Amelia residents get ready for change

By Dan Wells - bio | email

(AMELIA, OH) -- It's still not clear whether voters in Amelia will have the chance to wipe their village of 4,000 right off the map.

At this point, signatures are being verified on petitions calling for a ballot measure that could dissolve the village on Nov. 4.

In the meantime, Amelia residents are preparing for the unknown.

There are 316 registered signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot. Last week, there were 458 signatures presented to Amelia's village council.

The possibility of Amelia being dissolved is certainly up in the air.

Strong talk and hundreds of petitions from residents last week aimed to get the issue on the Nov. 4 ballot now has Pierce, Batavia Township and even the Clermont County Sheriff's Department preparing for possible change.

Land north of main street would be absorbed by Batavia Township. Land to the south would become part of Pierce Township.

"We want to make sure we provide the highest quality to all of our residents so anytime new residents should they come in, we want to make sure we're addressing their needs," said Pierce Township Administrator Dave Elmer.

Everyone's looking at this because if this scenario plays out, the Village of Amelia and all of its current services would cease to exist.

"This is a surprise to everyone," said Clermont County Sheriff A.J. Rodenberg. "We've already began talking about it, but again its an iffy situation we would basically cover it to the extent we could with our existing resources."

Rodenberg says he's in the process of reviewing patrol and emergency routes just in case he inherits more county to cover.

"It certainly would not require any extensive increases in personnel," he said. "Resources again from what we can see so far but obviously we will look into more in dept to be ready to go if it occurs."

At this point workers at the Board of Elections in Batavia are checking the petition signatures against those of registered voters on file.

While that's happening, everyone involved say they will continue to watch the future of Amelia play out.

Now, Amelia Residents for Fiscal Responsibility, the group that organized the petitions say if the measure doesn't get enough votes for the November ballot, they will try for a February special election.