Artist helping to fund Mariemont's fight against SR 32 relocation

Local artist Mary Louise Holt
Local artist Mary Louise Holt

MARIEMONT, OH (FOX19) - Relocating State Route 32 is one part of the overall Eastern Corridor Project, and it has the Village of Mariemont concerned.

Many are concerned historic land in the Little Miami River Valley will be destroyed in order to relocate SR 32 and connect it with Red Bank Road.

"Mariemont, you have a special gift here. You need to protect this," said Dan Policastro, Mayor of Mariemont.

Mariemont is focused on protecting the land because it's rich in history dating back hundreds of years when native Americans occupied the land.

That history is shown in a painting by local artist Mary Louise Holt.

"Wouldn't it be nice if the children of Mariemont could continue playing around the Little Miami River and into the future without some major highway over their head," said Holt.

Holt has partnered with Mariemont to do the painting for free. Prints of the painting will be sold, and that money will be used to help the village pay for attorneys to fight the relocation of State Route 32.

"We are a small village, and we watch our budget very close," said Policastro. "But we have no choice. We have to hire an attorney to be ready."

The village has budgeted $10,000 for attorneys but supporters of the relocation project say this is all unnecessary.

"Nobody wants to go through the South 80 in Mariemont and destroy ancient artifacts and undermine the historic nature of the village or do anything the folks of Mariemont are concerned about," said Todd Portune, Hamilton County Commissioner.

There are several options the Ohio Department of Transportation is looking at to relocate S.R. 32, and Commissioner Todd Portune says he hopes a decision is made by the end of 2013.

The painting will be finished in November and go on sale.

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