U.S. Glass Says "Not So Fast" On Fenton Property Talks

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Although it did not do so in a formal vote, the Wood County Board of Education discussed and authorized the school administration to get information from the Fenton family, on the property which, for more than a century. was the Fenton Art Glass plant.

"We need to go to them and be in a position to say, how much money are you talking about," said Tim Yeater, President, Wood County Board of Education, "what it's going to take to sign a letter of intent, for us to move forward to getting a school here."

Mike Fling, Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education, responded: "I don't have any official authority until you say, ' let's pursue this, let's investigate this'".

But U.S. Glass, which purchased the Fenton glassmaking business two years ago, says the agenda item only called for a discussion, not a decision. while awaiting the meeting's minutes, it's considering legal action.

It also argues whether the Fenton family is in a position to discuss anything.

"The Wood County Sheriff is owed $700,000 in back taxes, which is about $18 or $19 per family," Gene Bem, Chairman, U.S. Glass, Inc., said Thursday. "So the degree to which the Fentons are speaking about doing a real estate transaction, and not speaking to the people who are owed money, there is an issue there."

Bem says U.S. Glass still is committed to making glass at the site, noting it is in talks about a project with retailing giant Wal-Mart. It only needs a third of the Fenton property to do that. the administration told the board any discussions would be about the entire property.

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