Residents gave high marks to Washington Township services and reported that they are very satisfied with Washington Township as a place to live, according to a recent township survey conducted by the Center for Urban & Public Affairs at Wright State University.
Of those polled, 99 percent reported satisfaction with Washington Township as a place to live, including 70 percent who described themselves as very satisfied. The poll included a random sample of 463 registered voters living in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the township.
“Periodic surveys help us determine if we’re meeting the service expectations of our residents. We can learn what we’re doing right and where we need to improve,” said Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. The previous survey took place about five years ago.
The new survey includes all township departments and encompasses nine areas of service,
ranging from recreation to police. Seven of the nine service areas received satisfaction levels of at least 97 percent.
The highest overall satisfaction ratings were reported for recreation services and street cleanliness, with 99 percent of respondents saying they were satisfied or very satisfied. About 98 percent reported satisfaction with Fire and EMS services and with the condition of neighborhood housing.
"Periodic surveys help us determine if we're meeting the service expectations of our residents. We can learn what we're doing right and where we need to improve."
Close behind at 97 percent satisfaction were police services, leaf pickup and neighborhood property maintenance. Snow and ice removal received 89 percent, with street repair and maintenance at 86 percent. Other survey highlights include:
Washington Township Fire Department will honor a fire service tradition on Monday, April 8, when firefighters push a new rescue/engine vehicle into the bay of its assigned fire station.
The tradition is part of a public ceremony and open house hosted by the WT Fire Department at Station 42, located at 45 W. Whipp Rd. The public is invited to join the department at 5 p.m. for the open house, followed by the ceremony at 5:30 p.m.
Pushing a new piece of apparatus into its bay dates back to the mid-1800s when horse drawn wagons had to be backed into their stations, said Fire Chief Bill Gaul. Weighing in at about 26 tons, the new rescue/engine vehicle is considerably heavier than a wagon, so firefighters will get some help from the vehicle’s own engine.
The new Pierce Velocity Rescue/Engine enables the department to replace two vehicles, a 1991 fire engine and a 1993 rescue truck equipped with rescue equipment such as hydraulic tools, rope rescue equipment and ice rescue suits.
“Major pieces of equipment are always a milestone for fire departments. However, the new rescue/engine is especially notable because it combines two kinds of fire service response operations into one vehicle. This saves money through reduced maintenance and gas costs and improves the efficiency and flexibility of our emergency response capabilities,” Gaul said.
Ceremony & Open House
Monday, April 8
Station 42, 45 W. Whipp Rd.
Open House - 5 p.m.
Ceremony - 5:30 p.m.
The new vehicle incorporates some of the latest technology in fire suppression and rescue equipment, said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Neidhard who chaired a committee of fire and vehicle maintenance staff that developed specifications and oversaw the purchase.
New features include a compressed air foam system that combines foam (air and soap) with water to create a fire suppressant that adheres better to surfaces and penetrates better than foam or water alone. “The new system puts fires out fast, with less water, which reduces fire and water damage,” Neidhard said.
The new truck utilizes the newest vehicle safety features. Improvements include a foldaway light tower on the roof that provides overhead lighting and improved visibility at night.
The rescue/engine has been placed in service at Station 42, based on the station’s run volume and its relatively central location. Its $590,215 purchase price was offset with a $300,000 Federal Assistance to Firefighters Grant.
Over the last five years, the fire department has garnered $447,694 in grants. “Our staff is always on the lookout for potential sources of grant money,” said Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. “Grants help offset the tax burden for local residents and, in some instances, improve services more quickly than ordinarily would be possible.”
Centerville and Washington Township have each pledged $10,000 to support installation of five bronze medallions that will complete the Veterans Memorial at Stubbs Park.
The medallions will depict scenes of sacrifice and service during times of war and peace, with each paying tribute to a branch of the US Armed Forces. The cost of the project is $35,000, so a community fundraising effort is underway to provide the remaining $15,000 for the installation.
The enhancement will complete a 20-year project to install a memorial honoring men and women killed in action as well as those who have served or who are presently serving in the United States Armed Forces. Check here for additional information about the project and financial contributions.
