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EMERGENCY SERVICES • GOVERNMENT • COURTS

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

February 24, 2012 Section 3


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February 2012

PROGRESS 2012

Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

Striving to keep up with technology

BY MELODY VALLIEU tem, is more detailed and Ohio Community Media allows staff to make better vallieu@tdnpublishing.com decisions, especially on fire and EMS calls. He MIAMI COUNTY — In said dispatchers can now an ever-changing world of better know not only who technology, the Miami to send, but what type of County Communications equipment to send to a Center has kept up — if call depending on the locanot surpassed others. tion of the incident. Jeff Busch, director, County residents now said thanks to planners using Phase 2 cell phones who more than 20 years to call into 9-1-1 also can ago had the foresight to now be tracked by the create a single communi- CAD system within a few cations site for public safe- feet of an emergency, ty — one of few in Ohio — Busch said. in Miami County, the cen“Previously we would have ter has continued to keep to rely on someone else to call up with the times. us from a home or location Busch, who joined the near an emergency,� Busch center in September 2010, said.“Now we can locate them said a new CAD — com- pretty accurately. puter aided dispatch sys“It certainly gives us the tem — implemented in potential to get help to the December 2010 has con- right location faster and get tinued to improve services people the help they need,� he to the public. He said the said. new system, with an The Miami County upgraded mapping sys- Communications Center,

addition to the radio paging system that now alerts emergency responders, the new system also will send text message alerts to their cell phones. Busch said he believes this will help because responders will not only hear what is going on from their pager, they will have written information as to what kind of call it is and where the emergency is located. “It’s just another piece of technology that we are using to try to improve our services to the citizens,� he said. The communications center also has been working to upgrade its 800 megahertz radio system by adding new tower locations in Tipp City, West Milton and Brandt, and replacing equipment in Troy and Piqua. Work is expected to be completed in the next months and will drastically improve communication in low spots, or “dead zones,�

“It improves the ability to work with other counties and other jurisdictions in some cases, like a mass disaster situation.� — Jeff Busch BUSCH

where communication between the center and safety responders would sometimes be lost, Busch said. “It will give us much better communication with the public safety responders,� he said. In the next five to 10 years, Busch said the communications center hopes to be APCO-25 complaint. APCO-25 is a suite of standards for digital radio communications for use by federal, state/province and local public safety agencies to enable them to communicate with other

agencies and mutual aid response teams in emergencies. He said the standards have been set following the issues first responders saw during the 9-11 tragedy. Busch said with this system, the radios — no matter what brand is purchased — will be able to communicate with other radios in other areas during any situation. “It improves the ability to work with other counties and other jurisdictions in some cases, like a mass disaster situation,� he said.

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Improvements better serve community in emergency situations

which is funded by sales tax, is staffed by 25 employees, Bush said. The staff includes five supervisors, 17 dispatchers, one administrative secretary and a network administrator. The center works with six law enforcement agencies and 16 fire and/or EMS departments throughout the county. With that many agencies, Busch said consistency can be a challenge. “We have two full-time departments (Troy and Piqua) that are sitting in the station ready to go when a call comes in, and then we have volunteer departments where volunteers have to be paged out to respond to the station in emergencies,� Busch said. “So, it can be challenging.� In the next several months, Busch said, the communications center will begin implementing an addition to the CAD system called HIPLINK. He said in


Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

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New ambulance will add to Troy fleet Welcomes another firefighter to department BY MELANIE YINGST Ohio Community Media myingst@tdnpublishing.com TROY — With an increase of ambulance service calls, Troy Fire Department will add an additional ambulance to its fleet in 2012. The new ambulance will move one of its existing response vehicles to its reserve fleet. The city has budgeted $180,000 for the new ambulance that should arrive next fall, according to Troy City Fire Department Chief Chris Boehringer. “It’s just making our runs and staying safe,” said Boehringer about the outlook for his department in 2012. Boehringer also said the city’s fire department is in the process of selecting another firefighter to add the department. “We are making preparations in selecting another candidate,” Boehringer said. The department currently has two assistant chiefs, three platoon commanders, 30 shift personnel and two inspectors. The department’s responses to emergency calls have increased from 2010. The department made 3,966 ambulance runs, up from 3,725 runs in 2010. “The increase is due to the population increase because we are serving more residents now than before,” Boehringer said. Boehringer also said the city’s departments assist surrounding townships on their needs as well. The department also responded to 1,045 fires with 16 of those fires that sustained damages of more than $1,000. In 2010, the total amount of fire damage to property is estimated at $566,365. There were no fatalities due to fires in the city in 2010. The city’s fire department also will continue to hold its programs to provide community outreach. The fire department will continue to provide coupons for bike helmets for families in need. The bike helmet vouchers will be available at all three stations beginning in May through September and can be redeemed at Station No. 2 located at 1528 N. Market St. on the from 10 a.m to noon second Saturday of each month. The city’s fire department also is certified to provide car seat safety checks throughout the year by appointment. To make an appointment call the Fire Prevention Bureau, 335-

