Friday, December 01, 2000

Township buys land in Lebanon

City still opposes administration/fire use

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        TURTLECREEK TWP. — Trustees bought 53 acres for a new administration/fire building in Lebanon just weeks after the city refused to de-annex the land, the Enquirer has learned.

        “It was just a perfect location for us,” Trustee Dan George said Thursday in confirming the Nov. 3 purchase.

        “We figure we have plenty of time to sit on it and even tually ask them again.”

        Turtlecreek Township bought the land, at Ohio 123 and Hart Road on Lebanon's west side, from the Foley family for $622,750, Mr. George said.

        The township had offered to give part of the land to Lebanon schools if the city approved the de-annexation, but he now says it's going to continue to be farmed for now.

        Lebanon Council members and residents opposed de- annexation for fear that plans for maintenance and building facilities there would make that approach to the city less attractive.

        “I haven't changed my idea about that,” Mayor James Mills said Thursday.

        “I think we should try to make the gateways as pre sentable as possible. A lot of people judge you on the way your house looks, your automobile.

        “It's the same way with a city — that's the first thing people see when they come in.”

        Councilman Ben Cole, too, remains opposed to de- annexing the land, but added, “They have every right in the world to buy it and try to convince us.”

        The township could use the site even if it remained inside city limits, Mr. George said, but city officials noted the land is zoned single-family residential.

        Government offices and fire stations are permitted in that zone with the planning commission's OK, but maintenance facilities are only permitted in industrial zones.

        The township says it needs a new main building to replace the one it has outgrown on Ohio 63, just west of the city.

        Fire and emergency runs have doubled in the past decade, trustees said, with the volunteer department handling 457 fire runs and 823 runs in 1999.

        Turtlecreek also has two smaller fire stations, on Ohio 741 and Oregonia Road, that it plans to keep.


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