GAMBIER — The final Gambier Village Council meeting for 2009 dealt mostly with a controversy over adopting the village’s parks plan. The plan was on the agenda for a second reading to adopt the plan, when some residents voiced objections.
Donna Scott read a statement from Jan Thomas, who could not attend the meeting.
Thomas’ statement read, in part, “Dear City Council. I just want to reinterate my opposition to the pathways being planned throughout the village. There has clearly been opposition to this plan by residents whose properties will be impacted and I do not believe there has been any strong support voiced by citizens who are not council members.”
Scott also voiced her own concerns about the plan, which proposes nature trails that will cross the properties of several residents, including her own.
“I would concur with Jan on all those points,” Scott said. “I would also say I am not objecting to the entire plan. However, I do object to a path that goes within 10 feet of my house.”
Scott’s concerns centered around people walking, as she put it, through her back yard, and she was concerned that ODNR grants being sought by the village for the pathways would require hooking up to the statewide system of trails, bringing in people from “Who knows where.”
Scott was assured by Village Administrator Suzanne Hopkins that the grants sought would not apply to the proposed nature trails within Gambier.
After much discussion, councilwoman Betsy Heer proposed an amendment to the plan to exclude the nature trails from the plan, leaving the community center and south park proposals intact. The amendment passed. Council then voted to accept the amended plan.
Mayor Kirk Emmert congratulated council members Liz Forman, Audra Cubie and Heer for their re-election to council, and welcomed new council member Noble Jones, who will take office in January. Emmert also thanked outgoing member Lee Cubie for his work during his tenure on council.
Hopkins reported the new roof on the community center was done in four days. She also said the final leaf pickup had been made and that the village will pick up recycling Dec. 24.
In other business:
•Council voted to approve the second reading of an ordinance to rezone the property at 112 Duff St.
•Approved a temporary budget to cover expenses until a formal budget is passed for 2010.
•Approved a resolution for the village administrator to enter into a contract with Floyd Browne Group for grant writing for ODNR Recreational Trails Program and Clean Ohio Trail Funds.