2227 to schedule an appointment. The department also will be providing the students of Troy City Schools’ elementary students a bicycle safety course and basic bicycle safety program called “Be a Better Biker” along with the city’s police department. The fire department will continue to participate in local events and provide its Fire Safety trailer that travels to the elementary schools and appears at Kid’s Day at the Miami County Fair. “We put all third grade students through the fire safety program each year,” Boehringer said. The Troy City Fire Department also will continue its “Firefighter Phil” program for Troy City, Troy Christian, St. Patrick and Miami Montessori students in grades K-5 each fall. For more information about the Troy Fire Department, visit its Web site www.troyohio.gov/fire/fire.html.

Relative quiet for Covington police department MIKE ULLERY/ STAFF PHOTO

Covington police investigate a crash that occurred in their village last summer. BY WILL E SANDERS Ohio Community Media wsanders@dailycall.com COVINGTON — For the Covington Police Department, last year was relatively quiet one, and it looks as though the upcoming year will be, too. But Covington Chief of Police Lee Harmon says the department is pro-

gressing and is more community-oriented than ever before. “We spent a lot of the time just trying to run a police department as effective as we can and watch our pennies,” Harmon said. “We are trying to provide the best possible service we can.” Like a lot of smaller police departments in the area, Harmon labeled the economy as one of the biggest problems

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facing the department. “Our biggest issue right now is funding,” Harmon said. “We are just trying to provide the best service we can for the pubic.” Harmon said a school resource officer program at Covington schools is working well and last year performed a mock accident for high school students last year — something they do every other year at the school. “We have a very active relationship with the schools and the kids and the administration,” Harmon said. “We work hand in hand with them. One of our biggest safety concerns are the kids at the schools.” Officer Steve Blei, who works within the schools, has done a great job in that role, Harmon said. The department has five full-time officers and three part-time officers.

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PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

Departments face challenges, changes Low manpower, low budgets add to stress PIQUA — Both the Piqua police and fire departments are operating on lower manpower than ever before due to budget constraints that are grappling other area departments, but they have courses of action to ensure their services do not decline as a result. For the Piqua Police Department, last year was one of changes, and as a result very stressful, said Piqua Police Chief Bruce Jamison. Those changes dealt with implementing an entirely new dispatching system at the Miami County Communication Center and getting well acquainted with it, but the department is also making do with less manpower than in years before. “Because of reductions to civilian staff, we installed a new performance tracking system as it relates to the various things the officers do in order to document what they do right and what they do wrong,” Jamison said. “It was a lot of work.” Thirdly, Jamison added, a new policy system was ushered in at the start of September. “It had a pretty direct effect on the employees,” Jamison said. “Any change is stressful for people, but the people in this department responded excellently.” With all of those three things in place, the Piqua

Police Department aims to operate at a higher performance now that all of the bugs have been worked out of the system and hopes to make full use of the means at their disposal, according to the police chief. But, the chief said like other area departments, several employees have been lost through attrition. Presently, the force has 31 sworn officers after two positions went unfilled following two retirements. “We are going to continue having fiscal challenges, but we are going to get through it,” Jamison said. “So now we are spending time tweaking and taking full advantage of the new systems” for better efficiency. He said he is “continually pleased and appreciative” of how understanding the people in the public are. “There were services we use to perform but we don’t anymore,” Jamison said, speaking of more public relations like tasks the department once had manpower for. “I have been pleasantly surprised and we get such supportive compliments. Now that we have this foundation built, we might look at new ways to accomplish some of the things the citizens deserve.” Piqua Fire Chief Mike Rindler said the coming year will offer little change for his department, but he hopes to create continued progress with more and additional

training in the wide fields in which firefighters/paramedics train for, whether it be water rescue or rope rescue. Last year, the department, which employs 27, handled a record number of EMS runs with 3,536 and fire runs, which were at 482, according to Rindler. Rindler could not determine why that was but cited an aging population as one factor, though it’s entirely possible there is no real reason. Like the police department, the fire department has also lost through attrition. The fire department did not fill two positions following two retirements last year, and presently has an employee deployed and has two others that are missing work due to workmen’s compensation issues, the fire chief said. “We just hope to provide the services the people have come to expect in Piqua, and that’s quick, professional service,” Rindler said. “We can proMIKE ULLERY/STAFF PHOTOS vide good service here in (Top) Piqua firefighters and medic unit on the scene of a fire call. (Bottom) Members Piqua. We provide the highest level of EMS that of the Piqua-Sidney-Shelby Tactical Response Team gather outside a residence as they prepare to serve a search warrant last summer. we can.” • RESTORATIONS

