The Recreation and Public Property Committee met Wednesday evening to discuss the future of The Salvation Army's former downtown location.
Councilman Brian Bilger said he was approached by Vanessa Cook, who said she was interested in renting the first floor of city-owned building for a youth activity center.
"I think this would be a home run for the entire city," Bilger said. "It's an absolutely perfect building for what they want to do."
The committee was concerned about the risks of something going wrong with the boiler or the plumbing in the old building, which is vacant.
Bilger said another concern is the building is appraised for $475,000, and when the government is using it or it is not being used at all, the city does not need to pay property tax for the building.
"Right now, we're not making any money off of it; it's just sitting empty," said Councilman Tyler Shuff. "If someone wants to locate a business in downtown Tiffin, I think there's a lot more pros than cons to this."
Mayor Aaron Montz said he has not given the project much thought due to other issues the city is facing, but said there are many pros and cons to a business moving into the building.
Montz also said if the city was to offer the building for lease, he would like to look into accepting bids from other parties, so the city can get the most money out of the building.
The structure had been purchased as a potential option for relocating Tiffin Municipal Court. The Salvation Army moved to 505 E. Market St. in 2009.
City Administrator Deb Reamer said she likes the idea of the business coming to the building. But she is concerned how the city will be able to afford funding the building in the event of a major accident.
"I think it's a phenomenal idea," she said. "I think it's a win; I think it's fantastic. I'm excited about it, I want to see it happen and I want to see it prosper. I just want to make sure certain things are covered, and if something happens, we know where we stand and we have something there to work with."
Council president Paul Elchert said he is wary of investing any money into the building.
Councilman Jim Roberts said he thinks the youth activity center would be worth the risk.
"It's something for young people to do; it's something for families," he said. "So if we have to take a little risk, it's worth it. I'm just enthused about it."
Shuff echoed Roberts' comments and said the city should take risks, in order to bring business to Tiffin.
"We have a lot of empty buildings downtown, and I just want to see businesses thrive in downtown Tiffin," Shuff said. "We need to be promoting business, and get entrepreneurs that want to locate downtown Tiffin."