Lebanon to purchase land to develop new park

Lebanon officials were recently notified that it will be receiving a $2.3 million state grant to purchase about 60 acres of land for a public park within the proposed Parkside development that has recently been annexed to the city.

According to City Manager Scott Brunka, the Natural Resource Assistance Council grant is a greenspace conservation program grant that is funded by the state’s Clean Ohio Fund. NRAC is a subcommittee of the Ohio Public Works Commission that reviews, scores, and ranks the grant applications that are submitted. Lebanon is part of NRAC District 10 which includes Warren, Butler, Clermont, and Clinton counties.

Brunka said the city wants to develop a public park with the acreage that would include a parking lot and paved multi-use trail to access the public park along Ohio 63 in conjunction with the proposed Parkside development.

He said the grant request represents 94% of the total project cost. The matching funds required by the grant are being supported by the property owner’s donated value on the purchase price compared to the appraised value, as well as a $154,3280 local contribution. Brunka said the local contribution could be supported through a combination of park impact fees and general fund revenue.

The Doyle – Hughes development team has initiated plans for the Parkside development of 270 acres off of Ohio 63 west of the city. The mixed use development will include single family homes, town homes, assisted living and senior housing, multi-family, retail, and office uses.

The 57-acre public park will be a key component of the development plan and would help Lebanon to provide a park in area of the city. The city purchased the property from the developer and the NRAC grant would be used to develop a trail through the property which ultimately will connect to downtown Lebanon.

The bike trail extension through this property is consistent with the recommendations of the Lebanon Turtlecreek Twp. Trails Initiative Plan, which recommends connecting Downtown Lebanon to Union Village, Armco Park, and other locations within Warren County through this property.

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