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Published: Wednesday, 4/12/2006

Longer, 25-year lease being requested for Nona France park

BY ELIZABETH A. SHACK
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Whitehouse hopes to have its lease of the Nona France park area from the Metropolitan Park District of the Toledo Area finalized next month.

Nona France had been owned by the county, and when the land was sold to the Metroparks about three years ago, the lease's terms were continued.

The village would like a longer term lease. Village Administrator Dennis Recker said the new lease would run for 25 years.

Metroparks Director Jim Spengler said that length would allow the village to apply for grants for improvements to the property.

Nona France, south of State Rt. 64 in the middle of Whitehouse, is adjacent to the Blue Creek Conservation Area, which the Metroparks is developing in partnership with the Lucas Soil and Water Conservation District and the nonprofit Nature's Nursery.

The Nona France land creates a connection between Blue Creek and the Wabash Cannonball hike-bike trail.

The land the village leases includes the quarry, the village library and its surroundings, and soccer fields, Mr. Recker said.

"The parts that we're leasing are pretty much spoken for," he said.

Plans for future use of the Nona France property are still being developed but could include a swimming beach and playground and trails. Certain areas are to be protected as natural areas that can't be developed for recreation, Mr. Recker said.

The Metroparks recently demolished some old bathhouses near the quarry. Mr. Recker said the debris should be removed by the end of the month.

Developments in the area could come from the village, the Metroparks, or recreational groups.

"We're all building toward the same master plan," Mr. Spengler said.

The Anthony Wayne United Youth Soccer League and the Anthony Wayne Soccer Club plan to use grant money to improve drainage on 12 soccer fields, build restrooms and concession stands near the fields, and improve parking lots and the driveway to help with traffic. Voters turned down a levy in 2004 that would have been used for an athletic complex.

Nona France is at the northwest corner of the Blue Creek Conservation Area, south of Route 64, north of Stiles Road, east of Providence Street, and west of residential property along Finzel Road.



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