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Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

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County commissioners optimistic Last year’s budget balanced and in the black BY WILL E SANDERS Ohio Community Media wsanders@dailycall.com TROY — Miami County Commissioners faced a tumultuous year of successfully attempting to balance a budget in 2011, and while 2012 will present similar financial problems, commissioners are optimistic. Last year’s budget was balanced and in the black without the commission needing to dip into count reserve funds after cutting $4 million from the budget

since 2009. With financial projections related to estimated revenue, carry-over balance and anticipated expenditures all taken into account, the commissioners approved general fund appropriations of $25.48 million in January — an increase of about $1.4 over last year’s budget. Revenues this year are projected at about $21.72. Meanwhile, 2012 appropriations this year for all county funds, including the general fund, were set at $91.58 million while

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projected revenues are expected to top $81.73 million. In January, the commission elected Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien, who also is the chairman of the Miami County Republican Party, as commission president. Commission newcomer Richard Cultice was appointed to serve as vice president. In January, commissioners approved that nonunion county employees would be receiving a 2 percent raise.

MIKE ULLERY/STAFF PHOTO

Miami County Commissioners John “Bud” O’Brien, Richard Cultice and Jack Evans, l-r, conduct a session in the commission meeting room at the Miami County Safety Building on Jan. 24.

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PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

Red Cross offers help for 95 years Volunteers work to provide help, hope to those in need

PROVIDED PHOTO

The Northern Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has been assisting those in need for 95 years. This past year, the local chapter assisted with 37 area disasters. reduce expenses. The Northern Miami Valley Chapter operates two training facilities located at 1314 Barnhart Road, Troy and 207 W. Water Street, Sidney and provides essential programs and services utilizing more than 250 dedicated volunteers. Last year the Northern Miami Valley Chapter responded to 37 local disasters, providing on-site and follow-up relief assistance by helping children and adults with emergency food, shelter, clothing, medication and necessary health items. Chapter volunteers and staff provided emergency preparedness training to 4,541 individuals and disaster education was provided to 1,330 people. The chapter processed 175 emergency messages and counseling cases between families and members of the U. S. Armed Forces worldwide.

“Get to Know Us Before You Need Us,” and outreach program was presented to 1,920 local National Guard recruits and their families in preparation for deployment. Services to the Armed Forces are provided at no cost to families or military personnel 24 hours each day, 7 days a week. The Northern Miami Valley Chapter trained 3,792 individuals in First Aid and CPR with 660 taking Red Cross water safety courses. 181 students became certified in the Red Cross Babysitting training course. More than 3,000 youth were reached through educational health fairs and awareness campaigns. One hundred twenty-five preschool and elementary students received Scrubby Bear training that focuses on personal hygiene, cleanliness and the importance of hand washing to prevent

the spread of germs, with 820 students receiving Basic Aid Training. The chapter also was actively involved in community events including community disaster education, emergency prepared-

Miller added, “We are excited to continue our strong history of service and commitment to our communities. Recent changes will allow us to better serve our area and become more efficient in our response efforts as well as provide greater opportunities for volunteers, donors and community partners to become involved.” The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit www.redcross.org or join the Red Cross blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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MIAMI COUNTY — The Northern Miami Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross has been helping those in need for 95 years. Devoted Red Cross volunteers work tirelessly to provide help and hope to people in need, down the street, across the country and around the world. The Northern Miami Valley Chapter responds to disasters, help members of the military and teach lifesaving skills. The past year has not only been challenging for many organizations and businesses but also for the American Red Cross. Steps were taken last year on a national level to ensure that the Red Cross would always be ready by reducing costs and streamlining operations to better serve the public. The actions will reinforce the ongoing necessity for the organization to continue its pledge to be good stewards of donated dollars. The Northern Miami Valley Chapter united with nine other Red Cross chapters to form the Greater Cincinnati-Dayton Region in serving 36 counties in southwest Ohio and portions of Indiana and Kentucky. The move was made to provide a more efficient and effective organization with the continuing goal to better serve our communities and

ness training, health expos, fairs, festivals and parades. Chapter volunteers touched the lives of 50,000 local residents by providing relevant community services and programs at no charge. The Red Cross relies on volunteers of all ages and backgrounds to carry on its work. Volunteers serve as members of the board, disaster action team members, service to military family case workers, instructors, facilitators, fund raisers, office assistants, event organizers and more. The American Red Cross depends on the support of the community to be able to continue its work. The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, talent and resources. “An average of 91 cents of every contributed dollar is invested in humanitarian service and programs and we are very proud of our four-star rating by Charity Navigator,” stated R. Scott Miller, Executive Director.


Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

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Year promises to be exciting, nerve-wracking BY TROY MAYOR MICHAEL L. BEAMISH and SERVICE AND SAFETY DIRECTOR PATRICK E. J. TITTERINGTON

ANTHONY WEBER/STAFF PHOTO

The reconstruction of the Adams Street Bridge is one of the biggest projects facing the city of Troy this year. has been under construction and will be completed in 2012 is the reconstruction of the Adams Street bridge. As we write this article, the columns are poured and the beams are being laid across the river to connect north and south Adams Street. Currently, the project is on schedule for completion in October of this year. After that, the City will begin to use some of the license plate fees that were rescinded seven years early for repairs and renovations around the bridge area on Adams Street near Main Street and Hobart Arena. Finally, the design of the reconstruction, possible widening, and infrastructure improvements to North Market Street from Staunton Road north to

Foss Way will be completed in 2012, along with the first phases of the construction project. The result will be a corridor that is new, improved, possibly wider, and more traffic-friendly for our junior and senior high schools, as well as our business community. With these opportunities will come several challenges that we will monitor and fight during 2012. First, everyone has felt the effects of the current economic downtown and the City of Troy’s finances are no different. We will continue to monitor those closely, while we also continue to pursue economic development opportunities through retaining and expanding our existing businesses, recruiting new businesses, and pursuing

project leads both in the United States and overseas. Part of our financial stewardship is to make sure that our citizens, businesses, and property owners are paying their fair share of the costs – and no more. A recent study by the University of Toledo concluded that townships and their residents – particu-

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TROY — The year 2012 promises to be both exciting and nerve-wracking for what it will bring to, for and against the residents of Troy. With a U.S. Presidential election that could be transformational, we continue to be challenged by the actions of the State of Ohio, Governor Kasich and the State Legislature. We have met and will continue to exceed the governor’s mandate that we work better together with our neighboring communities, school districts, local governmental entities and other partners to consolidate, regionalize and share services so as to reduce our costs to our citizens. One project that would change the face of Miami County and Troy for the good is the possibility of creating a regional water authority with Piqua. While the study isn’t yet concluded, we believe that by coming together to combine our water treatment resources, we can not only save the residents and businesses of Piqua from spending millions of dollars to build a new plant, but more importantly, gain some much needed economy of scale in Troy’s water system, possibly avoiding water rate increases for our customers in 2012 and beyond. Another project that

larly large, urban townships — are, by and large, not paying the full price for road maintenance, law enforcement and other services they receive. As our residents know, if the townships aren’t paying their fair share, then cities such as Troy and our residents have to subsidize them through our taxes. That’s simply not right and we will work in 2012 to identify those subsidies and begin to correct them for the long term. A final challenge — and perhaps the biggest one we have and ever will face – is the idea being promoted by the State of Ohio to collect our local income tax on our behalf. While the promoters of this idea feel it would be more efficient and less costly, in reality, it would cost the City of Troy and its taxpayers up to $1 million per year if that were to happen. Why? Because in exchange for collecting our taxes “for us,” the State of Ohio would charge us a fee we currently don’t pay. So, the State would take Troy money with no guarantee of what we would get back in total collections, which

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has been used to pay for police, fire, paramedic, street repairs, etc. Customer service would be hurt because the State also does not audit tax returns, doesn’t pursue delinquent taxpayers, doesn’t provide preparation services to our citizens, and doesn’t even take appointments when a taxpayer has a problem. The result is that the City would have to keep staff to make sure that all taxpayers are paying their fair share or risk losing $1 million or more each year. Losing that revenue would have severe consequences for our citizens: either greatly reduced services such as police, fire, street plowing, and other services, or large increases in taxes, fees, charges, and assessments. 2012 promises to be an exciting and nerve wracking time for the City of Troy. Many good changes in terms of new and positive projects will improve our community, while we work diligently to make sure we continue to have the resources locally to keep the high quality of life that makes Troy unique.


