Here’s your chance to have a say in the future of western Clark County

  • Pam Cottrel
8:00 p.m Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 Community News
A group of Clark County residents read the draft of an updated land use plan expected to be completed in February of 2018. MICHAEL COOPER/STAFF

There is still no crystal ball on my desk. At least I don’t see one. I guess it could be there and I just can’t see it under the piles of papers.

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That’s too bad since seeing into the future would make planning ahead for my columns so much easier. Just think, I could have written about the big corn silo spill in New Carlisle before it happened. However, folks would have thought I was crazy. Who could have imagined that Ohio 571 would be closed because of a mountain of corn? And who could have imagine how much equipment and manpower would be needed to move it and how long it would take?

Where are all those pesky crows from downtown Springfield or the historical great squirrel invasion from Kentucky when needed? Seriously, if those birds or squirrels showed up in New Carlisle, the corn would be gone in two days!

This week there are two opportunities to look into the future of Clark County without a crystal ball.

Last winter Connect Clark County began its efforts to come up with a new countywide comprehensive plan. I wrote about the first meeting in January and was excited about the county’s efforts to reach out to as many residents as possible.

I was hoping that they were sincerely listening to us.

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In July, Connect Clark County came back with maps showing the places identified as positive, negative or perplexing when it came to living in Clark County.

Evidently they listened. I noticed that almost everything mentioned in our group was somehow indicated on the all-county map. Everything was there except expanded WiFi availability, which was an “in a perfect world” suggestion that had given us all a chuckle at the meeting I attended.

Well the results are finally out for review. And lo and behold, what do I see on it — expanded WiFi availability. Really. It is at the bottom of page 11. That means everything I heard mentioned in one of these meetings actually showed up on one of these maps or in the list of goals or guidelines for growth.

It turns out, according to the report, that more than 600 of us from one end of the county to the other submitted issues or concerns over the process. In these busy times I guess that’s good, but it would have been nice to have even more than that. Luckily the process is not totally over. You still have a chance to put in your two cents.

The results are available online at www.connectclarkcounty.org . There are 11 pages full of information that you really should take time to read. Don’t forget the “.org” part or you will be learning about volunteer opportunities in Washington state.

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Now if you can only access the internet on your cell phone, I recommend going to see this in person or on a full sized computer screen. The maps and charts are so much better blown up to a size big enough to read.

For the rest of this week, these maps and charts are available at the New Carlisle Public Library, 111 E. Lake Ave. Hours for the rest of this week are Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday noon to 8 p.m. You can call 937-835-3601 to be sure. The western Clark County meetings in January and July were held at the Enon Senior Center.

It is only fair that the report be in New Carlisle, another part of western Clark County. There are lots of bridges over the Mad River and it gives Enon residents a chance to check out restaurants in New Carlisle for lunch.

Bethel Twp. folks will find some small but meaningful proposed changes in roads on the road map. Connecting Osborn and Gerlaugh roads, and improving the connection between Dayton Lakeview and Addison- New Carlisle roads should make getting around easier. Take a look at the map and tell them what you think.

Connect Clark County is still taking feedback. Get in there to see the posters, maps and guidelines, and leave a comment. Your comments need not be critical or suggest anything. If you like what you see, you should let them know. Let them know your favorite proposal for Clark County’s future.

The second opportunity to peek at the future of Mad River Twp. will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1. The EPA will hold an informational meeting and hearing at Greenon High School to address proposed changes to the drainage of that area by Enon Sand and Gravel.

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Major changes have been proposed to Mad River Twp. with the proposed expansion of two gravel pits into a limestone quarry. This meeting will address proposed wastewater discharge and drainage into Mud Run and connecting tributaries only. The last meeting held in the high school on this subject turned out to be standing room only, so get there early if you want to sit. I wish I had a crystal ball to see how this will all work out in the long run.

Do not forget that residents also are welcome to attend regular township trustees, city council, county commissioners or school board meetings. These are great ways to find out what is going on in your community and to speak up or ask questions. Don’t assume that these public servants can read your mind. Let them know how you feel as we all move into the future.

And these meetings will just have to do until we each get our own crystal ball.

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