Plato’s observation that necessity is the mother of invention was put to the test during 2012 as Washington Township struggled with state funding cuts and a loss of property tax revenue – a total of $11.6 million through 2018.
Tightening our belt has been an ongoing challenge, given that Washington Township already takes a conservative approach to staffing and purchases. However, we’ve applied ourselves to the task by cutting staff positions, reducing our payments to community organizations, delaying capital expenses, reviewing all purchases, and asking employees to shoulder a larger percentage of their health care expenses.
Trustees have elected Joyce Young as president of the Washington Township Board of Trustees for 2013. Dale Berry will serve as vice president. For information about these and other elected officials, check here.
In a challenging economic environment, we’ve also looked to public and private collaborations and shared services. We began the year by renewing our contract with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, a collaboration that provides high-quality police services that are very cost-effective. Later in the year, we saved on a part-time GIS position by paying the City of Kettering for services. In December, we partnered with 20 businesses that provided more than $45,000 in cash and in-kind contributions for the 20th annual Woodland Lights.
The township also sought alternative sources of revenue by increasing zoning and fingerprinting fees and approving a 3% hotel tax that we anticipate will generate about $125,000 annually from four hotels located in the unincorporated part of the township.
Despite these measures, we are far from done with this struggle. Even after $680,000 in annual budget cuts to our General Fund, its shortfall over the next five years is anticipated to average $663,000 per year. As we enter 2013, we will continue to look for other ways to streamline our services.
I’m pleased to report, however, that Washington Township remained focused on providing outstanding services even as we economized. For instance, in 2012 we learned that our community received a superior Class 3 safety rating for fire suppression that places us in the top 5 percent in Ohio and top 6 percent nationally. The rating is assigned every ten years by the Insurance Services Office, with 60 percent of the rating based on our fire department’s services.
The Washington Township Fire Department has now completed a full year with around-the-clock staffing at four of our five stations. The staffing realignments have contributed to faster emergency response on nights and weekends. Meanwhile, our fire department continues to grow. The Washington
Fiscal Officer Tom Zobrist, 2012 Trustee President Scott Paulson, Township Administrator Jesse Lightle, 2013 Trustee President Joyce Young and 2013 Trustee Vice President Tom Zobrist.
Township Fire Department now protects more property than any other in Montgomery County and protects more people than any department aside from Dayton. The fire department has reached these milestones while maintaining accreditation and cost effectiveness. Our fire and EMS costs per resident were just $139 in 2011, the lowest of the five largest departments in Montgomery County. We employ cost-effective staffing and, when possible, seek grants to offset the cost of purchases – such as a $300,000 federal grant that was obtained last year for a combination engine/rescue vehicle.
Our Public Works Department is another township department that has effectively sought grants, including $1 million from the Ohio Public Works Commission to help fund Paragon Road improvements. The Paragon project, now underway, includes lane widening, the softening of two curves, sidewalk installation, new turn lanes, and improvement to the intersection at Spring Valley Pike.
The Public Works Department keeps roads safe and drivable through its annual Street Improvement Program which last year resurfaced 23 streets. Public Works crews also kept curbs and sidewalks in good repair, cleared roads of snow and ice, and collected 9,456 cubic yards of leaves.
Street improvement and maintenance is possible due to the support of our residents who approved a 1.85-mill replacement levy in March. The township took a fiscally conservative approach to the levy so that residents would not be burdened during a recovering economy, so even with levy passage, the Public Works Department will operate with an anticipated $195,065 less per year than in 2008 when the previous levy was passed.
One of the best strategies in a tough economy is to provide high quality services, such as Recreation, which helps create a desirable community for families. I’m pleased to report that our Recreation Department is continuing to provide quality services that meet the recreational and fitness needs of our community. Attendance grew in most program areas in 2012 – including aquatics, art, dance, fitness, aqua fitness, preschool programs, theater classes and many sports classes. For its 20th anniversary season, Woodland Lights broke all attendance records, with a total of 23,845 visitors.
