CINCINNATI - Nearly 150 patrons of Keller's IGA in Clifton gathered Saturday afternoon to start a petition to reopen the long standing grocery store.
The Ohio Tax Commission closed the store on Jan. 6 after the store fell behind in paying its taxes.
The store's co-owner John Vierling says he plans on submitting a request to Governor John Kasich asking him to intervene.
"Gov. Kasich is all about jobs, and we would like this to be maybe the first move that he makes to open up a closed store and put 50 really good employees back to work," Vierling said.
Marilyn Hyland organized Saturday's public meeting and says Kasich can help buy the store some time in paying off its debt.
"It seems to me that he has the ability to bring together the Ohio Department of Taxation and Ohio Jobs and create a payment plan maybe over 12 months," Hyland said.
Hyland said the store has already paid more than $45,000 towards its tax debt, and Vierling says he's committed to paying off the remaining $120,000 the store owes. The store is also facing about $70,000 worth of penalty fees, which Hyland says she is asking Kasich to waive.
Hyland says she has started to gather signatures and plans on submitting a formal proposal to the governor's office within the next two weeks.
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