VANDALIA — Butler Township residents are dismayed and more than a little angry about the City of Union’s latest moves to gobble up large chunks of the township. I don’t blame them.
On Friday Union filed annexation petitions for over 500 acres of land west of the airport – land that is over 70% owned by the City of Dayton.
Then on Monday the Union City Council passed a resolution opposing the annexation of 157 acres by the City of Dayton and consented to by the Butler Township Trustees specifically to block Union’s play for the land. Before that nearly 190 acres were brought into Union by annexation last September.
No one’s surprised by Union’s moves. Union City Manager John Applegate and the Union City Council have developed the mindset of Vikings – divide and conquer and take – legally – what you don’t already have.
The absurdity in this is that state law allows it and leaves townships virtually powerless to stop it. The deck is stacked against townships court case after court case has said the same thing.
Another local example is Centerville reaching into Greene County to legally steal a large parcel in Sugarcreek Township so they could develop it. While the two entities have recently announced a tentative agreement over fire protection, if I was a betting man I’d be willing to wager the township got the short end of the stick.
The story is the same all over the state. Cities plunder and take whatever land they want from townships with impunity, even when city services aren’t available in the annexed land.
Who knows what Union and Applegate’s next move is, but my guess is they won’t stop until every acre of commercially viable land west and northwest of the airport is in their hands.
Reach Darrell Wacker at 937-684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer or @Darrell_Wacker