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Village Vision News

Forsyth Fast Facts

Friday, October 26, 2012

Items of interest from Village staff and the Oct. 15 Board meeting

BOARD DECISIONS

  • For the first time in 14 years, Forsyth’s property tax levy will not be increased following a 4-1 vote by trustees Oct. 15. Trustees Bob Rasho and Marilyn Johnson, earlier advocates of an increase, joined trustees Eric Morr and Steve Hubbard in the vote, which staff has said will have little impact on a resident’s individual property tax bill. Trustee Larry Reed, who said he is not running for re-election, voted in favor of a 4.9 percent increase based on the need to continue growing the levy, a position shared with Mayor Hap Gilbert. Trustee Kerstin Trachtenberg was absent from the meeting. (See details in an upcoming issue.)
  • Trustees returned from a closed session following their Oct. 15 regular meeting and voted to release the closed session meeting minutes from Sept. 17, 2012.
  • Trustees formally approved several ordinances pertaining to recent variances and special use permits as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission. Included were variances for Lincoln Diagnostics, Hickory Point Estates subdivision and a residential property at 123 S. Elwood Street as well as a special use permit for Poage Cadillac Buick GMC Inc.
  • In a unanimous vote, trustees approved a waiver requested by developers Jeff and Steve Horve for sidewalk construction in Shadow Ridge Estates subdivision. Trustees agreed to allow the developers an additional two years beyond the Village’s required two years for construction of new subdivision sidewalks, citing the economic downturn and lack of buyers for the majority of the lots.
  • Minor lighting issues have been resolved and trustees unanimously approved a major change, as endorsed by the Planning & Zoning Commission, for the Hickory Point Mall planned unit development for the Homewood Suites addition on Marion Avenue. Developer Steve Horve plans to construct a 21-room addition.

OTHER NEWS

  • Ameren’s delay in moving gas lines along Cox Street has created a slowdown in the construction schedule by a full month. Storm sewer work and new water services were completed recently, but the projected start date for concrete work has been compromised and could mean that construction could be shut down for winter before the entire concrete pavement is poured. Village Engineer Chuck Hunsinger is working with the contractor on ways to accelerate the work and to finish by the end of the year. An update on the 2012 street improvements project, including Tyrone Drive, Jasons Way and Fairway Drive, shows that the project is close to completion. The streets are open to traffic with some remaining work to be done on sidewalks and some curb repair, Hunsinger said.
  • The first stage with the paving of the north lanes of Marion Avenue has been completed and the south lanes in stage two remain to be done. The Marion Avenue improvements project was divided into two stages of work because of traffic control and the need to sequence construction so nearby businesses had access at all times, according to Village Engineer Chuck Hunsinger. Stage two will move more quickly, he said. Reporting on other infrastructure projects, Hunsinger said the contractor will clean up and seed the area for the Hundley Road sewer extension once testing of the gravity sewers is complete.
  • Resident Sid Audiffred of 5244 Yavapai Drive has requested that the question of term limits for all Forsyth elected officials be included on the ballot during the upcoming April 9 election and further asked that the topic be discussed at a future Village Board meeting. Additionally, Audiffredinquired if any informational material on electrical aggregation would be available for Village residents prior to the Nov. 6 election. Village Administrator Mike Miller confirmed a mailer would be sent out approximately 10 days prior to the election date.
  • Both eastward and westward traffic on Talon Lane is being monitored by deputies from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office. A radar unit is tracking the number of speeding violations which will be available for publication once the data is compiled, according to a report from Village Administrator Mike Miller.
  • Construction on the Oreana water main is 92 percent complete. The contractor has installed all of the underground water main. Remaining work includes testing of the water main, cleanup and seeding, according to a report from Village Engineer Chuck Hunsinger.
  • Trustee Eric Morr asked his fellow trustees to consider what he termed “…the biggest oversight as a Board” and to discuss the feasibility of changing auditors on a more frequent basis.

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