Home, Inc. waiver approved by Village Council
- Published: November 24, 2011
At their Nov. 7 meeting, members of Village Council unanimously approved a request from Home, Inc. to waive tap-in fees for the proposed Home, Inc./Buckeye Community Hope Foundation affordable senior housing project.
“This is an excellent opportunity to house the elders in our community for a generation or more,” said Home, Inc. Executive Director Emily Siebel at the meeting.
The request was made in order to show local municipal support for the Home, Inc. project, which is seeking federal funding of about $4.2 million in tax credits for the project. The show of local support would strengthen the project’s application in the competitive funding process, Siebel said.
Along with providing housing for seniors, the apartments, to be located on the Barr property on Xenia Avenue and Limestone Street, are estimated to bring in about $25,000 annually in property tax for the Village, according to a letter from Siebel. The project, which would include 33 apartments, is also anticipated to provide some local employment and a consistent consumer base for downtown business, Siebel wrote.
The tap fees for water and sewer are valued at about $19,635, according to a memo from Village Manager Mark Cundiff, who also wrote that the waiver would be consistent with past Council practice, as the Village has waived tap-in fees for the Home, Inc. Cemetery Street and Davis Street projects. The waiver would be rescinded if the project does not receive approval for its final development plan.
Council gave initial approval to the project recently, and if Home, Inc./Buckeye receives the federal funding, it will come back to Council for final approval.
In other Council business:
• Council heard a report from architect Ted Donnell on a building assessment/energy audit of the Yellow Springs library, which he worked on with Energy Optimizers, USA. The two made recommendations regarding upgrading the library building for increased energy efficiency and building upkeep.
“In general the building is in excellent shape,” Donnell said. “Doing these things now should result in being able to use the building 50 years longer.”
The building is due for major upgrades, Donnell said, which would cost about $600,000 and could be addressed over eight years, concluding with the most expensive upgrade, a roof replacement, according to the written report.
The upkeep of the library building is the responsibility of the Village, while library operation is the responsibility of the Greene County Library system. The building is approaching its 50th year of existence, and had one major renovation, in 2005, which included work on lighting, fixtures and finishes.
The upgrades would include replacing the building’s single-pane windows with more energy-efficient windows; upgrading the HVAC system and upgrading the electrical system; remodeling the meeting room and bathrooms; and upgrading outdoor lighting and re-designing the parking lot to add a landscape island to help with energy efficiency.
Overall, Donnell concluded, the upgrades would result in a building that is 70 percent more energy efficient, with a resulting 40 percent savings in maintenance costs.
Having examined the recommendations, library personnel are eager to move forward, according to Head Librarian Connie Collett.
“We like the plan,” she said. “We’re eager to get started.”
The topic was discussion only, and no decisions were made. Council will make a formal recommendation on the library upgrades in December after considering the 2012 Village budget and other capital needs, according to President Judith Hempfling. Council asked Village staff to check the amount currently earmarked for library upgrades in the Village budget from the 2006 property tax levy.
• Council heard a request from consulting engineer John Eastman for $45,500 in additional fees for his company, LJB Engineering, the consultant for the wastewater treatment plant improvement project, for work on the project through 2011. The initial contract with LJB had anticipated completion of the project by the end of 2010, Eastman said, but the project is ongoing due to problems created by the electrical contractor, which also led to the need for more oversight from his office.
“I don’t know that there is any way we could have anticipated this before the project,” Eastman said.
Council members stated they will consult with Village Solicitor John Chambers on the Village’s financial responsibility regarding problems caused by the contractor, and Eastman stated that he will try to recoup some of the cost from the contractor.
• Council unanimously endorsed the Preferred Future Land Use Scenario of Going Places, An Integrated Land Use Vision for the Miami Valley conducted by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission. The scenario was the result of a multi-year effort by MVRPC to harvest citizen input regarding region-based land use planning. Over 1,600 citizens participated.
• Villager Christine Roberts requested that she be allowed to present an economic plan for the Village as an alternative when the Village Economic Sustainability Commission presents their economic plan for the Village in the near future.
• Council members expressed their thanks to outgoing Council member John Booth, who is leaving Council after his first four-year term. They presented Booth with a plaque commemorating his service to the community.
• Karen Wintrow encouraged downtown business owners, and all villagers, to display lights during the holiday season, in order to enhance the festive atmosphere in the village.
• Council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Nov. 21. Council will meet on Monday, Nov. 28, to consider the 2012 Village budget.