West Milton plans open house


By Matt Clevenger

For Miami Valley Today

WEST MILTON — The Village of West Milton will hold an open house on Monday, May 11, offering residents and their families a chance to tour city hall and meet members of their local government.

“Everyone has the run of city hall,” municipal manager Matt Kline said during village council’s regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb 11. “They’ll get to meet the council members and talk to the mayor. They’ll meet our police department; they’ll go through the fire department, there will be fire apparatus that firemen will be able to demonstrate.”

CareFlight and the Union Township Lifesquad will also be at the open house, which runs from 6-8pm at the West Milton municipal building. “There’s usually refreshments; hot dogs, cookies, face-painting for the kids, stickers, coloring books,” Kline said. “It’s a great opportunity for citizens and their children to come here and go through city hall.”

Also at Tuesday’s meting, council members heard an update on the Bulldog Bag program from organizer Becky Garrett.

“We are a program that serves bags of non-perishable food items to students at the elementary school,” Garrett said. “We started in October of 2016 with 30 students; those were kindergarten students, and we just had a bag of food that we gave them to take home on Fridays, so that day they would have extra food at home.”

“We ended that year with 90 students,” she said. “2017 was our second year; we went up to 120 students, and that was kindergarten, first and second grade. We ended that year with 185 students that we were serving, and that was k-5.”

“We’re steady right now at about 288 kids, and it is pre-k through 5th grade now,” she said.

The program distributes bags of food, as well as hygiene items and other necessities. “This year, we asked dentists to donate toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss,” Garrett said. “We’ve sent out two hygiene bags so far this year, and we’re going to send another one in May.”

Each Bulldog Bag costs the program approximately $4. The group accepts donations, and is also planning a 5K fundraiser coming up on March 21. “It’s called the Foodsteps 5K,” Garrett said. “We’re trying to get the word out that all of the proceeds go to Bulldog Bags.”

Donations can be made through facebook, and more information can also be found online at www.cantstoprunningco.com.

In other business, council members also approved a new anti-displacement policy, and a resolution authorizing the renewal of a two-year contract for village law director Lenee Brosh. “Lenee and her firm have been with us since 2014,” Kline said. “We’ve developed a great working relationship. She does an excellent job.”

Council members also approved expenditures of approximately $18,000 for the purchase of a new Bobcat with attachments, $25,036 for the replacement of a steel hopper on the village’s street sweeper and $26,585 to repair the UV light system at the wastewater treatment plant.

Council members also announced a new date of Saturday, Aug. 22 for the village’s popular Rock the Hill festival this summer, as well as an upcoming Sip N’ Shop event that will be held in downtown West Milton from 10am to 4 pm on Saturday, Feb. 29. Drinks will be served, and local bakers will also provide free samples.

“We’re all going to be serving drinks,” council member Sarah Copp said. “We have invited 12 local bakers from the Miami county area to participate. We’re trying to promote local bakers also.”

The Sip N’ shop event will serve as the first official fundraiser for Project Revival, a new non-profit organization to promote and revitalize the downtown West Milton area. The group is already raising funds for its first project, bringing a mural to the corner of State Rt. 48 and Hamilton Street.

“Our very first project is a mural downtown,” Copp said. “We’re hoping to have that done by late spring. Flawless Signs, they are doing the design, and I think it’s going to be coming out this week. We’re going to be posting that.”

Village council will host a special meeting with the Union Township Trustees and the Milton-Union Board of Education at the municipal building starting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27. Village council’s next regularly scheduled meeting will be held Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m.