A growing Monroe buys more building space for city services

Location, location, location is the real estate mantra, and Monroe officials are jumping on an opportunity to purchase an adjacent building so that it can expand its Public Works Department as well as have room for future growth.

Monroe City Council on Tuesday approved an emergency ordinance to purchase the property at 980 Holman Ave., which is next door to its current Public Works Department facility at 1000 Holman Ave.

The city is agreeing to pay $195,500 asking price for the property, and city officials said there were other bidders seeking the same property.

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City Manager Bill Brock said the 5,000 square-foot property provides the opportunity to increase the visibility of the city’s Public Works Department as well as provide additional office and warehouse space, which is becoming more necessary as Monroe continues to grow.

Monroe, Butler County’s fastest growing small city, has seen double-digit growth, according to the most recent population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The city’s population grew by 15 percent, adding about 1,800 people, from the 2006-2010 5-year estimate to the 2011-2015 estimate released in 2016.

Monroe’s estimated population is now at 13,666 up from 11,868 reported previous five-year estimate. The city is currently planning for the needs of 18,000 to 20,000 residents in the 2020-2025 time frame.

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The additional space will be needed as the city anticipates hiring more staff in the coming years for streets and park maintenance, Brock said.

The building is equipped with two handicapped-accessible restrooms, several offices, and some light secondary storage over the offices. In addition, Brock said the building was designed to expand another 15,000 square feet at the rear of the site.

The property was owner-occupied for many years as a control-assembly site, according to the city. Over the past six years, the property has been used to store chemicals associated with site clean-up and remediation.

The city anticipates spending up to $2,500 on a Phase 1 Environmental assessment.

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