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Is Dayton too downtown focused? Its top boss tackles that question.

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 8:26 AM

Dayton’s new “downtown living room,” the Levitt Pavilion music venue site, is planned for a green space named after a former city mayor.

The city of Dayton’s top executive spent part of this week’s commission meeting defending the city’s spending on downtown redevelopment, explaining the city’s financial priorities.

Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein gave a presentation intended to highlight the economic importance of downtown to the entire city and how the city invests a small fraction of its budget into downtown projects.

“There’s a lot of conversation about the city of Dayton putting too much money into downtown,” she said. “Let me be very clear that about 1 cent out of every dollar — or less than 1 percent of our annual general fund — is strategically invested in downtown economic development efforts.”

Some citizen activists have said the city is neglecting many of its neighborhoods by overly focusing on building up the center part of the city.

RELATED: Clean up deteriorating neighborhoods, residents tell Dayton officials

Downtown’s vitality and redevelopment is crucial to the entire city, because it generates more than half of the income taxes the city collects, which is about $70 million annually, Dickstein said.

Dickstein said that 75 cents of every dollar of income tax collected from downtown workers and businesses goes toward support services in Dayton’s neighborhoods.

“Without the income tax earned from downtown jobs, $53 million annually in services to Dayton neighborhoods would be lost,” she said.

In the last six years, the money the city has spent downtown — about 1 percent of its annual general fund budget, which this year was $164 million — has leveraged $152 million in private investment, Dickstein said.

The greater downtown has about 51,000 employees and 20,000 residents, which increase the appeal and value of other neighborhoods, she said.

RELATED: 4 big questions facing downtown Dayton projects

Downtown has 1,400 housing units and 600 more in the pipeline, and the hot demand for housing is fueling consumer activities and growing jobs and wealth that support the city’s tax base, Dickstein said.

Downtown has 60 restaurants and 30 night clubs that make it the social epicenter of the region, which also drives new investments and activities, she said.

Each resident in Dayton “should be cheering for the investment” and for downtown to be as strong as possible because it drives investment into the neighborhoods, she said.

MORE: Million-dollar club: The most valuable homes in Montgomery County

Dayton City Commissioner Joey Williams said the city often has to leverage its dollars where the developers want to go, and they want to invest downtown.

“While we’ve tried to push them to other certain parts of the city, a lot of developers want to come downtown,” he said. “But we are starting to see more go into other parts of the city, which is a very positive development.”

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Winter Storm Watch issued for system that could bring snow to area this weekend

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 6:35 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at the current track and forecast for another spring storm.

Those ready for spring weather likely won’t like this forecast.

Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Darke, Preble, Montgomery, Wayne, Randolph, Butler, Warren and Clinton counties from 2 a.m. Saturday through 2 a.m.Sunday. A Winter Storm Watch means conditions are favorable for impactful snow, sleet or ice that can make travel difficult. 

>> Winter Weather Awareness: What are the different types of Winter Weather Alerts?

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A quick-moving low pressure system will spread moisture back into the Miami Valley Saturday and Saturday night, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. A band of snow will be possible that, at times, might mix with rain. The system currently is favoring the southern and western half of the Miami Valley where the watch was issued. This means areas such as Logan, Shelby, Auglaize and Mercer counties could see a sharp cut-off from moisture and possibly very little, if any, snow. 

>> Winter Weather Awareness: What to have in your car kit

The track and intensity of this system is still in question, and fine-tuning will come together during the end of the work week. Counties under the Winter Storm Watch have the best chance to see sticking snow that will could be more than two inches. 

>> Severe Weather Alert Sign-up

A few factors that could limit impact in the Miami Valley: Warm road temperatures allowing for snow melt, snow falling during the day allowing for a mix with rain, the track shifting and pulling the accumulating snow further south.

A few factors that could increase impact in the Miami Valley: Staying colder than expected, a shift further north could spread more snow across the entire area and the intensity of the system. 

Stay with Storm Center 7 for the latest updates to this spring snow storm.

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Dayton’s Fire Blocks faces deadline, could lose $4.5M in funds

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 7:10 AM

            Workers replace street lights near the Elks Building near the intersection of South Jefferson and East Third Street in the Fire Blocks District in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Workers replace street lights near the Elks Building near the intersection of South Jefferson and East Third Street in the Fire Blocks District in downtown Dayton. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

The state of Ohio has told the group that wants to redevelop the Fire Blocks District that it has until June 30 to prove it has financing for the project or its tax credits may be rescinded.

