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Village’s own battery park

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The owners of electric cars may soon have a place to recharge their vehicles in Yellow Springs if the Village moves ahead with the installation of a charging station in the downtown vicinity. Village Council discussed the matter at their meeting Monday, Nov. 5, and will consider the purchase and installation again at its meetings in December.

The Village received a bid from SemaConnect, a manufacturer in Maryland, to install a two-head, stand-alone electric car charging station for $8,000. Village Manager Laura Curliss suggested a possible location for the station could be the west side of the Bryan Center parking lot near the police vehicles.

Vehicles with global positioning systems can find recharging stations digitally using GPS data. Charges (at 240 volts) take about two hours, and SemaConnect uses a digital system and a Smart Card to manage both payment and owner notification of charge completion. Cost for the “park and charge” service will be $1.50 per hour until the electric charge is complete, after which the fee will roll over into a parking fee of $5 per hour. The charging stations can be set up to notify owners of charge completion by text message, and fees are designed to incentivize turnover, Curliss wrote in a report to Council.

SemaConnect collects the payments and then sends the Village a monthly check for the fees owed, minus a $20 monthly communication fee the Village will owe on each unit.

A charging station could attract people to the village as a destination for shopping and recreation, after which they could feel assured they will make it home fully charged, Curliss said. A station could also raise awareness about the benefit of electric vehicles to reduce energy consumption. And the station would also serve local residents who have or will invest in electric vehicles, she said during the meeting.

During the Council meeting Paul Abendroth suggested that the Village also consider adding a simple 110-volt outlet downtown to accommodate recharges for the existing fleet of golf cart vehicles many villagers own and use regularly.

“Sometimes we don’t have enough energy to get home,” he said.

Council member Karen Wintrow suggested placing the charging station closer to the center of the central business district, such as in the library parking lot.

Council members voiced general enthusiasm for the proprosal to add a charging station in the village.

“Eight thousand dollars is a nice little gamble for a potential economic investment,” Council member Lori Askeland said.

In other Council business:

• Village Council continued to discuss the Village Art Policy that addresses the use of Village property and rights of way for various types of art. Council updated the draft of the policy, including a statement of the purpose of public art, drafted by the newly formed Use of Public Spaces Committee, a group of citizens helping Council to concretize the public art policy.

The draft policy also includes a new section on the list of specifications public art proposals must include at the conceptual proposal stage before moving on to make a final proposal to Council. The conceptual specs include whether the exibit is temporary or long-term, 2D or 3D, a description of the art and installation details, how it fulfills the “purpose of public art” statement, the funders, groups and supporting organizations involved, insurance, and who retains ownership of the art.

The draft purpose of public art statement was created by the Public Spaces group members and presented by member Brian Housh, who referenced the group’s use of Kettering City’s public art policy and a green paper from Americans for the Arts: Public Art Network. Council member Karen Wintrow encouraged the group to make the statement more site specific to the village, reflecting the fact that the village is already a mature arts community. Council President Judith Hempfling also encouraged the group to consider the history of the arts in the village as a college town.

Council should also continue discussing the merit of applying the two-step concept/final proposal process to small exhibits, Housh said. A public approval process for temporary exhibits inside public buildings could be “labor intensive on both sides” and might be better addressed administratively, he said.

The public art policy is a resolution that will be adopted in one read by Village Council. Council hopes to approve the policy sometime in December or January.

• The Village spent $2,470 to participate in the Greene County Combined Health District’s mosquito control program in 2012. The Ohio Department of Health confirmed seven positive pools of West Nile virus-carrying mosquitos in Greene County and three additional pools at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In Ohio over 6,000 pools were tested and 1,218 were positive in 15 counties. In Ohio 119 human cases of West Nile were confirmed in 2012, including cases in Montgomery and Clark counties. Eleven horses and a mule also tested positive for the virus.

• Council approved a resolution amending the Village’s commitment to honor a tradition started by Wheeling Gaunt to gift flour and sugar to all the widows in the village in the month of December. The village will now give flour and sugar to all widows and widowers in the village. Council increased the parks budget item from $1,500 to up to $3,000 to continue the expanded tradition.

• Council will hold the first reading of the Village 2013 budget at Council’s regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. A fuller story on the budget will appear in next week’s News.

• At 9 p.m. Council went into executive session to discuss issues regarding litigation.

More Council business will appear in next week’s News.

For more information on most of these issues, go to and search for related stories.


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