George Hiotis

Zanesville Businessman Battles State

by George Hiotis on August 7, 2013 at 4:38 am

A Zanesville business owner says plans by the State of Ohio to build a new intersection on Maple Avenue have turned into a nightmare for him.  Nick Vlahos who owns Nikko’s Dry Cleaners says he is in a legal fight over the amount he will be compensated for a building on his property that was razed Wednesday to make room for the Maple-Dresden-Brown street intersection.  It was a former gas station and it’s right in front of his business.  Vlahos – currently fighting the issue in Muskingum County Common Pleas Court – says the state is offering him 300 dollars for the building.  Vlahos says he has worked all his life – after emigrating here from Greece at age 16 – and it is insulting to be offered that amount of money for the prime piece of property from a business he built.  Whiz News contacted Ohio Department of Transportation District 5 Deputy Director Joe Rutherford and he confirmed the $300 offer to Vlahos. Rutherford says the reason the offer is so low is that there is some contamination underground from fuel storage tanks.  Rutherford says the state would be responsible for the clean-up and he is not sure what it would cost. Vlahos countered that he has a sworn depostion from an Environmental Protection Agency official and a geologist who say there is no contamination.  The issue remains in mediation.