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INDUSTRY • UTILITIES • CONSTRUCTION • ARTS • COMMUNITY

A Look

Ahead A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT OF THE PIQUA DAILY CALL & TROY DAILY NEWS

February 21, 2013 Section 2


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PROGRESS 2013

February 21, 2013

TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

Piqua water issue still on tap BY BETHANY J. ROYER a number of workshops would be held to discuss Staff Writer broyer@civitasmedia.com alternatives that included everything from new conPIQUA — For the most struction to purchasing part, issues related to the water from neighboring cities, even a potential impending new water treatment plant will be on regional plant with Sidney. However, when the idea the quiet side for 2013, a of Piqua buying into the respite to a dilemma that did not start out that way. city of Troy’s water treatAs the decision on what to ment plant was proposed, do with the city’s 88-year- seeing that both cities had old water treatment facili- already joined forces regarding a 9-1-1 center ty on State Route 66 was and recycling contracts, an arduous one. An issue that began after an evalu- city leaders on both sides ation by Jones and Henry decided to look further into the potential. One Engineers deemed the plant had outlived its use- that could have sees Piqua sharing Troy’s 40-year-old, fulness back in 2007. 16 MGD (million gallons Unable to be rehabilitated due to its location in per day) water treatment a floodplain, and an inabil- facility. With both cities splitity to meet upcoming manting the tab, a study was dates by the Environmental Protection begun by independent firm, RA Consultants LLC, Agency (EPA) concerning that would look at everycapacity and more stringent limits on disinfectant thing from the costs to by-products in the treated connect the cities, operational costs thereafter, prowater, the clock began to jected growth in both tick on the water plant’s eventual demise. And over cities, administration the course of several years, costs, and a government

STAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY

Survey crews work on State Route 66 near Hardin Road on initial phases of planned construction of the new water treatment plant for the city of Piqua. structure that would have been similar to Tipp City and Vandalia’s shared regional water plant. In the meantime, Piqua moved forward with a sec-

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ond study conducted by CDM-Smith (Camp Dresser and McKee Smith) an engineering, construction and operations firm with consultant Bob Yoxthimer at the helm, on the possibility of their own water treatment facility, all of which took place in the fall 2011. Nearly a year later, RA Consultants had completed their study and presented their findings at a public meeting held July 31, 2012, at Edison State Community College. The Cincinnati-based company gave their final analysis of the two major water treatment plant options but by that point the issue was moot. Piqua city commission members had already made a decision in a unanimous vote at a meeting held earlier that same month. As a desire for entire control over their

water future and too many unknowns given Troy’s water safety put favor towards building a new plant. The unknowns were an overwhelming factor in the decision making process for Piqua, as concern over water safety after an EPA investigation on two contaminants, PCE Tetrachloroethylene and TCE Tricholorethylene, both man-made chemicals, that had been discovered in a 25-block radius within the city of Troy. Along with issues related to sustainability of the well fields, and the capacity and age of Troy’s current plant that had originally been built in 1971 as an 8 MGD plant by engineers Black and Veatch. By November, Piqua city commission members had made even further headway towards a new

water treatment facility by granting approval to contract with CDM Smith for the design and bidding of a new plant at a cost of $2.2 million. The clock ticking on a water treatment plant resolution, with the city facing potential penalties and fines from the EPA, quieted. Upon completion, the new 6.75 MGD water treatment plant will come at an estimated cost of $31,630,000 and will be centered on 40 acres, also on State Route 66, less than a quarter mile northeast of the current facility with a potential completion date of May 2016. Currently, the project is in a design phase that is expected to take the entirety of 2013 with ground breaking for construction tentatively planned for early 2014.


TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

PROGRESS 2013

February 21, 2013

Visitors bureau supports tourism BY DIANA THOMPSON Executive Director Miami County Visitors and Convention Bureau

recessionary price cuts. Visitor spending of $26.3 billion generated $40 billion in total business sales in 2011 as tourism The Miami County dollars flowed through the Visitors and Convention Ohio economy. In Miami Bureau continues, as County alone, visitors genalways, to support tourism erated $212 million in in Miami County and business activity in 2011. throughout the state of In addition to direct Ohio. tourism indusThe MCVCB tries, the manuremains active facturing sector with groups and and business organizations services sectors within Miami are important County, helping tourism beneficito plan, support aries as suppliand follow ers. through with Tourism events such as remains an intefestivals, musical gral and driving events and cele- THOMPSON component of brations that mark the Miami County econoachievements in the commy, sustaining 7.6 percent munity. of salaried employment. Even in the midst of a The Miami County flailing economy, tourism Visitors and Convention has seen solid increases Bureau recently released during the last several its Miami County, Ohio years, including Ohio and 2013 Visitors Guide. in Miami County. The guide is chock full The Ohio visitor econo- of everything that is my overall continued to Miami County, including expand in 2011. Visitor information on: spending within Ohio rose • Museums 6.5 percent after a 7.4 per• Cultural events and cent increase in 2010, festivals according to the lastest • Parks Ohio tourism figures, • Architectural heritage reported in July 2012. • Sports and recreation Visitor volumes also • Meeting and banquet rose for a second straight facilities year with 181.5 million • Miami County Barn people traveling in Ohio in Quilt Tour 2011 — a new high. • Accommodations Growth in overnight • Dining visitation also remains • Shopping strong in the state. The Miami County Domestic overnight visita- Visitors and Convention tion grew 4.7 percent, Bureau is at 405 SW buoyed by strong hotel Public Square in downroom demand growth of town Troy. For more infor6.4 percent in 2011. mation, call (937) 339Per trip spending rose 1044, email as gas prices rose and info@VisitMiamiCounty. hotels and other tourism org or visit www.Visit providers start to recoup MiamiCounty.org.

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PROGRESS 2013

February, 21, 2013

TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

Arts abound in Miami County Events available throughout year these “jewels” and tap into their artistic abilities, whether it involve musical instruments, watercolor MIAMI COUNTY — paintings, ballroom dancMusical concerts, art exhibits, young ballerinas ing or even volunteering their time for a field trip performing “The to a nearby museum. Nutcracker” and poetry Among those passionate readings are among the about the arts in Piqua is diverse arts programs Chris Schmiesing, who afforded Miami County recently was passed the residents throughout the president’s gavel of the year. Venues offer every conceivable form of artistic Piqua Arts Council. pursuit and 2013 promises Schmiesing, city planner to be another banner year in the city of Piqua, suggests the PAC serves all for organizations such as members of the communithe Piqua Arts Council, ty including school age the Piqua Center of the children through senior Arts and Troy-Hayner adults. “The audience Cultural Center. reached by the PAC,” he Residents — both young and old alike — are observed, “has steadily grown since the formation encouraged to explore BY SHARON SEMANIE For Civitas Media

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STAFF FILE PHOTO/ANTHONY WEBER

