Wednesday, November 5, 2003

North Bend votes to remain village

By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

NORTH BEND - This historic Ohio River village won't be history after all.

Residents of the western Hamilton County community, home of two U.S. presidents, rejected a proposal to dissolve the 129-year-old village and surrender all powers and assets to neighboring Miami Township.

The issue was approved by 77 percent of those voting, 302 to 88 in complete unofficial returns.

Eliminating the village was placed on the ballot by residents of Aston Oaks, a housing development and golf course on a hill east of town. Homes range from $300,000 to $1 million there, while homes typically sell for under $100,000 in the older part of the village.

Alan S. Montague II, a former mayor re-elected to council Tuesday, said the campaign to save the village unified the town.

"This has been the most remarkable coming together of a community that I've ever seen. It has been the best thing that could happen to this village," Montague said.

"This is a new beginning for the village," he said, after announcing the vote to loud cheers at The Meadows hall in neighboring Addyston on Tuesday night.

North Bend was established in 1789, or 14 years before Ohio became a state. The town was the home of William Henry Harrison, the ninth president, who is buried in a tomb here overlooking the river.

Grandson Benjamin Harrison, born here in 1833, was elected the 23rd president in 1888.

Today the village has about 750 residents, up 150 from the 2000 census, Montague said.

It has an annual budget of about $300,000, with two full-time employees, two part-time workers, a Village Hall and a fire truck.


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