By Matt Clevenger
TROY — Members of the Troy City Council heard an update on the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance (THPA)’s progress on repairs to the property located at 118-119 W. Main St., formerly known as the Tavern Building, during their regularly scheduled meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 16.
The THPA purchased the building under a court-mediated settlement just over three weeks ago, THPA President Ben Sutherly said during the public comment portion of Tuesday’s meeting. Under the agreement, the THPA must complete stabilization work by April 30.
“We are obligated as part of that settlement agreement to complete stabilization work to the building by April 30 so that West Main Street can re-open in front of the building
“Much of the work that is being done will be largely invisible to the public,” Sutherly said. “The majority of it will be focused on the roofs of both buildings. You’ll see the damaged parapet that forced the closure of the sidewalk four years ago being repaired, and roof repairs to the courthouse portion in the back, but a lot of the work will be difficult to see.”
The THPA is currently seeking pledges to help fund repairs, Sutherly said, and has already received more than 60 pledges so far.
“We are in high-gear in terms of fundraising,” he said. “We’re extremely grateful for the response that we are seeing. “
“An anonymous donor has put forth a $300,000 challenge grant, and that has generated a great response,” Sutherly said. “While we will likely not know the project’s exact cost for a couple more weeks, we are confident that we will raise the funds necessary to complete the project.”
Sutherly also answered questions from several council members, who asked about future uses of the building and why the THPA purchase was not considered earlier.
“We have had considerable interest in the building, and have already shown it to a few parties both public and private,” Sutherly said.
“We didn’t have the option to purchase the building two and a half years ago,” he said. “We’re focused on going forward. We can all go back to what could or should have happened two or three years ago, and I think everybody around this room probably should do some soul-searching on that, but we’re focused on going forward.”
Sutherly said the THPA would also like to clarify the name used to refer to the building.
“The building has been called by a lot of names over the last four years, not all of them appropriate to state in a public meeting,” he said. “One name frequently used to describe it is the Tavern Building, which was the name of a bar that was located in the building in the fairly recent past.”
“As the new owner of the building, the THPA would like to request that the city of Troy and the community adopt a new name for the building; the IOOF Building/Old Miami County Courthouse, or if you want to shorten it, simply the IOOF Building,” Sutherly said.
“Whether intended or not, calling the building the Tavern Building demeans it’s historical significance,” he said. “The building is eligible for the National Register, and we think it’s due for a little bit of respect.”
“Also, I chair the board of the Overfield Tavern Museum,” he said. “Calling the building on West Main Street the Tavern Building has created some confusion.”
In other business, council members also saw a presentation on the Miami Conservancy District (MCD) by MCD General Manager MaryLynn Lodor, and approved the re-appointment of five current members of the Troy Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) including Brad Bixler, Joseph Graves, Gary Fischer, Ed Westmeyer and Kathy Vukovic. Council members also approved the re-appointment of current Troy Human Relations Commission members Marvin Major and Todd Severt.
Council members also adopted a resolution authorizing the recreation board to seek bids for the operation of concessions for the softball and football fields at Paul G. Duke Park, and a resolution deferring loan payments for the city’s community development block grant small business development loans made to properties in the downtown historic district, for a three-month period.
Council members adopted a resolution to advertise seeking proposals for a contract for design and construction services on the water treatment valve replacement project, at a cost not to exceed $250,000, and adopted an ordinance releasing mortgage liens for a property located at 115 W. Water St. for a loan through the city’s exterior home repair program. The loan has been paid in full.
Council members also voted to adopt the 2024 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, and heard comments from council member Samuel Pierce regarding the 2024 MLK March held on Monday, Jan. 15.
“I just wanted to thank the planners of the MLK Day for all the work that they did,” Pierce said. “The march turned out well; thank you for your work.”