Township leaders used the State of the Township Report to reflect on what they called strong growth and economic development from last year, plus looked ahead to 2019.
Trustee President Scott Paulson said 2018 was robust in terms of development: SICSA broke ground on its $8 million headquarters in the southwest part of the township; Dunkin’ Donuts opened its new store; and the Yankee Station commercial center on Miamisburg-Centerville Road made significant interior and exterior improvements.
Oberer Homes broke ground on patio homes in Washington Trace, while seven single-family residential developments continued to add new housing. Ribbon cuttings included Ohio’s Hospice, Incenta Rewards and Big Lots.
“An office building for Hospice of Dayton and operating room and emergency department expansions at Southview Medical Center that are soon to come to fruition,” Paulson said.
Paulson also reviewed five major areas of service delivery for the township: fire and EMS, police, public works, recreation, and zoning and development.
He said the township had strong participation from residents, government, public organizations, nonprofits and local businesses to make the community a better place to live. Voters were key in supporting levy passage to give the township a stronger economic base, he said.
“Our residents also have supported their community by renewing an expiring 4.65-mill fire levy and approving a 1-mill recreation levy, the first millage increase in the 30-year history of the Recreation Department,” Paulson said. “Support of the rec levy not only is paying for the maintenance and improvement of aging facilities, it has enabled the township to assume responsibility for senior programming in our community.”
Improved infrastructure made 2018 a success, he said, as Public Works improved travel in the south part of the township with completion of the Nutt Road project. A one-mile section from School House Park to Clyo Road was widened to three lanes, and curbs, gutters and sidewalks were added. The $3.1 million project marks the third and final phase of widening and improving Nutt Road from State Route 48 to Clyo Road.
The department also oversaw the resurfacing of 19 roads, including 16 neighborhood streets, sections of Paragon and Lyons roads, and Spring Valley Pike from Washington Church Road east to the township line. Southbook Drive received new curbs from Alex-Bell Road to Yorkcliff Place.
Paulson noted that the township’s fire department had a banner year, earning accreditation for the third time through the Commission on Fire Accreditation International.
“We remain the only accredited fire department in the Miami Valley and one of just nine in Ohio,” he said.
In December, Washington Township selected Deputy Chief Scott Kujawa to be its next fire chief. Kujawa will replace Fire Chief Bill Gaul, who has announced that he will retire in March after nearly 40 years of service to the department, including 11 years as chief.
Several other changes occurred in 2018 that affected emergency services. In August, the Regional Dispatch Center (RDC) began dispatching fire and EMS calls, a function previously performed by township dispatchers working out of the RDC.
“This transition provides the most up-to-date technology, ensures a more secure dispatch system, and saves costly equipment updates,” Paulson said, adding that the move provided an estimated $500,000 in annual cost savings, which is being used to address staffing challenges caused by a shortage of part-time firefighters felt throughout southwest Ohio.
“That and other cost-savings enabled the township to hire 12 full-time firefighters to help fill the staffing gap,” he said. “Resources are available to fund the new positions through 2020 when another revenue source will be needed. However, based on current trends, it’s anticipated that even more firefighters will be needed.”
For 2019, Dale Berry was selected as trustee president and Sharon Lowry will serve as vice president.
Berry, a trustee for 10 years, previously served on the township’s Zoning Commission and assisted the Visual Improvement Program Committee. A Realtor and retired vocational coordinator with Kettering City Schools, he is a past president of the Dayton Area Board of Realtors and was director of the National Association of Realtors.
Lowry, who began her first term in 2018, has experience as an educator, administrator, small business owner and community volunteer. She serves on the Centerville Women’s Civic Club Scholarship Committee and the board of Sophie’s Companions for Veterans.