West Milton proceeds with annexation

By Matt Clevenger

For Miami Valley Today

WEST MILTON — Members of the West Milton Village Council are moving forward with plans to annex approximately 95.879 acres of land located in Union Township.

Council members heard the first reading of an ordinance to approve the annexation during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, February 9. Village council will vote on the proposed annexation, which was approved by Miami County Commissioners last November, after a second reading at their next meeting.

In other business, council members also heard an update on the village’s search for a new municipal manager.

“We currently have 18 applications from the states of Ohio, Nebraska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Colorado, New York and Florida,” acting municipal manager Ben Herron said. “Eleven of those applicants have a master’s degree in public administration.

“The hiring committee is setting up to meet next week so we can start the process,” Herron said. “We’ll be looking at some pretty good applications; we’re pretty excited about that.”

Council members went on to approve a temporary advance of $1,200,000 from the general fund to the sewer capital improvement fund for the Ludlow Falls sewer project. The advance will cover a grant from the US Army Corp of Engineers, which reimburses local governments after projects are completed.

“We’re basically taking money out of the general fund as a loan,” Herron said. “The money will be put back into the general fund.

“The Ludlow Falls Sewer project is progressing nicely,” he said. “We’ve been lucky enough to be awarded funding from five different entities. They have us pay the vendor directly, then they reimburse us.”

Council members also voted to approve Mayor Anthony Miller and Vice-Mayor Scott Hurst to serve as members on the board of trustees of Stillwater Crossings. As trustees, Miller and Hurst will serve the remainder of two-year terms that started in October 2020 and end in October 2022.

Council members also approved Ben Herron to serve as the representative of local government on the Stillwater Crossings Board of Trustees and discussed plans to possibly hold the next village council meeting or workshop at Milton-Union Schools to allow for students’ annual mock-council project.

“The larger area would allow for us to have the mock council,” Herron said. “This room is so small, there’s just no way we could safely distance in here.

“Hopefully, the school can come through,” he said. “Hopefully, we can work that out.”

“This is something that is important for students,” Miller said. “It gives them insight into local government, and how it works.”

Council members adjourned their meeting to executive session, to conduct their second round of interviews to fill the empty council seat left vacant after Jason Land’s departure. Village council’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 23.