Wright-patt explores service pacts with Wright State, local council
Wright-patterson Air Force Base is working on new service agreements with Wright State University and the Wright-patterson Regional Council of Governments — pacts that could smooth the way to greater cooperation between the base and Dayton-area localities.
The Wright-patterson Regional Council of Governments is a council of several communities formed in the past three years, uniting the governments of Dayton, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Bath Twp., Beavercreek, Riverside and others, communities that want to work with one of the nation’s biggest and most important Air Force bases.
The group is a municipal government, recognized as such by the state of Ohio, that can make purchases, pass zoning laws and take actions similar to any municipality found on a map.
Vince King Jr., community partnership program manager for Wright-patt’s 88th Air Base Wing, briefed the council on work toward the agreements Wednesday at a COG meeting.
The agreements can strengthen local partnerships in a relatively quick way, easing bureaucracy and clearing the way for cooperation in areas such as road work, snow removal and more.
For example, Wright State recently inked an agreement with the Air Force Research Laboratory to share space at the university’s Neuroscience Engineering Collaboration building, the first pact of its kind in the Dayton area.
Crafting that agreement was a lengthy process that required the involvement of multiple government offices, said Greg Sample, Wright State’s executive vice president and chief operating officer.
“What we’re told is that with an IGSA (intergovernmental service agreement), let’s say we’d like to do that again with (another) building in the future, all it requires is his signature,” Sample said, referring to Col. Christopher Meeker, the 88th Air Base Wing commander and installation commander at Wright-patterson. “It keeps everything at the local level.”
“I hope we get to the point, before I leave here, where we kind of have a list” of ways to work together, Meeker said.
COG communities have always sought to work with base leaders. But the formation of the council streamlines and formalizes that work, with the ability to create regulations, pass Tax Increment Financing districts and more.
In April 2022, the COG hired Matrix Design Group, based in Crofton, Maryland, to create plans that guide development and municipal operations around Wright-patterson.
The council last year received a federal grant of about $350,000 to develop a “compatibility use” plan for shepherding development around the sprawling base, located in Greene County’s northwestern corner — and close to several quickly growing communities, including Fairborn, Beavercreek, Huber Heights and others.
Communities around any Air Force base are asked to keep military aviation in mind when approving structures and development. From Kettering to Clark County, there have been height restrictions for permanent and temporary structures for years for that very reason.