Citizens interested in Huber Heights City Council

Succeeding in Huber Heights

City Aquatic Center

Saturday, I was looking over the agenda for Monday nights council meeting and saw an item authorizing the council to go out  and spend $700,000 to buy 14 acres of land located just north of the YMCA.  The next item has them begin development of a recreation center.  From the agenda item it appears like the main focus will be an aquatic center with the possibility of adding further recreational activities.  

Just recently I was talking with a person on the Y’s adult basketball league and in that conversation he mentioned the pool there basically had few open swim times because it was always being used for lap swim or lessons.  Ironically, tomorrow my daughter’s ninth birthday party will be held at the Vandalia recreation center.  So the idea of a Huber Heights recreation/aquatic center hits me as something that may be of value to the community.  However, the reaction of half the first few people I mentioned it too disapproved of the idea.  This makes me wonder why the current city council hasn’t asked for public comment and intends to pass these measures by declaring an emergency.

Even though I generally believe this is something that deserves consideration, I am wondering about the proposed location.  In fact, my initial reaction is to think this is one of those cases where the government is out to make the rich richer at the expense of the rest of us.  That is why I’ll be interested in hearing the genesis of the proposed location as well as the discussion about the other sites that may have been considered. 

Assuming I was way off the mark in my initial thought, there are still obvious drawbacks about the proposed location.  First and foremost is this is the prime area of Huber Heights.  This location is almost assuredly going to be developed by private individuals or corporations.  Why would the city be a competitor for this limited resource?  Why would the city want to pull this land out of the tax base when it is likely to be one of the city’s highest revenue sources? 

The next issue with this site is the close proximity to the YMCA.  The people in the north side of the city already are served with an indoor pool.  It is possible the Y pool is already overcrowded but it is logical to locate the relief in a separate location.  I went to a meeting at a Y in Butler county.  This is a large facility and packed.   With so many like minded people coming to use the facility at the same time it disrupted traffic for blocks.  The facility had parking all the way around the building.  The back lot stretched for at least 100 yards from the front of the lot to the back.  Still I had to park at another business while attending my meeting. The situation where all the swimmers travel to the same part of the city can be avoided if the two swimming areas are not co-located. 

I know I said I was going to assume my initial thought was wrong but it wasn’t too long ago I was at a city council meeting and the Council told the public they were opening a splash park within Thomas Cloud and closing the city pool because operating a city pool was too expensive. 

Beyond explaining why the council chose the northern site, I’d like to hear what they thought were the pros and cons of the other obvious sites of Thomas Cloud or one of the many failing business centers within the city. 

When I mentioned to my wife this was on the agenda.  She was excited.  When I asked her where she thought it should be located she immediately said one of the first places I would explore as an option - in the northern end of Thomas Cloud  around the basketball and tennis courts.  This has the advantage of already being city managed and avoids not only the $700,000 acquisition cost but it also relieves the city of trying to appropriate the land from it’s current owners by way of eminent domain. Having the recreation center in Thomas Cloud also gives purpose to the park during the winter months.  This could make it more likely the city would find clearing the walking paths a value that many more residents could enjoy.

The agenda item announcing the rec center mentions one of the purposes of creating the recreation center is to “spur further residential and commercial development in the area”.  The northern end of the city will grow.  Strengthening the southern end of Huber, raising property values there and encouraging business there will produce more for the community and the tax base at large than if the same investment were made at the proposed location. 

The other places to consider, if we are looking to promote commercial development as the prime consideration, is at one of the many existing and deteriorating business complexes.  If the city were incline to use it’s eminent domain powers it makes much better logic to use it to get rid of older, run down complexes with few tenants.  Once these sites are gone other businesses would take advantage of the area around the new recreation center.  There are plenty of sites south of Interstate 70 that are not much further from exists then the proposed north site.  Revitalizing these areas  makes much more sense ecologically then prematurely destroying  the natural environment in the currently proposed site. 

 I’m looking forward to hearing the discussion during Monday’s council meeting.  The agenda states “It is hereby found and determined that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the passage of this Ordinance were adopted in an open meeting of this Council”.  I looked at the minutes for all the meeting held in Feb and Mar and only saw two closed door executive sessions that could have addressed this issue.  And another closed section just before the public meeting at 7:00pm. I hope the Council comes prepared to meet the commitment stated within the announcement.


Are you aware the Council meetings are broadcast live over the web?  If you don’t go to the meeting follow the link at 7:00 PM



Read the

post meeting update

The March 14th council meeting contains business relating to building a city run recreation center

I’m interested to hear why the council chose the location next to the YMCA     (post meeting update available)

View the agenda at the link below.  Download the PDF for the full meeting notes:



The Council Meetings are 7:00pm in the City Council Chambers on Taylorsville Rd

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This site paid for by Tom McMasters (with the permission of his wife)

I was off the mark on the initial thought.  The city earned credits due to the construction of the I-70 interchanges.  The way the credits are structured they will have to be spent in the vicinity of the interchanges.


Read my—

post meeting update