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Warren County septic business wins appeal in dispute with neighbors

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 @ 10:02 AM


            A judge ruled a septic tank cleaning business should be allowed to continue to operate in a neighborhood in Warren County, despite opposition from neighbors. LAWRENCE BUDD/STAFF

An appointed judge has ruled a septic tank cleaning business should be allowed to continue to operate in a neighborhood in Warren County, despite opposition from neighbors, including a retired local judge.

“The critical decision was made some time ago when the Board of Commissioners allowed more intensive conditional permitted uses, many of which are at least as intensive,” James Brogan, appointed last year by the Ohio Supreme Court, said in his ruling in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

RELATED: Residents fight septic business in neighborhood

Brogan ruled on an appeal brought last year by homeowners on Beal Road in Franklin Twp. of a decision by the Warren County Rural Zoning Board of Appeals permitting SepTek Services to operate under a conditional use permit.

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“Because of the real and legitimate concerns” of the residents, Brogan said, “the Zoning Inspector should vigorously enforce the conditions.”

The commission set conditions, limiting the operation to five of 16 acres and barring the business from storing, treating or dumping “effluent, bio-solids and the like” on the property.

RELATED: County board sets conditions for septic business in residential area

The decision will also limit vehicles used in the business and require SepTek to add trees and a berm to buffer the neighbors.

Brogan was appointed by the state’s high court after all the local judges and a magistrate recused themselves from the case brought by neighbors, including former Warren County Common Pleas Court Judge Dan Fedders.

RELATED: Supreme Court to appoint judge on appeal in Warren County

Brogan’s ruling, filed last week, followed a court hearing in April 7.

It was unclear if the residents would appeal the decision.

Businesses may face penalties for prohibiting guns in private vehicles

Published: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 6:32 PM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 6:32 PM

Businesses may face penalties for prohibiting guns in private vehicles (Photo credit should read GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Business groups are fighting an Ohio Senate proposal that will open them up to civil lawsuits by employees and others who bring handguns on to company property.

“For us this isn’t a concealed carry issue as much as this is an employer rights issue,” said Chris Kershner, vice president, public policy & economic development for the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Employers should be able to manage the actions in their private business on their private property, period.”

Ohio’s newly expanded concealed carry law - passed in December as Senate Bill 199 - lets people with concealed carry permits bring their guns onto private property regardless of the policies and wishes of the company or property owner.

RELATED: Guns at work: New law allows handguns on private property 

The gun must remain stored in the permit holder’s private vehicle.

But the law did not include any penalties for companies that do not comply and gun rights advocates have called for teeth to be added to it.

RELATED: Guns at work: New law allows handguns on private property

A provision in the Ohio Senate’s version of the proposed state budget would do that by creating a civil liability for employers and property owners if they try to prevent concealed-carry permit holders from bringing their guns onto private property.

John Fortney, spokesman for Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina, said the new provision is needed to concealed-carry permit holders who are following the rules don’t face unfair discipline at work.

“It doesn’t make sense for someone to lose their job for being responsible and following the law,” Fortney said.

The provision has prompted the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and 17 other business groups to send a letter strongly opposing the new provision to Obhof and Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, R-Clarksville.

The letter is signed by groups representing retailers, manufacturers, contractors, auto dealers, financial service and insurance companies, attorneys, and other businesses 

“We were opposed to Senate Bill 199 last year,” said Don Boyd, director of labor and legal affairs for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “We believed it infringes on employers’ private property rights and everyone’s private property rights. It also applies to every property owner and business owner in the state.”

RELATED: do concealed-carry laws make us safer?

Boyd said the business groups hope the provision will be removed in the final version of the state’s two-year budget that is being discussed now in a 6-member conference committee made up of members of the Ohio Senate and House of Representatives. The House version of the state budget does not include the provision.

“Looking at this new amendment we think it just exacerbates the problems of 199 by creating a new way to file a lawsuit against employers and private property owners,” Boyd said. “It’s a step backward for Ohio’s legal climate.”

