Sunday, July 18, 2004

Neighbors briefs

Lakota Schools sign new bus contract

LIBERTY TWP. - The Lakota Schools will be out of the transportation business Aug. 1.

Administrators Friday signed a six-year contract with Petermann LLC that is anticipated to save the district a minimum of $1.1 million over the first three years, said Lakota Treasurer Alan Hutchinson.

Under the terms of the contract, Lakota will pay Petermann $842,878 per month for the first year of the contract. That would include 189 routes and up to 1,750 field trips or after-school activities. Any trips above that would be billed at $30 per hour, per bus.

The base payment to Petermann would not increase more than four percent the second year plus $329 per bus per day for any additional routes that are added.

The contract includes provisions for cancellation if Petermann doesn't perform as expected.

New Muhlhauser Road overpass opens Friday

FAIRFIELD - The new Muhlhauser Road overpass over the CSX railroad tracks east of Ohio 4 opens to traffic Friday.

The road has been closed since last year for construction of the $11.7 million bridge over the railroad, which carries 72 trains daily. More than 18,000 vehicles a day use Muhlhauser Road, which links Fairfield industrial parks to Union Centre Boulevard in West Chester Township.

One lane each direction will open after a 10 a.m. ceremony Friday.

All lanes will become available by fall, said Ron Mosby, Ohio Department of Transportation spokesman.

Hot-air balloons float into Middletown

MIDDLETOWN - Hot air balloons again will be floating over this Butler County city this weekend for the second annual Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival.

About 30 balloons - including a huge soccer ball and a dragon - will launch at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., weather permitting, during the three-day competition. At least 100 balloons participated in the National Hot Air Balloon Championship in Middletown in 1992-94.

More than 54,000 people attended the festival at Smith Park downtown last year, said Dan Sack, organizer.

"It is our intent to make Middletown and Butler County the balloon capital of the Midwest," Sack says.

The festival features live music, food, children's activities, carnival rides, skydivers and crafts. Waldo Wright's Flying Service will offer 15-minute open-cockpit rides in a 1929 plane for $55 per person.

Admission is free; parking at Smith Park is $5 per vehicle. Hours are 4-10 p.m. Friday; noon-10:30 p.m. Saturday, and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Union Twp. residents invited to town meeting

UNION TWP. - Residents will get to air complaints, send on plaudits and learn about new projects in the township in August during another of a periodic series of town meetings throughout the county.

The Board of Clermont County Commissioners and the Union Township town meeting will be Wed., Aug. 25, beginning at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at the new Union Township Civic Center, 4350 Aicholtz Road in Union Township's Eastgate business district.

Residents are invited to learn about a variety of projects and initiatives planned for Union Township and throughout Clermont County from the county commissioners and various administrative and elected officials.

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