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Following a meeting with Village Council member Carmen Brown and Planning Commission member Scott Osterholm, Greene County Commissioner Rick Perales led the charge to replace the old stop signs at the bike crossing at Ellis spur — the location where village resident Isaac Powers, 15, was fatally struck by a vehicle on July 4. A small memorial, shown at left, still sits at the intersection. (Photo by Reilly Dixon)

Township trustees support Polecat Road speed change

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At a regular meeting of the Miami Township Trustees on Monday, Aug. 21, Village Planning Commission member Scott Osterholm spoke before the trustees on a plan to request that Greene County change the speed limit on Polecat Road to 35 mph outside Village limits near Ellis Park, on a stretch of road located within Miami Township.

Currently, the speed limit in that area is 55 mph.

As Osterholm stated before trustees, and later that same evening before Village Council, the desired speed limit change was spurred by a fatal crash in which bicyclist Isaac Powers, 15, was killed July 4 when crossing Polecat Road toward Ellis Park from the intersecting bike path spur. Osterholm asked that the trustees support the speed limit change.

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“I wanted to come here since it’s out in your area, and you have a right to know what’s going on,” Osterholm said. “And with your blessing, I’m planning on getting ahold of [Greene County Engineer] Stephanie Goff.”

Interim Fire Chief Denny Powell suggested that Osterholm also ask that a “Reduced Speed Ahead” sign be installed north of the park, so that those heading southbound toward village limits can anticipate a speed limit change from 55 mph to 35 mph.

“If you have a warning at the top of the hill, that’s plenty far in advance of where you’re suggesting,” Powell said.

The Trustees unanimously voted to support the effort, and noted that they would be willing to write a letter of support to the county if it is requested.

Osterholm and Village Council member Carmen Brown have already worked to replace the stop signs on the bike path, which were previously faded.

Fire/EMS report

Interim Chief Powell reported that Miami Township Fire-Rescue had responded to six fire calls and 35 EMS calls since the last regular meeting of the trustees.

The recent fire at Hawthorne Apartments, which destroyed eight units and caused a further three to experience electrical malfunction, resulting in those 11 being condemned by a state fire marshal, is still under investigation, Powell said.

“It’s going to sit that way for at least the next week or so,” he said. “That’s all I can really say about where we are with that.”

He added that the blaze was an “extremely complicated fire,” but said he was pleased with the work of firefighters from MTFR and neighboring agencies in responding to the emergency.

Powell also reported that, due to scheduling changes within the department and the departure of one employee, he is seeking to fill a few part-time relief positions at MTFR.

“I have no flush room to be able to bring anybody in without incurring overtime,” he said. “And obviously we’ve talked about the sensitivity of the budget, and so I’m going to start working on that this week.”

He also noted that two employees are currently on leave due to injury.

The trustees passed a resolution to reclassify Brian Burnett, previously a part-time employee, as a full-time firefighter/EMT.

Cemetery and road report

Trustee Chris Mucher — filling in for Cemetery Sexton and Road Department Head Dan Gochenour — reported that Glen Forest Cemetery had recently held its first inurnment in its columbarium. He added that six additional columbarium niches have been sold in the last month.

Gochenour had requested that, in his absence from the meeting, the trustees authorize the purchase of a new trailer; Mucher communicated that Gochenour was concerned the current trailer, which is used to haul landscaping equipment, does not have an adequate weight capacity.

The trustees approved the purchase of a new trailer at a projected cost of $6,950.

BZA update

Trustee Chair Marilan Moir reported that Board of Zoning Appeals, or BZA, member Barbara Krabec has resigned from the board, citing personal health as the reason for the resignation. Moir said the BZA currently has two alternates, one of whom can fill the position.

Because of the Monday, Sept. 4, Labor Day holiday, the next meeting of the Miami Township Trustees will be held Wednesday, Sept. 6, 5 p.m., in the MTFR community meeting room.

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