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February 2012

PROGRESS 2012

Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

A new year brings many changes Piqua city manager and leaders focused on development and reconstruction projects for 2012 PIQUA — It’s all about vision for the city of Piqua and her leaders in 2012 as made evident by city manager Gary Huff. Huff came on board October 2011 with a plethora of changes and new opportunities for not only citizens but staff from new citizen engagement and involvement that will include a government academy this spring, to economic develHUFF opment, major projects, new city operations and changes to city commission. A newer element to Huff’s plan is a blog where he will post the latest happenings at the city level, keeping to an open door policy between leaders and the public. Commission meetings, held twice a month and can be viewed on Channel 5, will be available in real-time online, while a citizen survey will be mailed out this winter. In terms of the economy city leaders will continue to work towards the branding and marketing of all that Piqua has to offer, while continuing work through such

organizations as Grow Piqua Now, the Piqua Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Piqua. Efforts towards riverfront development will see the implementation of specialty shops, restaurants, business offices and more into the future, while drawing recognition to the community for these improvements. Major projects this year include a $4.5 million power public service center, continued fieldwork towards a $31.6 million water treatment facility, $2.5 million for the East Ash Street reconstruction project, $2.0 million for the Piqua hospital demolition and $1.4 million/$2.0 million for phase II of the power plant demolition. Further works includes the new financial software recently installed at the government complex, comprehensive plans for a wastewater collection/treatment plant, installation of Smart Streets, the new GIVE program (Generosity, Involvement and Volunteerism by Employees), an in-house employee medical clinic and an internal in-house intranet. For city commission changes have already been implemented with a new monthly casual work session that is open to the public and commission coffees that brings city leaders to informal meetings with department heads.

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Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

9

Construction part of many improvements for village

BY TOM MILLHOUSE Ohio Community Media tmillhouse@dailycall.com COVINGTON — After a year that saw the village of Covington accomplish a number of goals, including a major street project and a complete review of employ-

ee insurance, officials report 2012 looks to be another year of change as council prepares to hire the first village administrator. Mayor Ed McCord pointed to the completion of the Walnut Street reconstruction project, the revision of village employee

health insurance and the purchase of a new police cruiser among the goals that were met during 2011. Thanks to a donation from the Covington Community Chest, the village was able to provide matching funds for a grant that covered the cost to replace a lift station at the village park. Covington Village Council also passed legislation that will pave the way for future improvements, including the purchase of old railroad property from Habitat for Humanity with the land being earmarked for the bike path the community hopes to establish in the future, according to McCord. Other accomplishments cited by village officials include: • Establishment of a

tree committee. • Revising the village income tax ordinance. • Setting annual review dates for village services. • Approval of contracts with the Covington Fire Department and Covington Rescue Squad. • Reinstated the council police and street committees. I n addition to those accomplishments, McCord credited village employ- MCCORD ees and council with holding the line on expenses in 2011, and the result has been a much better financial outlook for the village.

“It has been a total team effort,” McCord said. McCord remarked that he is looking forward to the village making more forward strides this year. “I think 2012 is going to be an outstanding year for Covington,” McCord said. I’m confident that 2012 being even better than 2011. I’m optimistic that we will continue to make progress,” he said. Council members recently approved an ordinance that will break new ground as they created the position of village administrator. McCord said council’s timeline for the administrator’s position is to have a person on the job by July 1. Village officials have stated the time has come to hire an administrator because there is a need to

have a full-time person in charge of the day-to-day operations of the village. Council members noted that an administrator would have the expertise to secure grants for various projects, something the village currently lacks. McCord said council members all have full-time jobs and the mayor’s position is part-time, meaning there is no one to oversee the village government on a daily basis. Among other goals for this year include starting the planning process for street projects the village hopes to undertake in the future, including the reconstruction of Spring Street and improving communication with village residents.

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Approval of contracts with the Covington Fire Department and Covington Rescue Squad was one of several accomplishments cited by Covington city leaders for the 2011 year. This includes reconstruction projects, the revision of village employee health insurance and the purchase of a new police cruiser among the goals met, while looking forward to continued progress into the new year.


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PROGRESS 2012

February 2012

Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

New truck coming to Tipp BY CHRISTINE HOBBS Ohio Community Media

“When this building was built in 1978, everything was volunteer, nobody stayed here,” said Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Mark Senseman.

TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Fire Department is getting a new ladder truck. But the question is, will they have a big enough building to put it in? The current truck is 35 years old and lime green. When Tipp originally purchased it, the federal government was endeavoring to make all fire trucks lime green because the idea was green would be easier to see at night. According to Fire Chief Steve Kessler, that fell through because people already associated red with firefighters. The new aerial fire truck will be red. It cost $935,082 and includes a 100 feet rearmount platform and 2,000 gallon per minute fire pump. This purchase is funded by the capital improvement levy, which passed in May 2010. Since $1 million was budgeted for the truck, the city saved approximately $60,000. The new truck was ordered Jan. 20 from Smeal Firetruck Apparatus in Snyder, Neb. and will be expected for delivery between 300-360 days. However, the new truck will not fit inside the current bay. “The ladder truck is three inches taller than any of the doors in the building,” Kessler said. The levy approved $1.2 million for renovation of the fire department building. The flat roof section was built in 1959, and has not been remodeled since then. The other half of the building with the shingled roof has not seen any

structural changes or renovation since it was built in 1978. “When this building was built in 1978, everything was volunteer, nobody stayed here,” said Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Chief Mark Senseman. Since then, the city has continued to grow. As the population increases, the EMS and fire departments have grown their services accordingly. As they recruit more firefighters and emergency medical technicians, more gear and space is needed in the building. “We’ve modified as much as we can internally, with extra office space and some walls, and stacked gear upon gear until it just doesn’t work anymore,” Senseman said. The shingled roof has been patched four times. That hasn’t helped the leak in Senseman’s office that is right above the fire department’s security system. There is another leak in the fire department classroom, which has been temporarily fixed with a garden hose and a bucket. Another problem is the lack of sleeping quarters. Although EMS did not originally have overnight shifts, the amount of calls has required them to have someone at the station at all times. The ambulances now go out on calls an average of four times a day. The fire truck is sent out about once a day, according to Senseman. The city has hired a firm to make a blueprint for the renovation. Mark Schuster Architects have come up with three plans for the building renova-

tion, beginning with the least expensive option with the bare minimum, then a plan that has a little more, and then a plan that has everything accomplished. The plans are supposed to be ready later this month for review according to Senseman.

In each of these three plans there are three non negotiables that have to be included. Kessler and Senseman both feel they need a new roof, space for the new ladder truck, and sleeping quarters for the overnight EMS staff.

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Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News

PROGRESS 2012

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City welcomes new faces, outlook Healing in progress as council commits to progress BY CHRIS WITEOF Ohio Community Media cwiteof@gmail.com WEST MILTON — With five fresh faces joining village council and a new city manager, West Milton is getting a new outlook for 2012. The primary goal for the council over the next year is to create and maintain a respectful tone during meetings. Vice Mayor Jason Tinnerman described developing a respectful council as a slow “healing process” with no quick fixes. “However, things have continually improved over the last few months,” he said. Other council members share Tinnerman’s view. “Everyone respects each other’s opinions,” said Councilman Fredric Francis. Fellow council member Susan Willis agreed, stating that there’s “no screaming” with this council. From previous issues with the former city manager, who was fired by council in September 2011, to bickering among council members, a shift toward more civil interaction appears imperative for the city’s future. The council hopes that the improved atmosphere will make it easier to work together to solve the city’s problems. The council is also eager to work with the new municipal manager, Matt Kline. “We are now working under a completely different management style,” said Superintendent of Parks and Streets Ben

Herron, who until recently was filling in as interim city manager. “He is very professional and progressive,” he said. “Prior to the arrival of Kline, many street and parks projects were discussed, but not put into action.” Since his start date of Jan. 3, Kline has already cleared out the abandoned PVT building and brought many unattended items to the council’s attention. “He has put a lot of effort into helping the community,” said Councilman Ora Ashley. For being new to the job, the council strongly feels

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that Kline is more than capable of carrying out this position. Willis said that Kline will be a positive force driving the council forward and that she’s “looking forward to what Matt can bring to the community.” Kline is excited to work with the new council to fix issues with “old infrastructure” and “wastewater treatment,” but he is mainly looking forward with being an involved and active member of West Milton. “I want to become a true member of the community,” he said. The council also is plan-

ning to tackle other issues in 2012. Mayor Michael Coate II wants to lower the current water rates. Although the 20-year contract in place with the city of Troy makes short term solutions difficult, Coate and other council members want to explore “different options for providing the village with good quality drinking water” at a reasonable rate. “Getting a fair deal on water is one of West Milton’s most pressing issues,” Ashley agreed. Other concerns include cleaning up businesses and the areas along Miami Street, trash and waste-

water options, and issues with the budget. “We have to sift through all these ideas,” Herron said, “and set our goals to move forward.”

Council meetings are open to the public and held the second Tuesday of every month at 7:30 p.m. The government center is located at 701 S. Miami St.

“Everyone respects each other’s opinions,” said Councilman Fredric Francis.


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February 2012

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MIKE ULLERY/STAFF PHOTO

Firefighters and medics from Pleasant Hill remove the victim of a single-vehicle crash from his truck along Rangeline Road on in 2011. MIKE ULLERY/STAFF PHOTO

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Officer Wil Benson searches for evidence during an assault investigation in Piqua last summer.

