At the March 14, 2017 meeting of the Bethel Township Miami Trustees meeting, the trustees passed a resolution in support of the Bethel Local School District’s 7.0 mill operating levy and 2.0 mill improvement levy on the May 2, 2017 ballot. The levies are renewals and will result in no new taxes for township residents. The State of Ohio initially awards the district approximately 3 million dollars a year in tax revenues; however, they take back 2.5 million because of money caps imposed on the district. Although the district is small, the state considers it a wealthy district because of the ratio between the number of residents and the tax revenue. However, without the support from the local levies the district will experience severe shortages for funding because of the cap imposed by the state.

In addition, the trustees approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Miami County Commissioners to establish a countywide Emergency Management Agency (EMA) for emergency management in case of a disaster. The EMA works to reduce loss of life and property if a disaster occurs. By developing a countywide plan the EMA and the communities throughout the county can work together to support each other and save overall costs.

In other business, the trustees appointed Judy Poettinger to the Bethel Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) for a term to expire December 31, 2021.

They also approved a payment to Access Engineer for work to date on the design of the Phoneton Water System for $18,000.

For Planning and Zoning, the trustees approved a re-zoning request from Gale Halderman at 6476 US 40 to rezone four parcels and part of one parcel at that location from their present zonings to R-1AAA Residential. A .826-acre parcel will be split from a 35.98-acre parcel zoned A-2 General Agriculture. A total of seven parcels will be combined and then re-split into three parcels resulting in a 1.899-acre parcel, a .56-acre parcel zoned residential and a 35.154-acre parcel that will remain A-2 General Agriculture. The re-zoning is contingent on the BZA’s approval of less frontage and less acreage on the .56-acre parcel than is currently allowed by the township zoning code; however, with the combination of the lots, the .56-acre parcel is 2.5 times larger than the current parcels at the location. The trustees unanimously approved the request.

In other zoning business, Director of Planning and Zoning Director Marty Caskey reported that no zoning certificate applications were received or issued since the last meeting.

He also reported that the Zoning Commission has two cases in progress. The first is a request to rezone two lots at 9140 SR 202 and US 40 currently zone B-1 General Business and B-3 Neighborhood Business to I-1 Industrial Business, then combine the two lots to erect a gas station. The Commission will hear this request on March 23, 2017.

In addition, a request is in progress to rezone the parcel at 6625 Cobaugh Road from I-1 Light Industrial to R-1AAA Residential to allow prospective property owners to obtain a mortgage on the property. This case will be heard by the Zoning Commission on April 27, 2017.

Caskey also announced that the Bethel BZA will meet on March 23, 2017 to hear a conditional use request for 968 Bellefontaine Road to establish a Veterinary Clinic at that location.

Fire Chief Andy Ehrhart reported that the Fire Department made 21 runs between February 25, 207 and March 10, 2017. The runs included a chimney fire on Wildcat Road that resulted in no structural damage to the residence. The department also made 15 emergency medical runs that included one motor vehicle accident with no injuries.

In addition, Ehrhart reported that the department responded to one power line down because of wind damage.

Furthermore, Ehrhart reported that the department has responded to 103 calls so far this year, which averages out to 1.6 calls per day. He said, “This is on par with our average from previous years.”

He also announced that the county is adopting a new radio system that will allow them to talk to neighboring fire departments. The Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARC) provides first responders and public safety providers with digital communications. The system promotes communications among departments to save lives in normal and emergency situations.

The next meeting of the Bethel Township Trustees is scheduled for March 28, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the township meeting room.

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