The Senate provision would allow the business or property owner to be sued in civil court and the plaintiff awarded compensatory damages, injunctive relief, costs and attorney’s fees.

A lawsuit could be filed against a property owner, or employer “who establishes, maintains, or enforces a policy that prohibits a valid concealed handgun licensee from transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition in the person’s privately owned motor vehicle in accordance with existing law conditions,” according to a summary of the budget provision by the state’s non-partisan Legislative Service Commission.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Ohio’s CCW law

“Penalties are needed because some businesses have refused to comply with the spirit of the law,” said Jim Irvine, chairman of the Buckeye Firearms Association.

He said some employers are “harassing” employees who bring guns to work in their cars by asking them to come forward and show proof of a concealed carry permit and gun safety training.

RELATED: Hundreds killed by guns in workplace

The State Legislature in December approved the concealed carry expansion in a flurry of late night lame duck voting.

RELATED: Gun restrictions ease in Ohio

The law overrides company policies regarding weapons on company property but does not require a business to let people bring guns inside the business.

It was opposed by gun safety advocates and business groups but supported by gun rights advocates who said it allows people to have their weapons with them if they need to defend themselves on the way to and from work.

The concealed carry law originally would have established concealed carry holders as a protected class under civil rights laws but that was removed after businesses objected.

RELATED: Business groups lament Ohio expanded gun laws

The law does not apply to federal facilities like post offices or Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

RELATED: Wright-Patt employees can’t bring handguns to work

The law does let colleges, universities, and local government officials allow concealed carry permit holders to bring guns onto their property. Kershner said private businesses should have given private property owners and businesses the same right to choose to keep guns out.

“This is about employers being able to operate with less government interference,” Kershner said.

RELATED: Residents respond to new law allowing guns on private property

RELATED: 5 things to know about Ohio’s CCW law

RELATED: 9 Workplace Shooting incidents in Ohio and the U.S.

RELATED: Tips to avoid gun violence at work

89 homes, town center part of first phase of Warren County community

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 8:21 AM
Updated: Thursday, June 22, 2017 @ 11:53 AM

The first signs of Union Village — a 1,400-acre, 4,500-home new urbanist community to be built over the next 20 to 30 years in Warren County — should become evident next summer.

The Warren County Regional Planning Commission Executive Committee is to consider the plan for the first phase of the development during a meeting to begin at 1 p.m. Thursday at the county administration building in Lebanon.

RELATED: 12,000 residents, $1.5B in investment expected at Union Village

The development company set up Otterbein Senior Lifestyle Choices for the project is expected to begin putting in roads and other infrastructure late next spring or early next summer on the $8 million first phase.

“They are fronting a lot of this. They’ve got some protections so they can get it back,” Warren County Auditor Matt Nolan said.

For 30 years, half of the property taxes paid by homeowners and all paid on commercial properties will go into a fund used to pay for roads and infrastructure.

Union Village property owners will be able to enjoy amenities including a town center, places to shop and eat, and a walkable community featuring planned parks and open spaces.

RELATED:Lodgings tax hike to fund $15 million sports complex

A sports complex will be built in Union Village, north along Ohio 741 and on the north side of the property on Greentree Road, west of Lebanon, in Turtlecreek Twp.

It would be the first development in the area overseen by a new community authority that will assess property owners to help offset the cost of amenities and maintenance.

Property owners should expect to pay an additional 12 to 15 mills in property tax next year, $420 to $525 on a $300,000 home or business, according to Nolan.

“But for that, they would pay the same as anyone else living in Turtlecreek Twp.,” Nolan said.

The initial assessments are to be set next month by the Union Village Community Authority, a board set up like a homeowners association, to oversee the development and manage the assessments.

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Plans call for the town center, 89 homes, four apartment buildings and seven town homes to be built on land across from the main Otterbein retirement campus, between Springboro and Mason on Ohio 741.