Jenny Zapadka, left, and Lauren Gau, take time out of their day to look through each of the decorated rooms at the Troy-Hayner Cultural Center. The center’s 2012 holiday exhibit was themed “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” of the organization in 1990. The PAC is forecasting significant growth in the upcoming years as the organization embarks on an ambitious plan to significantly increase the presence of the arts and the quality of life in the

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community.” The Piqua Arts Council has been the beneficiary of numerous corporations and businesses who have been generous in their support of the organization. In 2000, reports Schmiesing, the PAC

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reached a stage in its growth where the need to hire professional staff was deemed essential to continue the growth of the quality arts activities and programs offered to the Piqua community. It was recently announced that Jordan K. Knepper has been named executive director of the PAC and assumed his new role effective Feb. 11. Knepper was formerly associated with the Gateway Arts Council in Sidney as programming director. Schmiesing invites residents of Piqua and surrounding areas to attend the PAC quarterly Art Walks, which occur the

second Friday of the months of spring (March 15); summer (June 14); fall (Sept. 13) and winter (Dec. 13). “See, hear and interact with artists, musicians and performers in downtown Piqua as they share their talents,” interjected Schmiesing. “Eat, drink, socialize and support the arts!” He also encourages everyone to attend the second annual Dancing With the Piqua Stars on April 6 at A Learning Place. Ticket holders can attend either a matinee or evening performance as

• See ARTS on 5


TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

PROGRESS 2013

February 21, 2013

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Arts I CONTINUED FROM 4 local “celebrities” take to the dance floor to demonstrate their best dance moves. Schmiesing said the stars train with professional dance partners throughout winter months “so they are sure to put their best foot forward.” “A panel of expert judges will determine which stars bring their ‘A’ game,” he continued “and it is up to the public to determine which one receives the most votes.” In addition, the PAC also will sponsor a juried art show on Sept. 13 on the second floor of the magnificent Apple Tree Gallery showcasing the “most talented artists in our region”. In January, the PAC — along with the Piqua Public Library and Friends of the Library — hosted the Ohio Watercolor Society traveling exhibit. In addition, PAC also featured local and area artists who provided watercolor demonstrations at the library. “With new programming and events being added every week, the benefits that come with the PAC membership are more attractive than ever,” stated Schmiesing. “Become a member of the PAC and receive memberonly benefits. Members become the first to know about and have access to tickets for premier events. As a member, they also enjoy the opportunity to exhibit their artistic talents to the downtown art gallery and influence the art culture in our community.” When asked to describe the biggest challenge facing the Piqua Arts Council, Schmiesing responded “As the Piqua Arts Council continues to grow, the biggest challenge

will be building the organizational capacity to deliver, support and manage art programs and events to the standard of quality patrons of the Piqua arts have come to expect. The proud presidents of Piqua who so generously volunteer their time and energy to support the community make this as much an opportunity as it is a challenge.” He encourages everyone to get involved with the Piqua Arts Council and notes “Volunteering with the PAC not only provides a rich and satisfying personal experience, but also enriches the lives of others. With so many programs and events to select from, there is a volunteer opportunity for everyone.” To find out more about the Piqua Arts Council visit their website at www.piquaartscouncil.com or contact Knepper at (937) 773-9630. Her Passion To Share Denise Uhlenbrock of Piqua, a mother of six, spent much of her life growing up in Rocky River with the Cleveland San Jose Ballet Company. It came as no surprise when she and her family moved to Piqua that “I knew my experience participating in big budget, full length ballets would be my passion to share.” As artistic director of the Piqua School of the Arts, a 5,000-square-foot space located on the third floor above Ken-Mar Antiques at 322 N. Main Street, Uhlenbrock has been instrumental in exposing the community to ballet and also teaches part-time at the YWCA Piqua. “The experience I have to share with others is not the certification to teach dance, but my experience

of belonging to a ballet company,” she explained., “The opportunity I had to be a part of a ballet company taught me that the ballet technique, although imperative to a ballerina, does not make the ballet. The artistic components such as the ballet, the art (sets and props) and the drama is what tells a story and creates a ballet.” Uhlenbrock worked directly with Dennis Nahat, now director of the San Jose ballet, ballerina Karen Gabay as she was becoming a rising “prima ballerina” as well as other artists such as Cynthia Gregory, Craig Margolious and Raymond Rodriquez. “Through these artists I learned much more than ballet technique, I learned the passion and artistic collaboration it takes to achieve your dreams. This is what I hope to instill those who participate at the Piqua School of the Arts.” Most recently Uhlenbrock directed and choreographed the very popular “The Nutcracker” with young protégés at Mote Park at Christmastime. “During the next year I hope to inspire adults and children to take time out of their hectic lives and tap into the creativity, imaginations and be active,” she added. Among her ambitious projects is to collaborate with other businesses to share their talents such interior design, floral arrangements, gardening and literature. “Secondly, I am most excited about the ballet club BUNHEADS, which would be open to anyone interested in ballet regardless of whether they study at another studio or have ever taken a lesson. “Tie ribbons on your

shoes, choreograph, create your own signature bun, crochet a bun warmer, work on jete or pirouette and, most of all, share your creativity with friends.” The club began Feb. 22. The current class schedule at the Piqua Center of the Arts is as follows: Tuesdays, ballet at 5:30 p.m. for preschool; 6:30 pm. for youth (ages 6 and older) and 7:30 p.m. for pre-teens. Cake decorating also is scheduled at 6:30 p.m.. On Wednesdays, baby ballet/creative movement is offered at 10:30 a.m.; at 5:30 p.m., zumba with Sarah Jane Magoteaux as instructor and Drama and Fad (Fashion and Drama) Club at 6:30. Thursday is everyone’s chance to focus on art at 6:30 p.m. Art director is

Heather Schaeffer. On Fridays, Uhlenbrock concentrates on preschool enhancement taking the fundamentals of preschool and incorporating them into music, art, dance and drama “to instill lots of fun while learning.” At 9:30 a.m. Saturdays, zumba classes are offered and the studio is also available for afternoon parties and meetings. “Because I consider the architecture of our studio artwork in itself, I like to share the studio with everyone,” noted Uhlenbrock. “Whether an adult party with dancing on our beautiful hardwood floor or a child’s theme party, we welcome the opportunity for everyone to experience and gather in downtown Piqua.” The schedule at the studio, she continued, is

very flexible. “If the club or class you are interested in does not meet your schedule we are willing to make it work so you can participate. Just gather four to six friends and we will customize your class.” To gather more information about the Piqua School of the Arts, visit the website at http://www.piquaschool ofthearts.com/ Beauty, Programs Abound Now in its 37th year of operation, the TroyHayner Cultural Center continues to focus on fulfilling its mission to “preserve and maintain the Hayner mansion as a cultural resource center for the community and as an historical legacy for future generations.”

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PROGRESS 2013

February, 21, 2013

TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

Arts I CONTINUED FROM 5 Linda Jolly, now in her 22nd year as director, suggests that “to that end the Hayner Center offers a wide range of educational, arts and cultural opportunities to the community” including concerts, exhibits, a film series, antiques seminars, poetry readings and a poetry competition.” And, best of all,

all these events are free and open to the public. The Hayner mansion, 301 W. Main St. in Troy, has no admission fee during open public hours and also contains a permanent collection of fine art paintings and antique furnishings, most of which belonged to Mary Jane Hayner. In addition, notes Jolly, there is an exhibition about the pre-prohibition

Hayner Distillery Company and a collection of paintings by prominent Troy artist Mary Coleman Allen. Upcoming temporary exhibitions include Young Masters School art exhibit in March and April, The Ohio Watercolor Traveling Exhibition in May, the Great Flood of 1913 in June followed by two fine art exhibitions later in the year.

“An ongoing schedule of classes in art and a variety of other subjects for both children and adults is offered as well,” Jolly said. “Opportunities are available for beginners and amateurs to explore their creativity as well as workshops designed for experience and professional artists to hone their skills.” Subjects range from drawing, painting, pottery

and jewelry making to ballet and ballroom dance to computer technology, healthy living and self awareness.” During the winter months, art classes are offered for home school students and, in the summer, a highlight is three weeks of summer art day camps. Jolly added that Hayner’s community arts program takes visual art opportunities to children

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STAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY

ABOVE: Vickie Fanberg, director of the Piqua Arts Council presents the 2012 Farmer’s Market mural to those gathered along Canal Place in 2012. The mural is displayed on the former Piqua Daily Call building at 310 Spring St. The creation of the piece was supervised by local artist and teacher Betsy Williamson.

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and the general public to other locations. The Troy-Hayner Cultural Center also is a key collaborator in the Downtown Troy Summer Music Series, which provides a variety of outdoor concerts, mostly on Friday evenings on the public square in Troy and also in the Hayner Courtyard during the week. Other popular events include a Valentine’s dinner and show, Mrs. Hayner’s Birthday Tea, family fun days and family night concert, pumpkin glow, international dinner, Friends F.A.V.E. boutique, a bi-annual photography competition and the annual holiday open house. Jolly said the Hayner Center is funded primarily by a tax levy in the Troy City School District and supplemented with donations and bequests to the membership organization, Friends of Hayner. The center is a volunteer organization run by a community board of governors with volunteer committees behind almost every aspect of the center’s operation. She said approximately $33,000 is spent annually on preservation and restoration projects to “maintain the integrity” of the 99-year-old historic mansion. “This year a campaign is being launched to replace the handicapped life at the west entrance of the building. The facilities of the Hayner Center are available for community use and the rooms are heavily booked by local organizations for meetings and activities. Arrangements also can be made to rent spaces for business and private functions. In 2012, Hayner reported 44,500 traveled through its doors or participated in Hayner programming, Jolly said.


TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

PROGRESS 2013

February 21, 2013

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Libraries offer host of programs BY SHERYL ROADCAP For Civitas Media

Maintenance supervisor Curtis Evans assists teen coordinator Nancy Hargrove in mixing concrete for a lawn ornament class in June 2012 at the library. The class, taught by children’s and teen coordinator Nancy Hargrove, was part of the 2012 summer reading program “Dream Big Read!”

STAFF FILE PHOTOS/ANTHONY WEBER

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craft or game also accompanies the story. Parents should call the library MIAMI COUNTY — ahead of time to register There are many things their children. going on at the public Once school is out, the libraries in the area, in library’s summer reading which one can become program kicks into gear at immersed. the beginning of June Several different prothrough July, and this is grams are being offered something that everyone from the standard story — children, teens and time hours and reading adults — can participate programs to a UMVC in. The Piqua Public nurse being available for library suggests visiting blood pressure checks and their website and calendar craft time groups that of events for updates and gather at various libraries. information about all pro• Piqua Public Library, grams. The library’s hours 116 W. High St., Piqua, are Monday through “serves as a hub of activity Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 for people of all ages,” p.m., Friday and Saturday boasts Robin Heinz, mar10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and keting and publications closed on Sunday. The specialist. Every Thursday library can be reached at night in February at 6 (937) 773-6753 or at p.m. is movie night. On the second and fourth Saturday of every month, from 2-4 p.m., the library holds Lego Club, which is a program intended to help build creativity and engineering skills in youngsters. Also, consecutively held every month, there are various activities and ongoing programs scheduled, such as: “Portal to the Past” (which educates about Piqua’s history), book club discussion gatherings or visits from a UMVC nurse. Using plant liners, gems and concrete mix, Abby Angel, In addition to these Nicholas Griswold, center, and Matthew Spencer, all of monthly staples, youngTroy, work on creating a lawn ornament at the Troysters also have access to story time sessions several Miami County Public Library. “I like it (the Summer Reading Program) because it’s fun,” Spencer said. times a week, which are separated by age — birth Troy library promotes www.1.youseemore.com/piq reading in several ways to age 3 and 3 years old ua. and older. This begins through their various • Troy-Miami County again March 5 and runs reading programs and Public Library has its through most of April. story times. “Paws to main location at 419 W. Morning gatherings are Read,” held Feb. 21 at 7 Wednesday, Thursday and Main St., in Troy, but also p.m., is one of these prohas a branch in Pleasant Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.; grams that caters to chilHill at the Oakes-Beitman dren in kindergarten evening times are 7 p.m. Tuesdays and on the first Library. through third grade. Miller Wednesday of every month Library director at 4 p.m., an activity like a Rachelle Miller said the • See LIBRARIES on 8

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PROGRESS 2013

February 21, 2013

TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

Libraries I CONTINUED FROM 7 said the children read to certified therapy dogs for 10-15 minutes at a time and that “the kids seem to like it because they can read to someone without

feeling judged.” The library has eight story hours a week at several different times with new programs set to start again in the spring. Miller suggests calling the library to register and

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said the groups are based upon age (baby, toddler and pre-school); the hour includes stories, songs, puppet shows and even crafts. The statewide theme for the library’s summer reading program called “Dig into Reading,” which is for children, teens and adults, will begin June 3, and is a nine-week program that is still in the beginning phases of planning. The library offers many other programs and gathering sessions such as their homeschooling program intended to help parents with the process and provide group discussions; computer program classes for adults who want to learn how to use a computer or its programs; chess club; and TAB (Teen Advisory Board) for teens that help with numerous things at the library, such as organizing story times, decorations, etc. Miller suggests visiting their website and the calendar of events to find times and more information. The Troy library’s hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. The library can be reached at (937) 339-0502 and at www.tmcpl.org. • Oakes-Beitman Library is a branch of the Troy-Miami County Public Library that serves Pleasant Hill and Newton Township, and is at 12 N. Main St., Pleasant Hill. Oakes-Beitman shares some of the same programs as the Troy library, such as their summer reading program, but has many different activities of their own, such as their winter story time. This all-inclusive gathering time, for all ages, is

STAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY

Dr. Mark Young, right, and his wife Jeanie, left, present a set of genelogical books to Piqua Public Library historian Gary Meek at the library on behalf of Young’s late father, Chuck Young. approximately 30-45 minutes long on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. and usually includes stories and crafts. Branch manager Deb Matthews said they have several groups in Pleasant Hill that like to get together and “have a lot of fun.” From their “Wacky Wednesday” group, that do crafts and have snacks on every other Wednesday at 3 p.m., which is aimed at “tweens” (age 10 to 14), to the “Knot Just Knitting” group, that work on crafts and finish their “UFOs” (unfinished objects), every third Tuesday at 2.30 p.m., for adults. The library also has a traveling UVMC nurse every second Tuesday of the month from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that checks blood pressure and glucose levels for diabetics. Also, there is help available on Wednesday nights from 6-8 p.m. to

educate about how to use an E-reader. Other upcoming events can be found on the calendar of events on the Troy library’s website at www.tmcpl.org, and more information about the Oakes-Beitman Library can be found through the link on the website. Oakes-Beitman’s hours are Monday and Wednesday noon to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday noon to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Sunday. The library can be contacted at (937) 676-2731. • “The Tipp City Public Library is undergoing exciting changes,” reports director Anthony Orsini, such as new paint, carpet, computer work stations and additional comfortable reading areas. The Tipp City Public Library will launch its summer read-

ing program June 10 (and go through Aug. 10) and will feature local entertainer Chris Rowlands on opening day. The library’s hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sunday. The Tipp City Public Library, 11 E. Main St., can be reached at (937) 667-3826 or at www.tipp citylibrary.org. • J.R. Clarke Public Library in Covington, 102 E. Spring St., Covington, concentrates heavily on promoting reading as much as possible and is currently involved in their winter reading program Branch out with Books. Library director Marjorie Mutzner said after Feb. 18, once the children return the first book read,

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Libraries I CONTINUED FROM 8 they will receive a treat of some kind “loosely associated with a tree” as incentive to continue forward with their reading. Children who have read at least five books will be invited to the wrap-up party for the winter reading program on April 6, in which local magician Steve McDonagh will entertain. The summer reading program at J.R. Clarke still is in the planning stages, so be sure to check the library’s website for information about it as the summer grows nearer. Mutzner says that J.R. Clarke has story time every Tuesday

at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. for 3-5 year olds. She also said a UVMC nurse visits every third Tuesday of the month from 9-11 a.m. for blood pressure and glucose checks. The library’s hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday and Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed Sunday. The library can be reached at (937) 4732226 or at www.jrclarkelibrary.org. • Milton-Union Public Library, 560 S. Main St., West Milton, offers a variety of programs and events for children and adults, said public relations officer Tina Webber. Story time for 3-5 year

olds is every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Webber said the library hosts three, popular book club discussions a week and those interested should call the library to obtain information about open time slots. Through the help of volunteers within the children’s library, on Mondays from 6:30-7:30 p.m., the library offers a “buddy reading program” intended to “help kids increase their reading skills.” Every Monday, “Crafty Listeners” gather from 12:30 p.m. to work on crafts, chat and snack while listening to a book on CD. Also, for those who are retired or of lowincome, AARP will be at

the library every Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 11 to help people with their taxes. The library’s hours are Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed Sunday. The library can be reached at (937) 6985515 or www.mupubliclibrary.org. • The Bradford Public Library, 138 E. Main St., Bradford, has its winter programs in “full swing.” Library director Cherie Roeth said they have a lot going on at the library and that there is a ton of information on their website. The library hosts several dif-

ferent events, classes and clubs, from genealogy and book clubs, to story time hours and Bible study groups. On Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. a “testtaking workshop” will be held for those of all ages, in which people can also obtain help in updating their resumes. Every second Saturday of the month at 11 a.m. the genealogy club meets. Story time for pre-schoolers is every Tuesday at 11 a.m. The Bradford library will have their spring book sale from Apr. 11-27, where there will be books, CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes all available to purchase. The library’s summer reading program “is for all ages, preschool through adult,

and centers on a wide variety of activities that supports leisure reading and multi-media activities that spark the interest from individuals to families.” Check Bradford library’s website for more information on the program as the summer grows closer. The library’s hours are Monday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., closed on Wednesday, Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and closed Sunday. The library can be reached at (937) 4482612 and at www.bradfordpubliclibrary.org.

Arena diversifies lineup BY JIM DAVIS Staff Writer davis@civitasmedia.com TROY — The events calendar at Troy’s Hobart Arena has had a different complexion the past few years, and organizers at the historic venue on Adams Street envision adding a few more wrinkles to the lineup. Patrons visited the 60plus-year-old facility in 2012 for everything from public skating and cheerleading competitions to classic rock and country music concerts and a Las Vegas ventriloquist. And earlier this year, the arena hosted a national comedy act for the first time. Hobart Arena Director Ken Siler said hopefully

the latter — a Jan. 25 performance by the Southern Fried Chicks Comedy Tour — is a sign of good things to come. “We want to continue to provide and bring in a wide variety of events that includes things above and beyond just music,” he said. “We’re continuing to do some of the other annual events, such as the circus, the cheerleading competitions, hockey tournaments, skating competitions. And in addition to that, we want to try to do a variety of events above and beyond music. We just recently had the comedy show … and I thought it was very well received.” In addition to serving as a venue for high school graduations, the Troy High

School hockey team and events like the Troy Business Expo, Hobart’s 2012 lineup included soldout shows by entertainers Jake Owen and Terry Fator, as well as concerts by Christian artist Chris Tomlin, country star Josh Turner and classic rock bands Styx and Chicago. “It seems as though the country and Christian acts have proven to be very successful, as they have been in the past, so we’ll certainly continue to look at those genres of music for future events,” Siler explained. “We’re trying to determine what types of other musical acts we want to bring in, whether that is classic rock or whatever miscellaneous types might be recommended.”

Less than a decade ago, many of the national acts now coming to Hobart weren’t even on the radar. But Siler said a concerted effort was made to make the arena a viable option for entertainers looking to branch out into new territories. “I think we were continually being challenged to increase the diversity of what were offering, and I think the perception at one point was that the building was not being utilized because of the fact that we were not having the high-profile events,” said Siler, who started working at Hobart in 1995 and became director in 2003.

