NOEL, Mo. — The City of Noel has acquired three downtown properties.
The city actually didn’t even purchase them. The three buildings were destroyed in a fire in December — and have been donated to the city.
This is thanks to Ann Harmon, a member of one of the original families to settle in Noel.
Settling in noel back in the 1880’s, the Harmon name runs deep in the community.
But when three of the families downtown properties burnt down in the noel fire back in December, Ann felt like it was time to move on from ownership.
“She really didn’t want to open and run the businesses again. I thought I’d sit down and pitch the idea to her to donate them to the city,” said Terry Lance, Noel Mayor.
After consideration, Ann decided to donate the African grocery store, former town mosque and another vacant property to the city.
“In times past, most of the cities business took place. Well, I’d like to see all of these buildings re-open with businesses in them, and I think this might be at least a good first step towards that happening again,” said Lance.
“Getting more business in here would definitely help. Since summer time is winding down, and school starting back, you know business is going to slow down, so getting it cleaned up would definitely help,” said Leann Parish, Bob’s Hometown Pizza owner.
Not only will it help her business, but Parish adds it will help save the town.
“Any little town, you know, you don’t want it dying, and that’s what it was doing. I mean before we opened this, there wasn’t anything to eat in Noel,” said Parish.
Now that the properties are owned by the city, they are eligible for grants to help fix them up.
Mayor Lance doesn’t know yet if they will keep, sell or rent out the buildings, but he says the first step is cleaning out all the debris from the fire.