Year in Review | Miami Towship
- Published: January 6, 2022
• After a number of years in which Trustee Chris Mucher served as president/chair of the three-person board, Trustee Don Hollister became chairperson during the group’s first meeting of the new year.
• Miami Township Fire-Rescue Chief Colin Altman, who became eligible for retirement in summer 2020 but decided to serve another year, announced in January that he would wait until mid-July 2022 to take his leave.
• Newly installed Greene County Prosecutor David Hayes attended the trustees’ Jan. 20 meeting and announced that former county Prosecutor Stephen Haller, who had retired from that position, would be returning to the prosecutor’s office as chief of the legal division effective Feb. 1. The new appointment made Haller the direct contact for all townships in the county regarding their legal matters.
• After the announcement in December 2020 that the former firehouse on Corry Street would be sold to locally based comedian Dave Chappelle’s holding company for a proposed comedy club and restaurant, the final closing took place in March. But an issue between the Township and the Yellow Springs Development Corporation, which facilitated the sale, arose over utility costs and other fees that accumulated in the three months between December and the final closing in March. After legal representatives of both groups met in the spring, Mucher reported at a June trustees meeting that the disagreement had been resolved. The Township would receive $380,000, and the YSDC would receive $33,593.50 from the sale’s net proceeds of $413,493.50.
The reported sale price of the station was $424,000.
• The trustees returned to in-person meetings in June, 15 months after the pandemic lockdown began. The meetings also represented their first in the new fire station at the corner of Xenia Avenue and Herman Street, where the township offices are now located.
• On June 30, the Miami Township Board of Zoning Appeals, or BZA, met to consider requests from the Agraria Center for Regenerative Practice to rent out their historic barn, as well as their office meeting room, to community groups and individuals for various activities. After a three-hour hearing, which included supportive testimony from neighbors, academics, community leaders and comedian Dave Chappelle, the BZA denied Agraria’s barn request, but allowed rental of the office meeting room for no more than 12 times a year.
• The BZA met again in September to hear a conditional use request from Steve Wirrig to host four shows in October by Dave Chappelle at the Wirrig family pavilion off Meredith Road. The request was approved, but the shows didn’t occur.
• Also in September, Trustee Don Hollister hosted a Saturday morning meeting to gather public input about how best to spend about $130,000 in funds allocated through the federal American Recovery Plan, or ARP, related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The trustees had learned over the summer that the township would receive the money in two payments spread out over two years.
Suggestions for its use included supporting the installation of broadband in the township, the purchase of COVID tests and the extension of water and sewer service, the last of which the Township has no means to do. In addition, Home, Inc, has requested $30,000 to $50,000 as seed money for a proposed senior housing project; and the Community Foundation has asked for another $5,000 to go toward continuing rent relief. Trustee Chris Mucher has said that he also anticipates Miami Township Fire-Rescue could receive a substantial amount of the funds for personnel and operating costs related to the pandemic. The trustees continued to discuss the issue through the fall, and no decisions had been made by the end of the year.
• With two seats up for election on the November ballot, incumbent Don Hollister announced his intention to run for re-election, and local residents Marilan Moir, Dino Pallotta and Denise Swinger also announced their candidacies. Zo Van Eaton Meister filed a petition to run, but pulled out of the race, citing a potential conflict with her police officer husband’s application to fill the Yellow Spring police chief vacancy. Longtime Trustee Mark Crockett opted not to seek another term.
Voters chose Hollister and Moir. A biology teacher, Moir will be the first woman to hold the office within memory.
• Crockett was honored at the Dec. 6 trustees meeting for his 20 years of service. His fellow trustees presented him with a plaque, a pen and a card, and shared cake and eggnog with everyone in attendance.