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Sustainability Section :: Page 5
Both Smaller Footprint Farm and Heartbeat Community Farm have thrived since going into business in 2006 by growing vegetables directly for their members using a model called Community Supported Agriculture, or CSA for short.
For at least one Yellow Springs homeowner, the past year has been unforgettable. In the fall of 2008, his mortgage company granted him a three-month forbearance on the monthly payments for his home in the village. Having no steady income due to an ongoing health issue, the homeowner received a second forbearance in early 2009, and then was told in the spring that unless he could begin making his monthly $1,000 mortgage payments, the lender would begin foreclosure proceedings on his house.
At the Nov. 16 Village Council meeting, Village Manager Mark Cundiff announced that the Village has hired Sarah Wildman as its new economic sustainability coordinator.
“She has a great deal of experience in economic development in a small community as well as a background in the arts,” Cundiff said in an interview on Tuesday. “She’ll bring a lot of energy to the job.”
Can a home be built to absorb enough of the sun’s heat so that it requires no heat source — other than the presence of people and the heat they produce by inhabiting space and cooking? Can an old home be retrofitted or remodeled with the hopes of realizing the cost of investment through monthly energy savings? Does making more sustainable decisions about energy use have to mean being less comfortable?
Should Village economic development efforts focus on strengthening local resources or working with regional partnerships? Should the bulk of money earmarked for development be used to pay a staff person, or instead to develop local resources? Is transparency appropriate to the economic development process?
Most people want their homes to be more energy efficient, Bob Brecha and Dan Rudolf believe, but they just don’t know how to make the needed changes. “People don’t know where to start,” Brecha said in a recent interview.
Illustrating how money circulates through small economies, area contractors can often be found downtown on early weekday mornings and around the lunch hour. When local property owners support local contractors, the contractors in turn support downtown merchants, whether it’s a few extra parts from the hardware store or lunch from the deli.
Amidst a national economic recession that has led to job loss, lower housing values and less-accessible consumer credit, all contractors surveyed in recent interviews were looking at creative ways to stay afloat. While many felt Yellow Springs is spared of the gravest economic fallout, each has encountered economic ripples in some aspect of their business.
These were a few of the possible new business opportunities that came out of “Going Local,” a weekend workshop with economist Michael Shuman. About 200 people attended a standing-room-only keynote talk last Friday night at the Glen Helen building, and 70 villagers took part in the workshop on Saturday and Sunday.
Organizers of an upcoming economic development workshop with nationally-known economist Michael Shuman hope that the event sparks, as well as specific actions, new thinking about the best ways to create a sustainable local economy.
Yellow Springs residents will soon have the opportunity to ensure that the cost of their share of household energy use goes to supporting renewable power sources like the sun, wind, waterways and landfill gas. Village Council on Monday, May 19, agreed to initiate a new “green pricing” program that will offer residents the option of […]