Eaton city council moves forward with Heritage Ohio for downtown development

By Braden Moles -

EATON — City Manager Brad Collins provided an update on talks with Heritage Ohio, a group that helps to revitalize downtown areas throughout Ohio during Eaton’s City Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 10.

Initially presented during July’s city council meeting, Collins gauged interest at that time from the council on moving forward with the $5,000 payment to bring Heritage Ohio out for their Downtown Assessment Research Team visit.

“So with Heritage Ohio, their downtown assessment research team, or DART, is talking about probably sometime in October that they will be available,” Collins said. “With COVID-19 and some of the restrictions, they said they would try to plan accommodations of some in-person visits, couple in-person visits with the stakeholder group.”

According to Heritage Ohio, a DART visit is, “a chance for a community to invite in revitalization professionals from around Ohio to help assess the current conditions in terms of real estate, organizational capacity, marketing, public space, events, and existing plans.”

The DART would meet with strategic stakeholders – those who understand the downtown area and have a vested interest in revitalizing it – so that the DART can gain an understanding of Eaton’s downtown area before they provide their assessment.

The first visit would include a self-guided tour by the DART and stakeholders, a community presentation from the DART on the benefits of revitalizing downtown and an organizational planning meeting, as well as the initial meeting with stakeholders.

A series of recommendations would then be developed by the DART based on their findings that would be delivered to stakeholders during a second visit, culminating in a first-year work plan between Heritage Ohio and stakeholders from the community for revitalizing downtown.

In other business:

  • The council passed a first reading on Ordinance 20-04, which amends Chapter 931 of the Codified Ordinances to adjust the monthly waste collection charges. A second reading will be held of the ordinance, followed by a vote to adopt the changes in September, at which point the ordinance is subject to referendum and must wait 30 days following the adoption to become effective. If adopted, the monthly charge will increase to $21.35, the first increase since 2017 according to Collins.
  • The city of Eaton Fire and EMS report for July 2020 showed a combined response of 230 calls; 152 EMS responses, including 11 second Medic responses; and 78 fire/rescue responses, including nine general alarms. Additionally, July had just one heroin overdose response after 12 in June.

The next regular Eaton City Council meeting will be held on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. in the Eaton City Building.

By Braden Moles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles