At the January 25, 2017 meeting of the Clark County Commissioners, Transportation Planner Cory Golden of the Clark County Transportation Coordinating Committee (TCC) provided the commissioners with information on a citizen steering committee spearheaded by the TCC to update the Crossroads Comprehensive Plan. The Crossroads Plan was last updated in 1999. In October, the TCC began to work with Planning Next from Columbus and representatives from the City of Springfield and Clark County to update the plan based on how the county has changed in the last 17 years and the current goals of Clark County, TCC, and the City of Springfield.

Golden introduced Sarah Kelly form Planning Next, who presented to the commissioners the groups’ vision for the project. She said, “The Crossroads Plan is a comprehensive vision and strategic guide that expresses the stakeholders’ values and aspirations for the area. It is a long-range plan that addresses housing, environment, economic growth, and transportation goals. It helps each of the local government entities allocate resources.”

Although the document is not legally binding, it should be used as a monitoring tool for the community to determine if it is working toward the goals it has set for itself.

Kelly added, “It is important to update the plan at this time to incorporate updated information and address new planning issues. The plan should respond to the current development trends and growth pressures and integrate new technologies and best practices developed since it was last updated.”

Kelly went on to review the process. A citizen steering committee was formed to guide the process in October of 2016. They began by analyzing the existing plan and the needs and goals of the community. The next step is for the steering committee along with Planning Next to conduct public workshops. After information is gathered from all the stakeholders, the steering committee will work together to draft a new Crossroads Plan. The stakeholders include the community, city and county government agencies, business and economic development groups, and agriculture, environmental, and historical representatives. The committee is committed to an open and inclusive process.

Four public forums will be held in February for input from the public including February 21, 2017 at United Senior Service in Enon, two forums on February 22, 2017 at United Senior Services in Springfield and one forum on February 23, 2017 at the South Vienna Government Center.

According to Kelly, once input from all affected parties are collected, the action plan will be developed from April through November of 2017, with implementation planned for December 2017.

Commissioner Richard Lohnes pointed out, “Although the primary emphasis for the plan is on land use, transportation and economic development, the goals will not be accomplished without intergovernmental cooperation.”

Auditor John Federer questioned, “Who owns this plan?”

Golden responded, “It belongs to the people of Clark County.”

Lohnes added. “There is no single office of enforcement; however, the various entities must hold each other accountable to work toward our common goals.”

In regular business, the commissioners reappointed Linda C. Howell representing the Disabled American Veterans to the Veterans Service Commission for a term to expire January 15, 2022.

In addition, they accepted a letter from the County Treasurer’s Office declining responsibility to administer the acceptance of online payments for county expenses and authorized the Board of Clark County Commissioners to act as the administrative agent.

For the Information Systems (IS), the commissioners authorized the transfer of a 2008 GMC Envoy from IS to the Community and Economic Development (CED) Department. The Envoy will be used as a trade in on the purchase of a new vehicle for the CED. They also authorized the transfer of a 2015 Jeep Cherokee form the CED to the IS to replace the Envoy. The Envoy is obsolete and no longer needed by the County. Last, they authorized the purchase of a Jeep Cherokee from New Carlisle Jeep Dodge for CED at the cost of $22,976.50.

For the Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS), the commissioners approved the extension of the contract with On-The-Rise for an additional year at the cost of $60,000. The new contract is effective through June 30, 2018.

The commissioners also extended the contract with Clark State Community College for an addition year for $177,845.60. The new contract is effective through June 30, 2018. The contract provides support for Project Jericho, which provides performing and visual arts camps and workshops to youth and families in the county.

For the Utilities Director, the commissioners amended the contract with Paymentus Corporation for $1,500 for setup and implementation costs and a$ 0.15 transaction fee to receive electronic remittances from payments made by utilities customers through their online bank instead of receiving/processing a paper check from their bank. The contract is effective January 18, 2017.

For Planning and Zoning, the commissioners approved the rezoning of 0.53 acres at 10872 Lower Valley Pike from B-2 Community Business to B-3 General Business to establish an automotive repair shop at that location with the stipulation that the grassy area on the north side of the property not be used for car storage. The repair shop owners will be required to provide screening to the north and west of the property since the property is adjacent to residential areas.

The next meeting of the Clark County Commissioners is scheduled for February 1, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the Commissioners’ Conference Room at 50 E Columbia St.

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