City discusses highway mowing

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — Responding to citizen complaints about overgrown plants and litter at the Tipp City’s interstate exits, city staff presented council with options for maintenance.

The land surrounding the exit ramps is the property of the state and is maintained by the Ohio Department of Transportation. Currently, ODOT mows the ramps twice a year. City staff picks up litter at the exits weekly.

City staff reached out to other area communities that have taken on ramp maintenance and obtained quotes for mowing both exits.

For exit 68, the cost per maintenance visit would be $378 for 30 visits, or $567 for 15 visits per season; a total of $11,340 or $8,505, respectively. At exit 69, which has a larger grass area, 30 maintenance visits per season would be $1,071 per visit at a total of $32,130, or $1,606.50 per visit for 15 visits, a total of $24,097.50.

In one year, the cost for the city to maintain the grass at both exits could cost between $32,602 and $43,470.

“Once you do it, you are responsible for it forever,” City Manager Tim Eggleston noted.

Council President Katelyn Berbach and Councilman John Kessler both agreed that the city’s money should be spent elsewhere.

“This is a fluff thing,” Kessler said, adding that the money could be spent on city road maintenance.

“I get that it looks tacky, but by golly, I think there is a lot more to worry about than weeds,” Berbach said.

Mayor Joe Gibson said that the exits, especially exit 69, are like the city’s front door and should be better cared for.

“This is an embarrassment,” Councilman Tom Merritt said.

Gibson and Merrit argued that the interchange is the first thing many people see when arriving in Tipp City and said that it could negatively influence business and site developers and visitors.

Gibson asked that city staff at least increase the number of trash collection visits to both exits.

In other business, council approved a resolution formalizing an agreement to repave a portion of North Hyatt Street between the city and the county.

The project is tentatively scheduled to be competed in the summer of 2021 or 2022. The city will receive a $499,220 grant from ODOT, which will be matched by local funds from the city and Miami County. The city’s portion will be $98,466 and the county’s will be $44,238.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at