WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) - Residents are passionate about the Williamsville Water Mill, which dates back to the early 1800s. But the water mill has sat vacant for more than five years and is old and rickety.
Now two business owners, Howard and Tara Cadmus, are looking to take Sweet Jenny's Ice Cream Shop, which has been on Main Street in Williamsville for years, into the old mill on Spring Street.
"The mill is really the heart of the Village of Williamsville," Tara said.
"We don't want to bring anything new in structrually, so much as rehab what's there," Howard said. "So what you're doing is you're taking the past and the future and you're melding them together."
The husband-wife duo have submitted their proposal to the village because taxpayers actually own the mill. On Tuesday, Mayor Brian Kulpa hosted a public meeting for the mill's future.
"As we question something, I'm not going to sit from that board table and mandate how the village does its business regarding this facility," Mayor Kulpa said.
Years ago, Iskalo Development proposed building boutique shops, a new restaurant and hotel space at the mill. But that plan has expired, which clears the way for Sweet Jenny's to potentially move in.
Howard asked residents in attendance to raise their hands if they approved of the move, and many did, including Mary Lowther.
"We're looking forward to the village board having the ability to negotiate a profitable sensable lease for them and for the vilalge and letting the project move forward," Lowther said.
But Nick Roth had some concern about taxpayer benefit.
"I just hope all of our costs are recognized and we get fair value out of it," he said.
The board did not vote, but Howard and Tara hope a future vote will give them the green light to move forward with their plans. That decision isn't expected to come for some time, but Mayor Kulpa said Tuesday night he feels the village should no longer be the property's landlord.
The move will be discussed again at the next board meeting.
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