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County leaders labeled 'slum lords'

By KARLEE STEFFANNI • Updated Aug 4, 2017 at 12:38 AM

Northern Ohio Antique Mall in downtown Norwalk reportedly is going out of business.

At least, that’s what the sign out front say. Shop owner Mary Anne Claus clarified: “We’re looking at another storefront down the street.”

“I think I’m going to sign the lease on it,” she added.

Claus said the antique mall is moving not for business-related reasons, but due to issues with the current location at 22 E. Main St. She also said the building, which is owned by Huron County, is costly and not receiving the proper maintenance. 

“Half of our air conditioning is working; our plumbing isn’t working correctly. You know, it’s really not maintained properly,” Claus added.

Huron County Commissioner Terry Boose said the air conditioning currently is being replaced. In the past, they’ve replaced toilets to resolve plumbing issues.

“There are some things she’s not happy with,” he said. “It’s an older building. It is what it is.”

Claus said she believes the commissioners may have other plans for the building, which in her eyes, explains what she views as a recent lack of maintenance. 

“I kind of call the county commissioners slum lords,” she continued.

Though there are no concrete plans for the building following its vacancy, Boose said there are very early discussions of the shop continuing in a similar fashion, but under new ownership.

“One of the vendors that’s currently in there with her, we’re kind of in discussion with them about the possibility of continuing— not as her company, but as his own company,” Boose said.

Claus said things are still going very well on the business side and she’s had her eye on the aforementioned storefront “down the street” for some time now. 

“I was trying to negotiate cheaper rent,” she said. 

“This is a thriving business and when we said we were closing, many of our customers were very, very upset,” Claus said. 

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