CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The city of Akron said a payment was received in time to avoid a shutdown of water service at the Chapel Hill Mall.
According to a statement from the city of Akron, water service will not be disconnected on Friday because a sufficient payment was made in time.
Ellen Lander Nischt, an Akron representative, said despite today’s payment to stay open the mall still owes a lot of money.
“It’s still a significant balance. Without getting int the specifics, it’s a six figure balance,” she said. “We have an obligation to make sure those public dollars we are offering water and sewer and they need to pay for that.”
She said “turning water service off to a mall is not something we take lightly. We are obviously well aware it would cause disruption to tenants inside the mall, as well as businesses adjacent. It’s been our goal to avoid shut off, so we thought it was very unfortunate it had to come to this.”
Nischt said the mall has not been paid in full for over a year.
Despite the payment, Chapel Hill Mall remains behind on payments.
"The water service to Chapel Hill mall will not be disconnected today, Friday January 3, 2020. As of 9:15 AM this morning, sufficient payment has been received by the City to avoid immediate shut off.
The City is deeply disappointed in the property owner’s failure of action that led to this point. Over several months, the City has made significant attempts to work in good faith with the property owner regarding acceptable payment. Unfortunately, due to the property owner’s nonpayment, the City was forced to take action to issue the shut off notice. The City does not take this action or its obligation lightly. Large businesses and property owners located here are “corporate citizens” and we expect them to uphold their responsibilities and serve as meaningful contributors to the Akron community.
While payment has been made today, the water/sewer account for this property remains in a delinquent status. The City will continue to negotiate with the property owner regarding an appropriate payment plan, or additional shut off notices may be issued in the future. Shut off would cause significant disruption to establishments located in the mall, adjacent businesses, and their employees. We hope the property owner will take the steps necessary to avoid that event.
Mayor Horrigan and the City administration are fully committed to supporting the establishments and businesses located in and around the mall. These businesses create jobs and contribute to the Akron economy. Representatives of the Office of Integrated Development (OID) have reached out to these businesses to offer business assistance and an ongoing, open line of communication.
The Chapel Hill neighborhood holds immense potential, and we will continue to support its success in an evolving commercial and retail landscape. Given the flexibility of the zoning, and the overall attractiveness of the location, this large 72-acre site presents great opportunity for any combination of commercial, residential, retail or light industrial use."
- Statement form the city of Akron
A simple message was shared on the mall’s Facebook page.