March 19, 2011
West Milton has wasted opportunity after opportunity in decades past to become a more productive and stable community. The forefathers of West Milton wanted just what you have now and that is a bedroom community that is off the beaten track.
There is no sort-of community pride in West Milton anymore (the lack of a Chamber of Commerce heralds that) and with the lack of local business to attract jobs, people moved to other towns that offer better opportunities. There was never any urgency made to keep people home and create a perpetual tradition of excellence. There have been numerous factories, sole proprietors, and light industry that have turned their back on West Milton due to the lack of organization, support and effort put forth by the city fathers.
West Milton is dying and with Dayton and the US in dire-straights financially, West Milton stands little to no chance of ever becoming a City or ever attracting a decent sized business that can support and help to grow the community. Buying the old PVP building for a pocket park is so stupid with the city park right behind it and the unfinished McCall Park down beside Owls Drugs, the last thing that town should have invested in is an old building. If they wanted to buy a building why not the deteriorating Bowling Alley that is in need of razing to generate some income for the city? There had to a be a special interest from a council member or that would have never been bought. That would be why Norris and Duerr Drives were “updated” against the citizens approval back in the 90’s. If a council member doesn’t have a personal interest in something, it doesn’t get done. (McCall Park was an acre of FREE land that was donated to West Milton for a POCKET PARK back in the early 90s)
Our narrow-minded council and untrusted City Manager spell trouble for West Milton. Now, with a new school being built, West Milton needs to think about expanding towards the school and creating an industrial park near Davis Rd to support the growth of the community and the perpetuation of a tremendous history. Meanwhile, demand that old deteriorating buildings be updated and occupied or tore-down. Martindales Market has been closed for 10 years and there has been NOTHING done to that property. The Bowling Alley has been empty for years and is falling down, but no movement by our council to occupy that or demand its razing.
As the past Chairman of the Parks Council in West Milton, I was put in an impossible situation to take advantage of the property given to the city of West Milton by Mark McCall to be used as a park. We were able to get a new swing-set out of council but then all funds were frozen and nothing has been done since. But the city buys a building that they will have to pay to have razed? You have a perfectly good neighborhood park that offers many opportunities, finish it first. Get tenants to fill those empty buildings downtown, fix the parking situation by making Miami St through downtown a one way street with parking on both sides of the road. Washington St should be widened used as the other one-way street.
10 years from now the old Martindales building will still be there to remind us all who really runs West Milton. But you’ll have a deteriorated head water dam in place and an empty High School.
Get your priorities straight in West Milton and you might have a town 10 years from now to call home.
West Milton has many great families and great people with talents that they could use to make it a great town to live in, but you have to have the people in the right positions to recognize and utilize those talents.
40-year West Milton resident