WM plans Beggar’s Night

By Matt Clevenger

For Miami Valley Today

WEST MILTON — Beggar’s Night will proceed normally in the village of West Milton, running from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31.

“We have not heard from Miami County at all about this,” municipal manager Matt Kline said during village council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

Council members discussed new trick or treat safety guidelines issued recently by the Montgomery County Health District. “They’re suggesting you hand them candy,” Kline said.

The West Milton Rotary Club, which usually provides free hot dogs and apple cider, has not yet scheduled its annual Beggar’s Night activities.

“It hasn’t been established yet this year,” Kline said. “That usually attracts 200 to 300 people.”

In other business, council members also discussed possible changes to the village’s current recreational vehicle ordinance, specifically requiring large RVs to be stored inside a barn, garage or other permanent accessory building.

“We were going to change it if it became an issue, and it looks like it’s going to be an issue,” Kline said. “It’s raised its ugly head yet again.”

The current ordinance prohibits RVs longer than 30 feet, higher than 12 feet or having more than six wheels from being stored on residential property within the village. Council members plan to change the ordinance, adding an exemption for large RVs that are stored in a barn, garage or other permanent accessory building.

“That was the intention,” Mayor Anthony Miller said. “It was never to penalize somebody for having a larger vehicle; it was just to kind of clean things up, because we had had several trailers that were in disrepair, parked in half the front yard and half the side yard.”

Council members also heard an update on the installation of new insulation on a water pipe running under the OH-571 bridge, and garbage trucks ordered for the village’s new trash pick-up program. “Our trucks are ordered,” Kline said. “They can’t keep up with building them.”

“We’ll get the bids out this month for recycling,” he said. “Waste Management will extend the month-to-month contract with us until we take over.”

New insulation has already been ordered for the bridge water line, but a newly-discovered curved section of the line may require additional material. “The insulation people are telling us we need more,” Kline said. “The pipe itself is fine, it’s the insulation; we are being told those bends are going to cause issues with the insulation.”

“We are bidding out the install of the insulation,” Kline said. “It will be advertised over the next couple Sundays, and then we open bids the second full week in October, with the work being done by December.”

Council also selected members Chris Horn and Jason Land to join Mayor Anthony Miller in serving on the village’s 2021 Budget Commission, which will meet on Monday, October 12, and discussed the possibility of raising municipal water rates and adjusting several other fees in the future.

“Our current ordinance is that a street cutting bond is $200,” Kline said. “We can’t repair the street for $200, because of the cost of asphalt. We need to look at increasing that to cover our costs.”

“That’s just one example,” he said. “We’ve never done anything to update the sewer tap-in fees; those haven’t been updated in years. These are things we’d like to discuss in October.”

Council members also discussed their upcoming trip to downtown Bellefontaine, which will be held on Friday, Oct. 23. Council members will take a two-hour tour of downtown Bellefontaine, and get suggestions for attracting new development to West Milton’s downtown business district.

“People have storefront buildings that they are just storing junk in, and they have no intentions of ever renting that space out,” council chairwoman Sarah Copp said. “We have about 19 that are occupied, and then we have six places down there right now that have nothing in them.”

“We want it cleaned up, and we want it to look inviting,” she said. “We want to build community pride, but we can’t bring any more businesses in if you’re not willing to rent your spaces out.”

Village council’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13 .