Robinson Fund plants ‘Trees for Troy’ grant

Donation to replace 65 trees lost in tornado

By Melanie Yingst - Miami Valley Today

TROY — The Jan. 11 EFO tornado that ripped through the city of Troy damaged buildings and homes throughout its path, but it also damaged dozens of trees that lined the city streets, the Great Miami River levee and in the city’s historic Rose Cemetery and several neighborhoods.

At Tuesday night’s city council meeting, Miami County Commissioner Ted Mercer, on behalf of the Pat and Thom Robinson Fund, donated a $10,000 grant to plant 65 trees as part of a new “Trees for Troy” initiative.

“Due to the recent tornado in Troy, many of our trees in our city were destroyed,” Mercer said.

Mercer noted many of the trees were 75-100 years old. Trees were sheared off or completely uprooted due to the streamlined winds of the storm.

“Troy has been a community where our trees have always been a great asset. There is nothing more appealing than seeing a city with sprawling green canopies covering the landscape of Troy, not to mention the many different colors the trees’ leaves produce in the fall,” Mercer said.

Mercer said the Robinsons do not want the city to lose the significance of the tree-lined streets in Troy and allocated the $10,000 to replace trees that were destroyed due to the tornado earlier this month.

Mercer said the Robinsons are “two of the most generous people I’ve ever known” and the “Trees for Troy” initiative grew out of a conversation following the storm.

Mercer said while the storm didn’t claim lives, “it broke a lot of hearts” with damage to homes, businesses and marred the city’s landscape downtown and in neighborhoods.

President of council Bill Lutz thanked the Robinsons, who attended the meeting, for their generous donation. The “Trees for Troy” grant will be managed by the Troy Foundation and donations to the fund can be made through the foundation. For more information, visit

Mayor Robin Oda said the city had a list of willing volunteers from individuals, families, companies and organizations following the storm. Oda said it was a “neighbors helping neighbors” effort that quickly removed debris and storm damage from one another’s home. Oda said the city will keep the list and if a need arises, they will be contacted. Resident Aimee Shannon also commended the many people who came to the city’s aid, especially those willing to help the residents who were in transitional housing and lost their residence above the Thrush Improvement building, owned by the Family Abuse Shelter, on the Public Square.

In other news:

• Troy Fire Department Chief Matthew Simmons introduced the city’s new firefighter/paramedic Dakota Brown. Brown joined the department on Jan. 6. He is a 2019 graduate of Hocking Hills College in fire and paramedic services. Brown also was employed as summer help by the department with its annual flushing hydrant program. Brown is a 2017 Miami East High School graduate.

• Council member John Schweser thanked those who attended the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration and walk on Monday. Schweser estimated 150-200 people attended the service and celebration.

• Troy Rec Executive Director Kelly Snyder presented information about the organization, which has been a youth program in the city for 79 years. The center has a daycare, before and after school program for youth and teens, and is used by the community for various events throughout the year. Snyder also shared the variety of programs at the Rec, which includes fitness, cooking classes and community service in the downtown area for youth. The center also serves as a registration point for events such as the Tour de Donut each fall. Snyder encouraged those who haven’t visited the center in recent years to stop in for a tour.

• Council member Bill Twiss was not present.

All resolutions on the agenda were approved: Amend Sanitary Sewer Agreement with Miami County for the Heritage Village at Troy Country Club subdivision from county to city rates due to the area being annexed into the city of Troy; authorize bidding fireworks show, $36,000 per year for up to three years; statement of services, buffering and consent for the Troy Schools-Harshbarger-Rocco Annexation, 43.491 acres from Concord Twp.

The following ordinances were approved: Release mortgage lien for paid off loan for 217 Public Square SE, owned by William and Mary Boss, the loan was obtained in 2003 for repairs of the building; Street name change to extend the North Market Street name from the intersection of Troy-Urbana Road to Loxley Lane; permit fire pits and overnight camping in Troy Community Park for Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure from June 24-27, 2020; final acceptance of the Heilers Annexation, 21.8232 acres from Concord Twp.

Donation to replace 65 trees lost in tornado

By Melanie Yingst

Miami Valley Today

Reach Melanie Yingst at

© 2020 Miami Valley Today; all rights reserved.

Reach Melanie Yingst at

© 2020 Miami Valley Today; all rights reserved.