Staff writer

OWENSVILLE—After renting Town Square Salon for two years, Shelly Grimm said she’s ready to buy the building.

But she has had a tough time making that a reality.

“I don’t want to pay rent forever,” she said.

Grimm’s business started when she realized that Owensville needed a hair salon. She started looking for buildings to rent, but there weren’t any available until she spotted the building at 107 West Montgomery Street.

Previously used as an office and medical clinic, the building is owned by the Town of Owensville.

She asked the town council, after a few months the building was hers to rent.

Grimm said she knew she wanted to rent for a year, and then she’d want to buy the building.

This month, she told the town council that Main Street is all the town has for businesses, and she’s ready to purchase the building.

Grimm said that in the past, the  council told her they may want that space as a bank or for town hall, so she looked into buying a nearby flower shop, but waited too long to get that building while she was waiting to see whether the town would let her purchase her current building.

“I just wish there were more people who want to put businesses here,” Grimm said.

Council President Daniel Kautzman said he understands her concern, but they’re a government entity, not a real estate agency.

Kautzman said others have wanted to buy the building before her, but the town is only interested in renting the property.

“It’s a town asset. We would like to keep it for future business opportunities.”

Kautzman said it’s probably the best lot on the square.

The council and Town Attorney Ray Druley said  that if they ever did allow Grimm to buy the building,  they’d draw up a contract stating that if she tried to sell the building, the town would be the first in line to buy it back.

“We’re happy to have her as a business owner and sorry that we can’t find her something more permanent,” Kautzman said.

“I’m just a little aggravated,” Grimm said.

She loves the building and the location, but she’s also interested in buying a building in surrounding towns if things don’t work out at her current place.

Her plan is to buy her own place, then when she decides to retire, she’ll sell it and keep some of the money from the sale.

“Renting is fine, but after two years, it’s throwing money away if the business is doing well,” she said.

Email quiche@pdclarion.com

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