BY SUE KIESEWETTER
FAIRFIELD -- Boundaries between the Hamilton and Fairfield school districts will become clearer if the Ohio Board of Education approves a land transfer plan reached last week.
Both the Hamilton and Fairfield boards of education agreed to transfer several parcels of land from one district to the other, so that school district boundaries match up with city and township boundaries.
"This achieves our primary goal, which was to get our boundaries aligned," said Robert Hancock, treasurer of the Hamilton Schools.
Under the plan, land within the Hamilton City limits but within the boundaries of the Fairfield City Schools will be transferred to the Hamilton Schools, said James Rowan, Fairfield Schools treasurer.
Property in Fairfield or Fairfield Township within the boundaries of the Hamilton Schools will be transferred to the Fairfield Schools. More than 70 pieces of land are involved in the swap, which must be approved by the Ohio Board of Education.
Under the agreement, the Kiesland Industrial Park on Ohio Bypass 4, the Hamilton Enterprise Park, Joyce Park and an old quarry on the north side of Symmes Road would be transferred from Fairfield to Hamilton schools.
Land to be transferred from Hamilton schools to Fairfield schools includes land on the west side of River Road, just north of St. Clair; a portion of Forest Lake Drive; and the Bonham farm area of Canal Road in Fairfield Township.
The agreement between the districts will not affect families who now live in homes on property to be transferred between school districts, Mr. Hancock said. The plan allows residents who are living in single-family homes on the property being transferred to choose which district their children will attend, tuition free. It also allows anyone who may move into existing homes to choose which schools their children will attend.
The agreement does not protect families who might move into single-family homes not yet built on the property, Mr. Rowan said. "The current agreement protects all single-family homes now and in the future," Mr. Rowan said.
Under the agreement, the Fairfield City Schools will receive $61,000 each year for the next 15 years from the Hamilton Schools to compensate for the lost tax revenue associated with the transfer, Mr. Rowan said.
Fairfield also will receive a $15,500 annual payment from Valeo Climate Control as a result of a Kiesland Park tax abatement granted by Hamilton that was in effect at the time of the agreement.