Sunday, April 08, 2001

Milford Twp. soars to Pop. 3,254

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MILFORD TOWNSHIP — This rural township is an unlikely hot spot in Butler County.

        But the latest census figures show the township grew by 29 percent over the last decade, to 3,254 people.

        That doesn't bother Bob Ison, a township trustee who enjoys the community's rural character.

        In 1990, he said, “we didn't have a lot to begin with — 2,700 people or so.

        “I think we're growing because people want to get out into the country more. A lot of it has to do with our tax base being low, one of the lower in the region for the quality of schools we have at Talawanda.

        “And Miami University is growing and becoming a major player and drawing more professionals,” he said. “Most of the homes being built in the township cost $200,000 and more.”

        He said most of the growth is concentrated in the township's northwest section. Milford Township — in north-central Butler County, north of Hamilton — includes the small towns Somerville, Collinsville and Darrtown.

        “Route 127 and Ohio 73 provide accessibility to Dayton and Cincinnati,” he said. “I think the Regional Highway will eventually have some effect, too, and the Ohio 63 extension, if it's built.”

        Though the population is growing, it's not as dense as such places as Liberty and Fairfield townships, said Mike Guengling, Butler County director of development.

        In 2000, Milford Township issued 25 building permits, Hanover Township issued 30 and, by comparison, Fairfield Township allowed 410, he said.

        “Compared to the rest of Butler County, Milford Township is not a high-growth area,” he said. “Most of the lots are five and 10 acres.

        “I see more residential development there in the coming years, especially if the (proposed) Ohio 63 extension project goes forward. But even if it does, the township's population won't grow too much.”

        Because Milford Township lacks a sanitary-sewer system, Mr. Guengling said, the community's growth will be limited. Instead of subdivisions, it will feature homes on large lots.

        Lifelong resident Jeff Beckett said he has already seen the growth in and around Darrtown.

        “Things are happening around here,” said Mr. Beckett, who operates Eric's Pizza on Ohio 177.

        “People want to move out in this direction. They feel this is the country.

        “We still have farmland, but it's being gobbled up. I notice a lot of new faces coming in for pizza.”


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