Fallow farm fields are soon planned to be bustling with busy truck drivers on I-71 between Columbus and Cincinnati if the Warren County Regional Planning Commission gets their way. A rather sleepy gas stop with a single Country Kitchen restaurant may soon be home to two fuel islands, 11 acres of truck parking, a grocery and deli and even a church. But the whole project hinges on whether the hard working folk of Lebanon, OH are willing to allow a tax hike to have it.
Pilot would contribute $500,000 and the city of Lebanon $80,000 to help pay for or secure bonds to be sold by the Warren County Port Authority to the proposed economic development district. The city of Lebanon and Turtlecreek Twp. are forming a joint economic development district as part of a cooperative plan to extend Lebanon area sewer service to land on all four corners of the I-71 interchange at Ohio 123.
“The Pilot travel center is what makes everything possible,” said Joe Kramer, executive vice president for Henkle Schueler & Associates, one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the region. Henkle-Schueler represents three limited partnerships with land in the proposed district.
Lebanon and Turtlecreek Twp. would split 90 percent of income taxes from workers at the travel center. The local governments would set aside 8 percent of income tax revenues for improvements around the interchange, including signs, landscaping, bike paths and sidewalks. Lebanon would keep 2 percent for administering the income tax.
It’s estimated that this truck stop will contribute between 45 and 60 jobs for residents near the Lebanon area. A public hearing on all this proposed economic development in and around the truck stop is scheduled for 7 p.m., Nov. 13, at Lebanon City Hall.