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Neighbors question plan to sell canal lands property

| March 12, 2024

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (March 12, 2024) – City officials have some research to do before deciding whether to auction off land along Commercial and Canal avenues that was once part of the Ohio & Erie Canal.  

During Monday’s council meeting, members heard from Martinelli Pools & Spas owner Jill White, who questioned whether the city could legally sell the property. 

“Back in 1970 when we were sold the other 12-foot, we were told then that it could only be used for waterways and public use.”

Councilman Kris Kreinbihl promised to look into that and whether there’s a way for White and other neighbors to buy the land next to theirs without having to compete with other bidders.

“Please don’t come at saying that we don’t care about small business. There’s no one in here who cares about small business more than me. I will take this personal. I will look into it with you.”

Representatives from South Philly Pizza say they rely on that property for parking and deliveries and will have no choice but to move elsewhere if it sells.

“Before you guys vote on this please think about what you’re doing to us instead of what you’re doing for the city because the people who live up by the park, they don’t care about that property down there,” said Jacob Beavers, who spoke on behalf of the pizza shop.

Council that evening unanimously approved a plan to rezone the three parcels from residential to business. It will take a separate vote for the city to sell the property. 

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