The number of recreation passes sold last year increased to 3,900 and a new Active 90 Pass, which provides entry to all facilities for open activities, has been popular with patrons who prefer a shorter, 90-day commitment. Our facilities also continue to stay busy, with rental fees for the Recreation Center and Rec West generating about $87,000 last year. Last, but not least, the quality of programming has been outstanding. For example, our Dive Team – which began competing just four years ago – has made huge strides, placing eighth overall at the national championships for AAU Diving.
Quality also is evident in the services we receive from the Sheriff’s Office. Our substation maintains a case clearance rate above the national average, works with businesses and neighborhoods on crime prevention, and maintains a strong and positive presence in local schools that last year included a collaborative anti-bullying campaign with the Centerville City School District.
The sheriff’s office has been a strong partner, working with our Public Works Department to help present four community shred days and collaborating with the fire department on child safety seat inspections. Our fire department also works with the sheriff’s office on drug drop off days that take place at township fire stations.
Recently, we’ve had the opportunity to welcome Captain Jeff Papanek to the post of police director. A resident of Washington Township for 30 years, Captain Papanek has 25 years of law enforcement experience with the sheriff’s office, including six years as district commander. He succeeds Captain Dee Osterfeld who retired in November. We congratulate her on her stellar career and wish her the best.
All of our departments are serving a community that continues to grow in size. Census data shows that Washington Township population has increased at a healthy pace, from about 53,000 in 2000 to nearly 57,000 in 2010. The unincorporated section, which experienced the most growth, has reached a population of 32,610.
Our Development Services Department ensures that this growth takes place in a way that supports community standards. To that end, the township’s sign ordinance was updated and improved and a new section on small wind energy systems was added to our Zoning Code.
We’re fortunate that existing township retail centers, such as Washington Square, are continuing to invest in property improvements and that new development is taking place in the southern part of the township. Unfortunately, development can sometimes become contentious. Such was the case when Centerville began the year by annexing 96.5 acres on Social Row Road in order to forge an annexation pathway to State Route 48, a corridor that is ripe for development and tax dollars.
To justify the annexation of mostly township-owned land, city leaders suggested they could do a better job of attracting and managing development. The logic is faulty, given that Washington Township has approved preliminary plans for a 69-acre development at Social Row-State Route 48 that offers planned, quality development in keeping with the area, while the Centerville Planning Commission approved a controversial 68-acre multi-use development that prompted Centerville residents to place a referendum on the November ballot.
Despite the distractions of annexation and funding cuts, Washington Township has kept its focus on quality in all areas. I’m pleased to report that the township has been recognized again with an unqualified audit from the Auditor of State.
Washington Township Trustees pledge to continue these high standards of practice, to budget conservatively, to pursue cost efficiencies, to act as conscientious stewards of public money, and to provide the highest quality of service to residents of our community.
I would like to take a moment to thank our township administrator, department heads, employees and board volunteers for their dedication to the citizens of both Washington Township and Centerville. It is through your hard work that we can bring services to our residents in a professional and efficient manner.
It has been my pleasure to serve this community over this past year as the board president. I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for our community and surrounding communities. With a fiscally conservative approach and some creativity, we can meet any challenge that comes before us.
Washington Township Trustees have authorized an agreement to allow construction of a pedestrian walkway and public plaza as part of a proposed Dewey’s Pizza on the north side of Washington Township Town Hall in the community’s historic downtown.
The agreement features a public plaza with seating and landscaping on North Main Street, similar to the “pocket park” in front of Graeter’s and City Barbecue. The plaza, which measures about 50 by 25 feet, straddles land owned by the township and Dewey’s. A safe pedestrian walkway will connect from the restaurant and run behind Town Hall to public parking shared by Panera Bread and retail establishments.
“The township is delighted to provide pedestrian and customer access on our property with Dewey’s assisting the township in the cost of those improvements,” said Trustee President Joyce Young.
“This is a quality development that will mesh nicely with the downtown,” said Zoning Manager Ryan Lee. “Besides alleviating safety concerns, the plan allows for increased walkability and connectivity in the downtown.
