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Greene CATS, business dispute leads to bus shelter removal

A bus shelter has been removed from the front of an empty commercial building in downtown Xenia following a dispute between the property owner and Greene CATS Public Transit.

The shelter has been removed after Blue Rock Investments, LLC terminated the no-rent lease agreement it had with Greene CATS for use of space in front of the former Fulmer’s grocery store.

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According to a Feb. 6 letter from Blue Rock Attorney Joe Miller to Greene CATS Executive Director Ken Collier, Greene CATS was not using the space within the terms of the agreement.

“Blue Rock permitted the Greene County Transit Board to utilize space for a bus shelter to accommodate passengers,” the letter states. “Blue Rock never charged rent or asked for any recompense for this use for more than five years.”

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The investment company notified the transit board of “its concern that the shelter and parking area were not being used to pick up and drop off passengers as was intended,” the letter states.

Miller said the space was being used for “staging and storing multiple buses,” which was blocking access to the commercial building.

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“Any owner of any commercial property would be very troubled by the fact that the entire frontage of the building was being occupied by these buses,” Miller said.

The buses that pull into that parking lot are transporting people who use Greene CATS “flex routes,” which enable riders to transfer between buses to get from home to other destinations, such as Dayton, Fairborn and Yellow Springs, Collier said.

Last year, there were more than 71,000 people who utilized flex routes services, according to Greene CATS records.

Collier said the buses park for 10 to 20 minutes every two hours during the day at the Xenia site to await passengers and make all the necessary transfers. He said the transit board tried to negotiate with the property owner and offered to pay for use of the space, but to no avail.

“The buses are now staging farther out in the parking lot … away from the sidewalk,” Collier said. “Unfortunately that means people have to walk out to the buses to make those transfers.”

Collier said Greene CATS is working with the city of Xenia to reinstall the shelter at another nearby spot away from the former Fulmer’s store.

Miller said Blue Rock Investments, LLC is actively working to get a tenant “and put the property to its highest and best use.”

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