Trustees settle first-of-year business
- Published: January 17, 2023
At their first meeting of the new year, the Miami Township trustees handled their first-of-year business, mapping the three-person board’s foundation for 2023. Items of business voted on for the year ahead were as follows:
• Trustee Marilan Moir was voted board chair, replacing previous chair, Trustee Chris Mucher, who was voted vice-chair.
• A mileage rate of $.65 per mile traveled outside the township by employees was established.
• A meeting schedule for the year was established, as follows: the board meets on the first and third Mondays of each month. Meetings that fall on a holiday are moved to the Wednesday following the holiday. Special meetings will be posted to the Township’s website at miamitownship.net and to the bulletin board at the Miami Township Fire-Rescue station.
• The board moved to begin setting contracts with Green Township for Clifton-Union Cemetery and with the Village of Clifton for snow removal and street repair as requested; each contract will be negotiated separately.
• The board moved to continue the appointments of several current Miami Township and Miami Township Fire-Rescue employees, including Fire Chief Colin Altman, Assistant Fire Chief Dennis Powell, Sexton and Road Department Head Daniel Gochenour and Road Department employee Brandon Morris.
• The board voted to appoint Richard Zopf as zoning inspector for 2023; to appoint Brian Corry to the Zoning Commission for a term to end Dec. 31, 2027; and to reappoint Geoffrey Garrison to the Board of Zoning Appeals for a term to end Dec. 31, 2027.
• The board voted to establish a pay schedule for full-time and part-time employees of the Township and Miami Township Fire-Rescue with a 5% cost-of-living increase retroactive to Jan. 2, 2023.
• The board recommended the following appointments for 2023: Marilan Moir, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commision and Climate Action and Sustainability Plan; Don Hollister, Clifton-Union Cemetery and YS Development Corporation; Chris Mucher, Greene County Regional Planning Commission.
Zoning fees discussed
Another item of business on the agenda, which was a motion to accept zoning fees for 2023 as they were in 2022, was stayed for the time being. Zoning Administrator Zopf recommended augmenting the fees associated with cases that come before the Board of Zoning Appeals, with some fees to raise depending on the type of case involved.
Zopf proposed that fees for administrative review, determining similar uses and boundary locations remain the same at $100; that fees for conditional uses remain at $150; and that fees for variances and temporary exemptions, which previously did not have specific fees associated with them, be set at $150 and $200, respectively. He also suggested that costs associated with public hearings for individual cases — such as attorney fees, recording fees and public notice advertising fees — be considered. He asked the trustees to consider the possibility of passing those costs on to those who apply for zoning changes with the Board of Zoning Appeals on a case-by-case basis.
“I think we should get legal advice before we spend a lot of time thinking about it,” Trustee Don Hollister said. “Is this allowed? It makes sense to me that if we’re going to have more expenses it needs to be in consideration, but it may not be considered fair.”
The Trustees agreed to consult legal counsel on the matter and return to discussion at a future meeting.
Altman nears retirement
Fire Chief Colin Altman said his schedule will change beginning this month as he nears his retirement, which is set for this July. Because he has accrued a considerable amount of leave time, he said, he will be working Monday–Wednesday each week through March, with Assistant Chief Dennis Powell stepping into his position on Thursdays and Fridays.
Beyond March, Altman speculated, his time at the station will most likely reduce even further.
“My initial calculations show that April and May will be two days a week and then in June and July, you won’t see me at all,” he said.
Altman, who was eligible to retire in 2020, has delayed taking his leave from Miami Township Fire-Rescue twice: He originally intended to retire in 2021, but that year announced he would wait until the summer of 2022, before extending his time at MTFR’s helm again.
The next meeting of the Miami Township Board of Trustees will be held Wednesday, Jan. 18, beginning at 5 p.m. in the MTFR community meeting room.