Auto museum in CW closes; also ODOT plans wall along 33, CW takes over Union Grove Cemetery


By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

The late Bob McDorman’s dream of housing his automotive collection in a downtown Canal Winchester museum is coming to an end.

McDorman’s $1.5 million Automobile Museum opened in July 2014 on the same site of the former lumberyard.

The family has closed the museum and will liquidate the contents. As for the nearly 22,336 square foot complex in the midst of downtown, the city of Canal Winchester is eyeing it as potential office space.

Resident and business owner Carm Smith asked Canal Winchester City Council what is going to happen now that the museum has closed.

“It’s important to merchants, as well as the community,” said Smith, who said there is a need for more retail space. “We want to welcome new merchants.”

Mayor Mike Ebert said, while the city has first rights to purchasing the structure, the city is waiting on an appraisal before making any plans.

“Part (of the complex) could be offices, but as to the rest, we don’t know,” said Ebert. “We may never get it. There’s a line of people behind us—a lot.”

Councilwoman Bobbie Mershon said, if it were up to her, she would open the discussion for community input.

According to the Franklin County Auditor’s website, the current 2016 market value for the entire 45 E. Waterloo St. six-lot property, including land and improvements, is approximately $2.17 million.

ODOT wall on U.S. 33

ODOT will build a sound wall deflecting traffic noise from motorists on U.S. 33 away from Canal Winchester residents living along the highway.

City Public Service Director Matt Peoples said ODOT started the project in response to a citizen petition, but not at the city’s request. Design is underway and it is expected construction will begin in August with completion in July 2018.

The noise wall will be installed just east of the High Street exit heading east approximately 2,000 feet to the Franklin/Fairfield county line. ODOT is covering 100 percent of the cost.

Peoples said, “The city wants to make sure the design fits in with some of the area’s colors and architecture but, since it will be located along the rear property lines, the property owners were surveyed on their choice of appearance. We are also concerned with long term maintenance.  Height, length, and distance from road are all covered by ODOT design standards.”

City takes over Union Grove Cemetery

Peoples reported on the city’s recent takeover of the formerly privately owned Union Grove Cemetery. He said the cemetery association chose to cease as an entity and, according to state law, the city is required to assume ownership, operation and maintenance.

“The city has full responsibility of the cemetery operation, including all burials,” said Peoples. “We have entered into a cemetery management agreement with Oak Leaf Management to perform those duties. The association was required to turn all monies they had over to us and $65,000 was part of it. The association dates back to the 1800s, but there are plots from the 1700s, from what I understand.”


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