OREGON, Ohio (WTVG) - What's the price of progress?
A plan to give new life to a piece of Oregon could put a local business out of business but that shop owner is fighting for his shop and its employees.
Shawn Kaphammer has been pretty happy with the Navarre Avenue location of his Oregon business but he might soon be forced out and be forced to make hard decisions about his employees.
With snow and brisk temperatures, the snow plow sales and service business is brisk here at S & K Mow and Snow on Navarre Avenue. The location opened about 4 years ago by Kaphammer. He used to lease the building from Kmart's parent company but when the store went under he leased directly from the property owner and Kaphammer says things have been great. Until now.
"Pretty much born and raised here. Then you're thrown out by the same people you grew up with," said Kaphammer.
That's because the city of Oregon is looking to enter into an agreement to lease the property for 10 years costing just under $3 million dollars, then purchase it for another $3. 7 million.
Kaphammer would be pushed out because the agreement with the property owner and Oregon says all structures will be demolished before the city gets possession.
"They're doing it for businesses. So I'm already a business on the property. So at some point you'd hope and think the city would keep you a part of their vision," said Kaphammer.
He employs around 20 people. He does have other area properties but they may not be big enough for all those employees or his inventory. Which will cost even more money to move if he's pushed out.
"We can try to expand the employees to other locations and try to fit people in but obviously not everyone is going to fit. so people will end up losing their jobs," said Kaphammer.
Something else stings as well. It’s a letter from Oregon mayor Mike Sefarian from 2017, when Kaphammer was expanding his business in Rossford. Sefarian wrote basically a letter of recommendation saying the Oregon business is a clean, well-organized business.
In speaking with the Oregon city administrator Friday, he told 13abc that the property owner offered to demolish all of the buildings because of things like asbestos.
Oregon's city council will take up this agreement as its meeting Monday night.