West Milton plans park renovations

By Matt Clevenger

For the Miami Valley Today

WEST MILTON — The village of West Milton has announced plans for renovations to the sidewalks and retaining walls at the West Milton Municipal Park.

The renovations would cost approximately $95,000, the majority of which would be funded through a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Nutureworks program. The village is still in the process of applying for the Natureworks grant; the grant will be awarded in fall of 2022 and the project would probably be completed sometime in 2023.

“The current retaining wall is falling down,” Service Director Ben Herron said during this week’s village council meeting. “It’s in pretty bad shape.”

“The current steps and the sledding hill will be fine,” Herron said. “That’s a non-sledding area anyway.”

The planned renovations would replace the existing retaining wall and add a sloped sidewalk with curves and terraces. The new sidewalk will also comply with standards established by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

With the Natureworks grant, the village would only pay for 25% of the project’s total cost. The village was recently awarded a similar grant, which was used to replace playground equipment at the park.

“This will allow us to greatly improve the appearance of the park and make it more functional, as well as repairing the retaining wall,” Municipal Manager Jeff Sheridan said.

In other business, village council members also approved a contract with Pittsburg Tank Maintenance Incorporated of Henderson, Kentucky for repairs to the village’s north water tower. The total cost of the repairs is not to exceed $83,000.

Village council members also approved the purchase of body-worn cameras for the West Milton Police Department. The cameras will be purchased through a lease-to-own program, and the village will be reimbursed for the $22,605 purchase price through a state grant secured by Police Chief Doyle Wright.

“This is a grant that the chief and his department were able to put together,” Sheridan said. “I think that’s a huge safety issue and a great addition.”

The grant will provide one camera for each member of the West Milton Police Department. The system will also use cloud-based storage so that the village does not have to maintain any servers or archives.

“We have to purchase up front, and then we get reimbursed once they’re in service,” Doyle said.

Council members also discussed the upcoming kick-off for the village’s comprehensive plan and the annual municipal government open house. “On Monday and Tuesday, we will have our kick-off for our comprehensive plan,” Sheridan said. “Our consultant will be in town for a couple of days.”

“This is something we’ve been working on for quite a long time,” he said.

The village will host its annual government open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the municipal building on Monday, May 15. “Monday night is the village open house,” Sheridan said. “From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., we’re doing hot dogs on the grill. We’ll feed you.”

Council also thanked the Girl Scouts for their help planting flowers downtown. “Thank you for doing that,” council member Sarah Copp said. “That is a huge help, and they look really pretty.”

Council also discussed the upcoming Third Thursday events planned for downtown. “The first Third Thursday is May 19,” Copp said. “On Thursday we’ll have a band down there called Triple Nickel, they’re a great band. Then we’ll have three food trucks down there; Buckeye Burger, El Diablo Grill and then the third one is kind of up in the air right now.”

“It should be a really great time,” Copp said. “It will be a fun evening; it’s from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday night.”

Council members adjourned their meeting to enter an executive session. Village council’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24.