Area leaders reflected on past successes and future vision

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND, OH (February 10, 2022) – A gathering of about 35 people watched and listened Monday, February 7, as leaders from Symmes Township, Miami Township and City of Loveland shared their view of some recent successes and vision for 2022 and beyond.

The 35 people attending the State of the Region looked on as leaders gave thier presentations (Chuck Gibson)

During midday Monday, February 7, 35 people enjoyed a box lunch as they gathered at the Hamilton Clermont Cooperative center on Cottonwood Drive in Loveland. Over the course of two hours, they heard about recent developments and future plans for Symmes Twp., Miami Twp., and the City of Loveland. The tale was told by local government leaders and Loveland School Superintendent Mike Broadwater. It was food and mingling first, but the hosts and event organizers from Little Miami River Chamber Alliance, Meredith Taylor and LMRCA President Cee Cee Collins, quickly transitioned to the business at hand introducing Mike Broadwater as guests continued munching on their meals

Mike Broadwater, Superintendent, Loveland City School District (Provided)

Broadwater, in his first year as superintendent for Loveland Schools, kept his remarks brief highlighting his enthusiasm for the good things students are doing now. NOTE: The district is hosted a “Showcase Night” two days later, on Wednesday evening at the high school which included two (5:30 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.) Strategic Vision sessions for public input as the school district begins planning for the future of Loveland Schools. His remarks were well received and he closed to a round of applause from the audience.

Collins acknowledged several sponsors of the LMRCA 2022 State of the Region update before introducing the three regional leaders beginning with Kim Lapensee, Township Administrator for Symmes Township.  She was followed by Jeff Wright, Miami Township Administrator and then Loveland City Manager Dave Kennedy wrapped up the presentations.

LMRCA President Cee Cee Collins during the State of the Region update event Monday, February 7, 2022 (Chuck Gibson)

Symmes Twp. Administrator Kim Lapensee (LMRCA Meredith Taylor in background) during her State of Symmes Twp. presentation (Chuck Gibson)

All three leaders noted some successes from 2021 mostly referencing upgrades and improvements around the community for infrastructure ie: street paving and repair, additional sidewalks and sidewalk repair for more walking access to community attractions like parks, restaurants, and businesses. Each cited statistics about the population, geographic area (how many square miles and how many linear road miles are within the boundaries of the municipality) For example, Symmes Twp. covers a 9 square mile area with 43 linear miles of roadway. Each talked about public services – police and fire as well as public works/maintenance. Business development, housing development, events, parks and recreation were talked about by all three leaders.

Here are the highlights of the future from each:

Symmes Township stats part of Kim Lapensee presentation (Chuck Gibson)

SYMMES TOWNSHIP – Administrator Kim Lapensee

  • Symmes Twp. has a diverse population of 15, 642 people including
  • 45% of the people are naturalized U.S. Citizens
  • Median Household income – $113,059
  • Median Home value – $347,300
  • Safety services provided by Hamilton County Sherriff’s Dept. and Loveland Symmes Fire Department
  • New Housing Development: 120 unit apartment building at Snider Road.
  • New Business Expansion: McCluskey Car Dealership expansion at former J.C. Penny location (plans to develop entire property)
  • Park upgrades including security cameras, improved trails and renovation upgrade of the Meade House into event center
  • Return of traditional events: Easter Egg Hunt, Yoga Days, Operation Santa and more
  • Public Works/Road Maintenance Garage expansion to accommodate and protect equipment currently stored outside.

A note of significance during the Symmes Twp. vision from Lapensee was the brief commentary on new business development in the township for 2022.

The planning and development slide used by Kim Lapensee during Symmes Twp. presentation (Chuck Gibson)

Jeff Wright, Miami Township Administrator during presentation Monday, February 7, 2022 (Chuck Gibson)

MIAMI TOWNSHIP – Administrator Jeff Wright

  • Miami Twp. has a population of 44,350 people with 15, 746 households
  • Median Household income: $101,456 (6.2% increase over 2020)
  • Median Home value: $251,494 (9.3% increase over 2020)
  • Full time Police and Fire Departments
  • Economic Investment: 2 new bakeries, 2 redesigned UDF’s, Soon to open “All Hail The BISCUIT” restaurant, and Tropical Smoothie Café.

“All Hail the Biscuit” is opening soon on Business 28 in Miami Twp. (Provided)

“All Hail the Biscuit plans to open at 8:00 a.m. on February 16th. The owners are Miami Township residents Josh and Nicole House and they also own Pickles and Bones Barbecue restaurant located in Miami Township. We are so proud of them and appreciate how they give back to the community in so many ways. They feed our souls and our stomachs.” – Jeff Wright, Miami Twp. Administrator

  • TQL moving 200 employees into Allen Drive offices
  • Housing Development: Fischer Homes Parkview Condominium Development.
  • Infrastructure Improvement projects: Sugar Camp Road, McPicken Dr.
  • Capitol Projects: Sidewalks, Walking Trail connecting to Miami Meadows, Lemming House interior/exterior rehab.
  • 2022 Sidewalk: Cook Road, Business 28
  • Red Bird Road stabilization,
  • Parks & Recreation: Named Best of the East for Summer Camps, Adding Pickle Ball Courts ($90K) and Parking Lot at Miami Meadows ($150K)

Wright was very proud to announce TQL adding employees to Miami Twp building. (Provided)

Miami Twp Parks & Recreation improvements continue to be a vision for the future and success of the past (Provided)

“We are very proud of our fire and ems student academy engaging students from Loveland High School as well as Milford High School developing potential public servants for the future.” – Jeff Wright, Miami Twp. Administrator

 Wright also spoke very highly of the leadership team in Miami Township. 

The experienced leadership team of Miami Township (Chuck Gibson)

CITY OF LOVELAND – City Manager Dave Kennedy

  • City of Loveland has a population of approximately 13,000
  • Uniquely situated in three counties: Hamilton, Clermont & Warren Counties

  • City Services: Loveland Police Department, Contracted services of the Loveland-Symmes Fire Department (LSFD) providing full time safety services
  • LSFD: Using ISO system consistently rated best and highest ratings
  • Fire Chief and Police Chief together have served Loveland over 65 years
  • Safety Center Expansion: will provide additional parking for employees and public visitors
  • Economic Investment: Investing in “The Heights” residential, sold two properties, building affordable housing within, and reinvested sale proceeds to match property owners 1-to-1 for exterior home improvements

City Manager Dave Kennedy during his State of Loveland presentation Monday, February 7, 2022 (Chuck Gibson)

  • Infrastructure: Repair Water Main issues, Upgrade water system, road improvements, Public Works Building – new construction will provided more equipment storage capacity.
  • West Loveland Avenue bridge sidewalk replacement will connect business community with Historic District.
  • Park System: Dog Park at Kiwanis Park, Pickle Ball Courts
  • New Housing Development: Chimney Ridge Homearama on Butterworth Road
  • More Plans: Nisbet Park master plan – “It is the first impression for visitors. . .” – Dave Kennedy, Chestnut Street Master Plan, Streetscape plans.

City of Loveland elected officials: Front l-rTed Phelps, Mayor Kathy Bailey, Andly Bateman, Back row l-r: Tim Butler, Kent Blair, Kip Ping, John Hart (Chuck Gibson)

“Plans are expensive. Leaving them on the shelf drives me crazy. We really do want to implement them.” – Dave Kennedy, Loveland City Manager

Notably absent from the presentation of Loveland City Manager Dave Kennedy was any comment, or update referencing parking garage plans. He remained upbeat and focused on plans being implemented now for housing development, structural improvements, and park improvements. 

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