Tuesday, June 27, 2000

Union spelled confusion, so now it's West Chester

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        UNION TOWNSHIP — Today marks this Butler County community's final 24 hours as a member of the “union” of Ohio's Union townships.

        At midnight tonight, this Union Township officially becomes West Chester Township. Most people will continue to know it simply as West Chester.

        The new name, officials hope, eventually will eliminate confusion with Ohio's 27 other Union Townships.

        The township is the first in Ohio to change its name under a new state law that vastly simplified the process required for voter approval. It is the first Ohio township to switch names in decades. .

        “This happens very rarely,” said Michael Cochran, executive director of the Ohio Township Association. He said such a name change has not occurred in Ohio dur ing the past 23 years.

        For years the township has suffered from its common name, said Dave Gully, the township administrator. He said the township often gets mail, bills, deliveries, emergency calls and lawsuits intended for other Union townships throughout the state and in Southwest Ohio — including those in Warren and Clermont counties.

        Voters overwhelmingly approved adoption of the West Chester name in March.

        Officials say the change will cost the township about $25,000.

        Mailing addresses in the township of more than 60,000 residents will not change. They will continue to include other municipalities in addition to West Chester — Middletown, Hamilton or Sharonville in different sections of the township — but township officials soon will ask postal officials to change the mailing designa tion to West Chester for every resident and business in the township.

        Residents interviewed Monday were pleased with the coming change.

        “Things are so complicated with so many other Union townships,” Kathy Braswell said.

        “Everyone around here has called it that for years,” added Megan Meyers. “I like the name West Chester. It's distinctive.”


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