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Unpaid Mercantile Center rents sought
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Several tenants of the Gays Mills Mercantile Center with overdue rent payments past 30 days will receive letters drafted by the village’s attorney, the village board decided after a closed session discussion of the matter at their last regular board meeting on Monday, Oct. 7.

In all, the total unpaid rent past 30 days amounts to about $8,500 at this point.

In the letter, attorney Eileen Brownlee advises the tenants on behalf of the village that their failure to pay the overdue rent within 10 days may lead to the issuance of a formal notice to terminate the tenancy and remove property from the premises.

In clarifying the policy after the meeting, Gays Mills Village Clerk Dawn McCann noted that any failure to make payment on past due rent will be reported to the village board for a decision on how to proceed before any action is taken.

On Tuesday, Oct. 15, a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 16, of the village trustees serving on the Gays Mills Mercantile Center Committee was posted. During a closed session of the meeting, it was expected the trustees would speak with tenants with overdue rent.

Four spaces at the village-owned Gays Mills Mercantile Center remain unrented. Another space rented by 5-6-7-8-Dance, a dance studio, closed this fall. Owner Niki Dull indicated the space will most probably become available soon.

The four empty spaces, including the two large spaces once proposed to be used as a bistro, account for 5,242 square feet or 43 percent of the rentable space at the small mall, located along Highway 131 near the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center, the Marketplace and the relocation housing site.

The rentable space of 5-6-7-8-Dance is 1,288 square feet or 11 percent of the mall’s rentable space. Taken together, the unrented space and the 5-6-7-8-Dance space represents 54 percent of the rentable space in the building.

There are currently eight tenants renting space at the Mercantile Center, excluding the 5-6-7-8 Dance. They are the Independent-Scout newspaper, the Expressions Dance Studio, Robert E’s barbershop, the Gays Mills Arts Collective, Fantasy Tan, the Crawford County Fair Office, Rural Mutual Insurance and Denise and Lana’s beauty shop. These tenants jointly rent 5,525 square feet or 46 percent of the available rentable space at the Mercantile Center.