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Arena I CONTINUED FROM 9 Booking big name acts helped give the arena and Troy some muchneeded exposure, and likewise introduced a whole new set of responsibilities. “Expanding our variety of events and increasing the utilization … has certainly challenged us because it involves a lot more event conversion: covering the ice, setting up the stage, etcetera and it’s also a lot more involved from a scheduling perspective and a ticketing perspective because, prior to that

time in 2008, we didn’t have a significant number of ticketed events. “We’ve got a relatively small staff: four fulltimers upstairs and four full-time operations staff, so it’s definitely a challenge to be able to provide and do the wide variety of things we’re doing with a relatively small staff in comparison to a lot of other venus,” he continued. “I think a lot of it just comes down to the commitment of those people that are on those staffs. We’re happy with the commitment they have, and another thing that is great has been the

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support of the mayor, city council, the director of public service and safety, city auditor and the recreation board in supporting what we’ve been trying to do.” In an ever-changing world heavily shaped by technology, Siler said arena staff have utilized social media options such as Facebook and e-blast newsletters in which people can sign up to receive announcements about upcoming events . “I think the challenge continues to be getting the word out there, because we still hear people say after an event has taken place, that ‘boy I sure would have liked to have come to that event, we just didn’t know about it.’ ” he said. “We’re continuing to find avenues to try to hit all of those folks. “It used to just be where you could do TV, radio and newspaper and hit everyone, and unfortunately, that’s not the case anymore. So it presents a challenge more so than 10 years ago … to relay that message.” The arena recently hosted the Greater Midwest Cheer Expo Cheer Competition (Feb. 10), while upcoming events include country artist Justin Moore (with Dustin Lynch and Jon Pardi) March 15, the Jordan World Circus (March 19) and the Troy Area Chamber of Commerce Not For Profit Agency Expo (April 27). “I think the response has been very positive (to these events),” Siler said. “I’ve had the opportunity to talk to many people in the community and they’re just very excited about the fact that we’re having national-type quality acts here in

STAFF FILE PHOTO/ANTHONY WEBER

Christian music singer Steven Curtis Chapman performs with his son, Caleb, in the background during “A Night of Music and Hope with the Chapmans” tour at the Troy Hobart Arena in Troy in November 2010. Hobart Arena Director Ken Siler said Christian and country music acts have been well received. Miami County. They don’t have to travel a long distance to see some of these acts.” Entertainment enthu-

siasts who would like to stay on top of future events at Hobart can visit the arena’s website at www.hobartarena.com,

where they can sign up for text and email blasts for up-to-the-minute reminders about upcoming activities.


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YWCA serves community PIQUA â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Young adults will benefit from several new programs being introduced at the YWCA Piqua in 2013, according to executive director Leesa A. Baker, who oversees the myriad programs offered to both men and women of all ages from pre-school through senior citizens in Miami County and surrounding areas. Baker said the YWCA will expand a voter education program developed by a YWCA volunteer for high school students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Last fall high school students as well as members of the community viewed a movie about womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fight to win the right to vote,â&#x20AC;? said Leah Baumhauer, public policy committee chairperson. Barb Davis, a committee member, led a group discussion following the movie and also developed extra credit worksheets for teachers to use in their classrooms afterward. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The movie and discussion both here and at the schools afterward were very effective according to staff feedback,â&#x20AC;? Baumhauer said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I will never forget to vote in any election after seeing all that these women did to win us the right to vote,â&#x20AC;? added one female participant. Staff members from local and area schools have requested that the YWCA continue and expand the program. Baker said a program geared toward students in the cosmetology program at Upper Valley Career Center will be offered to teach students the signs of domestic violence that they might see in their clients. The program, coordinated by the YWCA through the Ohio

Attorney Generalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office, helps students to recognize these signs and gives them information on who the client should contact for help. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A concern that has also been brought to our attention by young women is that of human trafficking in our area,â&#x20AC;? said YWCA Program Director Lynn Marroletti. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are researching data and other materials that may lead to the development of a program to be introduced in the future.â&#x20AC;? Marroletti assumed her position as program director in September 2012. Her responsibilities include organizing classes, activities and other programs to meet the needs of preschool age to the senior population. She also coordinates YWCA trips throughout the year. In citing major advantages of someone becoming involved in the YWCA, Baker replied, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Opportunities to volunteer are available at many different levels: to teach and assist with classes, culinary experts, secretarial volunteers, program coordinators, service on the board of directors and a variety of committees help with projects. The opportunities are endless.â&#x20AC;? Mary Catherine Grimes, a longtime YWCA member and volunteer, has been honored as one of the Top 10 yearly volunteers. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I do this because I get a lot of joy and satisfaction from helping and volunteering. I am proud to volunteer. Being a volunteer is not only rewarding, but also a lot of fun. The friendships I have made through the YWCA are lifelong friends,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Volunteers have also developed into leadership roles for many of our volun-

teers,â&#x20AC;? Baker said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are very thankful for our volunteers who are very special individuals and they add to much to our organization.â&#x20AC;? The YWCA Piqua, 418 N. Wayne St., is located in the heart of downtown Piqua and is celebrating 93 years as an organization, which began its history in the community in 1919. More than 300 women, many of them workers from the local mills, initially created the Young Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Christian Association. Continuing that tradition today, the YWCA provides opportunities through which women and their families find fulfillment and gain self assurance, Baker said. The YWCA Piqua is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Baker suggests memberSTAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY ship has remained steady Piqua residents and Wilder Intermediate School students Cameraon and Camille Brown welcome guests to the Miami County YWCA in Piqua for the fourth annual â&#x20AC;˘ See YWCA on 12 Martin Luther King Celebration.

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YWCA membership provides for participating in activities in recent years “because and also helps in the supthe YWCA is committed to port of programs and other making membership and activities. Supportive memprograms/activities afford- berships, sustaining and able for everyone.” Today contributing memberships the YWCA offers many assist the YWCA to keep classes and programs at basic membership fees both a member/non-memaffordable, maintain the ber fee. YWCA for membership A basic adult memberactivities and community ship costs $30; youth (ages events and provide needed 12-17), $15; and registrant supplies for programming. (ages 6-11), $10. Taxes also Funds from The Friends of apply to some memberthe YWCA enhance proships. The YWCA Piqua gramming, support racial also offers supportive justice awareness activimemberships: continuing ties, provide for emergency membership, $33.03building repairs and $41.,03; and sustaining improve technology and membership, $42.03 or more.” more. Friends of the YWCA For more information, contribute $100 or more contact Leesa A. Baker, above the basic memberYWCA executive director, ship. at (937) 773-6626 or email Explains Baker “basic lbaker@ywcapiqua.com.

I CONTINUED FROM 11

STAFF FILEPHOTO/ANTHONY WEBER

Nicole Hanes discusses future improvements while standing in front of The Rec in downtown Troy.

