Top news stories for 2021 in Vandalia and Butler Twp.

Daniel Wendt named city manager of Vandalia.

Credit: Courtesy

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Daniel Wendt named city manager of Vandalia.

Credit: Courtesy

Vandalia and Butler Twp. both saw possibilities for new growth and development set in motion in 2021. Here are some of the most-read stories from those communities on the Dayton Daily News website in 2021.

Vandalia names new city manager

In February 2021, Daniel Wendt of Monroeville began in his new role as city manager for Vandalia.

The city manager’s position was vacated in July 2020 after Jon Crusey announced his resignation. In August, the city announced they would hire consultant Julie Trick to assist in finding a new city manager, with Police Chief Kurt Althouse serving as the interim-city manager prior to Wendt’s appointment.

Wendt formerly served as assistant city manager and chief operating officer for the city of Fairfield where he managed and developed operating and capital budgets, and oversaw overall city operations.

Wendt said he looks forward to improving the quality of life and livability in the city using the city’s comprehensive plans. “I think I’ve got some unique experience that I can bring to that that’ll be supplemental to already a very high performing organization,” he said.

ExploreFull story: Vandalia names new city manager

Three officers recognized for heroism

Vandalia Police Sgt. Douglas Nagel, Officer Phillip Shafer and Officer Kristen Thomas were nominated by Fire Chief Chad Follick for their roles in responding to the Jan. 9 apartment fire on West Van Lake Drive. Police officers were the first to arrive that night.

Nagel received the Medal of Valor, which is bestowed upon an officer who, in a stressful situation, takes exceptional action despite great personal risk to save the life of another. Shafer and Thomas received the Distinguished Service Medal, which is given to officers who, in a stressful situation, exercise good judgment or go beyond the call of duty to save the life of another.

ExploreFull story: Vandalia police recognized for heroism at fire

Butler Twp. to give Miller Lane a facelift

Known for its host of restaurants, hotels, stores and service providers, the Miller Lane business is set for rebranding and infrastructure improvement meant to enhance the area’s image, appeal and accessibility, according to Butler Twp. officials.

The project, with construction tentatively set to begin in 2023, will incorporate numerous changes to the area — interchange improvements, entryway signage, landscaped medians, a continuous right turn lane from Benchwood Road to head north on Miller Lane, a roundabout at Miller Lane and Maxton Road, additional lighting and street trees along the corridor, plus curb, gutter and sidewalk additions.

ExploreFull story: Miller Lane to get new name, updated look

DeWine presents $2.4M grant

In October, Gov. Mike DeWine stopped in Vandalia to present a $2.4 million grant for a sanitary sewer improvement project. The city of Vandalia jointly owns and operates the Tri-Cities North Regional Wastewater Authority with Huber Heights and Tipp City.

Rich Hopkins, Vandalia’s communication director, said the plant uses 30-inch sewer lines to bring wastewater from Vandalia and Tipp City to the treatment plant located near Huber Heights. One of the lines that runs through the Five Rivers MetroPark at the Taylorsville Dam has collapsed and is in need of repair.

ExploreVandalia gets over $2 million for sewer improvements

City plans park upgrades with ARPA funds

The 2022 city of Vandalia budget, approved by council in December, includes over $1.5 million in federal funds, a large portion of which will be directed toward parks and recreation.

City Manager Dan Wendt said $675,000 of those American Rescue Plan Act funds will go toward improvements of playgrounds and other equipment in Robinette Park, Helke Park, and at the Sports Complex. Around $75,000 will go toward a new restroom facility at Art Park.

Other ARPA funding will be used for benches, trash cans and enclosure improvements at bus stops, as well as a $20,000 air purification system at the Senior Center. About $240,475 will be used for various paving and utilities projects.

A total of $76,000 will go toward a project to provide touchless doorways, fountains, sinks, and toilets at the Justice Center and Rec Center. Another $10,000 will be used for personal protective equipment for the police and fire departments.

ExploreFull story: City plans uses for federal ARPA funds

Butler Twp. gets two new trustees

Bryson Jackson and Mike Thein were elected in November to the two township trustee positions that were up for grabs.

Following the November election, a recount was held due to the difference in votes between Thein and incumbent candidate Ken Betz being less than one half of one percent. Thein ended up with 675 votes, defeating Betz, who had 670.

Bryson Jackson was voted to the board with 909 votes. Trustee Mike Lang did not run for re-election.

ExploreIncumbent trustee ousted in tight race

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