Commissioners disagree about land use

Hartley says Clark land eventually could be developed.

Clark County commissioners may sell a conservation easement for 134 acres of land along the Mad River in Mad River Twp.

Commissioners voted 2-1 on Tuesday in favor of advertising the property located near Interstate 675 and Spangler Road that could garner bids that could bring the county about $134,000, or $1,000 per acre. Bids on the property would open Dec. 12.

County Administrator Nathan Kennedy said the county purchased 165 acres in an auction about eight years ago to eventually develop a wellfield on the property.

A likely buyer is B-W Greenway Community Land Trust, which has applied for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant that would allow them to purchase a conservation easement from the county and allow the county to use the land as a wellhead, Kennedy said.

Commissioners John Detrick and Rick Lohnes were in favor of advertising the property for bid. David Hartley, the dissenting voter, wanted officials to get more information about the potential for development on the property.

Detrick said development there is unlikely.

“This is an opportunity for the citizens of Clark County to make some money and preserve also because I don’t think this area will ever be economically developed,” Detrick said.

His reasons were four-fold: The property is in the approach for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, it’s in a floodplain, it has some of the richest soil, and the sale would bring in funds for the utilities department to keep costs down for area residents, Detrick said.

“It’s an opportunity to make money, and it’s an opportunity to preserve something for future generations,” Detrick said.

Detrick said the property is located in an aquifer and directly east of a Dayton wellfield, and there’s a nature preserve nearby.

“This is a very sensitive area, and I’m just trying to preserve it,” he said.

Hartley said he voted against advertising the property for bid because officials would not delay the decision to allow commissioners more time to get more information about the potential for the property.

“This could be really prime at some point for economic development,” Hartley said. “It’s not right now, but at some point in the future it could.”

B-W Greenway Community Land Trust is a nonprofit that acquires land in the region to preserve open space.

BW Greenway officials did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

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