Council member Westfall states her position on IOOF Building


By Kathleen Leese

For Miami Valley Today

TROY — At the Troy City Council meeting on Monday, April 1, Susan Westfall, at-large council member, read a statement on her thoughts about about the stabalization of the IOOF Building/Old Miami County Courthouse and the manner in which the situation has been handled overall.

Westfall said, “I did not have an opportunity to respond to comments by the community after last council meeting. This statement is to clarify my position on the IOOF/Old Courthouse stabilization.

“The Mayor (Robin Oda) and Director of Public Service and Safety (Patrick Titterington) hired a lawyer (Kettering attorney Thomas Schiff) at a cost of $20,000 to taxpayers who released a statement of potential remedies for what he described as ‘being in default of the agreement’ from Dec. 22, 2023. Because we have a statutory form of government, the mayor and director of public service and safety are permitted to do this. As a council member, I was not informed nor notified of this information prior to its release to the parties it was directed at. As a result, it has been brought to my attention that Troy City Council as a whole, appears to be in favor of these actions.

“I want to make it very clear that I do not support these actions by the city administration. I believe the THPA (Troy Historical Preservation Alliance) has been very diligent in their efforts to raise the needed funds and move forward with the required stabilization of the IOOF/Old Courthouse building. This is evidenced by how much has been accomplished in a mere three months. When you consider that this building has been in disrepair for over 10 years, I believe this community should be wholeheartedly supporting the completion of this work,” Westfall said.

“I am supporting and encouraging the THPA efforts because it means that our Main Street will be opened, the local businesses will be easily accessed and a tax-paying tenant can be found for this building. There does not need to be a winner and a loser in this situation. We can all be winners. We can get on with being one of the most beautiful, charming and historic downtowns in this country, a place that people want to visit.”

“There is a new owner of the IOOF/Old Courthouse building, the THPA. It was bought from a willing seller. The previous owner’s circumstances no longer apply. I encourage the city administration to stop being litigious. This current restoration/stabilization is the right thing for this community. It’s time to move on.

Westfall added, “My hope is that the city administration allows the progress on this building to continue unhindered by more court battles that would only keep the street closed and prolong completion.”

Westfall’s comments were met with applause by those in attendance. There was no response from the council.

Additionally, Ben Sutherly, president of THPA, shared an update with council on the work being done on the IOOF/Old Courthouse building, noting that in addition to other repairs that have been completed, most of the roofing is now on the building.

“If all goes according to plan and we experience no disruptions from weather or detractors, you can expect to see the scaffolding start coming down on the front of the building, potentially next week,” Sutherly said.

“I am pleased to share that $807,783 has been pledged toward this project and we have an additional $50,000 in private loans arranged if necessary. Of the $808,000 pledged, $765,000 has been collected. We continue to be humbled by the outpouring of support that we have received from 253 donors,” he said.

Sutherly invited those present to attend a ‘”dine to donate” event at Haren’s Market on Saturday, April 6, and anticipate an additional fundraising event this month. Additionally, Sutherly said individuals can sponsor a brick for $100 through THPA’s website at

“Despite the city administration’s ongoing refusal to support the stabilization repairs as the fastest way to reopen West Main Street, THPA appreciates that the administration is now beginning to refer to the building as the ‘IOOF building/old Miami County Courthouse’ in recognition of its significant history,” Sutherly told council members.

The IOOF/Old Miami County Courthouse building has less than days from deadline for stabilization repairs to be completed.

The writer is a regular contibutor to Miami Valley Today.

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