Manager lists 2016 priorities for Village
- Published: December 24, 2015
At last Monday’s Village Council meeting, Council members highly praised Manager Patti Bates after her first 18 months on the job.
“We’ve been incredibly happy with the stability that Patti has brought to the village, and her working with citizens, staff and Council members in a respectful way,” Council President Karen Wintrow said.
The comments followed an executive session preceding the regular Council meeting, during which Council members heard from Village staff regarding Bates’ performance in the manager’s annual review. The feedback on Bates was very positive, Wintrow said.
Council unanimously passed legislation giving Bates a five percent raise in her salary, which is currently $99,000.
In her manager’s report, Bates summed up achievements in 2015 and looked ahead to next year.
Regarding this year’s projects, most notable, according to Bates, are the completion, or near-completion, of two long-awaited water projects, the loop completion project in the center of town and on the Antioch College campus, and the bottleneck elimination project on south Xenia Avenue. Both projects, which involved replacing old, narrow pipes with newer and wider ones, aim to improve fire-flow and water distribution for those areas.
Also this year, the Village hired the HNTB Corporation as the consulting criteria engineer of the new Village water plant, which is scheduled to begin construction this summer, and is close to hiring a design/build firm to build the plant. (See the article on the water plant, also on page 1, for more information.)
Other 2015 projects included stormwater improvements on Davis Street and renovations at the Yellow Springs Skate Park, which is being heavily used, Bates said.
Priorities for 2016 include finishing the downtown streetscape project on the west side of Xenia Avenue. Smaller projects include purchasing new playground equipment through a Nature Works grant and rejuvenating the Bryan Center gym, Bates said.
Bates thanked Village staff for its help, describing staff as “incredibly professional and talented.”
In other Dec. 7 Council business:
• During citizens comments, villagers Dennis and Anna McClure spoke of their work treating those with opioid, including heroin, addiction. Dr. McClure, trained as a neurological surgeon, said he became interested in treating those in chronic pain and later began treating those addicted to painkillers and heroin. The comments were linked to concerns raised at an earlier meeting about drug addiction in the village, part of the conversation about Village involvement in the ACE Task Force that was reported in last week’s paper.
According to the McClures, heroin addiction is difficult to treat but treatable, as they have seen many overcome their addiction. However, the current medical model restricts the number of addicts who can be treated. The couple urged Council to take steps to coordinate addiction services locally.
• Dean Pallotta and Jane Scott were unanimously approved as new members of the Utility Dispute Resolution Board.
• Council unanimously approved the second and final reading of the 2016 Village budget, which goes into effect in January.
• Council unanimously approved the second reading of a supplemental appropriations ordinance for the fourth quarter of 2015. The main portions of the $977,320 supplemental appropriations were related to the two recently completed water projects, the loop completion project and the bottleneck elimination project, according to Assistant Manager Melissa Vanzant.
• Council unanimously approved a 2 percent annual cost of living increase for Village employees. According to Bates, her research indicated that the amount is about average for cost-of-living increases in nearby towns, with most towns giving from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent increases.
• Council unanimously approved the second reading of a change in the zoning code that allows more flexibility to villagers who own adjacent lots.
• Council unanimously approved the second reading of a zoning code change that changes the size of a permitted accessory structure to make it consistent with the size of a permitted accessory dwelling.
• Council approved the second reading of a zoning code change that simplifies language in the section on signage.
• Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that extends the powers of Yellow Springs police to include Village-owned properties that are located outside Village limits, such as Ellis Park.
• Council unanimously approved a resolution with the official language that will appear on the March 15, 2016 ballot, regarding the renewal of the Village’s current property tax levy.
Council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. in Council chambers.