The Rec enhances program offerings 2363832

BY NICOLE HANES Director of Troy Rec TROY — A new year hopes to bring about big changes for The Rec. Plans for an updated facility already are under way for the building at 11 N. Market St. A new logo, awning and fresh coat of paint to the front of the building are only a few of the changes in store for the recreation hub, known as an afternoon hangout for teens, though its offerings span across age groups. The Rec was established in 1941 by the Rev. A.M. “Pop” Dixon, a man

with a goal: to provide the youth of Troy with recreational activities. The young people of Troy still flock to The Rec for the same purpose. The goal for 2013 is to revive the spirit of The Rec and continue on with Dixon’s mission of providing a fun, constructive environment for children and teens. The Rec offers opportunities for students of all ages, including the Smart Start Preschool and Before and After School Program for students through fifth grade. Older students enjoy after-school social time, as well as activities such as basketball, dodge ball, pool and

video games. A goal of 2013 is to increase programming for the sixth to 12th grade population. Programs also are available for adults, including zumba, line dancing and ballroom dancing. All local residents are encouraged to check out The Rec — whether it be for a dance, birthday party or indoor soccer game. The youth of today are our future, and The Rec will strive to provide a positive environment for them to grow. For more information on The Rec, visit www.troyrec.com or call (937) 339-1923.


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Y offers bounty of programs for all ages BY SHARON SEMANIE For Civitas Media MIAMI COUNTY — Building a healthier community is key for the Miami County YMCA, which has been providing services designed to enrich the health and wellness of Miami County residents since 1877, according to executive director Jim McMaken, who oversees both the Piqua and Troy branches. The YMCA will host a 5K Run/Walk in Piqua on March 9, said McMaken, with proceeds from this first-time event benefiting the YMCA Teen Leadership programs. Joe Hinds is the newest addition to the Miami County YMCA staff. Hinds, said McMaken, has assumed the Teen Leadership role. As part of his responsibilities, Hinds oversees the Teen Leader’s Club, the Youth in Government program, operates the Richard E. Hunt Youth Center and oversees the senior center program. Hinds and his wife, Kazy, reside in Piqua with two of their three sons. In addition, the YMCA also will celebrate Healthy Kids Day on May 4 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Robinson Branch in Troy. As part of the Y’s commitment to strength-

• For information about the YMCA and its programs, call either branch at (937) 773-9622 (Piqua) or (937) 440-9622 (Troy). Individuals can also access the YMCA website at www.miamicounty ymca.net program and policy volunteers have provided to the YMCA,” he said. “The YMCA Policy Board is made up of well-respected, community minded leaders who understand STAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY and embrace the imporThe Piqua branch of the Miami County YMCA hosts a dive meet at the facility. tance of providing health and wellness opportunities to all members of the en community by community. Without the addressing critical gaps support and commitment in health and education, of volunteer program Healthy Kids Day is a coaches and instructors, free event designed to the YMCA would not be encourage kids and parable to provide many of ents to commit to keeping the programs offered.” the body and mind active The 223 W. High St. during the summer address has been the months ahead. location of the Piqua McMaken maintains branch since the 1890s. the biggest challenge facThe current Piqua ing the Miami County Branch facility opened in YMCA in the months 1963. The Robinson ahead will be “to continue Branch, 3060 S. County to provide updated and Road 25-A between Troy well-kept facilities for and Tipp City, opened up programming purposes, in February 2000. while navigating through For less than $2 per the effects of a tender day, a family can enjoy the economy.” benefits of the Miami “The success of the County YMCA, McMaken Miami County YMCA STAFF FILE PHOTO/ANTHONY WEBER said. For just over $1 per over the last 136 years is, Sue Peltier conducts a group cycling class March 8, 2012, at the YMCA Robinson day, an individual can join in large part, due to the the YMCA. countless hours that both Branch in Troy with new, state-of-the-art stationary bicycles.

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U.S. service firms grew more slowly in January WASHINGTON (AP) — Growth at U.S. service companies slowed slightly in January behind weaker new orders and business activity. But hiring improved, a bright sign for the economy. The Institute for Supply Management says its index of non-manufacturing activity dipped to 55.2 in January. That’s down from 55.7 in December, which was the highest level in nearly a year. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion. The modest decline from December’s strong reading suggests an increase in Social Security taxes that reduced take-home pay for most Americans did not greatly hamper the service industry. The report measures growth in industries that cover 90 percent of the work force, including retail, construction, health care and financial services. A gauge of hiring rose to its highest level in nearly seven years. Service firms added a modest number of jobs in January, the governAP PHOTO/NAM Y. HUH In this Jan. 20 photo, a woman shops at a Nordstrom store in Chicago. U.S. consumer confidence plunged in January to its lowest level in ment said last week. more than a year, reflecting higher Social Security taxes that left Americans with less take-home pay. Consumer spending drives about 70 In December, Congress percent of the economy. and the White House

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workers will have up to $4,500 less. Most economists expect the tax increase could trim the economy’s growth by about one-half a percentage point this year. Consumers spent more in December, according to a government report last week, though the increase was slower than in November. Consumer spending drives about 70 percent of the economy. There have been other signs that Americans have been willing to open their wallets. Consumer spending rose 2.2 percent in the October-December quarter,

up from 1.6 percent in the previous quarter. That wasn’t enough to bolster the economy, which contracted in the fourth quarter for the first time in 3 years. But the weakness resulted from one-time factors, such as a sharp drop in company stockpiles and a steep fall in defense spending. Service companies have been a key source of job growth this year. They have created about 90 percent of the net jobs added since January. Still, many of the new service jobs have been low-paying retail and restaurant positions.


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February 21, 2013

Housing market is on an upswing Expected to gain more momentum in 2013 BY DONNA COOK Executive Director, Western Ohio Homebuilders Association The housing upturn that took root last year is expected to pick up momentum in 2013 but headwinds along a number of fronts could impede the pace of the recovery, according to some housing economists. Nearly every measure of housing market strength — sales, starts, prices, permits and builder confidence — has been trending upward in recent months. In Miami County, we experienced housing start growth of around 30 percent over 2011 housing starts, and we expect to see gradual but steady growth along these lines in 2013. What has been a trigger for demand to return is that housing prices are on the rise. People are beginning to feel comfortable that if they buy a house that it will appreciate, not depreciate, in value. Other factors that bode well for the housing outlook include low mortgage rates, strong housing affordability, rising household formations and the fact that two-thirds of U.S. housing markets can now be considered improving, according to the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index. The Dayton Metro area, which includes Miami County and Springfield, have both made the list of Improving Markets with housing starts steadily rising year after year. Housing continues to be a significant contributor to the economy, creating not only construction jobs, but the ripple effect of home construction

means more jobs around the region. However, even with all the positive news about residential home construction, builders continue to face some challenges, including tight mortgage lending COOK conditions, inaccurate appraisals, rising materials prices and a declining inventory of buildable lots. Luckily in our area, we still have wonderful areas for families to build their new homes. Areas like Carriage Trails, Edgewater, Nottingham, Notting Hill, Stonebridge Meadows,

Farmington Meadows, the Greens of Springcreek, Hunters Ridge, Sycamore Woods, Rosewood Creek and Fox Fire all have lots available and builders are ready to help you get a piece of the American dream. If you still can’t decide, we will have another opportunity for you to visit each of these communities in our upcoming Parade of Homes, slated for April 2013. More information will be available soon at www. westernohiohba.com.