We’re excited to work with our neighbor to enhance connectivity and create an outdoor gathering space that adds synergy to Town Hall Theatre and downtown businesses.”
Authorization by Washington Township Trustees paves the way for Township Administrator Jesse Lightle to sign an agreement with Dewey’s. Meanwhile, approval by the City of Centerville is pending. The development plan and the demolition of an existing home must be reviewed by the city’s Board of Architectural Review which approves all plans for downtown Centerville.
The development is located on three parcels between Town Hall and Burke Orthodontics and includes the restaurant, plaza, pedestrian walk and parking.
“The Township has been a long-time supporter of a vibrant downtown for our Centerville/Washington Township community,” notes Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. “We’ve helped pay for the construction of a public parking lot and we pay half of the maintenance on both of the public lots in downtown Centerville.”
Washington Township also contributed $370,000 toward construction of the downtown Centerville parking lot at Main and Franklin streets and pays half of the rent for the public parking lot behind Crosspoint Vineyard Church.
Town Hall is home to Town Hall Theatre which is dedicated to inspiring personal growth in young people and creating shared performing arts experiences for families. Each year, the program reaches over 20,000 audience members and involves over 400 community volunteers in every facet of production.
A while ago, city managers in the greater Dayton area hired the University of Toledo to prepare a report about what they believed were inequities between cities and townships.
When it was released in late 2011, the Greater Dayton Mayors and Managers Association report sparked news stories, discussions, and an effective rebuttal by the Ohio Township Association.
Now the report is making the rounds again via the City of Centerville’s print and electronic media and residents are being urged to contact their law makers to bring state statutes more in line with city preferences. While townships throughout Ohio believe the issues were effectively addressed nearly a year ago, we’re revisiting the topic for residents who may have just recently tuned in to the city’s recent media campaign:
The city managers’ report contends that township residents pay less in taxes than city residents, but get more than their fair share of services from the state and county. Unfortunately, it overestimates what townships receive and underestimates what township residents contribute through taxes and payments.
The report also claims that cities are hemorrhaging population to townships which results in a tremendous and unfair economic gain at the expense of cities – a core premise the report does not support with data. In contrast, Montgomery County Planning Commission data shows:
The city managers group asserts that townships unfairly benefit from subsidized road maintenance by the state and county. However cities also receive their share of subsidies. For instance, cities receive 80% of the receipts from the gas tax which helps fund their road maintenance.
While cities receive 80% of the receipts, they maintain just 65% of Montgomery County roads, excluding the national highway/interstate system. City residents comprise 80% of the county population and maintain only 73% of US/State Routes within their boundaries.
Although townships receive services from the County Engineer, the four largest projects in 2011 all supported cities.
The city managers’ report claims that a $450,000 subsidy is provided to three Montgomery County townships – one of them Washington Township – that have entered into paid contracts with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s office. The claim is not supported with data.
In reality, each contract requires the sheriff and township to agree upon “actual expenses” and for the township to pay the expenses. Townships also pay more than two dozen line item charges listed in the city managers’ report and pay for training, equipment, supplies, repairs, maintenance and clerical employees to support police services. Contracts also are reviewed by the county prosecutor and the auditor of state’s office.
We do agree, however, that Washington Township benefits from the economies of scale offered by a large police department. This is because we have avoided costly duplication of services, not because we are subsidized. If cities would like to receive the same economic benefits, they are equally free to contract for services with the sheriff’s office.
The city managers claim that cities such as Kettering bear an unfair financial burden for municipal courts. However, cities that provide municipal courts are compensated in many ways, including court fines, court costs, a $16 per case special projects fee, and nearly $1.3 million from Montgomery County. From 2008 to 2012, the county’s funding of municipal courts rose by 8.4% even as its total general fund budget declined by 19.6%. Meanwhile, the State of Ohio pays 45% of the salaries for county and municipal court judges, according to the National Center for State Courts.
Although the report claims that legal services from the county prosecutor constitute another subsidy, it indicates the cost is negligible – $120,000 in 2012 for all townships. Based on the report’s estimates, just 1.7% of the prosecutor’s budget covers the 20% of county residents who live in townships.
