City Manager: Dayton Recovery Plan - Inclusion, Imagination, Investment

There’s been a conversation going on in Dayton over the past year–a discussion involving neighbors, businesspeople, community activists, elected leaders, city planners and administrators, financial analysts, and many others. 

What’s the topic of that special conversation? Well, nothing more than the future of our city and an extraordinary opportunity to have a giant, positive impact on that future. 

You may have already heard a few things about the Dayton Recovery Plan–a roadmap for helping our city emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, made possible by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and its $138 million grant to the City of Dayton.

Here are the priorities identified in the plan developed under my direction and adopted by the City Commission, following the community conversation involving meetings, a survey and other participation opportunities:

  • Demolition of up to 1,000 blighted properties throughout Dayton;
  • Park enhancements and eight additional spray parks (in addition to park improvements made possible by the voter-approved Issue 9 measure in 2016);
  • Housing construction and renovation in targeted areas;
  • Sidewalk/curb repairs and tree lawn upgrades in targeted areas;
  • Support for black- and brown-owned businesses, economic development and job creation;
  • Investment in essential City services and City facilities.

The plan provides a framework for infusion of ARPA funding into targeted areas and focus neighborhoods:  Wolf Creek, Edgemont, Carillon, Miami Chapel, Five Oaks, Old North Dayton, Twin Towers and the Wright Factory Site in West Dayton, as well as other special investments across Dayton, all with a goal of disrupting multi-generational poverty, income, and health disparities, while enhancing the city as a community attracting further, ongoing investment. 

An opportunity of this magnitude calls for what we might call a series of “I-words”:  Inclusion (a broad community conversation); Imagination (creative problem-solving); and Investment (strategic, data-driven actions that can make a difference). 

Though there’s currently a lull in the conversation, there is still much work going on to ensure the prudent finalization and then implementation of the Dayton Recovery Plan. That work involves evaluating available data to guide important decisions—for example, examination (on a case-by-case basis) of structure conditions, tax delinquencies, ownership status and more when making housing renovation plans, or analysis of neighborhood population data and trends to help determine new spray park locations. 

During 2021, the City solicited applications from community groups and local businesses to apply for a portion of the recovery funds to address community needs. There were 93 eligible applications, with 42 recommended for potential funding. We expect the successful applications to be announced by the time spring flowers are in full bloom and awards to be finalized by mid-2022.

For more information on the Dayton Recovery Plan, visit the

Feb 23

[ARCHIVED] Getting It Done in 2023

The original item was published from February 3, 2023 5:02 PM to August 25, 2023 9:31 AM

Dayton Residents and Stakeholders:

I present to you the proposed 2023 City of Dayton Budget. 

For the past three years, Dayton has been dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Like other municipalities, we took unprecedented steps to mitigate fiscal uncertainty to continue to deliver quality services to our residents. Although we are still dealing with the effects of the pandemic, 2023 will be a year of reinvestment in our neighborhoods, services, and infrastructure.

With that, I want to highlight a few areas slated to receive significant investment for 2023. 

1. Dayton Neigborhoods

We must continue to invest in the services and infrastructure that residents care about and need to improve daily life.  This includes a safe and healthy neighborhood, better roads, parks, and strong safety services. This budget is focused on improving and enhancing the livability of our neighborhoods to provide stability for everyone who calls Dayton home. 

Neighborhood Stabilization

Unfortunately, many of our neighborhoods have buildings that have deteriorated or have been abandoned.  To help alleviate the negative impacts of these eyesores, I have identified $22 million to remove blighted structures and stabilize neighborhoods.  This multi-year effort begins this year and allocates $18.2 million to demolish nearly 1,000 nuisance properties and clean up over 100 fire piles. Over the next few years, this work will be funded through several sources: Dayton Recovery Plan, General Fund, federal Community Block Grants and the Ohio Department of Development.  


Through the Dayton Recovery Plan, $18 million will be used to improve housing conditions.  This work will include funding for new and in-fill housing and provide funds to partner organizations like Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity to help facilitate needed housing repairs for existing homes.   

2. Capital Improvements

Improving Roads and Streets

Over $18 million is proposed for road improvements. Over $8 million will be used to resurface 85 residential lane miles and eight thoroughfare lane miles.  Additionally, nearly $10 million will be used to on specific road improvement projects including Phase 3 of Salem Avenue reconstruction (and design work for Phase 4 and 5) as well as Phase 2 of Gettysburg Avenue reconstruction. Finally, over one-half million dollars will be used for new and improved bikeways.


As we continue to improve and add amenities to our parks, we must ensure they are properly maintained and safe. Through the Dayton Recovery Plan, $7.4 million will be invested for park and spray park improvements. This is in addition to the $244,000 from the Your Dollars Your Neighborhood program approved by Dayton voters in 2016. 

Water Service

Investments from the Water, Sewer and Storm Water Funds includes over $17 million in 2023 through cash capital for various projects. Their work plan also includes managing over $85 million in ongoing projects from previous years. Projects include water main replacements, flood control improvements and Phase D sanitary interceptor installation.

 Dayton International Airport

Over $6.5 million from several aviation fund sources will be invested into airport-related capital and infrastructure improvements including jet bridge replacement, deicing system upgrades. There will also be hangar upgrades at Dayton Wright Brothers Airport.

3. Public Safety

Keeping residents and neighborhoods safe is another priority in the budget. Of the nearly $213 million in the General Fund operating budget, roughly half is spent on police and fire services.  Here are the highlights:

Dayton Fire Department – General Fund Budget $47.2 Million

Nearly $2 million included in the DFD budget for 2023 is to provide some much-needed relief for our EMS responders. A new Basic Life Support (BLS) pilot program sends the appropriate resources to incidents not requiring a paramedic-level response (that’s up to 60 percent of EMS runs). Adding this 8th transport reduces medic runs for our EMTs and our reliance on mutual aid from neighboring jurisdictions. This amount also provides funding for a new medic unit and lifesaving equipment like cardiac monitors, etc. 

The budget includes funding for a firefighter recruit class of 35, which began in January. This is the largest class in roughly two decades and will provide much needed relief to the department. Another historically large class is the class of 12 paramedics/EMTs which will begin at the end of February and help ensure appropriate resources and responses to incidents.

Dayton Police Department – General Fund Budget $60.7 Million

Not only must Dayton ensure that our police have sufficient personnel to keep our community safe, but that they also have the necessary equipment to do their job safely. Nearly $1.7 million will be spent for cruisers and unmarked vehicles, along with upgrades to their information management system.  Additionally, $1.4 million will be spent to improve security for the Dayton Municipal Court.

Dayton Police reform work will continue in 2023 with an investment of roughly $1.5 million. This includes the Community Appeals Board process, utilizing our Mediation Response Unit, an Independent Accountability Auditor contract, and numerous training opportunities for police officers.   

The 2023 budget will also experience a savings of approximately $200,000 by utilizing the Hamilton County Crime Lab to process evidence. DPD believes that capabilities of the lab will result in a higher quality of service with shortened processing timelines.

Finally, I would like to recognize and thank the City staff for working hard throughout this budget process.  As City Manager, it is my job to deliver a balanced budget that reflects the priorities of the City Commission and City of Dayton organization. This proposed balanced budget delivers on both with a renewed focus on those areas most important to our residents:  public safety, neighborhood stabilization and improvements to infrastructure.  I am excited to see how these programs and projects revitalize and transform our community for years to come.

Proposed Budget Presentation: