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Published: Tuesday, 9/14/2010

Wauseon, schools consider land swap

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Mayor Jerry Dehnbostel Mayor Jerry Dehnbostel
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WAUSEON - A land swap is in the works between the city of Wauseon and the city's school district.

Wauseon City Council last week approved trading four ballfields near Wauseon High School to the board of education in exchange for the four acres or so formerly occupied by Elm Street School.

Mayor Jerry Dehnbostel said the city no longer needed the ballfields for its recreational programs because those are now at Dorothy Biddle Park, and the school district desired at least one of them for the high school softball program.

The Elm Street location, Mr. Dehnbostel said, "is something we don't have any immediate use for," but it holds ample potential.

Elm Street School was torn down after its classes were moved early this year to Wauseon's new elementary-middle school building next to the high school.

Biddle Park has four full-sized ball diamonds, with four more planned to open next summer, plus several smaller ballfields, Mayor Dehnbostel said.

The four surplus fields, one of which is named Bob Lammon Field, are next to the football field at Wauseon High School.

According to the city council proceedings, the swap was proposed by the Wauseon Exempted Village Schools, allowing up to three years for the transfer to occur.

The city would be allowed to remove lights at Bob Lammon Field for reinstallation at Biddle Park and would retain a strip of land along railroad tracks south of the ballfields to maintain access to a creek and retention pond to the east.

The board of education still must approve the exchange, and once formal documents are drafted it will come back to council as well, the mayor said.

It was not clear if the matter would be discussed at the board of education's regular meeting this week. It was not listed as a separate agenda item, but the agenda did include an executive session, during which it was possible that such a real estate transaction could be discussed.

In other business, city council accepted safety and code committee recommendations to forbid parking in Wauseon's municipal lots between 2 and 6 a.m. without prior police department approval, and to increase from two hours to three hours the parking limit on the streets downtown.



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