In addition, townships frequently provide their own counsel at their own expense. Many urban townships, such as Washington Township, are actually required to provide their own counsel because they are Home Rule Townships.
All local governments are hurting due to reductions in state funding, so it’s tempting to fight your neighbor for every bone of tax money. However, cities have funding sources that are not available to townships. For instance, they receive a larger share of the Local Government Fund. Townships have 20% of the population, but receive 9.5% of LGF funds.
The report also underestimates what township residents contribute to sales tax, which is the largest source of revenue for the county. Given the substantial role that socio-economic status and disposable income plays in sales tax revenue it is illogical to assume that city residents, who comprise 80% of Montgomery County’s population, also provided 80% of the $60.4 million income revenue in 2010.
Income tax also is an abundant source of city revenue – about $35 million for Kettering and $11 million for Centerville – that counties and townships cannot levy. Townships rely primarily on property tax revenue that has been declining due to lower property values. The county’s property tax revenue declined 14.7% from 2008 to 2012.
The city managers’ report is deeply flawed, most likely because township officials – the experts on township government – seem not to have been contacted. We could not find one township official who was asked to provide information. The County Engineer’s office also has stated that the report is unreliable, flawed and inconsistent.
Like many other townships, Washington Township believes that shared services help provide efficient and coordinated service delivery. For instance, we’ve been able to save money this year on a part-time position by reimbursing the City of Kettering for Geographical Information System (GIS) services.
Many legislators agree with this approach. A recent state budget bill contains provisions that foster increased service sharing among local governments. Township government supports this model while the Greater Dayton Manager and Mayors Report, with its persistent attack on shared services, runs contrary to current preferred trends in local government.
Washington Township remains convinced that one of Ohio’s great strengths is the choice it offers in local government and its recognition that cities and townships provide complementary forms of governance.
Every six years, county auditors in Ohio are required to reappraise property. To assist in this process, the Montgomery County Auditor's Office will be taking photos of properties throughout the area. Staff members will be driving white passenger vans. Check here for details about the photo project, including information about when vans will be in Washington Township.
Captain Jeff Papanek of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office has been appointed police director for Washington Township, succeeding Dee Osterfeld who recently retired.
In his new role, Papanek is in charge of daily operations for the Washington Township Substation, overseeing six sergeants and 25 deputies. Besides street patrol, the substation provides services through two investigators, a school resource officer and traffic officer.
Papanek, who has served the past six years as captain and district commander for the Harrison Township Substation, began his duties Dec. 3.
“We’re extremely fortunate to have someone with his breadth and depth of experience,” said Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. “His law enforcement work spans 25 years and includes nearly every aspect of sheriff’s office operations.”
Overseeing township police services is a natural role for Papanek who has lived 30 years in Washington Township, graduated from Centerville High School, and has been assigned to the Washington Township substation on multiple occasions, including two stints on road patrol and three years as sergeant.
“I have an investment in the community. I shop in the township and I travel the roadways every day,” said Papanek. “I’m proud to serve as police director and I plan to continue the excellent services that Washington Township provides.”
His law enforcement career includes 13 years of supervisory experience, with assignments as lieutenant and watch commander for the jail and as a sergeant for Washington Township, Harrison Township and patrol headquarters.
“I’ve been a part of law enforcement my whole life,” says Papanek, whose brother, Todd, is a sergeant for the sheriff’s office, and whose father retired as MCSO chief deputy, and then served 16 years as Brookville police chief. “I remember attending MCSO functions with my Dad and seeing the police cruisers, the canines, and the deputies in uniform – and thinking that someday I wanted to do that. Here I am 25 years later and loving it.”
In addition to his officer posts, he has worked as an evidence technician, served as squad leader for the SWAT team, conducted internal investigations, assisted with accreditation, and served a brief stint with the Organized Crime Unit. He began his career in 1987 as a corrections officer at the Montgomery County Jail.
“I like law enforcement because it’s a different job every day,” he said. “You don’t run into the same situation twice. You get to be outside and in the community. You get to protect people in their time of need and send the bad guys where they need to go.”
