Greene County to pay $1.1M to settle lawsuit

Valley Springs Farm Company sued the county two years ago over a roads project.

Greene County commissioners will pay $1.1 million this month to Valley Springs Farms owners, who are planning a business, recreation, and entertainment complex in the North Valley Road and U.S. Route 35 area, as part of a lawsuit settlement related to a couple of roads.

Valley Springs Farm Company filed a lawsuit in Greene County Common Pleas Court two years ago after the county violated an agreement which included a requirement for the county to make improvements to two temporary access roads on land owned by the farm, according to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by this newspaper.

Greene County Board of Commissioners signed a contract with Valley Springs Farm in 1995 to complete improvements to the temporary access roads, and convert them into permanent roads, which was not done.

As part of the settlement agreement, the county will receive permanent easements and a deed to the well field on the property.

The settlement agreement comes about two years after Beavercreek Twp. approved a mixed use development rezoning application for a 671-acre development project on Valley Springs Farms.

More than 6,000 jobs would be created in the business complex areas, according to proposals for the project.

The county has signed the settlement agreement which will be finalized before the end of the month, said Greene County Administrator Brandon Huddleson. Carryover money from the general fund will be used to pay the settlement.

“The estimated cost of the two roads was about $2.5 million dollars,” Huddleson said. “These commissioners did the math, and it was more cost effective to settle it (the lawsuit) for less cash than it would’ve cost to build the two roads.”

The two roads were intended to facilitate future development, according to Huddleson.

“The commissioners are satisfied with the outcome of the settlement,” he said. “There were money savings by agreeing to pay $1.1 million dollars in exchange for the deeds to the proprieties and the removal of the obligation to build the two roads … The public saved $1.4 million dollars by not building the roads.”

The pending settlement agreement is good for the county, the region and future development, said Valley Springs Farm Company President Carlo McGinnis.

“This resolution is really good for both sides,” he said. “The county accomplished their objective to secure permanent ownership of the most productive well field in the county. They secured their easements for their two major regional sanitary trunk sewer lines. For Valley Springs Farm’s part, they secured the infrastructure that serves as the basis of that concept plan for the mixed use PUD (planned unit development) rezoning that we just accomplished.”

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