TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday night, the Tipp City council affirmed their support of plans for the athletic facilities and named the officer of the year.
Officer Bruce Mancz was recommended by his peers for the 2016 Officer of the Year award , who described him as a great role model and a leader.
Mancz joined the department in December 1989 and served in the United States Marine Corps.
He serves as the department’s range master and firearms instructor.
“Officer Mancz, after 28 years as a Tipp City police officer, is one of the most consistent, prepared and reliable officers within the Tipp City Police Department,” Mayor Pat Hale said, reading from a proclamation in Mancz’s honor.
Council thanked Mancz for his service to the community.
Council also voted to affirm their support for the proposed location and preliminary design of the new athletic facilities, as well as in favor of participating in a soil boring survey of the park. The cost of the survey is not to exceed $4,235.
Last fall, the district and the city also approved a joint $20,000 design services study to look at possible locations and plans for a new athletic stadium.
The city later offered to provide about $350,000 of in-kind work to the project, provided the stadium would remain in City Park, including upgrades to the parking lot, restrooms, water and sewer connections, and egress to Third Street.
The school board voted last month to keep the stadium in its current location.
During their study session, council revisited the possibility of waiving some combination of utility fees, connection fees, and intervening user fees for the new senior center. Council discussed the matter last November, before requesting more information on estimated future costs before they could make a decision.
The city has waived utility costs for the Tipp City Seniors since the 1970s. The current center’s utility fees amount to approximately $5,400 per month.
The seniors also requested that the city consider waiving the utility connection fees and the intervening user fees, which together could total more than $40,000.
Several council members said they are not in favor of forgiving the intervening user fees, an estimated cost of $31,295, because the city has never done that for any other group, but expressed support for waiving the connection fee.
City Manager Tim Eggleston presented council with several options for assisting TCS, including:
• continuing to forgive the utility costs,
• setting up a stipend to offset those costs, or
• entering into an agreement with TCS that sets a date, between one and five years in the future, when the seniors will take over responsibility to paying the center’s utilities.
City staff suggested an agreement with a term of five years maximum, with a review in year three, that could be extended if needed. The building should be paid off in year five.
Several members of council expressed support for the third option, with Councilwoman Katelyn Berbach suggesting a shorter term and Councilwoman Carrie Arblaster in favor of the five year agreement suggested.
“I am in favor of a one or two year contract to kind of test the waters,” Berbach explained.
It is not yet known what the monthly utility costs will be at the new center, which is more than double the size of the current location, but is designed to be more energy efficient. The project is about two weeks out from bid, one TCS member said.
“I still am loathe to commit too much to an electricity bill that I have no idea how much it’s going to be,” Council president Joe Gibson said.
No decision was reached in the study session.
In other business, council approved the creation of the assistant fire chief/fire inspector position, incorporating that position into the city’s pay ordinance.
Council also approved a new comprehensive land use plan, the first comprehensive update since 2003.
The purpose of the plan is to serve as a long-term guide for planning the physical, economic, and social development of Tipp City.
The process of updating the plan began in 2015 with input from residents, property owners, and business owners.
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