‘His will was pretty black and white;’ WW2 veteran’s land to be sold, mixed reaction from community

SUGARCREEK TOWNSHIP — Sugarcreek Township is selling a property that was willed to them, which has some upset.

Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, Greene County native and World War II veteran, left the property to the township when he passed away last September.

>> RELATED STORY: World War II veteran Jim ‘Pee Wee’ Martin dies at 101

News Center 7′s Kalya McDermott spoke with Sugarcreek Township Trustee Fred Cramer about the decision to sell the property.

“His will was pretty black and white. It is you are to take possession, if you’re not going to use it, sell it, and the monies to go to the general fund,” Cramer said.

However, some in the community do not believe selling the land is what Pee Wee would have wanted.

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Kevin Price posted the following statement on Facebook of what he said to trustees in a meeting last week.

“Having been a close friend of Jim’s for several years, I am confident his expectation was that his property would be used for the good of the township’s residents.”

Pee Wee’s will has remained private; the veteran made it clear this is what he wanted. Even though the will is private, it was read at the trustee meeting Price was at.

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“He sat down with his attorney okay and said heres what I want to happen it goes to the township to be sold when the township feels the time is right to benefit the general fund that’s what jim said,” the audio recording said.

Pee Wee’s land is set to be sold to his granddaughter Jodi Puterbaugh for $400,000.

“Jodi came to us and offered us money to buy it for 400,000 and change. We know her; she’s part of the family, and we said okay, we’ll accept your bid,” Cramer said

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News Center 7 asked why the trustees could not sell the property for less or give it to Puterbaugh for free.

“Let’s just say there’s 40 acres at $20,000, the low end. That’s $800,000. She’s offered to pay us half of that, and we’ve accepted it, and we had higher offers,” Cramer said.

The trustee will have a meeting Monday for public discussion, where the sale will most likely come up.

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