Monday, April 4, 2011

VC tonight! Solar park? Landfill Gas Power, Affordable housing project, Zoning update, Levy Renewal

Dear People--Well, this day is about as dark and dreary as they come. I hope these April showers are going to bring us those promised May flowers, or we may have to write a sternly worded letter. So, tonight's agenda--is heavy and I'm under the gun as usual. Let's go--

I will mention the ones in yellow tonight; my comments in italics.

Rhonda Mullins re: Consumer Affairs, US Post Office
Cynthia Smith re: Customer Care, US Post Office
The above two are in response to a letter Karen wrote urging the USPO not to shut down the YS PO
Ronald Schmidt re: Complaint and Records Request
Judy Kintner re: Response to Schmidt Request
The above two are about Mr. Schmidt's concerns that the ESC minutes have not been posted to the website. Judy responded to his request in full.
Sharon Potter re: Monthly Financial Statement
Marlin Newell re: Use of Cemetery St. Parking Area @ Street Fair for Aftercare
OML Legislative Bulletin re: Recent Legislation and Committee Schedules
Greene Co. Combined Health District Media Alert re: Health Week
Yellow Springs Environmental Commission re: Fracking Resolution
The EC unanimously recommends that Council pass a resolution supporting a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until the current USEPA study is complete and the practice is proven safe.


Resolution 2011-21 Approving RFQ for Non-Profit Partner for Affordable Housing Development on Cemetery St. I have covered this in earlier emails. I hope that everyone heard Karen Wintrow's eloquent statement on this project, which she supports--it was one of the finest, clearest explanations I've heard from our desk. I will vote yes.
Resolution 2011-22 Approving an RFQ for Rewriting of the Zoning Code for the Village of Yellow Springs. At our joint meeting--VC, PC, BZA--last week, we decided to make this a two step process in order to be more likely to get the best bid for our village's needs.

Community Access Panel Report to Council

Skatepark Repair and Upgrades Discussion Our levy promised money for parks; we have spent very little of that promised money, and this park is a draw for young people, who are our future. I support modest upgrades and efforts to find private grant money.

Solar Farm Discussion: I support this project: I know it is last minute. But it is $400,000 up front and a $13 million investment in our village for a source of clean, green power.

Frankly, also, I am leaning towards the Glass Farm as the best site: $400,000 in our coffers would be a huge boon, instead of paying that money for more land on the Fogg Farm--although that's also not a horrible plan. And it's basically temporary: if after 20 years we decide we want housing or something else there, it can easily be put in.

Landfill Gas Contract with AMP
(Not sure where this will come in our discussion): We also have information on a Landfill Gas contract: here's Mark's memo:

This would be a 10 year contract [with AMP] under which we would receive 700 KW of power. The breakdown of the costs is attached as Exhibit A [I can send you this, people--just let me know. --LJA]. As you can see, there are three time periods and there are different costs for each time period. The cheapest power will be available between 11 pm and 8 am for the entire year. The other two time periods are for 8 am to 11 pm, and are dependent on the day of the week, time of year, and whether it is a holiday.

AMP is also asking if we want to keep our share of the RECs or have AMP sell them for us.

Due to some extenuating circumstances, we will need to adopt the ordinance authorizing the signing of the agreements with emergency language in order to meet the deadline of April 30th.

Levy Renewal Update: Kate Levesconte, of the levy committee, has written a great letter on this, so I'm including it:

April 2, 2011

Dear friends,

On behalf of the Yellow Springs YES Committee I am writing to lobby you to participate in our effort to pass Issue 16, the renewal of the Yellow Springs 8.4 mill Property Tax Levy. I joined the committee to help insure that Yellow Springs would continue to have the resources we need to provide the services that are part of what I find distinguishing for our town.

Currently the Village gets about 25% of the General Fund from the property taxes, so this is a big part of the village's income. The General Fund pays for just about everything the village does, with the exception of our utilities which are managed out of the Enterprise Fund. The General Fund pays for our police force, parks and recreation, village council functions, the Bryan Center, maintenance of the library and a host of other smaller but important services.

To be candid, even if the levy passes, the village has been and will continue to need to find ways to reduce costs, both because of declining revenues from other sources and because of the increasing costs due to inflation. The village's situation, if it has to cut costs by an additional 25%, will indeed be dire.

There have been some who have suggested opposition to the levy as a referendum on one or another of the decisions that council has made. I strongly encourage you to consider these issues separately. Three of the five council members are elected every two years, so there is frequent opportunity to change leadership if one desires. Whether that leadership has minimally adequate resources with which to do their job is another question entirely, and that is the issue at hand. For my part, I am generally pleased with the job council is doing. But even if I wasn't, I would be in favor of the levy renewal (won't create any additional taxes).

There are two primary needs for which the committee is currently soliciting help. One is volunteer canvassers to go door to door to talk to residents about the levy and distribute literature. The other is fund-raising. The committee is raising funds to cover the costs of literature, signs and buttons. If you'd like to canvass, please call or email me (631-1092; Each Saturday in April we will be meeting at 12:30 in the Art Room at the Bryan Center to train canvassers and distribute materials and maps. Come one, come all! If you'd like to donate to the committee, checks can be made out to Yellow Springs YES and mailed to our treasurer, Ken Huber, 617 Fairfield Pike, YSO.

I hope you will consider participating in this community effort, but in any case, I will look forward to seeing you again at our gatherings.

Best regards,


P.S. For more information on the levy, you can go to or come to the public forum at the Senior Center, 2-4 p.m., Sunday April 17th.


Approval of Letter from Council to Governor Kasich: I wrote this letter (included in the attached packet) regarding the draconian cuts that the governor is proposing for the "local government fund" which provides

Clerk's report includes a public records policy that we will consider.

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