At the March 8, 2016 meeting of the Bethel Township Trustees, Township Resident Joe Sumpter questioned the trustees on what actions he needed to take to convince them that assessing the Phoneton residents $8,000 for the water line was wrong. Although the Township does not have an estimate for the total cost of the project because it has not been bid yet, Sumpter believes that the township has accumulated enough funds in the Infrastructure Improvement Fund to cover the cost for the Phoneton residents.

In response, Trustee Jerry Hirt explained, “If the township uses all the funds on the Phoneton project there would not be any funds remaining to address other infrastructure improvement projects that the township needs, such as Singer Road.”

In addition, Township Administrator, Andy Ehrhart said, “The actual cost for installing the water line is approximately $16,000 per household. The township has committed $1,000,000 to the project, which means that half of the cost of that installation is covered by the township. The county is only asking the residents to cover half of the expense. The $8,000 is the maximum a resident will pay. It may be less depending on the final estimates once the bids are received.” Residents would pay the final assessment over a 20-year period interest free.

Sumpter argued that Brandt residents didn’t have to pay for their hookups. According to Ehrhart, that information is not true. Each Brandt resident was assessed $7,800. Some residents because of their low incomes qualified for their assessment to be paid by a grant that the township received. However, no one was exempt.

Sumpter further argued, “It galls me that the trustees deceived residents when they campaigned for the levy by telling us it would pay for water and sewer.”

Hirt responded, “We never said it would pay for the whole project.”

As the hour grew late, Hirt suggested that the trustees and Sumpter would have to agree to disagree. He said, “The trustees are looking out for all Bethel Township Residents not just Phoneton Residents.”

For the Sheriff’s Department, Chief Deputy Dave Duchak provided the trustees with statistics generated by their new computer software that showed the number of violations in the township for 2014 and 2015 based on the type of violation. He explained that this information is now available to the township and that the software can provide drill down details for township leaders should the need arise. In addition, Duchak reported that the county has established a Heroin Coalition to address the heroin epidemic plaguing Miami County and the surrounding areas. According to Duchak, dealers are not establishing headquarters in the county. It is cheaper for users to drive to Dayton to purchase their drugs. He said, “It is essential that we work with all law enforcement agencies throughout the area to address the problem.”

In addition, Deputy Travis Boggs reported to the Trustees, that the Sheriff’s Department received 152 calls from the township in February. Of those calls, ten resulted in arrests. The department also made 57 traffic stops during that time.

For the Fire Department, Ehrhart reported that the department responded to 16 calls between February 20 and March 5. These included a medical assist to Huber Heights and a tanker assist to Vandalia. He said, “As usual, seventy percent of the calls were for emergency medical services in the township.”

For Planning and Zoning, Ehrhart reported that two zoning permits were issued. The first was for a 24 x 36 accessory building at 6189 Dayton-Brandt Road; the second was for a new residence at 7118 Dayton-Brandt Road. In addition, the Board of Zoning Appeals will meet on March 24 to hear a request from Bethany Horn for a variance in the lot standards for 7500 Dayton-Brandt Road. Horn would like to establish a Veterinarian Clinic at the location.

No resolutions were on the agenda; however, Ehrhart announced that the Fire Department is sponsoring an Easter Egg Hunt at Friendship Park on March 26, 2016.

The next meeting of the Bethel Township Trustees is scheduled for March 22, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. in the Township Meeting Room.

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