In Tipp City, the 4-3 vote included Mayor Joe Gibson, Council President Katelyn Berbach and councilmen Logan Rogers and Frank Scenna in favor and councilmembers Mike Jackson, Mike McFarland and Kathryn Huffman voting against.
“Our businesses are in great need of a lifeline,” Rogers said.
Gibson suggested adding to the Tipp City DORA resolution a requirement to review the district in 90 days. He didn’t push the change after hearing from City Manager Tim Eggleston that the DORA would receive frequent reviews from the police, downtown leaders and others. “”If there is something going on down there, you are going to hear about it,” Eggleston said.
McFarland said he had a lot of citizens contact him opposing the DORA. “My only wish is that it pans out the way everybody says and thinks it is going to do,” he said after the Tipp City vote.
“Thank you for acting responsibly,” Troy resident Allen Easterday told the Troy council. “I think it is always wise to go cautiously and prudently.”
DORA proponents said the district would help restaurants that have suffered during COVID-19 and would help attract more people to the downtown. Opponents’ arguments included concerns about additional litter, disorderly conduct and an overall questioning of the need to encourage public drinking.
Tipp City DORA supporters said more than 30 communities in Ohio have established DORAs. Deputy Police Chief Greg Adkins said communities contacted by local police administrators “didn’t report an uptick in crime.”
In Troy, a three-member city council committee last week voted unanimously to recommend council deny the DORA, which would have covered 21 acres in the downtown. Questions about the proposal included the size and days/hours of the proposed district.
Andrea Keller of Troy Main Street said other communities reported that DORAs have helped attract people to the business district and increased traffic to online offerings that have increased during COVID-19.
"While Troy Main Street is excited about the potential of a DORA in downtown Troy, we understand why the city council made the decision they did. After hearing feedback from council members, it is our hope, that in the future, a revised DORA application can be considered," Keller said Tuesday.
“Is this what you want on the streets is people drinking?” Saundra Bastian told Troy City Council at an Aug. 10 meeting. “I just think this is wrong. "
Troy resident Lester Conard encouraged council to get the coronavirus under control before encouraging public gatherings and drinking.
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