County officials traveled late last month to Columbus for a meeting with David Goodman, director of the Ohio Department of Development Services, Sen. Shannon Jones, R-Clearcreek Twp. and state staffers. No Lebanon officials attended the meeting.
The changes were made after “input from various interested parties,” including Lebanon and Warren County, according to Stephanie Gostomski, public information officer for the Ohio Development Services Agency.
The county wants to spend most, if not all, the state money on the fairgrounds, while the city has focused more on the area outside the fairgrounds, but within a mile radius, as permitted in the guidelines.
The county appealed, claiming the fairgrounds redevelopment could suffer if the city prevailed in directing the funds to projects beyond the fairgrounds limits.
Lebanon City Council is expected to discuss the changes during a work session next week, Lebanon City Manager Pat Clements said.
Earlier this week, Lebanon Councilman Steve Kaiser said he was in favor of the county getting state funds to renovate the fairgrounds. “It depends on how they are going to use it, of course,” he said.
The county has proposed developing an exposition center, using the state funds and $3 million committed by the operators of Miami Valley Gaming, the racino southwest of Lebanon in Turtlecreek Twp.
“All of the taxpayers of Warren County have a vested interest in what we do with the fairgrounds,” he said. “We voiced our concerns trying to protect the interests of everybody.”