TIPP CITY — On Monday night, the Tipp City council approved several agreements and heard from residents concerned about the removal of trees from their property.
Council also welcomed a new police officer, Ryan Johnston, who was sworn in during the meeting.
Council voted to enter into a partnership agreement with the Miami County Commissioners and the cities of Troy and Piqua for the Community Housing Impact and Preservation (CHIP) program.
“This partnership allows us to ask for additional funding through the program that would not otherwise be available if we apply independently,” City Manager Tim Eggleston said.
The four government entities are jointly applying for $1,120,000, which would be administered by the county. There are no guaranteed amounts for each community, but Tipp City intends to focus on getting homes in the Woodlawn and South Tipp-Cowlesville Road areas off of septic systems, as well as rental or home owner repairs.
If the funds are received, the projects would be completed in 2018 and 2019.
Council also approved an agreement with DLZ for construction inspection and material testing services for the second phase of the County Road 25-A reconstruction project. The cost of these services is $172,770.
The Ohio Department of Transportation will reimburse up to 80 percent of the cost for the inspection and material testing services, the city will fund the remaining 20 percent.
Council heard from Elizabeth and Gary Moorman, residents of Kiowa Court who lost nearly 20 trees on their property because of work to resolve flooding in several neighborhoods along Interstate 75. Their property abuts the highway traffic noise barrier, which includes an easement for ODOT and one for the city’s electric utilities.
“We got a letter saying there have to be updates to the ditch because of the water problem, I understand that. But they were going to update it to take it back to 1996 and those trees have had no problem, they’ve been there for hundreds of years,” Moorman said. “All of our beautiful trees are gone.”
Moorman said they received a letter saying that any obstructions would be removed from the easements, but said they “never dreamed” that the scope of the work included the removal of more than a dozen century old trees.
Moorman asked council if anything could be done to save the one remaining tree in the easement, a burr oak she believes to be about 300 years old. She said the tree would likely be removed this week.
City Engineer John Donnelly explained that the area was being cleared for a project that is intended to solve the problems many residents in that area have with flooding. The area is being graded to improve the swale for the next step of the project, which has not yet been designed.
He said that the project is a joint effort with the Ohio Department of Transportation, which hired the tree removal company.
“There has been a noted drainage problem along the noise wall, there going north on Garber as well as Bellaire,” Donnelly said. “I think when the plat was created, there was a swale in the location of the noise wall, the noise wall was then built and now certain residents along this area have drainage problems when water ponds.”
He added that he had visited almost every resident in that area since the city and ODOT sent out a letter in September notifying residents that the easement would be cleared of all trees and encroachments.
“I have simply enforced what the agreement between ODOT and Tipp City has stated and I have been consistent with everybody along the way,” Donnelly said. “I’ve had many requests from many citizens, ‘Can’t we just except this one building, this one tree?’”
Several council members said they would like to see something done to keep the Moorman’s last tree from being removed, at least until the project is fully designed. Council President Joe Gibson added that there is very little the city can do because this is a joint project with ODOT.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.