Fairfield Twp. readies itself for next — and possibly last — big growth spurt

Fairfield Twp. leaders are laying a foundation to set the still-burgeoning community up for what could be the township’s last big growth spurt.

As officials move forward with developing the estimated 20 percent of available land, officials say they are stressing a long-term view and caution to prepare for more residents appropriately.

Trustee Susan Berding said all of the recently completed and planned work “is adding to the quality of life for our residents.” But she said it’s important for officials to “get it right” for the next big, and what could be its final growth spurt.

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“The township has experienced growth spurts in the past, and with all good intentions, I think there were some things that had been done quickly. More reactive instead of proactive,” Berding said. “When we built the fire station on Gilmore Road, we tried to think about, ‘How can this building last us 50 years into the future?’”

The township opened the new $4 million fire station on Gilmore Road this year, and it was built to accommodate growth over the next half-century. In August, construction will start on a new $1.76 million roundabout at Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads to accommodate increased traffic flow in and out of the township.

The township is also installing new communication marquees, wrapping up Shafer’s Run Park improvements — which include new playground equipment and an updated dog park — and preparing to revamp its Millikin Road park, which will include a veterans memorial. Next year, the township is planning for a $1 million widening of Gilmore Road widening project, a police station remodeling project, and a start on a new service building.

There are more than 1,300 townships in Ohio, and Butler County has four of the top 50 most populous, according to the Ohio Township Association and U.S. Census data. Fairfield Twp. ranks 45th as of the 2010 Census, but it could move up in the 2020 Census, according to Census population estimates.

Trustee Shannon Hartkemeyer said Fairfield Twp. is “continuing to grow and change,” and population estimates show Fairfield Twp. with 22,634 residents as of 2017, according to the U.S. Census.

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“We’re setting the stage for further growth for Fairfield Twp.,” Hartkemeyer said. “We are trying to create a space for people to not only live in the township, but to work in and visit our township — not just today but for generations into the future. We not only have a great history, we have a bright future in Fairfield Twp.”

The work done by the trustees and township administration has put Fairfield Twp. “on a good path,” said Fairfield Twp. Trustee Joe McAbee.

“We still have a number of acres that can be developed,” he said. “We’re developing a base between the commercial and the residential to where the taxpayers get a little help to get the services that we need.”

Financially, the township is in good fiscal health, McAbee said. It recently paid off $5 million in debt and paid cash for its new fire station while it hires new first responders and officials have “real deep conversations” about selling about 30 acres of township-owned land on Gilmore Road. Details should be announced in a few weeks, McAbee said.

“There’s a lot of positive things happening in the township,” he said.

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Fairfield Twp. population growth

Fairfield Twp. has grown exponentially in the past few decades. Here’s how they’ve grown since 1960. Year Population

2017 estimate: 22,634

2010: 21,373

2000: 15,571

1990: 9,648

1980: 7,930

1970: 7,098

1960: 6,289

Source: U.S. Census

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