Levy, outdoor drinking area among levies on Miami County election ballots

Troy residents will vote on whether to have a downtown area where outdoor drinking is permitted. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
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Troy residents will vote on whether to have a downtown area where outdoor drinking is permitted. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

The issues will be on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Residents of Troy will decide Nov. 2 whether the city’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area, or DORA, in the downtown area will be allowed to move forward.

Troy City Council earlier this year approved the DORA, where adults 21 years and older can possess or consume alcohol in public with certain restrictions.

A group of residents in turn started a referendum drive, collecting enough signatures of registered voters to place the referendum on the ballot.

Voters will be asked: Shall the DORA in a designated section of Troy be approved? A “yes” vote supports allowing the DORA. A “no” vote would reject the council decision.

Promote Troy DORA was formed by local business leaders and longtime residents who support the DORA said its leaders Brian Cardinal, Tony Small, Ryan Chipley, Jessica Pelini and Andrea Keller.

“The DORA will be very beneficial for the community of Troy, and especially for the businesses who have invested millions of dollars into our beautiful downtown. People from our neighboring communities travel to Troy to enjoy these investments. Our businesses will benefit by having the flexibility to serve a beverage before or after a meal to their guests,” Promote Troy DORA said in a statement.

The DORA supporters said DORA communities haven’t experienced any major related issues and have seen the benefits to the point that many have or are planning on expanding them to help increase the benefits for more organizations.

Calling for DORA’s defeat is the Anti-DORA Committee, which has become known as Vote NO Troy DORA, said Tom Kendall, a former councilman on the committee, along with others including those who circulated the referendum petitions.

“While some are making this an issue of alcohol versus no alcohol, in our view this is an issue of what is right for Troy,” Vote NO DORA said in a statement. “Our group agrees with past administrations that Troy’s downtown is the ‘living room’ of our community. It’s a place to enjoy with family and friends, not having to worry about issues you cannot control.”

The downtown is “a place to enjoy outdoor concerts and events and to shop until six o’clock. It’s a place to stop for a cup of coffee. We just don’t understand why you have to have an alcoholic drink in hand to have a good time,” Kendall said.

Also on the Nov. 2 ballot in Miami County is Monroe Twp.’s request for a 4-mill levy for fire and EMS services, which would replace and increase the current levy.

This levy will be voted on by residents in Monroe Twp.’s unincorporated area.

The township contracts with Tipp City to provide those services. Supporters say the increase in levy income is needed because the city is phasing in a fire/EMS department from mostly volunteer to staff of full-time, part-time and volunteers.

The levy would generate around $679,000 a year and cost $140 a year for the owner of a home with a $100,000 home value. The cost of the existing levy is $62.96.

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