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Two groups have been screened as potential occupants of the historic Wheeler House, and another must be scheduled for an interview before an Olean General Hospital committee finalizes a report on future use of the home donated nearly 50 years ago by a descendant of a Portville pioneering family.

Former Olean Mayor John Ash, chairman of the Wheeler House Steering Committee, said the hospital began its review in late January by sending letters out to groups interested in using the home for medical or health-related activities.

Three organizations responded, he said, declining to name the candidates.

The committee, whose four members represent the hospital, the Portville Village Board, the Portville Historical Society and Portville residents, was chosen after the hospital completed a controversial $650,000 no-bid renovation of the property.

For many years the home was occupied by hospital administrators, but CEO Dr. Robert J. Catalano suggested in December that the board of directors consider an alternative use that would benefit the community.

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