Smoking banned on county property

By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

TROY — The Miami County Board of Commissioners approved the adoption of a tobacco use/smoking policy during its regular meeting Tuesday.

The policy, which is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2021, will prohibit all tobacco use on Miami County-owned properties. This includes cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and all vaping methods.

“I know this is going to be difficult for some, and I can certainly appreciate that, but I think it’s something we need to do,” said Commissioner Ted Mercer.

Commissioners also authorized Worksite Wellness Program Services for a nicotine cessation program for county employees who wish to quit smoking. This program will be paid for by the county.

Commissioners authorized the Miami County treasurer to file initial articles of incorporation to enable the formation of the Miami County Community Improvement Corporation and name a board of directors. This will serve as a land re-utilization corporation.

“I believe this type of organization, as a CIC, formed as a land re-utilization corporation, does not mean it will need to be a land bank,” said Director of the Miami County Department of Development Rich Osgood. “I think it’s important to point out that the board of directors will have discretion to be able to exercise programming for economic development purposes and that discretion will be memorialized in the strategic plan, code of regulations that will be adopted, and their business practices.”

Osgood said the programming potential for a county-wide CIC includes business development and attraction, along with workforce development, retention and expansion.

“I think this is just another example of Miami County trying to add some additional fuel to the economic engine here in the county,” said Commissioner Ted Mercer.

Commissioners signed an LPA Federal Local-LET project agreement for the design and construction of the Troy-Sidney Road Bridge replacement.

According to Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp, this project will be partially funded through the Miami County Bridge Levy. In total, $50,000 of the project cost will come from the local funding, with $500,000 coming from federal funding.

Kevin Harlan, the newly-appointed president of Premier Health’s Upper Valley Medical Center, was in attendance Tuesday to introduce himself to the board of commissioners.

Harlan joined UVMC on Sept. 7 of this year following the retirement of Tom Parker at the end of July.

Harlan has worked in health care for nearly 39 years, most recently serving as president and CEO of the St. Marys-based Grand Lake Health System for 15 years.

The next regular meeting of Miami County Commissioners, scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 1, has been canceled. The commissioners will be hosting a Courthouse Plaza Renovation Dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting on this date.

“Lunch on the Lawn” is set from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Presentations and a ribbon cutting will begin at noon, with the police memorial re-dedication beginning at 12:30 p.m.

A public family friendly event begins at 5 p.m. on and around the Courthouse Plaza. There will be bands, food trucks and non-profit displays.