Saturday, September 28, 2002

Green Township trying to stay green

30.5 acres bought for park land

By Angela Koenig
Enquirer contributor

        GREEN TOWNSHIP — The recent acquisition of 30.5 acres of proposed park land at Taylor and Dog Trot roads is part of a larger plan to keep Green Township true to its name.

        “We want to identify small pieces of property to purchase that can be left green, so that the township's not completely built out,” said Township Trustee Tony Upton.

        “This purchase is what we hope is the first in a series of park and green space acquisitions” totaling as many as eight over the next six years, Township Administrator Kevin Celarek said.

        This parcel was acquired from Robert J. and Marguerite H. Spieker, who reside on the property. The township paid $190,000 for the house and five acres, and the Hamilton County Parks District purchased the remaining land for $230,000. The couple can remain in the home as long as they need to.

        “I'd rather see it as a park than a subdivision,” said Mr. Spieker, 78. He said he and his wife love the wildlife in the area and wanted it to remain undisturbed.

        “This would not be a ball field space, but to be preserved green forever,” Mr. Celarek said.

        Other sites, some with active recreation facilities, are still needed, but there is an eye toward identifying properties along the Harrison Avenue corridor, Mr. Upton said.

        “One of the concerns of the public is that Harrison Avenue is going to become another Colerain Avenue, and we want to avoid that,” he said.

        The money came out of the township's general fund, collected from tax increment financing (TIF) on new development. TIF monies can be used for capital expenditures, such as infrastructure, but not operating expenses.

        “What we really have is new development paying for the purchase of park and green space,” said township Development Director Adam Goetzman. The long-term goal, he said, is for the Hamilton County Parks District board to purchase the properties, with the township developing and managing the parks.


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