Troy Council approves moratorium on downtown parking fines


TROY — Members of the Troy City Council have approved a moratorium on parking fines for some time-limit violations in the downtown historic district during the months of October, November and December.

“This will be in recognition of the coming holiday season of events, and in recognition that there has been some impact to downtown businesses with recent road construction projects and road closures,” council member Lynne Snee said.

Council members approved the moratorium during their regularly scheduled meeting held on Monday, October 2. The moratorium will begin on Tuesday, October 3.

“The moratorium would not include violations associated with designated handicapped or thirty-minute spaces, parked vehicles overhanging the driving lane, or vehicles not parked within the white lines,” Snee said.

In other business, council members were also introduced to incoming members of the Mayor’s Youth Council. A large group of youth council members representing different Troy schools attended the meeting, assisted by Troy development director Tim Davis.

“I just want to say thank you to Mayor Oda, to Mr. and Mrs. Davis and Mr. and Mrs. Kerber for working with the Mayor’s Youth Council,” Snee said. “As a fifth-grade teacher and seeing those students year-after-year go through that program, I really appreciate the work and time that you put into that.”

Council members also authorized applying for two grants seeking Federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) through the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC).

If approved, the first grant would be used to fund a portion of the cost of the West Main Street/Stanfield Road Intersection Improvement Project, which would include the installation of a roundabout at the intersection.

“The current project estimate is $5 million, and the maximum grant award would not exceed $2.6 million, which is approximately 50 percent of the project estimate,” council member Bobby Phillips said. “If funded, the grant would be available in state fiscal year 2028 with construction extending into 2029.”

The second application approved by council members involves a $750,000 grant that would be used to fund a portion of the cost of the downtown Troy Riverfront Recreation Trail project. Plans include the installation of a new section of bike path running from the Crawford Street area to Treasure Island Park. Access to the downtown area from the trail would be added later.

“Approximately $260,000 of that amount will be used to fund the city’s only obligation for the project, for the paving of a new raised recreation trail to be installed along the south side of a portion of the river,” council member Jeffrey Whidden said. “Remaining funds from this grant will be used to offset the cost of the levee toe part of the recreation trail. The city is not committing any general fund resources to the levee toe portion of the project.”

“If we don’t have access to the downtown, then why are we doing this at this particular point in time,” council member Jeff Schilling said.

“Should we be funded for this project, we’ll be looking at grants to make those connection points over the next two years,” Davis said. “Our goal is to connect the east side through the downtown.”

“We’re trying to time it all together with the low damn head removal,” he said.

Miami County Commissioner Wade Westfall and his wife Susan Westfall spoke against the recreation trail project, presenting a letter to council members from Water Street resident Howard Wengert.

“Mr. Wengert, my wife and I are not opposed to the restoration of the river,” Westfall said. “We’re not necessarily opposed to a bike path; there’s issues of priority.”

“I do not understand how the new path creates a link to the downtown area without having at least one stairway from the street level to the bike path,” Wengert’s letter to council said. “There is a safe way of accessing the bike path, leading from the southeast side downtown to the main north/south bike path at the Conagra facility on Dye Mill Road.”

“As a member of the park board, this really has not even come before us, and I know it will be a park board priority to maintain this path,” Susan Westfall said. “There are many priorities that have been pushed down the road. The park office has been pushed down because of funding issues; I know we need bathrooms at Duke Park close to the football fields and the soccer fields. I would love to see something done at the skatepark.”

“There are other things,” she said. “This is leading to someplace that we have access to.”

Dan Foley, director of the Great Miami Riverway for the Miami Conservancy District, spoke in favor of the recreational trail project.

“From the Riverway’s standpoint, we hope that the council decides to try to get that money, because we think it’s going to make the whole riverway corridor stronger,” Foley said. “I think one thing we could serve ourselves well to do, besides the big system, is to create more of those arteries in our internal cities.”

“It’s been a long process,” Davis said. “It is a very long process, and this is just one piece of a larger pie that we’re trying to put together.”

“We’re following our comprehensive plan,” he said. “We talked about having no general fund dollars go towards this, and we intend to keep it that way. That’s why we’re applying for future grants for those connection points.”

Troy resident Paul Wick also spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting, requesting information on when streetlights will be back on along West Main street.

“It’s pretty dark over there now,” Wick said. “It’s just causing an unsafe spot in Troy, and this is our Main Street.”

“I’m completely for all this construction,” Wick said, “but now they’ve disconnected the street lights for at least two months now.”

It’s a part of the process,” City Engineer Jillian Rhoades said. “It’s because all of the overhead electric is being buried.”

New streetlights are part of the project’s second phase, which will be advertised for bids this week, Rhoades said.

“It probably will be towards the end of the project,” she said. “Hopefully, weather holds out and construction can start this winter, and then we can get the lights back on as quickly as possible.”

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