Fairfield Twp. OK’s agreement to purchase land for $1.45M

Fairfield Twp. has approved its portion of an agreement to purchase most of the Graceworks Lutheran Services property at the intersection of Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads. Township officials say the agreed purchase price is $1.45 million. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

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Fairfield Twp. has approved its portion of an agreement to purchase most of the Graceworks Lutheran Services property at the intersection of Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads. Township officials say the agreed purchase price is $1.45 million. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/FILE

Purchase agreement must be signed by seller, Graceworks Lutheran Services

Fairfield Twp. is looking to purchase more than 60 acres at Gilmore and Hamilton-Mason roads for $1.45 million.

Trustees unanimously approved on Wednesday night its version of a contract to purchase with Graceworks Lutheran Services.

The property is within the area of an expanded joint economic development district, commonly known as a JEDD, between the township and city of Hamilton.

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Ken Geis, the township's consultant, said the agreement with Graceworks Lutheran Services does not include the 16.2-acre area for StoryPoint, a planned assisted living facility, which had previously been purchased.

The remainder of the property purchase, which includes a group home across the street on Gilmore Road, will allow the township to control the destiny of the land, he said.

“It will also allow enable the board to control the structure that goes on the site,” said Geis, who was a former interim Fairfield Twp. administrator. “As much as municipal corporations talk about guiding the direction of development within their communities, unless they own the property they don’t really have a lot of control over that.”

The city of Hamilton and Fairfield Twp. have agreed recently to expand an existing JEDD, and amend the income tax revenues to a 50-50 split, said Fairfield Twp. Administrator Julie Vonderhaar.

City Manager Joshua Smith said the council approved the JEDD agreement on Wednesday.

If the Graceworks property purchase goes through, it’s expected the board will transfer it to the Fairfield Twp. Community Improvement Corporation after the board acquires the property title.

“The board acquiring the site at a pre-improved condition is a sound financial decision,” Geis said. “It is in keeping with good government and (the trustees will) really be able to guide the destiny of Fairfield Twp., and really offer the board the best opportunity and get the most useful and desired development in that area.”

It’s expected the city will take on new debt to pay for the property purchase, according to the discussion at Wednesday’s trustee meeting.

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