Woodland Lights is celebrating its 20th season with a new major sponsor – Sam’s Club of Washington Township, Beavercreek and Butler Township. The membership warehouse club has donated $5,000 to Woodland Lights, the longest-running public lighting festival in the Miami Valley.
“The Sam’s Club sponsorship will help us continue a holiday tradition for families throughout the area,” said Jesse Lightle, administrator for Washington Township which presents Woodland Lights during the month of December. “We’re grateful for this substantial donation and also for the many generous contributions Sam’s Club has made over the years to our community.”
Sam’s Club and Woodland Lights are natural partners since the warehouse club’s Washington Township location is just a few doors away from Countryside Park where Woodland Lights takes place.
“Woodland Lights has brought joy and lasting memories to many families within the community for years. We’re proud to be a part of the long-standing tradition,” said Eric Heigel, general manager for Sam’s Club Washington Township.
“We’re always looking for ways to support our local community and this was a good match for us. Woodland Lights offers a great family experience and is a holiday event that reaches people all over the Greater Dayton area,” Heigel added. Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, is the nation’s eighth largest retailer and a leading warehouse club with more than 47 million members. Three stores are located in the Greater Dayton Area – Washington Township, Beavercreek and Butler Township.
Washington Township again earned high marks from the Auditor of State who has issued an unqualified opinion recognizing the township’s financial statements.
An unqualified audit is the highest rating presented and means that no material problems were found in the township’s 2011 financial statements and accounting practices. The audit process included a series of extended on-site visits that took place over a period of months, followed by a management review prior to issuing the report.
“Washington Township has a long history of unqualified audits,” said Jesse Lightle, township administrator. “These consistently high ratings indicate accounting practices that are thorough and exact, and that have been applied continuously over a long period of time.”
Audits of the township’s financial statements and practices are required every two years, however the Washington Township Finance Department has requested they be conducted annually.
“We do this in order to maintain the highest accountability to taxpayers,” said Tom Zobrist who, in his elected post as Fiscal Officer, has been responsible for fiscal operations since April 2004. The day-to-day operations of the Finance Department have been supervised since 1991 by Finance Director Mike Barlow.
Trustee Joyce Young (front) was honored with the YWCA's Marsha Froelich Survivor Award at an October breakfast. She was joined by Fiscal Officer Tom Zobrist, Trustee Scott Paulson, Township Administrator Jesse Lightle and Trustee Dale Berry.
Drought conditions persist locally and throughout Ohio. Find detailed information here about how the drought has affected Ohio counties, the MidWest and other parts of the nation. Check for local restrictions on recreational fires and find information about possible USDA emergency loans for farmers.
Over the last 20 years, Washington Township has experienced more sustained growth and development than any jurisdiction in Montgomery County. However, cities sometimes claim that annexation of township land is justified because certain properties experience more economic development simply because they are located in cities.
By Scott Paulson, President Washington Township Trustees
Does annexation create economic growth?
The fundamental truth is that no matter in what jurisdiction a piece of property lies, it’s the location that determines its function and its ability to create jobs. As any real estate agent will tell you, it’s “location, location, location,” not the particular boundary line surrounding it.
For instance, economic development has increased steadily in the Township, despite the recession. Just because land was annexed belonging to Bethany Lutheran, St. Leonard or Miami Valley Hospital did not ensure the success of these developments. It simply meant that a new source of income tax was created for the city.
Trustees believe our entire community will benefit if cities concentrate on encouraging businesses to grow on property within city boundaries rather than expanding beyond their borders. This results in a prosperous community for both city and township residents which is consistent with the township’s mission – to plan and work for the long-range development of the entire township.
In accordance with this mission, we support the Create the Vision Community Plan adopted by the city and township in 2004. The plan calls for development policies that focus on infill over greenfield development and encourages “greater efforts to protect rural, open space qualities, especially in the southern part of the community.” The plan goes so far as to warn that growth pressure from the Austin Pike interchange presents a significant challenge.
