School, city, township officials meet

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — Representatives of the city of Tipp City, Tipp City schools, and the Monroe Township Trustees met Monday night for their regular Tri-Agency meeting to discuss current events and upcoming projects.

Superintendent Gretta Kumpf provided an update on school facilities. The board recently voted to place two bond issues on the March ballot, one for school facilities and another for athletic facilities.

The school bond issue is for 3.98 mills. It will generate about $30 million to build a new prekindergarten through third grade building on the current Broadway Elementary School site.

The board also approved a .6 mill bond issue for the purpose of “constructing, improving, furnishing, and equipping athletic facilities district-wide, including but not limited to a high school athletics stadium.”

Kumpf showed the meeting attendees some preliminary designs for the new school building and for a possible stadium.

“There’s a lot to be determined about that just yet,” Kumpf said about the stadium. The district has not yet determined the location of a new stadium, but Kumpf displayed designs for new facilities at the high school and at City Park.

The proposed stadium would seat 4,000, regardless of location. If constructed at the high school, it would have more parking at high school and the district could use existing locker rooms and bathrooms. If it is kept at City Park, the district would add some parking, but many visitors to the stadium would still rely on street parking, Kumpf said.

According to board member Scott Dixon, the board confirmed with the architect that $5 million would be adequate for either location, but “ran out of time” before choosing between the high school and City Park.

Members of the different boards had questions for the superintendent, about the facilities and the district’s recent decision to purchase land adjacent to the high school.

Kumpf explained that the $350,000 purchase does not mean that the stadium will be built at the high school. Board member Kate Johnsen pointed out that the district owned the rest of the land surrounding the high school, and made the purchase to be able to control what happens on that property.

Mayor Pat Hale asked if it would be possible to allow residents to vote on the location of the stadium.

Kathy Taylor, director of Tipp Monroe Community Services, said that the organization will be looking for a new facility to host basketball practices and games if Broadway is demolished to make way for a new school.

She suggested building a rec center and said that she has looked at a possible location near the schools. She also said that she is working with local organizations to find a space during construction of the new schools.

According to Taylor, the basketball program generates about $40,000 a year.

The Monroe Township Trustees discussed the passage of the Tipp City Seniors levy to construct a new senior center. They are working with the organization on the bidding process, Cox said.

The 1-mill levy will generate about $1.9 over the course of five years. The trustees answered questions from the other boards about the seniors plans for future funding.

Thuma said he expects that the senior center levy will eventually be a renewal levy. He also pointed out that the seniors have worked hard to raise funds for the center and will likely sell their current building.

City and township officials also discussed the County Road 25-A widening project. As the project progresses, the the detour is still in effect and the road will be closed until work is complete in August 2016.

According to trustees Ron Thuma and Phil Cox, this is also causing issues due to increased truck traffic on township roads. Thuma said the township is working with the Miami County Engineer, but said he expects the issues will be resolved with time as drivers become more familiar with the detour route.

By Cecilia Fox