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ENVIRONMENT Wetlands may be sold in preservation plan



Published: Thu, July 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Both of the nature properties are owned by Trumbull County.

WARREN -- Two pieces of Trumbull County wetlands, 21 acres in Bazetta Township and 15 acres in Cortland, would be preserved under a plan proposed by the county's Soil and Water Conservation District.

Richard Houk, the district's fiscal agent, presented county commissioners Wednesday with an opportunity for the county to sell the properties to two nonprofit organizations.

State Clean Ohio grants would be sought to make possible the sales of 21 acres to the Trumbull County Agricultural Society (fair board), on the east side of the fairgrounds' north end, and 15 acres to the Soil and Water Conservation District on West Main Street, Cortland, west of Delphi Packard's parking lot.

Both properties are owned by the county; their sale would have to be reviewed by the county prosecutor's office, Houk was told. He said he believed no bidding process was required for the sales to occur, because they would be sold to nonprofit entities.

Right now these lands are of no use to the county, he said, but they do have trees, as well as streams that flow into the Mosquito Creek watershed.

Determining costs

The Bazetta property could cost $118,040, of which $88,000 would be requested from Clean Ohio funds, with county commissioners then donating 25 percent of the property cost ($30,040) as matching funds. The net revenue to Trumbull County would be $88,000, Houk said.

The Cortland land, meanwhile, was donated by Delphi Packard in 2001 and holds the Trumbull County Agriculture and Family Education Center, 520 W. Main St. This $1.26 million office building is for five agriculture-related agencies, including the Ohio State University Extension Service and the Soil and Water Conservation District.

Fifteen of the 17 acres there could be sold for $291,000 using $212,430 in Clean Ohio funds and a $78,570 county match, Houk said.




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