XENIA — City Council Thursday took the first step to making much-needed improvements to the West Main Street — Hospitality Drive intersection.
While construction will not begin until 2016, council authorized City Manager Brent Merriman to hire LJB, Inc., to do the important first step of designing the work, which will contain two main parts. Both are intended to increase safety in that area.
The exit ramp from westbound US Route 35 to eastbound Main Street will be reconfigured into a “T intersection.” Then a traffic signal at the Hospitality Drive-West Main Street intersection will be erected, allowing for turning in all directions. Currently the intersection only allows a “right out” and “left in.”
“It’s much needed and when it’s done people are going to appreciate it,” City Manager Brent Merriman said.
The city was awarded Federal Surface Transportation Program funds from the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission in 2011 to help offset the cost. The design cost will not exceed $97,153.
In other action on Thursday, council approved an amendment to the planning and zoning code lowering the fee for a temporary sign. The city had charged $40 but Thursday’s action lowers it to $20.
“This change makes us more consistent with neighboring communities,” Merriman said. Beavercreek charges $15 plus a $50 cash bond; Bellbrook charges $25 while Fairborn charges $35 plus a $35 cash bond.
In other business:
• The city will be purchasing a pair of vehicles for the service garage and the fire department.
The service garage will be acquiring a 2015 Ford F350 cab and chassis to replace the 1991 GMC G-3500 that is starting to experience transmission issues. Through the state bid process, the cost will be no more than $33,732.50. The fire department will replace a 2003 medic with 116,210 miles and 9,811 hours of operation with a 2014 medic unit from Horton Emergency Vehicles. The medic will be mounted on a Dodge 4500, four-wheel drive and will cost $183,86.22 utilizing the State of Ohio Department of Administrative Services Cooperative Purchasing Program.
• The construction work on Wilson Drive is almost complete, Merriman told council. The curbing work is finished and the main part of the project should be done by April 19, weather permitting.
• Merriman read a proclamation from Governor John Kasich recognizing the Little Miami Scenic Trail, which runs through Xenia, as the “Ohio Magazine” 2014 Readers’ Ballot Best of Ohio in the Bike Trail category.
• Also during his report, Merriman said some residents have wondered why the city is forcing K-Mart to close. He stressed that the city had nothing to do with it and emphasized that K-Mart leases the building from a private owner, not the city.
• In a special session prior to the meeting, council voted to proceed with the zoning/subdivision regulation rewrite process. It will start with the city hiring a consultant to assist with the process for an amount no more than $75,000.