The Ellway Group won nearly $4.5 million in state historic preservation tax credits in June 2016 to help fund the restoration of the Elks Building and the Huffman Block building on the 100 block of East Third Street.

RELATED: Photos: A look inside downtown Dayton’s Fire Blocks District

The development group’s $23 million plan was to create new housing and first-floor retail and restaurant spaces in the mostly vacant buildings.

But this month, the Ohio Development Services Agency sent a letter to Ellway Group CEO Winfield Scott Gibson saying his project has not demonstrated “sufficient evidence of reviewable progress” because the has not closed on financing, according to a copy of the letter obtained by this newspaper through a public records request.

Tax credit recipients risk losing their awards if they fail to show after 18 months that they have secured financing for their proposed rehab projects and have not commenced construction. It’s been about 21 months since the project received its award.

RELATED: Fire Blocks plan to reshape downtown Dayton faces growing pains

Last month, Gibson sent the state a letter asking to push back the project’s end date until March 31, 2019, saying there were delays related to finding a tax credit investor and securing financing, according to records obtained by this newspaper.

Tax credit recipients must file a 12- or 18-month progress report on their projects with the state.

In the letter, Gibson said project construction financing is expected to close in June and construction should begin on May 1. The state agreed to a short time extension to allow the Ellway Group to secure financing and start construction.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Fire Blocks’ $100 million proposal

But if that does not happen by the end of June, the Ohio Development Services Agency said it may rescind the approved tax credits and give them away to other projects in upcoming funding rounds.

Gibson told this newspaper that it’s “going to be tight” but he believes his group will close on financing in time to meet the deadline. He also said he has a back-up plan if the project were to lose its state historic tax credits and had to be scrapped — but he says he really hopes it does not come to that.

“The plan is the plan and we’re moving forward,” he said.

The district covers multiple blocks but centers around the 100 block of East Third Street. Companies controlled by Gibson or the Ellway Group own about nine buildings in and around downtown Dayton.

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Clayton, three other local communities purchase new warning sirens

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2018 @ 6:47 PM

            Clayton, Clay Township, Trotwood and Englewood invest about $108,000, along with about $108,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security for new sirens. STAFF PHOTOS.
Clayton, Clay Township, Trotwood and Englewood invest about $108,000, along with about $108,000 grant from the Department of Homeland Security for new sirens. STAFF PHOTOS.

Nine new warning sirens are being installed in and around the Northmont community, a partnership of four local governments designed to keep residents safe in an emergency.

The new sirens will help alert more people in Clayton, Englewood, Trotwood and Clay Township, the four governments that partnered on the project.

MORE: Gun control advocates push for ‘red flag’ law in Ohio

The sirens will be placed strategically throughout the region to warn residents of severe weather conditions.

The sirens were purchased by Montgomery County and then sold to the partnering agencies. The Department of Homeland Security and the four local governments involved split the costs.

The sirens will be put in places to provide maximum coverage but so they do not overlap. The city of Clayton added three to the city.

Residents can sign up for Clayton’s notification system to receive alerts for tornadoes and emergency warnings. Residents also can use a weather radio or tune into WHIO-TV and WHIO-Radio, or download the WHIO app, for updated weather alerts.

TRENDING: Dayton officer disciplined for investigation involving child who later died

For more information on the new sirens, contact the Clayton Director of Development Jack Kuntz at (937) 836-3500.

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Two hospitalized after police pursuit ends in crash in Dayton

Published: Thursday, March 22, 2018 @ 2:14 AM

I-75 Pursuit

UPDATE @ 2:50 a.m: Two people were hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries after a police pursuit ended in a crash on Needmore Road early Thursday morning.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: 3 critical, 1 dead on U.S. 36 crash in Champaign County

According to officials, they attempted to conduct a traffic stop on Stanley Avenue around 1:45 a.m., the suspect did not comply and a pursuit started on northbound I-75. 

The suspect ended up crashing into another vehicle after running a red light on Needmore Road not too long after the pursuit ensued. 

The suspect and the driver of the other vehicle were the individuals transported to Grandview Medical Center.

Officials did find a loaded handgun and narcotics in the suspect vehicle. 

The individual was placed under arrest and will be taken to Montgomery County Jail after their release from the hospital. 


A pursuit on northbound I-75 ended as a crash on the Needmore Road exit ramp early Thursday morning.

According to officials, the pursuit started around 1:45 a.m. at the 55 milemarker.

The Ohio Highway State Patrol are handling with assistance from Dayton police.

We will continue to update this story with more details. 

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