RELATED: Otterbein also making changes on retirement campus

If approved, Otterbein next plans to demolish maintenance buildings and barns on the east side of Ohio 741, across from the retirement campus, to clear land for the project.

Dayton: Public incentives return $78 million, 2,760 jobs

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 2:52 PM

The new office building at Water Street is filled, and developers want to build a hotel next door. CORNELIUS FROLIK/STAFF

The city of Dayton has given out about $4.5 million in economic development incentives to private companies since 2013, including more than $1.5 million awarded just this year, according to data obtained by this newspaper.

But the city says its economic development fund investments have resulted in or will result in more than $78 million in private spending, and those employers have pledged to create or retain 2,760 jobs.

RELATED: Dayton to spend up to $1M more on Arcade redevelopment

The city’s biggest awards have gone to some of the most highly anticipated projects in the center city, including the redevelopment of the Dayton Arcade, the building of CareSource’s new office tower and the construction of a new hotel at the Water Street District.

The city invests its economic development funds strategically, officials said, and those payments have persuaded large and important employers to remain or expand in Dayton, including some which have been courted by other communities.

“With the economy improving, there’s more need for economic development incentives,” said Ford Weber, Dayton’s director of economic development. “As the economy strengthens, the projects get bigger — even though our incentives are increasing, we’re leveraging more money than we have in the past.”

RELATED: Dayton OKs funding for $13M hotel project

Recently, Dayton city commissioners approved giving Water Street Hotel LLC $500,000 out of the city’s development fund to support the building of a six-story Fairfield Inn & Suites at the corner of Monument Avenue and Patterson Boulevard, across from Fifth Third Field.

The award will help pay for unexpected engineering and construction costs related to a 5-foot storm sewer line that cuts through the property. The hotel, the first to be built in downtown in more than 15 years, is expected to cost $13 million and will have 98 rooms.

In March, the commission also approved giving $1 million to help pay for architectural, engineering and demolition services for the Dayton Arcade.

The funding, which will be matched by the team developing the complex, will help ensure developers have an accurate cost estimate for the project before closing on the purchase of the property, city officials said. That is important for developers to put together the financing for the project.

The rehab of the arcade could exceed $75 million, which is not yet reflected in the city’s estimated return on investment for its economic development fund awards.

RELATED: Taylor Communications to move hundreds of workers downtown

The city also expects to give Taylor Communications $500,000 out of its economic development fund to help the company move hundreds of workers from their offices on the west side to a building at 111 W. First St. in downtown.

The move benefits a major employer in the city and brings many workers downtown, which hopefully will help existing businesses and will spark new investment, officials said.

In November, the city commission approved spending $500,000 to help CareSource build a new six-story office tower on the 100 block of East First Street that has about 800 office spaces.

CareSource, which employs about 2,100 people downtown, is one of the fastest growing health insurance plans in the nation.

Dayton pitched in funding for the expansion project because it has to compete with other communities to attract and retain major employers, and the entire city benefits from the tax revenue generated by the payroll growth related to the expansions, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said last year.

Here’s a look at the 31 projects that have received economic development grants since 2013 and the amount of private investment involved and the number of jobs employers agreed to create or retain.
2013 Development Fund Projects
Development
Fund (Grants)
Private Investment City Investment Created Jobs Pledged Retained Jobs Pledged
Industrial Fiberglass
Specialties INC
$380,000.00 $10,000.00 0 26
Boost Technologies LLC $760,000.00 $50,000.00 20 52
Barr and Prevost $578,000.00 $70,000.00 35 0
idX Dayton Corporation $7,270,000.00 $100,000.00 120 130
Coolidge Wall $60,000.00 0 58
Midmark Corporation $1,800,000.00 $100,000.00 57 0
Front Porch Marketing dba
TriComB2B
$90,000.00 35 0
Total: $10,788,000.00 $ 480,000.00 267 266

