The county will open a recovery center, culinary training facility and restaurant at 538 W. Liberty St.
The initial rent is $66,000 annually, plus a share of property taxes, and the lease runs June 1 to May 31, 2019.
County Administrator Scott Miller has said the county hopes to partner with a nonprofit organization to run the facility.
When the county disclosed it was looking at opening a recovery center at the restaurant, neighborhood residents and members of the Bankers Row Historic Neighborhood Association said they opposed the idea.
“I know there are concerns out there,” Commissioner Pat Geissman said during commissioners’ weekly meeting Tuesday.
“I don’t think our court system would put something in the neighborhood that would cause crime or cause a problem to the families in the neighborhood. I think many times there is a fear of the unknown.”
County Chief Probation Officer Veronica Perry said she went through almost 40 properties looking for the right fit.
She secured a $300,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation to fund the project.
“The grant requirement prohibited us from purchasing any of those properties, with the exception of one or two, that didn’t meet our needs,” she said.
“We’ve had more support than opposition,” Perry said. “The small group of opposition has been very determined to not necessarily accept the answers (we’ve given them).”
The attorney of one member of the opposition group, Delane Nagel, owner of the Spitzer House Bed and Breakfast, also on West Liberty, addressed commissioners.
“I ask county commissioners to reconsider your (3-0) vote on the signing of the lease,” attorney Klevis Bakiaj, of Frantz Ward LLP in Cleveland, said. “I ask you to table it for 30 to 60 more days.”
Bakiaj said Nagel wants a study done on how the recovery center might negatively affect her business.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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