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February 2012

Piqua Daily Call • Troy Daily News Piqua Fire Department Captain Chad Kennedy explains fire safety to triplets Ethan, Aaron and Isaac Waters as their father Jason looks on at McDonald’s Health and Safety Day in 2011 in Piqua. The boys, 7, had just exited the PFD Safety House and were meeting at the “family” mailbox, as they would in a real fire. The Waters family knows firsthand the importance of fire preparedness, they lost their home to fire 18 months ago. It has since been rebuilt.

Big plans for Tipp PD City hopes for new officer, updated vehicles TIPP CITY — Over the course of the next year, the Tipp City police department hopes to add a new officer and begin switching their vehicles to sport utility vehicles (SUV). In 2011, three police officers retired. Sgt. Gary Goulding left May 27, Ptl. John Paul retired Sept. 10, and Sgt. Dave Friend left Oct. 8. City council authorized the hiring of an officer to replace Goulding. Ptl. Tony Smith was the replacement. “We haven’t hired anyone else for those other vacancies,” said Police Chief Tom Davidson. The department will be appealing to council to fill another position due to the loss of two more officers. Sgt. Joe Mauro will retire March 20. And Ptl. Nick Creech left for a oneyear military assignment on Feb. 7. At full strength, the department has 19 officers. Once Mauro leaves the department will be down to 14. To make up for the lack of manpower officers are scheduled for overtime. When the overtime limit is reached officers are sent home. “The other alternative on those days we feel that you don’t need the extra personnel you just try to run short, which we hate to do,” Davidson said. Davidson feels that the lack of officers impacts the service the police are

able to give to residents. “It restricts the activities you can do and it has an impact on the service you can provide. We don’t like to do that too often but we are doing it more than we have been,” he said. Council did already approve the purchase of a new vehicle on Feb 6. Since Ford no longer makes the Crown Victoria, the new options for police vehicles are the Taurus or Explorer. Davidson felt the Explorer was the best option because it had more storage space. The Taurus offers about 17 cubic feet of storage space, while the Explorer offers 48-49 cubic feet. “With all the equipment the officers carry the more space the better,” Davidson said. Council agreed with Davidson and authorized the Explorer purchase. It will replace a current vehicle with a mileage of 100,309 miles. Davidson informed the council that after 100,000 miles is when the police normally encounter repair problems. The new SUV will cost the city $25,481, which is $1,481 more than what was allotted for in the 2012 budget. The cost difference will be offset by the $8,500 appropriation for equipment that was also included in the budget. In all, the total cost for the new SUV and equipment will stay within the $32,500 that was budgeted.

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Two persons were transported to Upper Valley Medical Center for treatment by the Covington Rescue Squad following a three-vehicle crash at the intersection of High and Bridge Streets in Covington on Thursday afternoon. The crash occurred around 1:30 p.m. None of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. Covington Police are investigating the crash.

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February 2012

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STATE OF THE STATE

State shows improvement from year ago He cited the broadband upgrade, aerospace breakthroughs taking place at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, and collaborative research and development efforts in higher education as among avenues for economic growth. “If we can train, eduproblems honestly,” said Kasich, a first-term cate, forecast, use our location, use our great Republican. “If you people, use our look at a probresource, our lem and you assets, we’ll see what be numit is, and ber one y o u i n d e si g n a solution, i t ’ s amazAmerica, ing how we’ll be far you the most can go.” powerful A few state in hecklers interAmerica,” he said. rupted the speech at one point, but they “I have no doubt. We have either left or were escorted the scale, the size, and everything that we need.” out without incident. Kasich said he has The broadband initiaOhio State tive Kasich announced will asked use new technology to open University President E. up the state’s technology Gordon Gee to lead an infrastructure, increasing effort among universities speeds from 10 gigabits per to dovetail resources and second to 100. The Ohio come up with ways to Board of Regents said the increase the state’s college state will invest $8.1 mil- graduation rates. After the speech, Gee lion to connect areas around the state with the said university leaders are faster network connec- set to meet with the governor in a week to discuss tions.

