Just like every other year, a lot happened in West Chester in 2019. As you read this article you will agree and disagree with some of the Board’s decisions, but please keep in mind that we all live here and do our best to make right decisions for West Chester Township.
So the first big thing that happened in 2019 revolved around the Union Centre Blvd Divergent Diamond Interchange improvement. On March 13, 2019 your West Chester Township Trustees, Fiscal Officer Bruce Jones and staff, traveled to Chicago to meet with Analysts at Moody’s Investor Services for the purpose of presenting the status of West Chester’s economic development initiatives, strategies, policies and financial management practices with the intention of getting their highest possible rating. We came back with their highest aaa+ rating! At a May 1, 2019 Special Meeting, the Trustees heard from Butler County Engineer, Greg Wilkins and approved the $20M project. Work began later that month and will be complete July 31, 2020.
At the April 9, 2019 meeting the Trustees approved an agreement with the National Research Center to conduct a National Citizen Survey of West Chester to find out what residents thought of their township and offer recommendations for improvements. The results of the survey were released on 11/18/19. The higher level view of survey respondents shows that 95% of respondents find the overall quality of life in West Chester to be either good or excellent; 96% of respondents rate West Chester as a good or excellent place to live; 83% call the overall quality of township services good or excellent; and 71% rate the sense of community as good or excellent. The results can be found at this web address WC Citizen Survey Results
In May, a presentation was made by our Fire Department regarding Station 73 on Duff Dr. to either repair/improve the existing station or tear it down and build a new one. The cost to build new was LESS THAN the cost to repair so the decision was new – build new! In June the architectural plans were complete and in July we signed an 18-month lease agreement for a temporary fire station location at 4976 Provident Dr. The new station, back on Duff Dr. should be finished the second quarter 2021.
In August the Trustees helped our neighbors to the north in Beavercreek Township affected by the devastating tornadoes with our emergency equipment and personnel. We approved a mutual aid agreement as requested by FEMA.
On August 14, 2019, after months of workshops and focus groups with residents, business leaders and West Chester representatives, and after many design drafts, West Chester launched our new logo! The new logo is a modern take on the township’s clock tower on The Square @ Union Centre as a symbol of gathering, welcoming and community. This is balanced by the sprouting flower in shades of green that suggest a healthy and thriving community, born of a rich agricultural history.
Keehner Park has new Multi-Use Courts and replacement fence for those who enjoy tennis, basketball and pickle ball. The Trustees approved the expenditure to replace the existing fence and courts at the August 27, 2019 meeting.
Over the next year, our West Chester Zoning Resolutions, Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Property Maintenance Guidelines are getting overhauled! At the September 10, 2019 meeting, the Trustees approved an agreement with McBride Dale Clarion for professional services in creating a new West Chester Zoning Resolution and updating the West Chester Comprehensive Land Use Plan and Property Maintenance Guidelines for a cost of about $120,000. The goal is to make the documents easier to use, simpler to search and navigate and streamline the time it takes to get approval for projects, i.e. from weeks to days!
After months of negotiations, at the September 24th Trustee meeting, the sale of the Activity Center on Cox Rd to Regency/Kroger was authorized. TheTrustees are still working with seniors to find a space that best serves their needs. It’s worth mentioning that the Township and Regency Centers have a signed contract to sell the Activity Center, but it hasn’t closed yet. Like any property contract (your home for instance), an earnest deposit is paid, and the closing takes place at a future date as the buyer gets financing and other affairs in order. In this case, Regency paid an earnest deposit of $50,000 and has started working through all the conditions. These include signing a lease with Kroger, an environmental impact study, road improvements with Butler County Engineers, building design and permits with Butler County Building Department, storm water runoff, zoning change, etc. Meeting all these conditions will take approximately 15 months and ONLY THEN will the sale be finalized at the closing.
Finally, at the November 19 meeting, the Trustees recognized and gave Certificates of Accomplishment to Coach Brigit Reder and the entire team of Lakota West Girls Soccer Team for being State Champions!