Bart Denlinger discusses the design of the homes built by Denlinger and Sons Builders Inc. Construction has begun at Stonebridge Meadows on Route 718 across from Concord Elementary School.

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Surge in home construction likely to continue WASHINGTON (AP) — The aftermath of the housing bust forced many homebuilders to dramatically scale back construction on new homes to avoid the risk of ending up saddled with a trove of newly built, yet unsold properties. But an improving housing market has homebuilders feeling more confident about sales, and that’s likely to kick the pace of new construction into a higher gear this year. The Commerce Department said that builders broke ground on houses and apartments last month at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 954,000. That’s 12.1 percent higher than November’s annual rate. And it is nearly double the recession low reached in April 2009. Construction increased last month for both singlefamily homes and apartments. And the pace in which builders requested permits to start more homes ticked up to a 4½ year high. For the year, builders started work on 780,000 homes. That’s still roughly half of the annual number of starts consistent with healthier markets. But it is an increase of 28.1 percent from 2011. And it is the STAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY most since 2008 — shortly A roofing crew puts a roof on a home on Shady Tree Lane near Troy in January 2011. The roofers were from KZ after the housing market Roofing and were working to get a new home under roof before snow hit. An improving housing market has began to collapse in late homebuilders feeling more confident about sales. 2006 and 2007. Steady hiring, recordlow mortgage rates and a tight supply of new and previously occupied homes available for sale have helped boost sales and prices in most markets. That has persuaded builders to start more homes, which adds to economic growth and hiring. David Williams, a homeMiami Valley Centre Mall, Piqua building analyst with Monday-Saturday 10-9, Sunday 12-6 937-773-0950 Williams Financial Group,

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says builders are very closely tied to what’s happening in the housing market and they’re going to build homes to meet demand, but not go overboard. “I don’t think, at this point, that they’re going to overbuild,” Williams said, noting that homebuilders are still holding back on building too many spec homes, or properties built before they’re sold. Having some spec homes can help sales, especially when a buyer isn’t willing to wait several months for their home to be built. Builders tend to put up more of those homes heading into the spring homeselling season that traditionally begins next month. Larry Webb, CEO of homebuilder The New Home Co., in Aliso Viejo, Calif., says he is building homes at a faster pace than a year ago, but he sticks to a sell-first, build-second approach. Overall, Webb is selling and building a minimum of four homes a month, at least double the pace of sales and construction two years ago. Webb believes the stepped-up pace of home construction will continue this year. But he’s holding on to the sell-first approach. “Based on what we’ve gone through in the last recession and the way we do business, we think we should primarily build after we sell homes,” he said. “We only build after we sell.” The company, which builds homes in California, has 10 open communities and plans to open another 14 this year. “Normally there’s a big drop off between

• See SURGE on 17


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Housing market sees double-digit increase in sales tunes of Ohio’s current homeowners but has also reinvigorated confidence within the ranks of the realtor community, the folks who have an opporMIAMI COUNTY — The Ohio housing market tunity to sit at the kitchen table with buyers is in the midst of a remarkable stretch of good and sellers as they disnews, most recently high- cuss the pros and cons of making the most imporlighted in 2012 by a double-digit increase in sales tant financial decision they’ll make in a lifetime. activity combined with a The profession has healthy increase in the proven to be a rather average sales price. For solid gauge of where the past year and a half, things stand in the marthe industry has gone about the difficult task of ket. In 2011, when housing rebuilding an important sector of the economy, one was struggling to find its footing, when it seemed that saw its very foundalike every step forward tion shaken by the onset was followed by two steps of the Great Recession. back, the Ohio It’s been a stunning turnaround, one that has Association of Realtors began surveying on their not only buoyed the forBY JENNIFER ZELLER Executive Officer of Midwestern Ohio Association of Realtors

perception of the current and future marketplace on a scale of strong to poor, with 100 being a perfect world and 0 being worst case. Initial scores were in the high 20s and low 30s. In other words, confidence in Ohio’s housing sector was severely lacking. Then things began to change for the better. Now that there have been 18 consecutive months of sales gains, it is not a big surprise that attitudes have shifted significantly, as reflected in research: • A 22 point increase in how Ohio realtors describe the current market, posting an index score of 54 in January 2012 versus 32 in January 2011.

• Posting a 21-point jump in the level of expectation for the housing market over the next six from where things stood in January 2011. A record high index of 63 was recorded this month versus 42 a year ago. And the profession’s home price expectation for the next year rose 21 points this month, reaching a record high index of 70 (compared to 49 in January 2012.) Laurie Johnson, president of the Midwestern Ohio Association of Realtors, said Miami County has seen positive growth. The number of sales increased from 681 in 2011 to 856 in 2012. The average sales price increased from $116,644

in 2011 to $129,059 in 2012, and the total volume of real estate sold increased from $79,434,498 in 2011 to $110,474,403 in 2012. Another encouraging factor is the number of days a house is on the market before it is sold. In 2011, that number was 141, which then decreased to 126 in 2012. In addition, Johnson reported that Lawrence Yun, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, estimates that in Ohio home values could jump 15 percent, and that he is looking for sales activity to increase more than 20 percent over the next three years. Yun expects the Ohio marketplace to outper-

form the rest of the country. Johnson did say that Yun warned there are potential “hiccups” that could derail the housing market’s full recovery — notably the ongoing fiscal battles in Washington, D.C., and the possibility of the mortgage interest deduction being eliminated or altered in an effort to raise revenue. However, realtors in Ohio have much to be optimistic about, and with historic low interest rates, will look forward to 2013 being a great time to buy a home. The Midwestern Ohio Association of Realtors represents professionals in Miami, Shelby, Auglaize, Mercer, Logan and Champaign counties.

Surge I CONTINUED FROM 16 Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Webb said. “We saw very solid traffic and we’re anticipating a very good first quarter.” The positive housing report, along with a steep decline in unemployment benefit applications, contributed to a strong day on Wall Street. The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed at a five-year high. “There is no denying that the housing market recovery is solidifying, and we expect construction activity to ramp up to the 1 million annualized threshold by the end of this year,” said Michael Dolega, an economist with TD Economics, in a note to clients. Dolega said the gains in home building helped boost construction hiring in December by 30,000 jobs — the most in 15 months. He predicts the

construction industry could add half a million jobs in 2013. In December, the pace of single-family home construction, which makes up two-thirds of the market, increased 8 percent. While that’s well below healthy levels, single-family housing starts are now 75 percent higher than the recession low reached in March 2009. Apartment construction, which is more volatile, surged 23 percent last month. It is now back to pre-recession levels. Applications for building permits, a sign of future construction, inched up to a rate of 903,000 — the highest level since July 2008. “The strong rise in single-family starts is a clear indication of builder confidence in the sales outlook,” said Pierre Ellis, an economist at Decision

Economics, in a note to clients. Confidence among homebuilders held steady in January at the highest level in nearly seven years. But builders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their prospects for sales over the next six months, according to a survey released Wednesday. In November, sales of previously occupied homes rose to their highest level in three years, while new-home sales reached a 2 1/2-year high. Those factors have helped make homebuilders more confident and spurred new home construction. But homebuilders’ are still warily watching the current standoff in Washington between President Barack Obama and Congress over several approaching budget deadlines.