2014 Development Fund Projects
Development
Fund (Grants)
Private Investment City Investment Created Jobs Pledged Retained Jobs Pledged
Creative Foam Corporation dba
Dayton Molded Urethanes
$1,500,000.00 $50,000.00 80 90
Elizabeth Place Holdings, LLC $2,350,000.00 $ 200,000.00 0 0
Dinsmore & Shohl LLP $1,250,000.00 $275,000.00 0 0
Total: $5,100,000.00 $525,000.00 80 90

2015 Development Fund Projects
Development
Fund (Grants)
Private Investment City Investment Created
Jobs Pledged
Retained Jobs Pledged
MVPackaging Solutions $2,100,000.00 $10,000.00 9 21
Talbott Tower Associates $50,000.00 $100,000.00 0 30
Techmetals $1,500,000.00 $100,000.00 25 147
GEM City Engineering $4,000,000.00 $100,000.00 25 103
Miller Valentine Group $315,000.00 $60,000.00 36 43
Aimia Proprietary Loyalty $40,000.00 $60,000.00 0 70
Simms Brownstones at 2nd Ltd $4,760,000.00 $240,000.00 0 0
Home Avenue Redevelopment, LLC $300,000.00 0 0
Real Wire, LLC $550,000.00 $35,000.00 0 0
St. Peter Partner, LLC $2,160,000.00 $90,000.00 0 0
Faruki, Ireland, and Cox PLL $275,000.00 $75,000.00 0 0
Total: $15,750,000.00 $1,170,000.00 95 414

2016 Development Fund Projects
Development
Fund (Grants)
Private Investment City Investment Created Jobs Pledged Retained Jobs Pledged
Westwood Fabrication &
Sheet Metal
$723,500.00 $40,000.00 41 0
Angstron Materials, Inc. $1,025,000.00 $65,000.00 15 11
Hohman Plating & MFG, LLC $2,950,000.00 $50,000.00 9 146
GoHypersonic $26,000.00 $6,500.00 1 12
Lunne Marketing Group $100,000.00 $10,000.00 6 20
CareSource $25,000,000.00 $500,000.00 400 500
STP $5,400,000.00 $150,000.00 345 0
Total $35,224,500.00 $821,500.00 817 689

2017 Development Fund Projects
Development
Fund (Grants)
Private Investment City Investment Created Jobs Pledged Retained Jobs Pledged
GCI Metals, Inc $163,800.00 $10,000.00 20 0
Water Street Hotel $ 1,000,000.00 $500,000.00 24 0
Dayton Arcade $1,000,000.00 0 0
Total: $11,163,800.00 $1,510,000.00 44 0

Oakwood receives state financial award

Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2017 @ 8:33 AM


            Oakwood was named a recipient of the Auditor of State award. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
            Ty Greenlees

The city of Oakwood and Butler County Regional Transit Authority were two of eight Ohio entities to receive the Auditor of State Award from Dave Yost’s office, according to a press release.

MORE: Ohio auditor questions lack of investigations after scandal

The Auditor of State Award is presented to local governments and school districts upon the completion of a financial audit. Entities that receive the award meet the following criteria of a “clean” audit report:

MORE: Kettering qualifies for state auditor award

  • The entity must file timely financial reports with the Auditor of State’s office in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles);
  • The audit report does not contain any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Single Audit findings or questioned costs;
  • The entity’s management letter contains no comments related to:
    • Ethics referrals
    • Questioned costs less than $10,000
    • Lack of timely report submission
    • Reconciliation
    • Failure to obtain a timely Single Audit
    • Findings for recovery less than $100
    • Public meetings or public records
  • No other financial or other concerns exist that involve eligible entity.

MORE: Ohio county admits people got tax break they didn’t deserve

Oakwood and the Butler County RTA were joined by the city of University Heights (Cuyahoga County), Fayette County Metropolitan Housing Authority (Fayette County), Groveport Community Improvement Corporation (Franklin County), Hancock County Educational Service Center (Hancock County), Hocking Valley Community Hospital (Hocking County) and New Albany Community Improvement Corporation (Franklin County).

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