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Services to citizens vary greatly by community

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Yellow Springs residents do pay more to live in the village, according to a 2008 cost of living comparison of school and municipal income tax, property tax and utility costs in area towns compiled by Fairborn City. But villagers also receive substantially more services than residents of three comparably sized villages, according to recent phone interviews with administrators in those towns.

The villages surveyed were New -Lebanon, Germantown and Cedarville. In the cost of living survey, Yellow Springs residents paid an average of $5,078 annually for taxes and utilities; New Lebanon residents paid $4,937; Germantown residents paid $4,532; and Cedarville residents paid $4,295.

But none of the other villages offered the range of services provided to Yellow Springs residents, which include a local school system, local police dispatch, a swimming pool, a variety of parks, including a skate park, a community center, youth center and pottery shop; a mediation program to address citizens’ disputes; a half-time staff person focused on economic development; an energy efficiency program, cable TV and funds for greenspace preservation.

In New Lebanon, the Village government takes care of water, sewer and roads, according to part-time zoning administrator David Lunsford, along with maintaining several small parks. While New Lebanon has its own police force and local schools, its dispatch is through Montgomery County. It does not have a swimming pool, skate park, community center, mediation service, energy efficiency program or economic development staff person.

Germantown offers the closest comparison to Yellow Springs in terms of services offered. Its downtown park has a swimming pool, basketball court and gazebo, and a second park includes a disc golf course. Germantown government contributes to a range of celebrations, including an annual Pretzel Festival, according to Mayor Theodore Landis, and also helps to support a senior center. However, it lacks the other services that Yellow Springs provides, and its middle and high schools are consolidated with Farmersville, and located out of town. The police dispatch is through the county, Landis said.

In Cedarville, residents receive street maintenance, leaf removal, snow clean-up, yard waste pickup and a local police department, although police dispatch is through Greene County, according to Mary Ann Wheeler, collection clerk. It also has local schools, a community park with a gazebo, a baseball field and tennis courts and a bike trail. However, it does not have a swimming pool, skate park or community center, or the other services offered by Yellow Springs.


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