LIMA — Mayoral candidate Autumn Swanson on Tuesday told the Allen County Board of Commissioners she’d like to see Lima and Allen County collaborate on a restoration plan for Memorial Hall, which she envisions as a tourist attraction and future location for Lima City Hall.
A project like Memorial Hall would show that “we’re restoring something together,” Swanson said, and would in turn encourage more tourism in downtown Lima.
Swanson met with the commissioners on Tuesday to learn about Allen County’s collaborative agreements with the City of Lima and discuss her platform, including her vision for Memorial Hall, as the candidate talks up her plans to see more collaboration between the governing entities.
The city of Lima relies on the Allen County Land Bank to demolish blighted and tax-delinquent properties, one of several cooperative agreements already in place.
Swanson on Tuesday said that she’d like to enact more cost-saving agreements between Allen County and Lima.
But any plans to restore Memorial Hall face an uphill battle, as Allen County Commissioner Cory Noonan described the extensive costs required to rehabilitate the facility and bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Meanwhile, the county’s capital needs already exceed its capital funds, making such a project difficult to enact without private investment, an option the commissioners have expressed an interest in in the past.
“If you have ideas, we are all yours,” Noonan said. “But at the end of the day, it would be nice to see an entity that would want change, that would have a plan and the financial backing to make that structure.”