Miamisburg and Miami Twp. changed in several ways in 2022, whether it be repairing aging infrastructure, replacing public officials, approving a levy aimed at giving the local fire district greater financial flexibility or planning to improve a local park.
Here are some of the stories that had the most impact along with some stories that ended up as the most read. They are included in no particular order.
Former longtime mayor dies at 81
Dick Church Jr., Miamisburg’s longest-serving mayor and the 15th longest serving mayor in U.S. history, died Dec. 8 at 81 following a brief illness.
Church was elected to an at-large city council seat in 1987, two years after selling his flower shop. He ran for mayor and defeated the incumbent by 27 votes in 1991. He retired at the end of 2019.
He was instrumental in having the Austin interchange approved and financed and helped to transform Miamisburg, among other accomplishments, city officials said.
Voters approve Miami Valley Fire District levy
Miamisburg and Miami Twp. residents in November approved a permanent, 11-mill property tax levy aimed at increasing revenue for the Miami Valley Fire District.
The fire district plans to look at its staffing to make sure that it gets Station 51 reopened, according to Fire Chief Brandon Barnett.
MVFD also can use funds from the new levy to upgrade equipment and replace aging fire gear and apparatus, including decades old fire engines and ambulances.
Miami Twp. names longtime employee as new administrator
Trustees voted Aug. 3 to approve Chris Snyder as the community’s new administrator. He replaced Ron Hess, who served as police chief from 2012 to 2017, then added interim administrator to his duties before being named administrator in 2019.
Snyder worked as a planner for the Fairfield County Regional Planning Commission in Lancaster from 1999 to 2001 before being hired as Miami Twp.’s code enforcement officer in 2001. He was promoted to senior planner in 2003, to assistant planning director in 2006 and director of community development in 2014. He also became the township’s assistant administrator in June 2021.
Council moves forward with plans for major improvements at Riverfront Park
Miamisburg’s Riverfront Park is set to undergo a series of improvements starting next year.
A concept update completed in 2022 shows a permanent amphitheater with a tiered seating area, a central great lawn for events, a nature-based playground, curved bike pathy and inclusive play spaces.
Miamisburg City Council voted this summer to approve spending $329,400 for Kleingers Group to carrying out a schematic design, engineering and construction document phase. Construction costs are estimated to be between $4.5 million and $4.7 million, according to city.
Construction is expected to take between 9 and 18 months.
Steve Beachler tapped to replace Greg Thompson on Miamisburg City Council
Miamisburg City Council voted Sept. 22 to appoint Steve Beachler its newest council member. He was sworn in Oct. 4.
Beacher’s application was among 11 considered for the seat vacated by Greg Thompson, who served more than 10 years in an at-large seat but stepped down Aug. 31 due to a planned relocation out of the community,
Beachler, a retired Montgomery County Engineer’s Office surveyor, has served on Miamisburg Planning Commission as a citizen volunteer since 2019. Since 2002, he has been a member of Ohio Task Force One’s FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team. From 1976 to 2011, Beachler served as a Miamisburg Fire Department reserve firefighter.
Daughter appointed to replace father on bench of Miamisburg Municipal Court
Gov. Mike DeWine on Nov. 18 appointed Miamisburg attorney K. Alyse Rettich to the Miamisburg Municipal Court bench, a seat formerly held by her father, Robert Rettich III, who died in office Feb. 14 at age 68.
He had a private law practice for 38 years before he began serving as Miamisburg Municipal Court judge in 2012.
She assumed office Dec. 5 and must run for election in 2023 to retain the post.
Miamisburg bridge reopens after months-long rehab project
Miamisburg’s Ninth Street Bridge reopened to traffic Aug. 21 after a 12-week project that saw removal of the roadway, replacement of rusted, deteriorated box beams under the road and modification to the existing bridge abutments and wing-walls.
Its $748,000 cost was covered by Ohio Department of Transportation grant funds of $546,000 and a city share of $202,000, Miamisburg officials said.
Miami Twp. fiscal officer resigns
Miami Twp. Fiscal Officer Aaron Newell stepped down this month after seven years in the role.
Newell, who was elected to the role in November 2015 and re-elected in 2019, said on Dec. 9 that for “family reasons” he was resigning effective immediately.
Ohio law requires the township to make an appointment within 30 days. The appointed person will fulfill the unexpired term ending March 31, 2024
Judge hits Miami Twp. wedding venue operator with $50K penalty
A Montgomery County judge in August found a Miami Twp. wedding venue operator in contempt of court, ordering him to pay $50,000 plus attorneys’ fees to the township for continuing to hold celebrations on his property after an injunction was ordered.
“It appears to this court and the court specifically finds that the defendant (Darren) Powlette engaged in some type of ‘game playing’ with the specific intent to ‘get around’ the court’s order,” Common Pleas Judge Richard Skelton said in a decision in the case of Miami Twp. Board of Trustees vs. Darren Powlette. “Get around this: Sanction of Fifty Thousand Dollars payable within 30 days to plaintiff.”