Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Lebanon may lose historic home

By Cindi Andrews, candrews@enquirer.com
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — City Council will consider legislation tonight to change the layout of Bicentennial Park as well as to raise water and sewer rates by a third.

        Bicentennial Park, which the city has been developing in its Central Business District for several years, includes a Queen Anne-style house owned by the city. However, city staff and the Lebanon Planning Commission have recommended the building be torn down.

        The $200,000 it would cost to restore the house, built around 1880, for offices or other uses is too high, they say.

        But the Lebanon Conservancy Foundation, which estimates it has spent $18,000 and hundreds of hours repairing the house, wants it saved.

        “I just think it's a shame that in our bicentennial year the City Council will vote to tear down a house of historical significance,” said Ken Haley, incoming president of the conservancy.

        The legislation is written with emergency language that enables it to take effect immediately, but Service Director Scott Brunka said the city will probably have to take bids before scheduling the demolition.

        The plan also calls for buying and tearing down the Goodwill building — which the Lebanon Theatre Company had hoped to use for a theater — and moving a gazebo installed by the last administration.

        Council also will consider legislation to raise water and sewer rates by 33 percent. A consultant recommended the increases to pay for $33.5 million in needed repairs and expansion through 2010.


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