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Friday, July 10th, 2009

Officials say they want to reopen facility

By Nancy Allen
Officials at Breakaway RecPlex are making every effort to reopen the fitness facility after it closed on July 2 and want members to call or stop at the business' office with questions, a letter from owner Tom Case states.
For members participating in the automatic withdrawal program, there will not be any withdrawals from their accounts while the facility is closed. There also should be no service fees charged for any stop payment service as there will not be any withdrawals made, the letter states.
Members who want to gather personal items from their lockers while the facility is closed can come to the Case Leasing office, located at the back of Breakaway RecPlex, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and they will be helped.
Members who have signed up to participate in any camps this summer should contact the office at 419-586-6641 to inquire about the status of camps.
The letter urges members to call the facility with any additional questions or concerns.
Citing a cash-flow problem, Case made a public appeal in early June for donations to keep the business open while he awaits a court decision in a lawsuit he filed against the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Case first filed the lawsuit in 2005 against the state seeking almost $5.3 million in damages after a historic 2003 flood damaged the complex. He blamed the flooding on the state-managed West Bank spillway off Grand Lake. The spillway empties into Beaver Creek, which overflowed its banks and flooded the facility.
Court documents show Case took out $5 million in loans to restore and repair the RecPlex after the flood.
An Ohio Court of Claims judge awarded the company $3.2 million in damages, which Case appealed. He is asking for more. The state said the decision called for too much money and also filed an appeal. The case has moved to the 10th District Court of Appeals in Franklin County, which has not yet made a ruling.
According to Rick Bachelor, interim safety service director for the city of Celina, Breakaway RecPlex owes $47,363.50 in unpaid utility services to the city. The utilities bill includes electric, water, sewer and storm water usage..
Bachelor said the business has been paying a little bit at a time on a long outstanding bill owed the city.
Breakaway RecPlex employs 40-60 people, depending on the season.
Additional online story on this date
A 44-year-old Mercer County Jail inmate facing the likelihood of prison died Thursday afternoon after he reportedly hung himself with a bed sheet.
Ronald Abels, 279 St. Anthony Road, Fort Recovery, was pronounced dead on arrival at Mercer County Community Hospital in Coldwater. [More]
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