New ground for lot

Assistant Managing Editor
Auglaize County commissioners have made an offer on a house with future plans to level it and turn it into parking for the courthouse.
Commissioner John Bergman said they were contacted by Patricia Werst about purchasing the house at 206 Willipie St., which was left to her by her father.
After touring the three-level home, which sits across from the Auglaize County Courthouse adjacent to the courthouse parking lot, commissioners offered $85,000 for the property, which includes an upstairs apartment and two detached two-car garages set on a deep lot that goes back to the alley.
The property, which includes two parcels, is valued at $100,120, according to the Auglaize County Auditor’s Office website. It includes the home, which is zoned residential, and a garage listed as a commercial building.
Commissioners, who made the offer to Werst late last week, received the paperwork back with her agreeing to the sale shortly before the deadline this week.
Bergman said they planned to do a title search before finalizing the documents.
“Barring finding anything in the title search, it should be a done deal with the closing and possession scheduled for Oct. 15,” Bergman said.
Werst had complained to commissioners last year about constant noise at all hours from the ventilation system during courthouse renovations bothering her and her elderly father.
“The long term plan is to turn it into a parking lot,” Bergman said of the property. “That’s what makes sense. We have no use for the house as a house.”
Bergman said the large old home would cost thousands of dollars just to rewire and other repairs and updates would be needed if it were to remain a residential property.
“It would make a great parking lot,” Bergman said. “We would like to have it for the long term needs of the county, but it’s not something we need today.”
Bergman said the commissioners have no specific time frame on when they would like to move forward with turning the property into an extension of the existing courthouse parking lot.
He said the need for the parking is not as great as when they purchased a house to use the lot for parking for the new Auglaize County Administration Building when it was being constructed, but he does see the need in the future, especially now that the east entrance of the courthouse, which is across from the house and existing parking lot, is the only one the public may enter.
Bergman cited a Wapakoneta City ordinance that allows a year for a lot to be paved once a building is taken down.
The commissioner said it may be a while before that process is started as they continue to watch their budget items.
“The house can stand for a while until we need the parking space,” Bergman said.