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Developer Has Contracts On Land Left Vacant By Downtown Wauseon Fire

Jerry Dehnbostel, Wauseon mayor, said Monday, a developer has contracts on all four vacant lots in downtown Wauseon, lots that were created by a Saturday, April 14 fire.

The fire burned through about half a city block of downtown Wauseon, wiping out several businesses and a storefront church. What remained of the buildings, most of which were built in the late 1800s, had to be torn down.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal office determined the fire was started by an arsonist.


Dehnbostel said Wauseon has received a $160,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development to replace infrastructure such as waterlines, sewer lines, etc.

He said the money is placed in a special account; when there are expenses that are eligible for grant funding, city officials submit a receipt and are reimbursed.

So far, he said, about $40,000 in eligible expenses have been submitted.

The City also received a $500,000 grant for the redevelopment of downtown from ODOD. Money can only be spent for the redevelopment of the land left vacant by the April 14 fire.

The money is under council control, Dehnbostel said. It will be used strictly for redevelopment.

The $500,000 grant is one factor in the developer’s proposal.

Dehnbostel declined to provide further details about the redevelopment plan.


On Monday, Shane Cartmill, a spokesman with the fire marshal office, said the fire “continues to be actively investigated by the Division of State Fire Marshal, with the cooperation of local authorities.

“Investigators are very thorough in their investigative process and, because of the size of this fire, it will take some time.”

About 26 fire departments from all over northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan, including Archbold, Ridgeville Corners, Fayette, and Stryker rushed to the aid of Wauseon firefighters.

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