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Township Trustees— New approach for fire station bids

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Miami Township officials last week began advertising for a “construction manager” to oversee and coordinate bidding by sub-contractors to build the anticipated new firehouse on the south side of town, township Trustee Chairperson Chris Mucher reported during the trustees most recent meeting Monday, April 1.

The position represents a change in approach toward bidding the project that has thus far been unable to secure a full contract bid within the limit of 10 percent over the proposed building cost of $4.9 million. 

Voters approved a 2.4-mill 30-year bond levy in May 2017 to construct the new station on land formerly occupied by Wright State Physicians and purchased fromWright State University.

Instead of hiring a single contractor to oversee and complete the project, the township is exploring ways to work directly with subcontractors on individual aspects, such as plumbing, electric and roofing, Mucher explained.

Mucher said the township has also been approached in recent weeks by representatives of architectural firms in Kettering and Springfield, both of whom offered services related to moving forward with the project.

After meeting with both firms and consulting with the future station’s continuing contracted firm, MSA Architects, of Cincinnati, as well as a representative of the Rural Development arm of the USDA, which has oversight of the project, Mucher said that a plan is being developed to use a hybrid model of the construction manager approach.

“We are meeting Thursday [April 4] in Wilmington to work out the nuts and bolts,” he said.  

“I’m encouraged we’re going to get this moved along more quickly,” Mucher said. 

If all goes well, construction could begin in about three months, he said.

In other township business April 1:

Fire department gets new volunteer

Miami Township Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Altman reported that in the two weeks since the trustees’ last meeting March 18, the department had made 34 medical runs, responded to 13 fire calls and conducted three fire safety inspections. Of the 34 medical runs, “only three were not transported to a hospital,” Altman said.

Upon the recommendation of Chief Altman, the trustees approved the appointment of a new volunteer with the department. Nate Walter is a process engineer at Cresco Labs, Altman said.

Trustee Don Hollister noted that he understands Cresco has a program that releases employees to volunteer in the community.

Township buys Bobcat

Road Department head Dan Gochenouer thanked the trustees for “the recent equipment upgrade” — the purchase last month of a 2018 Bobcat skid-steer loader. The trustees approved an expenditure of $24,900 at their March 18 meeting to buy the four-wheel service vehicle.

“Operational-wise, it’s a jewel,” Gochenouer said April 1, adding that he still wants to purchase a “combination bucket” for the machine, which came with a “straight bucket.” He said the combination bucket offers more flexibility in picking up and depositing heavy materials.

Related to the Bobcat and attachment purchase, the trustees approved a resolution to increase the township’s budget line for machinery, equipment and furniture by $30,000.

Tending to cemeteries

Concerning the township’s two cemeteries — Glen Forest and Clifton — Gochenouer reported two burials of ashes since the last trustees meeting.

He and Chief Altman also set Tuesday, April 2, for a controlled burn of prairie grass at the natural burial area at Glen Forest.

Chairperson Chris Mucher suggested the township approve the hiring of a company to repair headstones at Glen Forest. He said that excess balances in the cemetery fund had in the past been put toward that use. Noting that there was about $4,000 currently in the fund, and repairs hadn’t been made since 2013, he proposed looking into the availability and cost to bring the previously hired business — Graveyard Groomer — in for a week. Gochenouer said he would report back at the next trustees meeting Monday, April 15.

Zoning  Board

There was no report April 1 from Zoning Inspector Richard Zopf, as Zopf was visiting family in France.

Trustee Don Hollister said Zopf has asked him to attend the next meeting of the Zoning Board, on Tuesday, April 16, to explain the trustees’ feelings on the zoning code for planned unit development, or PUD. The trustees last month declined to eliminate the township PUD designation, as had been recommended by the Zoning Board, and instead requested that the related section of the code book be revised.

Hollister said he plans to look into how PUD zoning is handled by neighboring townships, and compile a “best practices list.” 

DCIC contribution

Mucher also reported on having attended the organizational meeting of a local Designated Community Improvement Corporation. The group, which Yellow Springs Village Council is forming, is requesting that each participating governmental, educational or community group contribute $500 toward the costs, particularly the legal expenses, in establishing the organization as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and setting up its financial arm.

The trustees approved spending $500 in response to the DCIC’s request.

Next meeting

The trustees’ next regular meeting is 5 p.m. Monday, April 15, in the township offices on Corry Street.



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