Thursday, October 28, 2004

County kicks in $900,000 toward Anderson connector

By Steve Kemme
Enquirer staff writer

A proposal to build a road linking Ohio 32 and Broadwell Road in northeastern Anderson Township received a major funding boost Wednesday when Hamilton County commissioners committed $900,000 in economic development funds.

County and township officials say improved highway access would attract more businesses to the Ancor Industrial Area, build Anderson's tax base and help slow the exodus of industries and residents from Hamilton County to outlying counties.

"This will be great for economic development for our county as well as for Anderson Township," county Commissioner Todd Portune said.

It also would be the first project off the drawing boards in the proposed $1 billion regional plan to expand bus, rail and highway transportation along the eastern corridor of Hamilton County into Clermont County.

"It's important to get something built to show people the benefits," said Ted Hubbard of the Hamilton County Engineer's Office. "We want to maintain momentum in the Eastern Corridor."

Construction of the connector might start late next year, he said.

The funding from the county leaves the Broadwell Road connector project $700,000 short of its $3.6 million cost.

The county engineer's office has contributed $1.1 million, and Anderson Township has contributed $900,000.

Hubbard said the county is working on engineering plans for the project and is looking for funding sources for the needed $700,000. Property owners have indicated they will donate all the right of way needed for the project, he said.

Further development of the Ancor Industrial Area, where businesses such as Senco Products and Heekin Can have facilities, is a key part of Anderson Township's plan to build its business tax base. Township officials want to make the most of the remaining undeveloped land zoned for light industry.

"We want to take some of the tax burden off our residents," township Trustee Peggy Reis said. "We're excited about this project."

The lack of good highway access has hampered development of the Ancor area, which has about 400 acres of undeveloped land. Vehicles driving from a business in that industrial area to Ohio 32 or another highway must use long, winding, two-lane roads.

"It's isolated and has been very difficult to get trucks down there," Township Trustee Russell Jackson Jr. said.

"We think this connector will open up that whole area for development."


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