Governor speaks at Steubenville school on Ohio’s rainy day fund and job creation STEUBENVILLE (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich announced a plan to boost to broadband network speeds, introduced an award honoring courageous Ohioans and said shale drilling shouldn’t come at the expense of the environment in an annual State of the State speech mostly devoid of big initiatives. Kasich spoke for nearly 90 minutes in the auditorium of a high-performing elementary school in Steubenville, picking a blue-collar town he said reminded him of his Pennsylvania hometown to take the speech outside Columbus for the first time in history. He said Ohio has come far from a year ago when it faced an estimated $8 billion budget hole and was ranked 48th nationally in job creation. The state now has money in its Rainy Day Fund once again and is the top job-creator in the Midwest, he said. “We just looked at the

their proposal. “In the end, we’ve got to start thinking about Ohio and Ohio higher education as an ecological system, not as a series of speedboats out there racing around each other,” Gee said. Sen. Mike Skindell, a Cleveland-area Democrat, said that while he supports collaboration among the universities, he questioned Gee’s role. “To have the president of Ohio State lead that effort is kind of self-serving,” Skindell said. Kasich’s new “Governor’s Courage Awards” honored a woman who lost her son to prescription painkiller addiction, another woman who survived being a victim of human trafficking to become a social worker, and the family of a soldier killed in Afghanistan. The governor touted progress in his war on prescription painkiller abuse and received a standing ovation when he said he would declare a similar war on behalf of 1,000 Ohio teenagers who have been co-opted into prostitution. He also said the state needs to allow felons who have served their time to work certain jobs such as cutting hair or driving trucks that are currently

We just looked at the problems honestly,” said Gov. John Kasich. “If you look at a problem and you see what it is, and you design a solution, it’s amazing how far you can go.”

“ KASICH

off-limits. State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, said he supports the socalled collateral sanctions proposal one of the few legislative initiatives he heard in the speech. He called it “an uplifting and accurate recitation” of Kasich’s first-year accomplishments and Ohio’s assets. “Where I thought it was a little short, unlike traditional State of the State speeches, was on any specific legislative agenda that he wants us to pursue,” Seitz said. A handful of protesters, likely admitted to the speech on public tickets Kasich distributed through an online lottery, temporarily interrupted the speech about an hour and 10 minutes into it shouting “John Kasich is selling out Ohio!” Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston said troopers

helped escort out seven hecklers and that two left on their own. There were no arrests or charges filed. The ruckus came as Kasich was talking about drilling for natural gas in eastern Ohio. He said large energy companies flocking to the state amid the Marcellus and Utica shale boom don’t want to leave the state harmed. “We can’t degrade the environment at the same time we’re developing this industry,” Kasich said. Outside the school, which shares Steubenville High School, more than 100 demonstrators gathered some to oppose the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to reach Ohio’s oil and gas resources. One sign read, “Frack Off Kasich.” Others demonstrated in support of the Occupy movement.

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February 2012

State Continued from page 15 State Rep. Bob Hagan, a Youngstown Democrat whose area has experienced earthquakes a state seismologist says are tied to deep injection disposal of fracking wastewater, spent $800 in campaign money to bus in about 50 of the protesters. But he said he wants to work with Kasich on the issue. “Well, if he wants to do it safely then let’s get together,” he said. “Let’s get to the Legislature where these bill are passed to make sure it’s safe.” He noted that bills ordered a statewide drilling moratorium and disclosure of fracking chemicals are stalled. Shane Hanley, 47, a locked-out worker with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE:CTB) and member of the steelworker’s union, drove the 3.5 hours to Steubenville from Findlay. He and four others came to let Kasich know a bitter collective bargaining fight in which voters turned back a bill limiting the rights of unionized public workers would not

be forgotten. “The union movement ain’t going away and don’t forget that.” The day’s speech was peppered with Kasich’s usual array of off-the-cuff, sometimes puzzling remarks. He at one point said he “never looked back” when he left politics, presumably referring to his time in Congress. He was elected as a Republican governor in 2010. He also referred to people in California as “wackadoodles.” And he had no sooner told the emotional stories of his first two courage award winners than he added, “We don’t want to see those on eBay, ladies.” Moving the speech was a chance for Kasich, whose approval rating with voters is under 40 percent, to reconnect with voters after the collective bargaining debate. Ahead of the address, he enjoyed handshakes with guests and congratulations from supporters. On Monday, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern predicted “an extended speech with little in the

way of nouns, adverbs, subjects and predicates.” assembled Redfern reporters ahead of the speech to tout the role he says was played by President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and other Democrats in the jobs recovery particular in the automotive industry that he correctly predicted Kasich would highlight. Ohio unemployment fell to 8.1 in December, down from 8.5 in November and from 9.5 in December 2010. Kasich said he’s hearing from businesses that are excited to invest in Ohio again. “We’re alive again. We’re out of the ditch. We’re growing,” he said. Redfern criticized Kasich’s promotion of a Bob Evans Restaurants expansion last year that relocated the company from Columbus to neighboring New Albany. “It’s not about moving Bob Evans across town,” he said. “It’s about investing in American automobile jobs that help real communities like Defiance in a tangible, trackable, empirical way.”

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TDN Progress 22412  

TDN PDC Progress part 3 of 4

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