Batavia approves UC Clermont annexation

Batavia village officials have been working to approve two annexations that would bring hundreds of acres into the village.

The first annexation that included University of Cincinnati Clermont and other properties in the vicinity, approved by commissioners in June, was approved by village council Sept. 1.

“Council approved the ordinance as an emergency,” Mayor John Thebout said. “The UC Clermont annexation is a done deal.”

Mayor Thebout said the annexation will bring over $200,000 into the village in taxes. Village officials plan to use the money to help improve roads and other infrastructure. One road on the list for improvement is College Drive, which leads to UC Clermont.

While that annexation was in the works, village officials were already busy preparing another annexation that will bring approximately 286 acres of land on the northwest side into the village.

The land includes approximately 40 acres that belongs to Glen Wiedenbein, who signed the petition, as well as land under quite a few of the county’s offices.

“The village of Batavia is the county seat of Clermont County,” Mayor Thebout said. “And we feel the county offices need to be in the county seat.”

Mayor Thebout said bringing county offices, such as the Municipal Court, Sheriff’s Office and others, into the village was an important factor in creating the boundaries of the new annexation.

Similar to the UC Clermont annexation, employees cannot oppose annexation on government owned properties. And since both annexation petitions included a signature from a land owner, the village has been able to move forward with the annexation.

However, in their most recent annexation attempt, Batavia Township trustees voted to oppose the annexation because of an error they believe was made in the petition.

Administrator Rex Parsons said that Glen Wiedenbein Jr. signed the petition and Glen Wiedenbein Sr. is the owner of the property petitioned to be annexed.

“You can’t do that according to the annexation,” Parsons said at the trustees’ Aug. 26 special meeting. “I believe the petition is faulty.”

Trustees opposed the annexation within 25 days of when it was filed on Aug. 11. Now, commissioners will have 45 days from the date it was filed to either oppose or approve the petition.

“They’ll probably look into the reasons trustees opposed it to see if there is any merit,” Mayor Thebout said. “If there is not, they have no other alternative than to approve it, just like they did the first one.”

Mayor Thebout said if there is merit in the reason the trustees opposed the petition, all the village will do is correct the mistake and re-file. However, he also said he has done some research and believes the village has done what they need to do.

“I think everything is up to par,” Mayor Thebout said. “I don’t see any real reason that they could oppose it at this time.”

If the petition is approved, Mayor Thebout said, council will need to sit down and develop a plan of what direction they want the village to go in terms of improvements.

“It’s going to help the village, help develop our land down there, it would be a win-win situation,” Mayor Thebout said.