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Toledo buys home, clears the way for road project

The city of Toledo has purchased a house on Glendale Avenue to use in a land swap to allow the widening of Airport Highway.

The city paid $220,000 on Sept. 28 for the property at 4114 Glendale, which belonged to Carol Klute, according to Lucas County records.

The 1.4-acre property is just west of the entrance to Swan Creek Metropark. It is surrounded on three sides by the metropark, including two parcels that have homes on them.

The house the city bought was appraised by the county auditor at $147,200.

Officials said the acquisition is part of a deal between Toledo Area Metroparks and the Ohio Department of Transportation. ODOT needs a strip of land belonging to the park along Airport between Byrne and Reynolds roads. In exchange, the city agreed to acquire and turn over the Klute land, ODOT spokesman Joe Rutherford said.

He said federal law requires replacement of parkland that is lost to highway construction involving federal funds.

City council authorized the purchase in a $13.5 million ordinance passed 11-0 on Feb. 6. The measure funded various engineering projects, including acquisition of right of way, but did not mention the purchase of 4114 Glendale specifically.

The $220,000 expenditure surprised council, which often reviews expenditures of much smaller amounts.

“I support widening Airport Highway. I've been involved since Day 1,” said Councilman Rob Ludeman, who represents District 2 in South Toledo. “It's another case of the administration not telling council what's going on.”

Mr. Rutherford said negotiations have been going on for three years and that the Klute property was the key to getting an environmental clearance for the widening. The work is planned for 2004.

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