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Village Council — Music festival gets OK to play late

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A local music festival will be able to rock out past 10 p.m., Council agreed at its Jan. 22 meeting.

In a voice vote, Council approved 11 p.m. as the new end time for music at this summer’s Springsfest, which is an hour later than the Village noise ordinance allows.

Festival organizer Conor Stratton requested the change in person, telling Council that with the growing festival now in its fourth year, he wanted to have more flexibility in the schedule. That way, in case of a rain delay or other event, the final act wouldn’t have their set cut short, he said.

“This [noise] policy without any flexibility is putting a hard pinch on putting it on in this town,” said Stratton, who grew up in the village.

The festival, slated for a noon start on Saturday, July 6, will be headlined by Deerhunter of Atlanta, Ga., and feature several other national acts.

In his comments, Stratton emphasized the economic impact of the festival, which last year was attended by close to 2,000 people, many of whom Stratton said were tourists who likely shopped downtown and supported local artists with booths at the festival. Stratton added that the festival is becoming more prestigious.

“We bring bands that no one else in this town has brought here,” Stratton said.

Springsfest is also one of the few events geared specifically toward young people and additionally helps local musicians make connections with prominent musicians of the country, Stratton said.

Bates reported that the Village does consistently receive noise complaints when loud music plays after 10 p.m. and that many residents call repeatedly until the music stops, as well as for days afterwards. Last year noise complaints came from as far as Omar Circle during an event, Bates reported.

Stratton said that this year the sound from the festival won’t travel as far into the village because new speakers will be used that direct the sound to the audience.

Council member Lisa Kreeger and Council Vice President Marianne MacQueen both aired their support for the allowance ahead of the vote.

“If we want this to be a cool, vibrant community that attracts young people and hip activities … a couple nights a year, I think that Council should entertain this,” Kreeger said.

Added MacQueen, “I do think that supporting born-and-bred entrepreneurs and supporting young people is important.”

Committee to select Village Manager

In a resolution, Council set up a committee to assist in the selection of the new Village Manager, as Bates is retiring in July. The vote to do so was unanimous. Housh said that Council’s goal is to “maximize public involvement” in part through the committee, which will narrow down the pool and organize events with the finalists.

The committee consists of the following villagers, according to Clerk of Council Judy Kintner this week: Bettina Solas, Kate Hamilton, Susan Jennings, Anthony Salmonson, Phillip Renfro, Karen Wintrow, Trent Fisher, Dino Pallotta, Jerry Sutton, Christopher Cox, Jeremiah Gaddy, Karen McKee, Janet Mueller, Cheryl Durgans, Laura Curliss and Scott Osterholm.

New corporal at YSPD

In YSPD Chief Brian Carlson’s Jan. 7 report to Council, he announced that Mark Charles had recently been promoted to the rank of corporal. Charles joined the local force in 2014 and is now the department’s second corporal, along with Jeff Beam. The corporal position was created at the YSPD in 2018. YSPD also has two sergeants, which is a higher rank than corporal.

Bike path application support

Council unanimously passed a resolution to support a Village grant request for up to a half million dollars to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Clean Ohio Trails Fund for a bike path from Yellow Springs to Clifton.

Council President Brian Housh said the project has been discussed for more than 40 years and is finally moving forward with resolutions of support for the trail already passed by the Village, Miami Township and the Village of Clifton.

The affirmative vote does not commit the Village to spending local taxpayer funds, Housh added at the meeting.

Transient lodging regulations eyed

Council continued its discussion of creating new regulations for transient guest lodging in the village, which Council member Kevin Stokes believes may be limiting, affecting the availability of long-term rentals and thus housing affordability.

The Economic Sustainability Commission and the Village Manager’s Housing Advisory Committee will take a stab at drafting a policy statement on the matter, Council decided after some discussion.

Previously, Council discussed several new regulations, from limiting the number of such establishments in certain areas of town to upping the registration fee.

From the floor, several villagers addressed the topic. Eric Clark, who rents to transient guests, said he considers the venture a business that supplements his income. He said Council should be wary of making decisions on how he runs his business and said that even with the current guest lodging, the Village is still having a hard time accommodating overnight visitors.

Conor Stratton said that he is concerned about the problem of “Airbnbs pillaging rentable properties” and that housing affordability is getting worse in town. Molly Lunde added that a transient guest house can affect a neighborhood’s sense of a community, especially if the home is only occupied on the weekends.

$7,000-plus in utility round up

Village Manager Patti Bates reported that the new Utility Roundup has so far raised $7,442.80, which includes a YS Community Foundation grant of $5,000. A total of 70 villagers have given between $1 and $20, according to Bates. The Village will begin accepting applications for utility assistance for the first time this month.

Council member Lisa Kreeger, who spearheaded the effort to institute a utility roundup, said she was disheartened that more villagers weren’t choosing to round up their utility bills to give money to those struggling to pay theirs.

“I’m concerned that’s very low participation,” Kreeger said.

Commission members sworn in

Several new members of Village Commissions were sworn in at the meeting: Ara Beal and Cheryl Durgans to the Arts and Culture Commission; Saul Greenberg and Henry Myers to the Economic Sustainability Commission; and Dino Pallotta and AJ Williams to the Planning Commission.

Council’s next regular meeting is Monday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. in Council chambers.


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