Dayton addresses concerns about development, growth

By Megan Hopps

SUN PRESS Newspapers


The Dayton City Council hosted an open house for residents to present observations and concerns regarding changes within the city.

During open forum, resident Leroy Theiman addressed his concerns regarding the Sun Dance Woods and River Hills development plans. He spoke about roadway systems within these developments, school space and busing numbers, as well as the recent switch to single-sort recycling.

Mayor Tim McNeil, responding to Theiman’s question about recycling, said all recycling companies are switching to this method because it is cheaper, more efficient and safer for truck drivers. Interim City Administrator Bob Derus added that studies have shown residents are 30 percent to 40 percent more likely to recycle if they are not asked to sort.

Regarding Theiman’s concerns with new development and potential overcrowding of the schools, McNeil said that, related to growth, adding police and fire staff are also something that has been addressed in previous meetings, and that many on the council and staff share these same concerns.

He added that there are benchmarks that the city uses for reference suggesting wise numbers of police and fire staff required per resident; however, the school district decides how to handle which children go to which schools, class size and things of that nature based on population and density.

McNeil said he has invited newly appointed School Board Member Bill Harvey to address some of those concerns at the next council meeting, scheduled for Nov. 26.

McNeil also addressed the traffic and roadway systems concerns, mainly for north to south roadways within the developments. The mayor added that these roads will eventually be four lanes, but there is much more work that needs to be addressed with the county, and that more money needs to be saved before this happens.

Theiman was the only resident that spoke in open forum.

In other business, the council:

CONSIDERED the preliminary plat for Zachary Preserve. Consultant City Planner Tina Goodroad gave a presentation regarding the development of five lots north of Nature’s Crossing on Zachary Lane. It would be a separate development from Nature’s Crossing. A motion was made to reduce the fee structure for this development as well as rezoning of the property and a resolution to the preliminary plat for Zachary Preserve.

HEARD from City Engineer Vince Vandertop about an update regarding Territorial Road and Rush Creek Road. He presented the council with a document showing an overview of past project expenses and revenues. The council had previously requested a budget overview of project estimates and plans to fund various projects, should unexpected instances occur during development.

HEARD from administrator Derus about his concerns regarding Public Works management. His request is to issue a resource evaluation report that would show where specific changes need to be made. Derus would like to find reasons for various communication and organizational shortcomings, whether due to inadequate facility maintenance or technological and equipment updates, or whether staff needs to evaluate training, hours or potentially hire more staff to assist with various responsibilities between departments. Related to that, Derus suggested that the council approve funding for new phone systems and rewiring as the first step to the city’s facility and technological updates to assist staff in serving the community.


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