Thursday, August 31, 2000

City may buy camp facility

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — The city, which already runs its own cable system, might branch out again — this time into the camping business.

        Cedarbrook Campground, a stopping place for tent- toting and RV-driving travelers for 30 years, has been offered to the city. The cost: $810,000.

        “I think in the short run we'd use it as a campground just because the facilities are there, and they're so nice,” Planning Director Marty Kohler said Wednesday. Another plus is that the business is turning a profit, he added.

        Discussions on buying the campground are in the preliminary stages, but if it happens, the 24-acre site eventually could be turned into a park or used to expand the adjacent city cemetery, officials said.

        “I'm enthused,” Councilman Ron Pandorf said, although he wouldn't cast a vote on the purchase because his wife is related to the owners. “We may not need it for 50 years, but it's there. ... If somebody else gets it, it'll be gone.”

        Lebanon's finances are tight, but the purchase would be made through two special park funds that contain $1.16 million. The money — from fees on residential and business construction — can be used only to buy and develop parkland.

        The Hill family, which owns Cedarbrook, approached the city about buying the campground because they'd like to see it remain green space, Roger Hill said. His father, Oliver, who built the campground on a former farm in 1969, died last year.


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