2022 State of the Township

2022 State of the Township
Posted on 01/04/2023
Each year, we take the opportunity to share with our residents the successes of the previous year and the projects and initiatives we have in store for the community in the coming year. It’s a chance for us to look at how far we have come and what we have accomplished. We are proud to say that in Washington Township, now more than ever, our employers are thriving, our commercial properties remain in high demand, and we have seen some of the most robust and healthy population growth in the region, proving that moving to the Township is a wise investment.

In 2022, Washington Township was officially designated as an Age-Friendly Community by the AARP. This designation means that we are dedicated to strengthening the features and services that help make our community livable for residents of all ages. We are proud to partner with AARP as their network of Age-Friendly Communities provides us with the resources to become more age-friendly by tapping into national and global research, planning models, and best practices.

Our Zoning and Development Services Department welcomed many new businesses to Washington Township this year while continuing to find ways to support and retain existing businesses. Working alongside regional partners such as BusinessFirst, JobsOhio, and the Dayton Development Coalition, the Development Services team paved the way to welcome the world’s first autonomous drone docking company, Stix Drones, to Washington Township. As the birthplace of flight, it is exciting to see the resurgence of aviation manufacturing in Ohio and we are looking forward to the effect that these investments will have on our region’s economy. We are confident that Strix Drones is the first of many new inventive and technologically advanced companies to call Washington Township, home. 

It’s always a pleasure having the opportunity to network and visit with the local businesses and nonprofits that contribute extensively to our community. In the fall, Township businesses were invited to the annual Business Breakfast where we heard from the President and CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition, Jeff Hoagland, about regional and statewide economic development projects. We also continued our Business Spotlight video series this year, highlighting the wonderful services and products that some of our local businesses offer. 

Public Works crews stayed busy this year and resurfaced a record thirty-seven streets as part of the Street Improvement Program. Additionally, Montgomery County completed the intersection improvement at Mad River and Alex Bell this year and the new roundabout makes this intersection much safer and more efficient.

In the spring, Washington Township residents approved a Road & Bridge replacement levy supporting the services of the Public Works Department. This funding ensures that we can continue infrastructure improvements throughout the Township, and we remain incredibly grateful for the support of our residents. Thank you for passing the levy. 

Finally, we welcomed a new Public Works Director to the Township this year. Tim Franck came to Washington Township from West Chester Township with significant experience managing all aspects of a public works department and we are thrilled to have him as part of the team.

It has been an absolute banner year for our Fire Department as they received the Ohio Fire Department of the Year award from the State Fire Marshal and the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Division of EMS. This is one of the highest awards that can be received from the Ohio Fire Service and is a testament to the incredible quality of service our emergency personnel provide to our community on a daily basis. As a department dedicated to fire safety and education, this award is a reflection of the strong leadership and community support that the Washington Township Fire Department has received over the past seventy-five years.

Additionally, we welcomed the community back into our stations this year with our popular fire open houses. Held during Fire Prevention Week, these open houses are an opportunity for families to visit the fire stations, explore the apparatus, talk to a firefighter, and learn about fire safety. 

Speaking of fire stations, construction on the new Fire Station 41 on East Franklin Street is well underway and it’s exciting to watch the progress. We anticipate construction to be completed by August 2023 and the station being fully operational by September 2023. 

Two Community Service Award Scholarships were presented this year to graduating seniors from Centerville High School. We are always inspired by the service and generosity that come from our local youth and we are proud to see how they are affecting change in our community. 

We are pleased to report that after months of work, the Town Hall renovation project is complete! Thanks to generous donors in our community, the cost of the new seats and other improvements made to the auditorium were offset by 74 percent, and $128,393 in grant funding and private contributions helped contribute to the rest of the renovation project. Of particular significance was a donation from the Centerville Noon Optimist Club, who presented a $20,000 check toward the renovation. With their donation, the first two rows of seats in the auditorium will now be named in honor of the Centerville Noon Optimist Club as generations of young people continue to enjoy and benefit from the arts in our community for years to come. We are grateful to have such supportive community partners and are looking forward to watching our young people shine on stage for many more years in this updated and historic space. 

This year, we had the honor of dedicating the former Enrichment Center at the Washington Township RecPlex West, in memory of Joyce C. Young, former Township Trustee. Joyce was a remarkable woman and a champion for Township residents. As a strong proponent of the impact of local government, she was always encouraging those around her to get involved and her name was synonymous with community volunteerism and leadership. Through Joyce’s many important contributions, we now ensure that her legacy will have an enduring significance for all who visit the Joyce C. Young Center.

We were also thrilled to open the new Creativity Commons inside the Washington Township RecPlex.  Powered by the Washington-Centerville Public Library, Creativity Commons is designed to provide residents a makerspace for innovation, learning and creativity. It will help to make cutting edge equipment and technology accessible to our entire community while being a place in which people with common interests can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge.

Last year, we spoke about the importance of being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars and that remains true this year and every year. For example, the Washington Township RecPlex was awarded a grant this year from the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund for the second phase of the revitalization project in Countryside Park. This grant will cover 75% of the anticipated cost of the second phase of the project, ensuring that the RecPlex and the Township at large continue to be fiscally responsible with Tom Stolz's gift to our community and that his generosity can be enjoyed by generations to come.

Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office deputies continued to provide excellent service to our residents with their community outreach and business engagement efforts throughout the Township. Through both our school resource officer program and our community oriented policing outreach, deputies have been able to stay connected with neighborhoods and businesses. In August, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office partnered once again with the Fire Department and Recreation Department to hold the Cruise-In to the Ice Cream Social at the RecPlex. The event drew thousands of community members and over 120 cars for the car show. The support from our local business community who sponsored the event was overwhelming and we would not have been able to create such a memorable event without their generosity. 

Finally, we want to take this opportunity to thank and recognize our outgoing Township Administrator, Jesse Lightle, on her many years of service to Washington Township. Jesse has spent the past sixteen years making Washington Township stronger in every aspect and her diligence, professionalism, and perspective will be greatly missed.

Above all else, thank you to our residents for your support. We are proud of the services we offer, and it is our honor to serve you. We recognize that this level of service delivery is only possible because of our extremely supportive community of residents, businesses, and organizations. We sincerely thank you for joining together to build the community that we all enjoy.