Township Administrator Jeff Wright previews what’s ahead
By Chuck Gibson
MIAMI TOWNSHIP, CLERMONT COUNTY – When Jeff Wright, Miami Township Administrator, begins talking about what 2020 will look like for Miami Township, he cites three distinct areas of discussion. He refers to the first one as “new commercial business” and quickly dives in touting what is happening already.
“One that recently opened is Christ Hospital Doctors office on State Route 28,” said Wright. “While it is not a hospital, it is a very robust center. It has 24 exam rooms, clinical office rooms, a testing lab, a physical therapy suite. It’s more than just a doctor’s office.”
Located right across S.R. 28 from Kohl’s the newly constructed building is 15,000 square feet.
New 15,000 sq. ft. Christ Hospital Medical Center in Miami Township (Photo-Chuck Gibson)
Wright noted medical services are an area where Miami Township residents have been underserved. This serves residents while also creating jobs. Another newly constructed building in the 45140 zip code of the township is the new Edward Jones Investment business opened by Joe Kuethe on Branch Hill-Guinea Pike in November.
Wright also saw the opening of Mezedes Restaurant in the old Pizza Tower location along with Satco Inc. moving into existing facilities on Wards Corner Road as great additions for economic development during 2020.
Satco manufactures air cargo equipment and benefits from a State of Ohio job creation incentive with the addition of about 75 new jobs. Plans were just submitted for approval by the township for new construction of a Wings-n-Rings to open behind Mike’s Car Wash in 2020. Mike’s Car Wash is also a proud new addition serving Miami Township residents.
Mike’s Car Wash just opened on the S.R. 28 Business Gateway (Photo-Chuck Gibson)
Three big infrastructure projects come into view as most noticeable for residents looking into 2020. It starts and ends with roads. Miami Township has 156 miles of roads which is a lot. In years prior to 2019, about $400,000 total per year was spent on rehabbing existing roads.
“That was only three to four miles per year,” Wright said. “I told you we have 156 miles of roads. That’s more than a generation; a generation and a half to get through that.”
Residents will recall a majority of Miami Township voters passed a levy for $2.04 million dollars for paving including significant concrete curb and gutter repair. That means this year, instead of 3-4 miles, they’ll be able to do 13-14 miles of roads.
More road improvements coming for 2020 (Photo-Chuck Gibson)
Part of that comes from the Ohio gas tax increase and the state levied $100 fee on Hybrid autos and $200 fee on electric autos. Wright expects the road paving projects to make a significant impact and be very visible. Maybe less visible will be the construction of a sanitary sewer extension at the bottom of Wolfpen-Pleasant Hill Road in the property across from Lykins. It will allow for development of light industrial business in the future.
Full replacement of Riverview Park playground equipment (Rendering Provided)
Completing the look at major infrastructure projects will be the complete replacement of playground equipment at Riverview Park. Wright says the equipment has reached the end of its useful life and would cost more to maintain than replace. A grant of $20,000 will help offset some of the $172,000 total cost of the replacement.
“The challenge grows every year to maintain our parks at the level where they are,” he said. “We’re very proud of our parks system because we hear it is one of the lures for many families; our park system is a draw.”
Miami Township initiatives for 2020 start with updating land use plans for the ever-changing future. The current land use plan was adopted in 2005. Trends in development change, residents habits change; people work at home, shop from home. What does that mean to traffic patterns? How does it change the number of retail outlets a community needs?
“It’s a public project,” said Wright. “We have a committee of about 20 volunteers.”
The committee is made up of a variety of residents and business owners with the intention of reflecting the makeup of the community. They meet four times within a 12 month period with an open house for the public along the way. Development occurs on Route 50, S.R. 28, S.R. 131 and Wards Corner Road. Just look and you can see a lot has changed in 15 years.
Miami Township Civic Center (Photo-Chuck Gibson)
Another initiative Wright shared enthusiastically is the Miami Township Fire and EMS internship which began with Milford High School students a year ago. Now in its second year, Loveland High School has joined in the program as well. The fire chief was enthusiastic from the start. They designed a nine week curriculum for four or more students receiving training at least one time weekly. The program has reached beyond its focus on paramedic training and offers real world experience and skills.
“It is getting young people involved with public service,” Wright said. “Already one is pursuing a career in firefighting and working as a volunteer firefighter. Another is pursuing a career in law enforcement.”
Maintaining the high standard for the Miami Township Park System is a budgetary challenge (Rendering provided)
Miami Township is one of the safest large communities in the state. It was recognized by the State of Ohio as the third safest with population 40,000 or greater just behind Parma and Dublin, Ohio. Wright sees the internship initiative as a job readiness program that can spread beyond the Fire and EMS and into other businesses offering a job ready employee pool for hiring.
The biggest challenge for Miami Township in 2020 is funding parks to maintain the level residents expect. Engineers inspection of Leming House, built in the 1840’s, revealed need for $140,000 worth of repair and maintenance. The township has requested a $70,000 grant, but without it, funding the whole project will be difficult. Miami Township parks are not seen as just a warm-n-fuzzy by Wright. They are a legitimate attraction with unique amenities for the residents and visitors.
Wright’s answer to the question what is most exciting for Miami Township in 2020 may surprise residents. It starts with road paving because it is visually attractive and good roads result in higher property values.
“Asphalt might not sound sexy,” Wright admitted, and then added: “We’re excited we continue to hire good staff. We are attracting bright young people and people in mid-career which translates to good service to our residents.”
In service to residents throughout the Miami Township region, administrator Jeff Wright will offer a full presentation of the State of the Township during the Little Miami River Chamber Alliance “State of the Region” event Wednesday, January 22, at 11:30 a.m. in RSVP. Public is invited.
Click here for more about the LMRCA State of the Region event
Click here for more about Miami Township, Clermont County