Centerville’s council made progress toward updating zoning maps, renovating Centerville’s new town hall, demolishing a home and buying gear for firefighters. 


Council’s Jan. 30 work session opened with a public hearing about proposed amendments to town zoning ordinance and maps. 

Gerald Millsaps said the plan commission voted unanimously to recommend updating zoning ordinances and “bringing the maps up to today’s standards.” 

Millsaps said the agricultural area’s name is being changed, but nothing will differ regarding usage. 

The two affected areas in town were previously designated as special use properties. That category is being eliminated. Those properties will now have the same zoning as surrounding properties, but the businesses can remain in their home. 

One resident inquired whether changes would resolve concerns with enforcing previous ordinances regarding horses.  

A second reading of the ordinance will be conducted at council’s 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, meeting at town hall. 

Town hall, road spending

  • Council approved a $46,350 contract for a roof and $59,080 for restroom and interior wall remodeling for the former U.S. Bank branch that will become town hall. 
  • They also approved $9,875 to make the drive-thru functional so customers can begin paying utility bills from their vehicles soon. 
  • Council authorized nearly $50,000 for Comcast to place all town buildings on the same internet system and receive cybersecurity protection. 
  • Floyd Crim and Sons successfully bid for the town’s Community Crossings paving and ADA-compliant curb ramp project. Areas to be improved are Willow Drive from Poplar Avenue to Chestnut Way West and Mattie Harris Road from Elm Street to Chestnut Way East.   

Property demolition

In November, Centerville’s plan commission ordered the home and garage at 206 N. Spruce St. to be removed and demolished. Millsaps said the owner has since abandoned the property. 

Millsaps solicited quotes for building and foundation removal. He’s concerned kids will enter and get hurt. Council approved the lowest bid ($5,950). 

The work might qualify for reimbursement from Economic Development Corp. of Wayne County’s new blight elimination program. 

The land can’t be built upon for two reasons: It’s not big enough for another home meeting current codes, and it’s in the flood plain. It likely will return to green space, Millsaps said. 

He will contact county officials to set up mowing plans while its future is being determined.  

Fire needs  

  • Assistant Fire Chief Phil Bedel received permission to order three sets of turnout gear (total of $11,729.43) to protect firefighters. Although Centerville Fire/Rescue recently replaced half its gear, new firefighters don’t fit in the spare sets, and one is wearing old gear nearing its legal expiration date.
  • Council authorized members Gary Holbert and Dan Wandersee to serve on a search committee for a new chief after Dennis Spears’ January retirement. Wandersee said he wanted Holbert, attorney Ed Martin and Clerk-Treasurer Richard Tincher to review the town’s fire department codes and bring recommendations to council. 
  • One firefighter either sprained or broke an ankle during the Jan. 28 fire on South Centerville Road that led to a child’s death, and a workers’ compensation claim is being processed. 
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A version of this article appeared in the February 7 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.