Troy considering outdoor drinking district

MIAMI COUNTY — The city of Tipp City was the first city in Miami County to consider implementing a designated outdoor refreshment area (DORA) in its downtown, and the city of Troy may be looking to follow suit.

Tim Davis, of the city of Troy’s Planning and Zoning Department, met with the Miami County Commissioners during their regular meeting Thursday afternoon to get input on how the commissioners would feel about having county-owned property within a potential DORA district in the downtown area in Troy. This outdoor drinking area would allow a patron of an establishment serving alcohol to take their alcoholic drink out of the building and walk around the established district. The drink would have to be in a plastic container, and the district has to be marked with signs. The district also cannot exceed 150 acres. Businesses within the district can also opt in or out of whether or not they want to allow patrons with alcoholic drinks to enter their premises.

Davis said the city is considering boundaries from Short Street to the Great Miami River, but they are currently undefined as they are in the early stages of considering implementing this district.

“Council hasn’t seen it, hasn’t weighed in on it,” Davis said.

The county-owned property that would fall in this district would include the plaza between the Miami County Courthouse and the Miami County Safety Building, as well as parking lots on Cherry Street and Water Street. The commissioners did not seem to mind the idea of the parking lots being included in the district, but they expressed concerns about the plaza being within the boundaries.

“We need to talk to the sheriff, as well,” commissioner Jack Evans said. Evans noted the sheriff’s office is responsible for calls for service on county-owned property. “(Until we talk to the sheriff), I can’t make a commitment, because when the fights break out and people end up with alcohol, he’s going to be involved. And it will happen.”

The Tipp City Council received information on establishing a DORA district in June, and council is expected to vote on legislation later this summer to establish a DORA district in its downtown. Representatives of the Downtown Tipp City Partnership and the Tipp City Chamber of Commerce spoke in favor of implementing a DORA in order to enhance tourism.

Also on Thursday, Miami County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Joel Smith gave his weekly COVID-19 update, saying that, of Thursday morning, there is approximately 433 positive COVID-19 cases. This does not include approximately nine of the COVID-19 cases in the Huber Heights area that overlaps in Miami County that the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has included in their website as also being in Miami County as there is a jurisdictional dispute over where those case numbers should be included. The county also has 57 hospitalizations, including one patient currently hospitalized at a Miami County hospital.

Smith said the Ohio National Guard finished up its testing in Miami County on Thursday after conducting testing at Piqua Manor and the Covington Care Center.

In other news:

• The commissioners accepted a quote from Motorola Solutions, Inc. and authorized the IT Department to purchase software licenses, project management and support to enable telephony communication between the Communication Center’s Emergency Call Works and the new Cincinnati Bell Technology Solutions voice over IP phone systems. The cost shall not exceed $3,778.96.

• The commissioners approved sending to the Miami County bridge levy of 4.5 mills for a period of five years to the Miami County Board of Elections to be placed on the Nov. 3 ballot for renewal. The commissioners declared their intention to the seek the renewal of this levy last week. The levy is used for the reconstruction, resurfacing, and repair of bridges within Miami County.

• The commissioners authorized Miami County Sheriff Dave Duchak to submit the a 2020 Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding Program Grant Application to the Office of Criminal Justice Services. This program will reimburse the county for inmates sentenced to state prison who could not be transferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the state reception center being closed. The total amount requested is $20,845.

• The commissioners accepted a quote from Syncromatics of Los Angeles, Cali. and authorized that company to install 18 Samsung Galaxy S4 Tablets in the Miami County Transit buses, as well as provide additional software. The total cost shall not exceed $47,470, which is being paid through an Ohio Transit Partnership grant.