This concern about growth pressure has proven to be well-founded. A rezoning request for a high density, multi-use development on 68 acres at the northwest corner of Social Row and Sheehan roads recently was approved by the Centerville Planning Commission, despite the Community Plan’s recommendation that development there be limited to low-density residential or civic use.
Trustees believe it is important to stick with our Community Plan and to manage growth in a way that is consistent with its principles.
Because cities rely on income tax for their funding, they are highly motivated to annex land and develop it as a nonresidential use. This pressure is so strong that it counterbalances the additional cost of services that a city will assume when the land is annexed. Townships do not experience this same sort of pressure because they rely on property tax which is based upon the value of structures and land, not on the acquisition of jobs. This type of funding allows townships to focus on the public interest, not on self-interest that is driven by a financial incentive.
Another recent topic raised by the city is JEDDs. Township officials have considered the city’s offer to establish a Joint Economic Development District, but their offer lacks specifics. We need to know the location, purpose and plan before we can proceed. A formal JEDD proposal on the recently annexed land may have been an alternative to the annexation.
We also question if the formation of a JEDD would create economic development, especially since business owners have told us that they have located their businesses here specifically because of the advantages that Washington Township offers.
The township recognizes that state laws are heavily weighted toward annexation. Townships do not have unlimited funds to carry out long court battles about land acquisition. However, to balance those disadvantages, we are fortunate that the township enjoys great support from its residents. Many prefer a limited form of government that only spends money that voters approve.
Trustees will continue to carry out our mission to provide for and promote the general welfare of our community, both city and township. We pledge to maintain a cost effective, lean administration that delivers quality services funded by levies that our residents approve. Elected officials also pledge to promote service to the township above themselves, and to always cooperate and coordinate with neighboring governments and public entities.
Another tree is growing in Volunteer Park on Yanks Court thanks to an Arbor Day tree planting by Washington Township’s Visual Improvement Program (VIP) Committee. Volunteer Park is located near Yankee Street and Miamisburg-Centerville Road.
Members oversaw the planting of a red sunset maple donated by Mary Lou Schauer who is a co-founder of the committee and an owner of Schauer Landscaping, 9530 Clyo Rd.
Every tree in the mini-park can be traced to the township business, said Township Administrator Jesse Lightle. “Her gifts have helped transform an empty strip of land into a flourishing park near one of the township’s busiest intersections,” Lightle said.
Schauer has made an annual Arbor Day donation for more than 20 years. Other donations have been planted by the VIP Committee at locations that include Countryside Park, Hithergreen Center and public schools.
Volunteer Park came about because members of the VIP Committee saw an opportunity to improve the township, Lightle said. Members are committed to preserving the township’s natural beauty, which includes maximizing the use of township-owned green space and supporting citizens as they maintain and improve township neighborhoods.
VIP Committee projects include decorative banners on light poles and plantings in boulevards and other public spaces. The committee is best known for its Beautification Awards, presented annually to residents and businesses for outstanding work in maintaining and improving their properties. They also developed the concept of Woodland Lights many years ago when they were looking for ways to expand public awareness of Countryside Park.
Schauer is a founding member of the VIP Committee, along with current Chairperson Marlene Tiernan and Vice Chair Mable Leyes.
Volunteers help keep the Township humming – whether they’re coaching youth sports, serving on a public board, tending a township garden, or helping with traffic control at an accident scene.
To recognize their contributions, Washington Township Trustees invited more than 150 volunteers to an April reception and trustee meeting.
“Volunteers share their skills generously with every department, helping with day-to-day tasks. Many important community events couldn’t take place without them,” notes Trustee President Scott Paulson. The annual Ice Cream Social, Americana Festival and Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast are presented almost solely by volunteer workers.
Volunteers also help set up displays and play Santa at Woodland Lights or assist with programs at Hithergreen and the historical society. Others represent the interests of residents on township boards such as Zoning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, Recreation Advisory Board, and Visual Improvement Program Committee.
“Volunteers are essential to a healthy community,” Paulson says. “They help develop a better community by building shared connections and also save taxpayers money through their contributions of time and talent.”
Volunteers at the recognition event are pictured below:
Aug 17, 2011
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