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