By Brett Milam
The petition for the disputed annexation of 224.0034 acres from Stonelick Township to the village of Owensville was withdrawn at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on May 10.
Commissioners Painter, Humphrey and Uible all voted in favor of approving the withdrawal.
The filing was done by Michael Minniear, attorney for the city of Milford, on behalf of Rick McEvoy, the agent for the petitioners and mayor of Owensville, on April 3. The acres concern 39 parcels of property.
At least eight of the original signatories to the petition requested to have their signatures removed, which meant the needed number of signatures – a majority of real estate holders in the proposed annexation area – was inadequate.
Clermont County Sheriff Robert Leahy came out against the annexation in a letter to the editor, citing coverage issues.
“If this annexation is approved, individuals residing in the annexed area will begin to pay taxes to the village of Owensville,” Leahy said. “The Village Police Department will be responsible for responding to and investigating crimes, including those crimes that occur in the schools.”
Leahy said residents would end up paying more for less, as the village police department would be unable to provide the “level of service that the Sheriff’s Office provides.”
Clermont Northeastern Board of Education member David Pennington lauded the decision on Facebook, saying it was a good day for “our CNE staff and our community.”
“A special thank you to our community group that worked hard to put an end to this annexation,” Pennington said.
The schools would have had an Owensville police officer in the schools instead of someone with the sheriff’s office, had the annexation gone ahead.