May 1, 2003
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Village Council business—
Villagers to help raise funds for pool
Members of a committee charged with reviewing the Gaunt Park Pool last week submitted a number of recommendations, including an offer by two volunteers to spearhead a fundraising effort to raise $100,000 for needed repairs.
Gaunt Park Pool Committee members Dave Wishart and Ruth Jordan have volunteered to resurrect the “Sink or Swim” Committee, which raised funds for needed pool repairs in the 1970s. The committee said in its report, which was presented to Council at its meeting April 21, that the group will try to raise funds for needed repair to the pool gutters at no cost to the Village. The goal is to raise the money prior to the 2004 pool season.
For the last several years the Village has identified the project as necessary but has not had the funds to repair the pool.
“We appreciate Dave and Ruth stepping forward” to spearhead the effort, said Council president Tony Arnett.
The committee’s purpose was to “review pool operations and potential new services to enhance the quality of this important summer recreational activity,” according to the report. The Council-appointed committee, which met three times in March, was composed of Tony Bent, Wishart, Jordan, Village Parks and Recreation Director Terry Cox and Council member Denise Swinger.
The committee also recommended that Council keep the new rate schedule it inaugurated a year ago, when it passed an ordinance to increase rates in an effort to offset the pool’s yearly deficit. The rate schedule, which goes into full effect this year, increases single rate admission to $1.50 for local children aged 4–18 and $2.50 for local adults. Children under 4 years old will be admitted for free. Non-resident fees are $3 for single admission for children aged 4–18 and $5 for adults, with young children free.
However, the report also contains the recommendation that children not be denied entrance due to inability to pay.
The committee also recommended that pool hours of operation be shortened, from a closing time of 9 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the suggestion that the pool stay open until 8:15 p.m. for adult lap swimming.
The committee also supported a proposal by Cox for “better control of the entrance to the pool.” The proposal includes a handicapped-accessible physical barrier to be installed, “giving a clear entrance and exit to the pool with the policy that no one be allowed in the pool without showing their pass or paying for the day,” the committee said.
The committee recommended that the Village implement a concession stand near the pool, for use by other Gaunt Park recreational programs as well. Committee members said they researched costs for providing this service, although the Village could decide to contract out the service.
Finally, the group supported Cox’s suggestion that the pool include a shaded picnic area within pool grounds, and the possible rental of lounge chairs and umbrellas.
* * *
In other Council business:
• Council members discussed with Ellen Hoover, president of Community Resources, the draft agreement between the group and the Village to try to get a commerce park built in town. Community Resources is currently exploring options for obtaining land for the park, and has interviewed two developers in “strictly fact-finding discussions,” she said.
The Village needs to gain control of the property to be used, either by buying it or by taking out an option to buy, she said. In the group’s opinion, “to buy the property outright puts the capital at risk,” said Hoover, who said a 6- to 12-month option to buy “at a minimum price protects the risk.”
Not yet answered is the question of how much money Council wants to invest in the project, said Arnett. Council has said the funds would come out of the Village’s Economic Development Revolving Loan Fund.
Noting that Community Resources members have so far volunteered their time, Hoover said the group believes the complexities of the current process requires a paid administrative position, for 10 hours a week, for 30 weeks at a total cost of approximately $11,000.
While they took no official actions, Council members indicated willingness to pay for the part-time administrator. “I think we have a philosophical responsibility to underwrite administrative costs,” said Horn.
• Council unanimously agreed to contract with the Greene County Combined Health District for its mosquito control program. “The program’s primary function is to educate the public on West Nile virus,” said Village Manager Rob Hillard. “I fully support education and it’s an educational program.”
The program involves forwarding villagers’ questions about the virus, including inquiries about possibly infected birds, to the health district office. It also involves introducing the insecticide BTI into the storm sewers and could involve fogging in town.
BTI is “not carcinogenic,” said Council member Joan Horn, since it’s a “low-grade chemical” that attacks only mosquitos. However, Horn did express concern over fogging, especially since the County has not identified the insecticide to be used.
According to Hillard, the County health district said it could amend the contract if the Village opted out of some part of the program, such as fogging. The program’s cost would run $1,500 to $3,000 annually, based on the number of calls the district receives from villagers, he said.
• Council heard a presentation from Dwayne Rapp of TRIAD Governmental Systems, the local distributor for the electronic voting system that will be tried out in Yellow Springs during the May 6 election.
The system will cut down on voting errors, said Rapp, since voters can easily correct an erroneous vote by pressing the voting button twice to remove the vote, then voting again. Voters can also change their mind, erase a previous vote and vote again. The final vote is cast only when a voting button is pressed, which is “like dropping the ballot into the box,” Rapp said.
The system will be faster than punch-card ballotting, and should report results by 8:30 p.m. on voting day, said Rapp.
“Something can go wrong but the odds of something going wrong are diminished” compared to the traditional voting technique, said Mike Gardner of the Greene County Board of Elections.
• John Sparioso, co-owner of Village Cyclery, expressed frustration that Caboose Bike & Skate is located on the bikepath right-of-way, where, he believes, the Village had no right to allow a business. According to Sparioso, when the Village allowed the business, owned by Chris and Doug Roberts, to be located adjacent to the bikepath, it went out of compliance with the Village’s 1986 agreement with the Ohio Department of Transportation that no business would be allowed in the zone.
Hillard said he is currently researching the situation.
Asked why he was just now bringing his concern to the Village, Sparioso said that he initially had no problem with the location of the Caboose because the owners stated they were only going to rent bikes and skates, which did not interfere with his business. However, he stated that in 2000 they began selling bikes, which undercuts his own business.
“I’ve been in business for 17 years,” he said. “Why did the Village violate the agreement with the State and allow this unfair competition to my business?”
• Council unanimously passed the second reading of an ordinance that amends minimum lot widths to allow for more narrow housing lots, and also passed the second reading of an ordinance that allows subdivisions to be subdivided into five parcels rather than three.

—Diane Chiddister