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February 21, 2013

TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

Grow Piqua Now receives award Piqua looking toward another good year BY BETHANY J. ROYER Staff Writer broyer@civitasmedia.com

STAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY

Balloons, banners and flags greeted shoppers at the Piqua Roses store as the new location held its grand opening event. As outlined last spring, the area was due to see an investment of some $100 million in construction over the next three years. Yearto-date construction activity shared by Economic Development Director Bill Murphy at a recent city commission meeting

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PIQUA — It was only a few short months ago that Grow Piqua Now (GPN) was the recipient of the Silver Excellence Award from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The award was given for their 2012 Economic State of Economic Development report that also was presented to city officials and many others in spring 2012 that highlighted a favorable outlook for the year ahead. While this outlook consisted of both national and a world-wide view, it hit a little closer to home when taking into consideration the amount of growth and expansion experienced by the city over the course of the year. If the early handful of months into 2013 is any indication, there may be another award forthcoming.

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showed construction totals for 2012 at $11.3 million, with three expansion projects at Hartzell Air Movement, Industry Products Co. and Crayex. Murphy also shared news from local Industrial Door Company, a recent recipient from the Tax

Credit Authority for approval of a Job Creation Tax Credit (JCTC) at a value of approximately $45,000. The company plans to use the funding to hire 26 people, which should generate $850,000 in payroll. Construction wasn’t the

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only big news from Murphy, as the city also welcomed new retailers Rose’s Store and Rue 21 last year, and Buffalo Wings & Rings and Mulligan’s Pub at the start of 2013. If these expansions and additions are any indication, things should continue to be on the move and growing for the city as 2013 progresses. With GPN at the helm, the plan for the new year outlined by Murphy begins with marketing and attraction. This will entail a focus on advanced manufacturing, health care, alternative energy and logistics/distribution, along with the continuation of key forums and renewing efforts in the

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) program. The second item shared on the agenda will be to retain and expand by continuing a partnership with the Dayton region in the BusinessFirst! program and to work with major project owners and city departments on developing project-ready sites. A third emphasis will be on growing and nurturing, the latter with the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Edison Community College, and to partner with the city of Piqua, Chamber of Commerce, Mainstreet Piqua and the SBDC for a

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TROY DAILY NEWS/PIQUA DAILY CALL

PROGRESS 2013

February 21, 2013

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U.S. factory output falls on weak auto production WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. factories slowed production in January after two solid months of cranking out goods. The weakness reflected a big drop in output at auto factories that is likely temporary. Manufacturing output fell 0.4 percent in January from December, the Federal Reserve. The decline followed increases of 1.1 percent in December and 1.7 percent in November. Overall industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January comSTAFF FILE PHOTO/MIKE ULLERY pared with December. Jim Hartzell Jr., chief executive officer of Hartzell, speaks to assembed guests and Output In mining, the catVIP’s during a groundbreaking for a new 30,000-square-foot high-technology indus- egory that covers oil and gas drilling, fell 1 percent. trial manufacturing space at the company’s Meteor Street facility.

Growth I CONTINUED FROM 18 second annual Business Connect Program. Last will be to advocate and promote which will include the fourth annual State of Economic Development event, participate in the Automotive Communities Partnership,

and the Mid-America Economic Development Council and International Economic Development Council for the benefit of development locally, regionally and nationally. At the meeting, Murphy also announced a preliminary approval from the Dayton Development

Utility output jumped 3.5 percent, as a cold snap led more households to turn up their heat. Factory output, the most important component of industrial production, was dragged lower by a steep 3.2 percent decline in auto and auto parts production. The auto industry is coming off its best year for sales in five years, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise bleak manufacturing sector. Sales continue to rise, so production will likely rebound in February. Still, many factories outside the auto industry have been hurt by a slowdown in consumer spend-

ing and weaker global growth that has dampened demand for U.S. exports. Economists expect healthier output in 2013, partly because U.S. companies are sitting on large amounts of cash and appear poised to invest some of it in equipment and machinery. Economies in Europe are also healing, and growth in Asia is expected to improve. A closely watched survey of U.S. manufacturing conditions showed the year got off to a good start. Manufacturing activity grew last month at the fastest pace since April,

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Building

Coalition awarding a subcontract for $100,000 to undertake some of the GPN activities — an amount that also will help to offset some of the travel costs that the city has accrued. “It’s a real win not only for our region but for our own community,” said Murphy.

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Piqua Improvement Corp., or PIC, is a community improvement corporation as defined in the Ohio Revised Code. It has the ability to acquire property and borrow money. PIC also was the primary vehicle for economic development prior to the establishment of Grow Piqua Now. It was a conduit for the Fort Piqua redevelopment project and can play a similar role in future projects. Grow Piqua Now is a 501 (c)6 public-private not-for-profit organization. It was established in 2006 to coordinate the economic development activities of the city of Piqua, PIC and the Piqua Chamber of Commerce. As such, each of those organizations has representation on the board. GPN is primarily an MURPHY economic development marketing and attraction organization since it does not own any land or lend any money. It is funded annually by investments from the community (mostly businesses) and activities are prioritized each year by the board of trustees. — Economic Development Director Bill Murphy

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February 21, 2013

PROGRESS 2013

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In this Jan. 9, photo, Chevy trucks line the lot of a dealer in Murrysville, Pa. Ford, Chrysler and General Motors all reported double-digit gains for January as last year’s momentum in U.S. auto sales continued into 2013, according to reports Feb. 1.

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according to the Institute for Supply Management. Factories saw growth in new orders, hired more workers and boosted their stockpiles after two months of declines, the survey noted. Slower growth in stockpiles was a key reason the economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the OctoberDecember quarter, the first contraction in 3 years. Deep cuts in defense spending and fewer exports also contributed to the decline.

Still, economists expect that figure will be revised in the coming months to show a small increase. That’s because December trade data, which wasn’t available when the government calculated its first estimate for fourth-quarter growth, showed solid growth in exports. Economists at Barclays Capital estimate the economy expanded at a 0.5 percent rate in the fourth quarter. And growth will likely pick up in the January-March quarter to an annual rate of 1.5

percent, analysts forecast. A better job market could boost consumer spending, leading to faster U.S. growth. Employers added 157,000 jobs in January and an average of 200,000 jobs a month since November. U.S. factories have added jobs for the past four months. Still, unemployment remains high at 7.9 percent. And Americans are seeing smaller paychecks this year because of an increase in Social Security taxes, which could offset any benefits from stronger hiring.


Miami County Progress 2 of 4 2013