Amelia preparing to widen state Route 125

Amelia village officials are preparing to improve infrastructure near the potential site of the Kroger Marketplace off of state Route 125 in the village.

Mayor Todd Hart said the improvement projects are a result of the tax increment financing district council members recently passed for the piece of land near Amelia-Olive Branch Road in the village.

The TIF district allows the village to pay for infrastructure improvements in the area now with anticipated future revenues from the increase in property value.

“This whole project has been a fast-paced project,” Hart said. “That’s saying everyone out there is working together.”

Hart said the village plans to begin preparations for road-widening improvements in July that will include moving electric poles back off of the road.

Hart said the cost involved in moving the poles is part of a contract the village has with Cincinnati Bell and Duke Energy. He said moving the poles will not involve the use of any TIF funds.

“The whole project on the roadway hinges on the pole movement,” Hart said.

Hart said Cincinnati Bell and Duke Energy officials have been helpful in moving the project forward quickly. He said the project to move the poles is set to begin July 9.

Once the poles have been moved, Hart said they can begin the roadway project, which will include the construction of a turn lane near the Tall Trees development on SR 125.

“Our biggest factor is congestion of traffic,” Hart said. “With everyone trying to make the left had turn into Tall Trees, it’s caused several accidents.”

Hart said the village has set up bonds to pay for the road-widening project, but the bonds will be paid off using TIF revenues.

Hart said village officials had to work with property owners before they could make any improvements.

“All the property acquisitions are done,” Hart said. “They have already been filed.”

Hart said he is impressed with how hard village officials have worked on the entire project.

“The ball is not in our court anymore,” Hart said.

Hart said Kroger officials have not closed on the property, but he hopes everything will be finalized soon.

In addition to TIF improvements, village council members also gave Hart permission to hire a surveyor to look at land the village owns off of Hicks Place.

“We have a right of way that goes through there,” Hart said.

Hart said they wanted to make sure the right of way was owned by the village.

“There is a property owner who has taken it upon himself to improve the property that is our right of way,” Hart said.

He said the survey was able to detail where the village-owned property was, which he said may be needed in the future.

“If you look at the way Kroger is wrapped around the pond, it will probably hit our easement,” Hart said. “I would expect it could become in question when in fact Kroger does close on the property.”