Eaton Assistant City Manger issues report

By Kelsey Kimbler -

EATON — City of Eaton 2019 Annual Reports were released in February. Included was Assistant City Manager Joe Ferriell’s 2019 Annual Report.

Ferriell reported, throughout the past year, the City of Eaton has undertaken a variety of projects utilizing internal personnel as well as working cooperatively with outside consultants and contractors. The following list highlights many of the projects, their current status and anticipated projects. The priority of projects is not reflected in this report and is a result of budget constraints, direction from City Council and staff determination.


•2019 Municipal Paving Program: this paving project consisted of three major locations. The City of Eaton contracted with Wagner Paving again in 2019. Total City cost for this project was $314,157. The locations were: the alley that runs east and west between North Barron and North Beech streets, north of Somers Street, the alley and City parking lot behind the 1808 Cafe, and East Avenue, from East Main Street to Lexington Road.

•2019 Urban Paving Project: these projects consisted of resurfacing Hillcrest Drive and Main Street within the city limits. They included grinding and overlaying, pavement markings, loop detectors, where required, and new curb ramps, where required, and was bid Feb. 21, 2019. These projects were again with ODOT, same type of projects as they finished in 2015 on Barron Street. The engineering was completed and construction drawings submitted to ODOT for their review on Jan. 23, 2018. Projects started mid-fall of 2019 and was completed by Nov. 2019. Total paving project was $1,268,412 with the City portion being $520,146 and ODOT portion being $748,266.

•New City Parking Lot, next to City building: after the house was removed from 308 North Maple street, most of the remaining work was performed by City of Eaton Public Maintenance and Public Works crews. They installed drainage and a couple of catch basins and removed the old fence. Prograde Construction installed the drive apron and sidewalk, along with the curb around the parking lot. Next, Wagner Paving came in to pave the lot. City Maintenance crews then striped the lot and built a new fence.

Water Distribution

•Water Tower Exterior Painting: this project was for the labor, materials, equipment, bowl rigging, cleaning of all surfaces of the exterior, all miscellaneous repairs and all exterior painting of the existing 0.750 MG elevated tank. This project was put out for bid and was awarded to Clear Creek Coatings LTD, New Carlisle. The project was started in Sept. 2018 and was completed and refilled in Dec. 2018. Because of the weather, work was stopped and completed with the painting of the City seal in the Spring of 2019.


•Continue working to become more familiar with GIS plus updated to the newest version which is 10.4.

•Continue to use to create drawings, when needed, for Planning Board, City Council meetings and engineering purposes.

Street Sidewalk, Curb and Gutter

•Washington-Jackson Road Sidewalk: Construction of approximately 1,900 feet of sidewalk was constructed by Prograde and was paid for entirely by the Kettering Medical Center. That sidewalk now connects North Barron Street to Seven Mile Park. The efforts were headed up and details worked on by Dan Schmitt.


•Municipal Bridge Inspection (2019): The City inspects a total of four bridges annually. The St. Clair Bridge, built in 1887, is a steel truss bridge, located at the corner of St. Clair Street and South Beech Street. Two of the bridges are located in Ft. St. Clair Park. The fourth is located on Camden Road, just at the entrance to the Mound Hill Cemetery maintenance shop. One of the smaller bridges in the Fort will be needing some work and repair in the next few years. The steel bridge is still in good enough shape to continue light traffic.

•ODOT Bridges within the City Limits: Along with the inspection of the four bridges mentioned above, the City is also responsible for the general maintenance of the ODOT bridges within the City limits. The East Main Street bridge over Rocky Run is in constant need of repair of the surface. This bridge will be repaired in 2020. A pre-construction meeting was held on Dec. 17, 2019. Construction is to start January of 2020. One lane of East Main Street over Rocky Run will remain open during the repair of the bridge, by use of traffic lights. ODOT has three bridges involved in this project, with the East Main Street Bridge being the only one in the City of Eaton. The plan is to start on the East Main Street bridge first, therefore with the hope to have it completed in late spring. All cost and repair will be done by ODOT. The City of Eaton has only a water service to be relocated.

