Council OKs bridge replacement

By Cecilia Fox -

TIPP CITY — At their meeting Monday night, Tipp City council awarded a bid for the replacement of the Maple Hill bridge and approved land use changes aimed at making a property owned by the Tipp City Seniors easier to sell.

The city approved an agreement for the bridge replacement project with Sturm Construction of Sidney at a cost of $306,067. The project is contingent on the city being awarded funding from the Ohio Public Works Commission, which should be determined by July 1.

City councilman John Kessler said he is pleased to see this piece of “old Tipp City” being updated.

“It’s one of the last little pieces of Tipp City that hasn’t been majorly altered,” he said. “For us to move forward, keeping the bridge and the road there, makes me feel pretty good.”

Mayor Joe Gibson noted that this project has been on the city’s “wish list” for years. He also pointed out that the project bid came in under the engineer’s estimate of $340,000 budgeted for the project.

Council also approved an ordinance amending the land use plan for a property located at 855 N. Hyatt St., which was purchased as a location for the Senior Center before an existing building was bought for that purpose.

The realtor selling the property contacted the city to express frustration at the inability to sell the property with a designation of industrial use. The land use was changed from industrial to “suburban neighborhood.”

“This allows for ease of sale of the property,” Gibson said.

The property was no longer considered a viable option for the new senior center because the cost of the project sky-rocketed beyond projections, said Pam Holl, Tipp City resident and Keller Williams Hometown Realty associate.

“During this past year, we’ve had numerous offers to purchase this land and have always been turned down due to the fact that the zoning had been changed back to light industrial,” she said. She added that a builder is interested in building seniors cottages on the property.

Council president Katelyn Berbach noted that zoning had not been changed, but that the Seniors had been granted a special land use for the property, which reverted to an industrial land use when the project fell through.

According to City Manager Tim Eggleston, the change in future land use designation opens the door for a future buyer to request a zoning change.

“It could still be sold as industrial, this just allows them leeway if they have a buyer that can develop it, then they’ll approach the Planning Board and say, ‘Look, I have a project now, I want to rezone this,’” he explained.

By Cecilia Fox

Reach Cecilia Fox at

Reach Cecilia Fox at