Council votes down Checkbook program


Free program would have published city expenditures online

By Melanie Yingst - Troy Daily News



TROY — Troy City Council voted 6-3 against recommending joining the Ohio Open Checkbook program at Monday’s regular meeting.

On Feb. 27, council met as a committee as a whole to discuss joining the Ohio Treasurer’s Office’s Ohio Open Checkbook program. Following that meeting, council voted 7-1 to join the program with Todd Severt being the lone no vote. Council member John Terwilliger was not present at the committee meeting. All members of council were present on Monday.

Prior to the vote, council member John Schweser stated he had changed his positive recommendation. Schweser said following the meeting he changed his mind and said he was apprehensive to allow the state to see how the city was spending its money. Schweser said he felt the state would review the city’s expenses and believed it would use the tool to have more funding moved from the city to the state’s coffers. Council member Bobby Phillips said he echoed Schweser’s concerns.

President Marty Baker said the city’s expenses and revenues (not part of the program) were open to the public and already reported to the state. Council members Severt, Brock Heath, Bill Twiss, Schweser, Phillips and Terwilliger voted against the Ohio Checkbook with Robin Oda, Bill Lutz and Tom Kendall in favor of the program.

The city will not enroll in the free program with the state’s Treasurer’s Office following the meeting, which would have posted the city’s expenditures online. The city could upload as often as it wished and the process took only 20 minutes to load three years of expenses, which was expressed during the state’s presentation.

The State Treasurer’s Office Ohio Checkbook has 1,123 public entities enrolled in the program since it was launched in 2014 under former treasurer Josh Mandel. Miami County entities currently enrolled in the free program are the village of Fletcher, Pleasant Hill and Casstown, Tipp City Schools, Bethel Township and the Bradford Library.

Council approved the following legislation unanimously:

• A resolution to authorize the director of public service and safety to advertise for bids and enter into a contract for curbside recycling. The bids would be for a three-year contract with up to two one-year extensions at a cost not to exceed $400,000 per year for each year of the contracts.

• A resolution to accept recommendations for the Tax Incentive Review Council’s annual review of the city’s Enterprise Zone Agreements and the Towne Park TIF.

• The third reading for the rezoning of 44 Peters Ave. from M-2 to industrial planned development for the U-Stor-It business. The applicant and owner is Jason Marko for the U-Stor-It self-storage business. The applicant’s intention is to construct a second separate building of self-storage units.

• An ordinance to authorize the lime agreement with the city of Dayton will have its second reading. The contract includes a five-year agreement to purchase reclaimed pebble lime from Dayton. The agreement includes Dayton to remove additional sludge residual lime from the city’s water treatment plant lagoons. The first year’s cost is estimated to be approximately $285,000.

In other news:

The streets and sidewalks committee met as a whole to discuss the downtown parking fine moratorium prior to the council meeting. The recommendation was to implement a mix of four-hour, two-hour and 30-minute parking zones with all city lots designated as free parking and the majority of side streets as free parking zones.

The four-hour zones are as follows: Four spaces in front of City Hall; three spaces in front of Ark & Echo; South Market Street from East Franklin Street to the Public Square on both sides; West Main Street from North Short Street to the Public Square on both sides; North Market Street from Water Street to the Public Square on both sides; and East Main Street from North Mulberry to the Public Square on both sides.

The two-hour zones are as follows: with the exception of handicapped spaces, the two-hour zones will be located in the parking spaces along the sidewalks of the Public Square.

The 30-minute spaces are as follows: 16-spaces on the inner-quadrants of the Public Square; three spaces in front of City Hall; one space in front of The Caroline; one space at the corner of East Main and South Walnut; two spaces on the corner of North Walnut on the west side; one in front of Grandpa Joe’s candy store; one space in front of the former La Piazza on North Market Street; one space on West Main Street in front of For All Seasons; one space on South Cherry Street on the east side of the street at the corner.

The Miami Valley Today will have more information regarding the parking proposal in the Wednesday edition of the newspaper.

Free program would have published city expenditures online

By Melanie Yingst

Troy Daily News

Reach Melanie Yingst at myingst@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach Melanie Yingst at myingst@aimmediamidwest.com