FREDERICKTOWN — The Fredericktown Village Council meeting has never smelled better than it did Monday night, when the council chamber was filled with the scent of freshly baked breads and cookies.
Douglas Lichtenwalter of the Asetta Bread Co. brought platters filled with samples of old-fashioned pepperoni balls, stuffed breads and sweets his company will be creating and selling in Fredericktown once his business relocates to the village on Sept. 1. Its current location is in Mount Vernon.
With wholsesale clients such as the Ohio State University, private schools and universities, as well as local clientele who buy the company’s specialty breads, Asetta will be expanding its operations when it moves its headquarters to the old Fredericktown primary school on Taylor Street.
Lichtenwalter said he will hire at least six new employees in addition to the 10 he already employs. He hopes to continue to draw a steady breakfast and lunch business once the company moves to Fredericktown. The wholesale branch of the company has done quite well, according to Lichtenwalter, causing Asetta to outgrow its current location.
“We’re looking forward to the community here,” Lichtenwalter told council.
He said he has been welcomed warmly by the Fredericktown community, and he will continue to try to purchase many of his ingredients from local purveyors.
Asetta said the new location will offer more parking than the space available to his customers in Mount Vernon.
“I have to tell you, the city of Mount Vernon has been less than supportive to remedy our problem,” Lichtenwalter told council members.
Reed told council he would like to investigate whether a tax abatement is possible for the 2-year-old company.
“Anything would be helpful,” Lichtenwalter said.
Council members and Reed told Lichtenwalter his business would be a welcome addition to the Fredericktown community.
Council members then discussed the Senior Citizen Building, which is owned by the village and leased to the Fredericktown Senior Citizens for $1 a year as part of a 50-year lease.
Reed and Councilman Paul Seymour shared their dismay regarding the Senior Citizen Executive Board’s decision to cease renting the building to local residents for use for gatherings, meetings and celebrations.
“They are doing an injustice to our community from what they are doing,” Reed said.
He said the building has been consistently used for years for birthday parties, club meetings, showers and wedding receptions.
Seymour pointed out the village has, in effect, donated the use of the building to allow it to be available to the community.
Village Solicitor Todd Drown said he believed the group’s status as a charitable organization could be challenged if it refused to make the building available to benefit the public.
“I think it’s a serious problem when it’s supposed to be a charitable organization that is supposed to use that to benefit the public,” Drown said. “When they start excluding the public, I’m wondering where their charitable purposes have gone.”
Council promised to look into the matter further. The senior citizen executive board discussed is not affiliated with the senior citizens group which recently opened a senior center at the old high school, but with the group which meets monthly at the Senior Citizens Building on the village square.
The month’s bills, totaling $394,619.38, were approved for payment. Village Fiscal Officer Pat Stelzer told council the general fund remains quite low.
Village Administrator Gary Gallogly updated council on the village paving project, which remains on schedule.
Village residents who have experienced flooding problems will receive help from the village for installation of back flow devices to prevent future flooding. Residents can contact the village for more information.
Heavy rains on June 26 caused flooding and damage in homes on West Second and West Sandusky Street after sewers backed up.
Council also heard the first reading of Ordinance 2009-30, which will change the intersection at Oak and South Mulberry streets from a one-way stop back to a three-way stop. The action was taken after several residents complained.