by Joshua Maloni
There's now a different sign on the window of the Little Yellow Artisan House on Center Street. The recent "We're leaving" notice has been replaced with store hours and the promise of even more hours of operation following Thanksgiving.
"We were (leaving) because we thought we had to," said the Artisan House's Wendy Caputo.
Earlier this year, the Town of Lewiston assessor's office informed the Village of Lewiston that property taxes would be due for the "Little Yellow House" and The Silo Restaurant. The properties, which the village owns and rents out, had not previously been charged.
Village trustees initially wanted John Caputo and the Artisan House to pay the taxes, which come to $1,500. When the business owner decided to shop his store elsewhere, trustees reconsidered. In doing the math, they realized the building's $700 monthly rent far outweighs a once-a-year-payment. Subsequently, the board agreed the village would pay the town.
"After we pay the taxes, there's a profit there," Mayor Terry Collesano said. More than that, he noted, "We hated to see him go in the first place."
With the agreement, "You've got a businessperson who's established who can stay there," Collesano said. "They're doing a good job over there."
"We're now happy to stay," Wendy Caputo said.
The agreement between the two parties is for one year with a second year option. Trustees are still working out an agreement with The Silo.
The Little Yellow Artisan House, at 476 Center St., features local artists and handcrafted items (particularly jewelry and pottery), as well as photography and digital art. Find the store online at http://www.silverngems.com/.