Fairfield OKs second annexation of future campground property

Fairfield City Council approved the annexation of 4 acres of property it owns that’s a part of the park property known as Black Bottom. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF
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Fairfield City Council approved the annexation of 4 acres of property it owns that’s a part of the park property known as Black Bottom. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

Fairfield City Council approved Monday the annexation of 4.078 acres of Ross Twp. land commonly referenced as Black Bottom, property the city has owned since 2004.

The city plans to develop the space as a public landing for the Great Miami River and a campground that would service the future expansion of Marsh Park. The annexation will also help extend the Great Miami River bike path.

City Manager Mark Wendling said the annexation was necessary “so we can service it. If we have employees or activities there, we want to have the same level of service we have in other park areas and areas of the city.”

RELATED: Annexation furthers Fairfield plans for land along Great Miami River

Black Bottom is an extension of Marsh Park, which is across and slightly south on River Road in the southwestern part of the city.

This is the second annexation the city has approved this year of property it owns that is a part of the Black Bottom area. In July, council approved a 28-acre annexation of city-owned property in Fairfield Twp. The two pieces of land were from a 2004 acquisition of land formerly owned by the gravel mining company Martin Marietta.

Ross Twp. Trustee Tom Willsey said the annexation of the land, which is across the Great Miami River on the eastern banks, was something city and township officials have discussed for years.

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“We lost nothing because of it,” he said of the undeveloped land. “It was really a burden for us to try to get over there, even if something were to happen.”

Willsey said it makes “perfect sense” to have Fairfield annex the land because “now the land is going to have a great use.”

As it sits today, Marsh Park is a 30-acre fishing lake and walking/biking trail, but the plan is to transform it into a 170-acre crown jewel in the city’s park system.

At the end of 2017, Martin Marietta donated its land it had mined for more than 50 years that’s adjacent to the Marsh Park lake. The half-mile walking/bike path will be transformed into a 3.1-mile trail connected with the Miami-to-Miami trail. It will also be connected through that trail to the undeveloped Black Bottom property.

Earlier this month the city broke ground on a 6.5-acre portion of the Black Bottom property to develop a dog park, which will open in the summer of 2019.

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