Two individuals, with two entirely different plans, are vying for the lease of the “Big Store” building adjacent to the Lynch City Hall.
The building was once used by U.S. Steel as a grocery, furniture, commissary and payroll office.
At a recent meeting of the Lynch City Council, Frieda Holtz submitted a business proposal to lease the “Big Store” building from the city to construct a “worship center.”
“I recently moved back here from Michigan … where I worked for 30 years and have now retired and moved back here to stay with my mom and help her out,” said Holtz. “I noticed there needs to be something done with the buildings in the area. I wanted to come to the council about leasing the Big Store so we could have a worship and meeting facility.”
Holtz said for the past 30 years the “Big Store” building has continued to deteriorate. She said she believes the building can be made into a place that would be an asset to the Tri-City area.
Councilman Carl Collins asked Holtz where she will obtain funds to restore the building, which in his estimation would cost “millions of dollars.”
“A grant. It will take me maybe a year and a half to two years to get the grant, because it is a process,” said Holtz.
Councilman Winston Yeary further questioned Holtz about what she will do if she doesn’t get the grant.
“I tend to be an optimist,” said Holtz. “I don’t foresee not getting the grant.”
Submitting a business proposal several months ago, and present at the meeting, was Sammy Bowling, who wants to construct several “shops” in the “Big Store” building.
“I moved to Lynch a couple of years ago and I’ve been talking to John (Adams) for over a year about this building,” said Bowling. “The Big Store is the last big building in Lynch … All I can say is non-profit organizations are no profit for the city. It doesn’t matter how much money they get donated to their organization. They can come and put a roof on someone’s house, but where is there any money to the city. All they are going to be paying for is a water bill to the city.”
Bowling said the building was once “an old company store” and he’d like to see it “made back into a store again.”
Bowling said he and his family will do “a lot of the work needed” to restore the building themselves.
Mayor John Adams asked that a decision be tabled and a committee formed to look at both proposals and then make a recommendation back to the council for a vote. All council members agreed and a committee consisting of council members Bennie Massey, Winston Yeary and Betty Hudack, with an alternate of Linda Adams, was approved.
In other action council:
• Asked that nominations for the Walk of Legends be made by 5 p.m. Sept. 15. Forms may be picked up at City Hall. Council agreed three names will be selected by a committee appointed by the council. That committee will be residents Danny Cuzzart, Bob Goins and Barbara Tiabian and council members Massey and Carl Collins.
• Tabled an issue involving Lorene Clark and her rental property on Mountain Street. The city clerk was instructed to call Akins Excavating to see their position on this issue;
• Advised two water leaks have been repaired on Church and Liberty streets.
Nola Sizemore may be reached at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde