By Sam Wildow
TROY — On Monday, the Troy City Council approved applying for additional funding for its West Main Street Corridor project, specifically for phase 2, which is coming in 2023. Phase 1 of the corridor improvement project is set to begin in 2022 from Cherry Street to Ridge Avenue.
The council authorized the director of public service and safety to submit an application to the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC) state capital improvement and/or transportation improvement programs. The council suspended the three-reading rule. The city will be applying for a grant of up to $600,000 to go toward making capital improvements to West Main Street for phase 2 of the West Main Street Corridor project.
According to the city of Troy, the West Main Street Corridor Project includes a number of street, sidewalk, sewer, and traffic control improvements, including “widening the street; replacing sidewalk and curb and gutter; installing a tree/curb lawn; reconstructing a traffic signal; replacing waterline, sanitary sewers, and storm sewers as necessary; and improving safety by upgrading traffic control devices, and implementing access management techniques.”
The necessity behind the project is that the corridor has been identified as a high priority location by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) and the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) due to the number of crashes in the area.
According to a report from the Streets and Sidewalks Committee, the project area for phase 2 is from west of Ridge Avenue to the Interstate-75 northbound ramp. The current pre-design project estimate for phase 2 is approximately $6.247 million with funding from MVRPC and ODOT for approximately $3.398 million. Phase 2 of this project is sheduled to begin in the summer of 2023.
According to the city’s 2022 tax budget, the city currently has $6 million budgeted in its capital improvement fund for phase 1 of the West Main Street Corridor project.
Also during its meeting, the council held the third reading of and approved an ordinance amending the general plan for the Troy Christian Schools Education and Performing Arts Facility planned development in the city of Troy.
The amendment to that planned development, generally located at 700 S. Dorset Road, will add a parking lot and expand the boundary by approximately 0.522 acres for a total of 25.384 acres. The 0.522-acre area added to this planned development will also be rezoned from single-family residential to a residential planned development.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Robin Oda shared with the council a program called Ignite 2021, which will be doing missionary work involving home repair in Troy, Lima, and Van Wert this year. Ignite 2021 will be coming to Troy on Sept. 16-18 with the mission to share their religious faith through electrical work, roofing, siding, plumbing, and more. For more information, visit communityrelief.net.
During public comment, the topic of “sanctuary cities for the unborn” returned as Troy resident Christopher Harshbarger continued to advocate for legislation to outlaw abortion in Troy.
Steve Henriksen, of Troy, asked for the council not to pursue legislation like this, noting an article from the Dayton Daily News where the ACLU stated plans to pursue litigation against the city of Lebanon for its ordinance establishing Lebanon as a “sanctuary city for the unborn.”
“I prefer not to use my tax money to support a sanctuary city,” Henriksen said. He said he was opposed to sanctuary cities in general.
Henriksen went on to say the issue of abortion has been debated since 1973, and he did not believe that Troy was going to change anybody’s minds.
“This country is great because of its differences, not because we force people to have the same opinions. So please, don’t go ahead with the idea of a sanctuary city. I don’t think Troy deserves it, and I don’t think we can afford the resulting lawsuits,” Henriksen said.
Harshbarger spoke after Henriksen on Monday and continued to advocate for the city of Troy to adopt sanctuary city legislation. He agreed that city would face litigation if it adopted sanctuary city legislation, adding that he has spoken with legal entities to help.
“At the end of the day, I don’t care,” Harshbarger said. He spoke about Mark Lee Dickson, founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, a Texas-based group, possibly coming to Troy to speak about this initiative. He said that Dickson is working with 39 other cities to try and pass legislation outlawing abortion.
“I’m just trying to do the next right thing,” Harshbarger said. “And until I get from the city of Troy that you’re not going to take up this issue, I’m going to be here, trying to do the next right thing.”
The council’s next regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Aug. 2 in council chambers at City Hall, located at 100 S. Market St.