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Village Council 2016 goals—Sidewalks, energy, housing

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At their Feb. 1 meeting, Village Council members continued a Council discussion of goals for 2016. Council members identified the following as goals, and will discuss possible rankings at their Feb. 16 meeting.

• Create a sustainable economic development strategy to support existing businesses and entrepreneurs and attract new opportunities that support the values of the community.

• Develop a strategy for sidewalk repairs and new construction.

• Develop a strategy for fiscal sustainability.

• Involve the community in developing a vision with goals for Village energy use and environmental sustainability.

• Develop and implement a plan to build a municipally owned fiber optic network that will support all Yellow Springs citizens and encourage economic development.

• Review and update the Village criminal justice system.

• Begin decision-making toward developing a plan for housing on the Glass Farm, including affordable housing.

• Move ahead with water projects, including the beginning of construction of the new water plant and update and implementation of the Wellhead Protection Plan.

In other Council Feb. 1 business:

• Village Manager Patti Bates presented a report from water plant operator Brad Ault responding to concerns regarding the safety of Yellow Springs water. Some villagers have expressed concerns about local water in response to the current water crisis in Flint, Mich., where unsafe levels of lead were found.

In Yellow Springs, lead testing takes place every three years, and water was last tested in 2013, according to the water report. Twenty EPA approved residences are tested for lead and copper, and in that year one residence showed higher than normal levels of lead. However, retesting at the site showed normal results, so that the initial results might have been caused by sampler error, lab error or sample contamination. The village will test again for lead between June and September of this year.

A longer story on local water safety will be in next week’s News.

• Council members unanimously approved the launch of the Village’s new Facebook site, although at this point comments will not be allowed. While Council members leaned toward including comments at their last meeting, this time they expressed added concern about the potential for abuse. Village Superintendent of Electric and Water Distribution Johnnie Burns also stated that he would not use the site if comments are allowed, as in the past Village employees have been the target of derogatory comments. Council agreed to try the site initially without comments, then revisit the issue at a later time.

• Council approved a resolution that adopts rules and procedures for Council. The resolution did not include major changes from previous procedures.

• Council’s next meeting will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 16, due to the Presidents Day holiday.


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