By DAVID GREEN
Fayette is getting the planning services of a Bowling Green State University student at no cost to create a comprehensive plan for the village.
BGSU senior Seth Brehm has already begun reviewing information about the community, said Steve Brown, director of the Fulton County Regional Planning Commission. Brown spoke at the Fayette Chamber of Commerce meeting Thursday.
“Fayette is the only community in the county that does not have a comprehensive plan,” Brown said. “What was done was done in 1977, an old land use plan.”
Brown noted the importance of a comprehensive plan when seeking grants.
Data will be collected to create a mapping plan that also lists goals and objectives. Much of the information will be obtained from existing GIS (geographic information system) maps.
“We want to have a community-wide meeting to see where people want to go as a village to get some objectives.”
Fayette residents will need to push the process to make it happen, he said.
Brehm will work on the plan over the summer and then come back in the fall to finish it off, if needed.
Comprehensive plans often cost more than $30,000, Brown said, but this is being done at practically no cost.
YOUTHWORKS—Cara Augustyniak, the youth employment and training advisor with the Northwest Ohio Job Center, spoke to Chamber members about the YouthWorks program.
The program provides summer job experiences to young people, plus help with résumés, interviewing, education and leadership development.
Business owners have the opportunity to interview a prospective YouthWorks employee before hiring. A contract is created for the position and weekly evaluations are taken.
The Fayette village office is participating in the program for the second year, said village administrator Amy Metz. Participants have helped with brush chipping, painting and other jobs the village crew doesn’t always have time to do.
“We’ve had excellent help,” she said.
PALM PLASTICS—Amy Clark of the Fayette Business Park announced that Palm Plastics will continue to move its Fayette operations to Bowling Green.
The grinding operation was already moved, she said, and the operation that repairs pallets will go during the next four to six months. Palm had 23 employees in Fayette.
TRW—Rich O’Loughlin of TRW said business is not as strong as in the past, but he’s confident the operation will continue to hold steady through the end of the year.
TRW has 140 employees working two full shifts and one partial shift. That employment level should suffice for at least the next year, he said.
VACANCIES—Metz said the residential vacancy rate stands at about 11 percent. Some houses have been sold and will be refurbished.
“That’s a good sign,” Metz said. “People are willing to invest in the community.”
COUNTY REVENUE—The increase in sales tax approved by commissioners last year is expected to bring in between $120,000 and $130,000 of new revenue, said commissioner Dean Genter. Sales tax numbers are up so far this year.
Commissioners hope the increase will cover the expected decrease in state revenue.
The CAT tax (Commercial Activity Tax) is not bringing funds to the county as expected, Genter said, but federal stimulus funds have saved the county budget. Without additional stimulus funds, he said, the next budget from Columbus will present hardships.