Miami County seeks to sell 170-acre Children’s Home property

A former building from the county Children’s Home was most recently used for the David L. Brown Youth Center east of Troy. The more than 170 acres that includes the building was donated to the county in the late 1870s. The county commissioners now are looking to sell the property. PHOTO/STEVE BAKER

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A former building from the county Children’s Home was most recently used for the David L. Brown Youth Center east of Troy. The more than 170 acres that includes the building was donated to the county in the late 1870s. The county commissioners now are looking to sell the property. PHOTO/STEVE BAKER

The Miami County commissioners are looking to sell the more than 170-acre Children’s Home property donated to the county 140 years ago for use as a children’s home.

The land east of Troy in Elizabeth Twp. was donated by John K. and Jacob Knoop in 1877. The property includes the former county children’s home that in more recent years served as a youth center.

The David L. Brown Youth Center, a residential program for teenage boys, was closed in mid-November by the county Juvenile Court because of decreased demand for its services.

Following the closing, the commissioners obtained a legal opinion saying the county would remain the property owner even if it no longer was used for a children’s home or related purpose.

The commissioners in December hired Brumbaugh Engineering and Surveying of West Milton to survey the property located off Children’s Home Road.

The commission next hired appraiser Harvey Plus LLC/Harvey Auction Company of Springfield for a property appraisal. The firm’s report listed the fair market value of the 171.25 acres and improvements at $1,336,000.

The commissioners July 10 sent a letter and the appraisal to the Elizabeth Twp. Board of Trustees for trustees’ review.

“Several years ago the board (of commissioners) met with Elizabeth Township Trustees regarding their interest in the property if the David L. Brown program were to close. At that point in time, it was suggested that should the board decide to dispose of the property the township would like the first opportunity for purchase,” the commissioners wrote.

The commissioners asked the trustees to review information and if interested in submitting an offer to respond by July 27.

John Ryman, trustees’ president, said July 18 the trustees received the letter but had not had the opportunity yet to discuss it. The township has farmland placed in preservation already and will discuss the property when all three trustees can meet, he said. An extension of the commission’s July 27 deadline might be needed, he said.

“There is some interest there for us,” Ryman said.

The children’s home operation on the property closed in the 1970s. The building then reopened as the Western Ohio Youth Center in the early 1980s. After that facility closed in 1984, the 1932 building was renovated before reopening in 1987 as a county youth center. The name was changed in 1994 in memory of a former director.

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