The 90-acre property at 4550 Ohio 60, Wakeman, holds six chicken barns. According to documentation from the Huron County Auditor’s Office, the market value for the land is $572,730 and the buildings are worth $784,670.
Byron Dalton, of Wakeman Township, sold the property to the diocese. He declined to be interviewed.
When asked about the sale Friday, township trustee Chris Hilaman said he had heard “a lot of rumors,” with the last one being that “the deal fell through.” He also didn’t hear any news from the other trustees when they met earlier in the week.
“I don’t know what their (the diocese’s) intentions are,” Hilaman said.
Diocese officials and Wakeman Mayor Chris Hipp couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday and Friday.
This isn’t the first nearby Wakeman Township property that the diocese has purchased in recent years. In 2015, it bought 140 acres from a family of former farmers in 2015 to transform the area at 4655 Ohio 60, Wakeman, into a $7 million camp, retreat and education center.
Construction for Bellwether Farm started about late spring 2017. The farm, which focuses on “sustainable agriculture” and land stewardship, includes a farm house, two maintenance buildings, 15 summer camp cabins, 40 overnight rooms, a worship barn and a main building.
The property purchased from Dalton is located south and east of Bellwether Farm, across Ohio 60.
In November, when the Reflector had a guided tour of Bellwether Farm, project director Katie Ong-Landini estimated the project was about 50 percent complete and said the goal was to be done in March.