Trustees oppose Batavia’s third annexation plan

Batavia Township Trustees passed a resolution to oppose the village of Batavia’s most recent annexation petition Aug. 7.

The petition, which was filed with the Clermont County Board of County Commissioners July 18, will annex 277 acres into the village of Batavia, if approved.

The 28 parcels of land run along the State Route 32 corridor in Batavia Township and include several county offices on Bauer Road as well as Batavia High School.

“Trustees did pass a resolution asking county commissioners to oppose the annexation,” Batavia Township Administrator Rex Parsons, said. “We found some issues with it.”

In order to be approved, the annexation petition must meet seven conditions listed in the Ohio Revised Code. Parsons explained that trustees felt several of these conditions had not been met.

The conditions that trustees cited in the resolution as not being met include R.C. 709.02, R.C. 709.023(E)(2) and R.C. 709.023(E)(7).

The resolution asserts that pursuant to section 709.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, the proposed annexation territory is not contiguous as the term has been defined by the Ohio Supreme Court.

The resolution asserts that the petition does not meet the requirement of section 709.023(E)(2) of the Ohio Revised Code that says that the persons who sign the petition are owners of the real estate located in the territory proposed for annexation and constitute all of the owners of real estate in that territory.

The resolution also stated that section 709.023(E)(7) of the Ohio Revised Code as not being met.

“Every annexation has been different,” Parsons said. “This one in particular we found several things that were wrong.”

Parsons said Wanda Carter was the legal council for the township on this issue of annexation. He said once trustees looked over the annexation and could see there were problems, they moved forward with a resolution to oppose the annexation.

“At the end of the day, they are going three miles out of town,” Parsons said about the direction of the annexation.

The petitioner in the third annexation petition is Glen Wiedenbein, the same petitioner for the second annexation that brought the sheriff’s office and Clermont County Municipal Court into the village.

Parsons said the petitioner owns 2.66 acres of land that abuts the village along the river and purchased the land on July 6 from the Clepper family.

This is the third annexation petition the village of Batavia has filed in the past two years.

The first annexation brought the University of Cincinnati Clermont College campus into the village and the second annexation brought the sheriff’s office and the Clermont County Municipal Court into the village.

Village of Batavia Mayor John Thebout said this third phase of annexation is similar to the previous annexations.

“The county kept moving facilities out and moving them up on Bauer Road,” Thebout said. “The only thing we’re doing is annexing them back in.”

Thebout said he feels the county offices should be in the village.

“It is not fair for 1,500 residents of this village to have to be the only ones that share the cost of the infrastructure of this village that all of the county employees use,” Thebout said. “We think it should be shared by the county employees in the village.”

Thebout said the main goal with the annexation is to increase the revenue that can be used to improve the village, and county seat. He said the results of making improvements will benefit the township and the county.

“In order to bring people back here we have got to do something,” Thebout said. “Without revenue that is not going to happen.”

Thebout said they are already planning to use funds from the first annexations on a revitalization project for Main Street.

He said he is does not feel the township’s opposition to the third phase of annexation will prevent it from being approved.

“We have attorneys look at it and make sure everything is in order before we file,” Thebout said about their annexation petitions. “In my opinion, the questions they raised on the last annexation I don’t think they have a valid reason to oppose the annexation.”

Commissioners will have 45 days to act on the petition. If commissioners approve the annexation, the village must wait 60 days before accepting the petition by ordinance. The ordinance would take effect 30 days after it was passed.