By BRIAN BOHNERT and MORGAN MANNS
When Mayor Eric Keckler opened his copy of the Review Times June 25 and read the headline, “County mulls selling Fostoria’s childhood center,” the news was definitely news to him.
A request to consider selling the Early Childhood Development Center was discussed during the June 24 Seneca County Commissioners meeting.
Keckler met this week with Seneca County Commissioner Fred Zoeller and Seneca County Opportunity Center Superintendent Lewis Hurst, two men at the heart of the issue, to “clear the air” about the proposal to sell the building, located at 801 Kirk St.
“I was just concerned that we weren’t informed first,” Keckler said, adding that Hurst did make a phone call to him apologizing for the unexpected news and to explain how the events unfolded. “My main concern was that we didn’t lose the program altogether.”
Keckler said, from his understanding during the 30-minute meeting, Wood Sandusky Ottawa Seneca (WSOS) Community Action had the idea of possibly purchasing the building, as it provides the majority of the programs at the facility. Hurst entertained the idea, which was brought to the commissioners but for discussion and to determine if selling the building is even a possibility and, if so, what the process would entail.
“Nothing is currently expected to happen; these are just possibilities that could happen,” Keckler said. “They assured me that they will keep in contact with me regarding further plans.”
Additionally, the two promised Keckler that there “is no intention of (the city) losing any services provided through the center.” If the building is sold, services may still be offered there or they may be relocated to another facility in town.
More information in Friday’s Review Times.