Parks and Recreation

•Seven Mile Park: Continue to make improvements as funds become available. Also continue to monitor and care for the 30 trees that were planted by employees of Neaton Automotive.

•Shelter: A shelter was constructed by the Public Maintenance Department.

•Construction and paving of walk path: an update to the walk path thru the woods along Seven Mile Creek was completed as part of this year’s municipal paving projects. There were large stones installed in areas of concern with washout, this work was also done by the City of Eaton Maintenance Crews.

•Water Works Park: Construction of a new dog park, “Bark Park,” was completed and a grand opening was held in 2018. The events that day were such a success that the Purple Paws event was repeated in 2019, which was the fourth year for that event. They also recognized that it was the 15th anniversary of the YWCA Dayton operating the Domestic Violence Shelter in Preble County. In 2019, they raised $8,650 in sponsorship. Total for the whole event raised $10,112. More than 110 humans attended the event and 30-plus dogs, including a couple rabbits.

Economic Development:

•Local businesses continue to hire with their main hiring concern being workforce and the availability of workforce. Workforce seems to be the number one concern from employers again in 2019; therefore, the ongoing efforts will continue from the PCDP Workforce Committee. They will continue working into 2020 on several customer-focused retention and expansion visits with the partnership of the Preble County Development Partnership Director Brenda Latanza, PCDP and BusinessFirst! which helps give a business owner a single point of contact for a wide range of assistance and resources that are available from local, count, regional, state and federal agencies. These business retention visits are critical to the ongoing success of the community. While business attraction announcements garner media attention, about 80 percent of new job growth comes from businesses who are already located in the community.

•Art Center, 207 East Main Street: Several staff members at some point were involved with this project, including Public Maintenance and Public Works on ideas on how to handle drainage problems in the alley. With City help, Remagen was able to work out those details with the Art Center. Of course, the Building Department was involved weekly.

•Community Reinvestment Area: In 2019, the City of Eaton extended the existing Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) to include not only TimkenSteel, but now includes Silfex, Neaton Auto, and the former Maronda Home Location, 1050 South Barron Street. In doing so, they have submitted application for both Timkensteel and Neaton Auto for CRA agreements to the State.

•Continued Growth: In 2020, the City will continue to work with Neaton Auto, Henny Penny, and TimkenSteel through the completion of their projects that started in late 2019.


•Municipal Tree Program (on-going): The City continued to trim and remove deteriorated trees and stumps located on City Property. During 2018, most of the ash trees in the City right-of-way that were damaged by the emerald ash borer were removed by residents. In 2019, the remaining few were removed from the ROWs.

•Street Lighting: Continued to work with MVL Energy, reporting any street lighting problems and working toward a resolution of three-day turn-around on any street lighting problem. Also, a contract was signed in late 2019 to have the City of Eaton street lights updated to LED in 2020. That project should start sometime late spring/early summer of 2020.

•Safe Routes to School: This project started back in Aug. 2016 involving the Eaton Community Schools, ODOT, and Preble Trails. The purpose of Safe Routes to School is to encourage and enable students in grades K-8 to walk or ride their bicycle to school. They applied for a $400,000 grant and was awarded a smaller grant of $200,000 in Aug. 2018. Continued working on final details with ODOT through 2019. This project will be completed in FY2021 and will include a new sidewalk along St. Clair street, between South Cherry Street and South Maple Street. It will include new crosswalk marking at three intersections; also, will include curb bump-outs at the entrance to the elementary schools on Aukerman Street. In 2019, the final drawings were approved by City and submitted by the engineering company to ODOT for their final approval.

•Vectren Gas Mains Downtown: This project was constructed by Miller Pipeline for Vectren. It included the replacement of the gas mains that are located currently in Main Street to the alleys to the north and south of Main Street. Once the mains were installed and completed, the new services lines to the homes and businesses were installed. This project was completed in late spring of 2019. All communications with the businesses and residents were through Miller Pipeline.

•Railroad crossings: In 2019, the railroad repaired several crossings within the City of Eaton.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH