Library trustees vote to make offer on Tavern building in Troy

112-118 W. Main St. in Troy
112-118 W. Main St. in Troy

Facility, which owner is thinking of demolishing, would be used to expand on library’s services, director says.

TROY – The Troy-Miami County Public Library Board of Trustees voted last week to make an offer on the Tavern building at 112-118 W. Main St. as the Troy City Planning Commission is considering a demolition application by the owner.

The library board’s vote followed a closed executive session.

Possible interest in the building by the library was first publicly mentioned during the Planning Commission’s meeting Sept. 29. The commission tabled the application at that meeting because of a legal question.

The library would use the building to expand on its current services creating meeting rooms with teleconferencing capabilities, a computer lab, a makerspace and an entrepreneurs’ center for local business owners, said Rachelle Via, library director.

Money toward the building would come from funds the library has saved for expansion the past decade, Via said.

The building is owned by Randy Kimmel of Covington.

It housed an early county courthouse and was damaged in the January 2020 tornado that hit downtown.

A group of local residents has been working to convince the commission to deny the demolition and save the structure. The Troy Historic Preservation Alliance earlier held a rally outside the building calling for its history to be saved and has been waging a public campaign to make that happen.

Several members of the public attended the Wednesday library board meeting with some offering to assist with a library project should it move forward. Some offers of assistance made at the most recent Planning Commission meeting on the demolition were repeated, including one for masonry services to repair the building parapet; an offer of mechanical engineering assistance; and another for grant writing.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to meet again Monday, Oct. 11.

The current demolition request is supported by city staff. The demolition permit written reuse proposal includes filling in the site and preparing for development.

The commission was told Sept. 28 there was a contract to buy the building with an eye toward putting a boutique hotel in its place. Demolition of the existing brick structure built in 1840 and 1902 is a condition for sale by the party exploring purchase.

“We have had a valid purchase contract on the property for the past month which is still binding. As of now we have not received any other offers on the property,” Ben Redick, a broker with Bruns Realty Group working with Kimmel and his company, said Thursday.

The library offer was expected to be made yet this week.

The Troy Historic Preservation Alliance said Thursday that the “library’s offer to purchase the building and Miami County’s clarification of its adjudication order with the City of Troy are both positive developments that should put to rest any further discussion of demolishing this historic building.”

The county development department Wednesday issued a statement saying the adjudication order through the county building office “does not require demolition to comply with the order.” The adjudication order was described in various ways in comments by speakers at the commission’s Sept. 29 meeting.

“The building has historical significance. It was the site of the county’s first courthouse from 1841-1888. Every person of color had to go to the courthouse to register his or her residence and intent to remain in Miami County until these laws were repealed in 1849. This includes the almost 400 former slaves known as the Randolph Freed People who settled in Miami County in the late 1840s, with many descendants remaining to this day,” the library said in a statement Wednesday evening. The library’s Local History Library is located in the same block of West Main Street at the corner of Cherry and West Main streets.

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