Butler County commissioners officially agree to give $2.5 million for Spooky Nook.

2 events will help Hamilton residents learn about big projects, council candidates

On Oct. 10, the chamber will host a Hamilton City Council candidate forum at the Miami University Downtown Hamilton location, 221 High St. The 6 p.m. event will introduce voters to the eight candidates, including two incumbents, who are running for three council seats.

On Oct. 17 — a date that has been changed from Oct. 3 — Hamilton City Manager Joshua Smith will present his annual State of the City speech at the future location of the gigantic indoor sports complex and convention called Spooky Nook at Champion Mill. That event is scheduled from 5:15-9 p.m.

The candidate forum will offer the public a chance to meet six challengers and two incumbents who are competing for three of the seven seats on Hamilton City Council. The other four seats, including that of the mayor, will be up for election in two years.

Seeking the seats are Council Members Carla Fiehrer and Matt Von Stein, as well as six challengers: Casey Hume, Danny Ivers, Archie Johnson, Eric Pohlman, Jason Snyder and Susan Vaughn. Council Member Kathleen Klink in March announced she would not seek re-election after 10 years on council and decades in public education, including superintendent of Lakota Local School District from 1994 to 2005.

RELATED: Ex-superintendent Klink not seeking Hamilton council re-election

The chamber is sponsoring the candidates forum “because we believe the voters should be well-informed before they go to the polls, and have an opportunity to get to know the candidates face-to-face,” said Dan Bates, president and CEO of the chamber.

And at Miami University Hamilton Downtown, “they’re going to certainly have the opportunity to do that, because they’re going to be sitting face to face in that room.

“We chose that room particularly so it’s up-close-and-personal.”

Candidates will know all the questions except one surprise one. If there is time left at the end, citizens will be able to ask questions of their own. TvHamilton will televise the forum live, and will show it again afterward.

“I think it’s going to be interesting because the personalities are varied, the platforms are varied,” Bates said.

The State of the City speech will be offered at the future main entrance to the sports-complex part of Spooky Nook at Champion Mill, on North B St., which is scheduled to open in 2021.

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In addition to the traditional speech, in which Smith will offer a review of the past year and his appraisal of where Hamilton now stands, “there will be some announcements made that they’ll hear for the first time at State of the City,” Bates said. “And for the first time ever, we are going to have an after-party with a DJ, immediately following.”

Also at the event will be artists’ renderings of what Spooky Nook will look like when completed.

“They’re going to be able to stand in the space and say, ‘See what that space looks like now? This is what it’s going to look like once it’s built out,’” Bates said. There also will be mini “visionary tours” of the site.

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served and there will be a cash bar. The cost to attend will be $25 per chamber member and $30 for a non member.

“Every attendee is going to be able to take a piece of history home with them,” Bates said. “It’s kind of a surprise. Everyone will get a little goodie bag with a piece of history from the original Champion (Paper) mill.”

RELATED: They went to Pennsylvania to see Spooky Nook. Their reaction? ‘This is going to change Hamilton forever’

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