Monday, August 3, 2009

VC tonight! Sidewalks, trees, comp plan, Community Resources

Dear People! Well, I cannot be in my office hours on Wednesday because I'm taking one last brief summer trip to see my parents in Iowa. SO I will be in the Emporium this morning from 10-11 or so TODAY, if you need to chat! As I mentioned last week, when I'm back on a regular schedule during the school term, my office hours should get a little more predictable.

Tonight we have four pieces of LEGISLATION most of which should be fairly quickly discussed and voted on (we're hoping 20 minutes total):

1) Second reading, with a public hearing, of the revised budget ordinance ('supplemental appropriations') discussed at our last meeting.
2 & 3) Second reading, public hearing, regarding the salary increase for Council and Mayor.
4) First reading, public hearing, regarding the new "Economic Sustainability Coordinator" that Council resolved to hire. This one may take a little time, simply because it's the first official hearing on this position, and there may still be wording issues to be resolved.

Then we'll turn to two fairly short SPECIAL REPORTS (15 min ea.)

1) The YS Tree Committee will formally present a report written for Council "An Analysis of Street Tree Benefits for Yellow Springs." This includes an inventory of village-owned street-trees (as requested by our insurance provider), and a survey of all trees that the YSTC is providing for. The second phase of this activity will be a survey of all Village-owned park trees. Some highlights:
  • The Committee estimates that the total value of the trees along our streets--in terms of pollution reduction, storm water interception, energy savings and other benefits--is $161,000 (or about $98/tree).
  • Suggested goal: plant larger trees for increased benefits.
  • Variety is key, however: we currently have a lot of maple trees, which may make our ability to deal with the "Asian longhorned beetle," if it should show up in our area, than we have thus far had with the emerald ash borer (EAB)...which could still be significant. They recommend no more maples, at least along our streets.
  • Re: EAB: assuming EAB arrives here, we will probably have to cut down a large number of ash trees, unfortunately. The Village itself owns 86 ash trees; cutting them all down will be (heartbreaking &) expensive.
2) Home, Inc. "Supporting Affordable Housing in YS" Home Inc will suggest various ways that we can better support affordable owner-occupied housing and rental housing in town, including things like zoning restrictions that encourage smaller houses, duplexes, attached and detached second dwellings.

Then we'll discuss OLD BUSINESS (we hope at around 8:05):

1) Sidewalks: a) Sidewalk standards: Mark has prepared a list of specs for sidewalks and guidelines for replacement, as our current ones are vague. b) From "Communications" petition for sidewalk on Fairfield Pike (between Ridgecrest and the bike path). Presented by Deanna Newsome; many villagers in that area of town have signed on.

2) Community Resources/ CIC / Economic Sustainability Advisory Board: Community Resources, is the sole "community improvement corporation" (CIC) in the village/township; they were instrumental in assisting Antioch-McGregor to move from their central location to the Center for Business & Education (CBE) on the western edge of town. We asked them to look into becoming a "designated CIC" which would mean that 40% of their board would be appointed by Council and Miami Township. Their major focus for the last several years has been developing that property (through grants and coordination of various governmental entities that are involved--such as the dept of transportation and the Army corps of engineers).

Meanwhile, Judith Hempfling has worked with various villagers in developing the idea of an "Economic Sustainability Advisory Board" that would assist the new economic sustainability coordinator in his/her work in sustaining and creating business opportunities in town. She sees this as distinct from the kind of work that the CR has been doing.

3) Comprehensive Plan: We'll continue working through the final section of the plan (section 4). Karen Wintrow has suggested some new and I believe good language regarding the preservation of Open Space (with good, explicit language about the Jacoby Greenbelt); and about the Electric Distribution system in the village.


1) YS investment summary: we have experienced lower earnings on our investments this year, representing a loss of approx. $42,000

2) Revolving Loan Fund: Report (These are loans made mostly to small businesses in town, although the largest loan was $300,000, at 0% interest, to Community Resources for the CBE, mentioned above.)

Then we'll turn to the manager's report, with a Waste-Water Treatment Plant Update, and agenda planning.


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