Fairfield to get $200K-plus break on property for park expansion

Fairfield is set to buy a 7.2-acre property valued at $200,000 for pennies on the dollar.

The city will spend just $3,500 for the purchase of the property along Pleasant Avenue, just south of Wessel Drive and adjacent to Harbin Park behind Village Green. Property owner Pat Wheeler is donating $50,000 of the cost, and a Clean Ohio Grant will cover the rest of the $150,000 purchase price.

The grant will also cover $6,500 of the $10,000 administrative costs, said City Engineer Ben Mann.

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“This property location will be a useful addition to the existing city-owned property, and will fit into future trail and sidewalk plans as well as greenspace conservation and preservation,” Mann said.

The grant requires the city to develop the land only for passive activities.

The city will increase Harbin Park to a 230-acre recreation area, Fairfield’s largest parkland. This is the second time since 2017 that the city will boost the size of Harbin Park. The city earlier purchased a 33-acre parcel that abuts Harbin Park on the east side of Gray Road and northwest Park Place.

That purchase was also paid with a Clean Ohio Grant for the city to expand passive activities, including pathways, trailheads and natural areas.

Harbin Park is in midst of long makeover process. The multi-year plan calls for new shelters, playground area, entertainment shelter and restrooms.

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