GAMBIER — Unless extended, Saturday is the deadline for village of Gambier residents and other interested parties to fill out an online survey related to Gambier’s forthcoming strategic plan, which will outline the village’s priorities moving forwarded once completed.
Survey results are being tallied by ms consultants, inc. of Columbus, and will be aligned by the Area Development Foundation with strategic plan priorities in the villages of Centerburg, Danville and Fredericktown. Each village has appointed a steering committee to help guide their own process. Residents of each village and other interested parties may find the survey link and complete it at the website www.KnoxCoPlans.com.
Gambier Mayor Kachen Kimmell said she is enthusiastic about the input the village’s survey has benefited from thus far.
“We have had over 300 people fill out our village survey, which is a tremendous response for a community our size,” Kimmell said.
Some of the most committed stakeholders to Gambier’s strategic plan process will gather to discuss plan progress to date Friday at the Kenyon Inn during its Party on the Patio event, and Kimmell will be one of them. It is important that everyone who cares about Gambier’s future, including the Kenyon College community, complete the survey.
“All of the (village) council members and I make assumptions about what our community is like, and what’s it’s about,” she offered. “But we all have our own unique perspective that is important. No one person knows everything.”
Asked what she views as some of the most important strategic priorities for Gambier, Kimmell said one would be a new, updated zoning code.
Still another would encompass the overall topic of housing — including the overall availability of homes and other place to live in Gambier, and where future residences can be populated to provide more accommodations. During one recent village council meeting, a Kenyon faculty member told council the “the diminishing residentiality of Gambier” would lose out to the more transient student population if changes aren’t made to prioritize permanent housing. He made his comments as Kenyon, with institutional control over zoning in the matter, got set to consider the fate of a residence on North Iceland Street — whether it should be residentially occupied, or student occupied.
According to councilmember Juan Pastor, the village’s number of resident-owned homes has declined to less than 300 over the years, while the number of student’s has increased from 1,475 in 1977 to 1,719 during the recently completed 2018-19 academic year.
The KnoxCoPlans.com website states that the forthcoming strategic plans for each of the four villages are intended to reflect both county-wide and village-specific visions, market conditions, and long-term goals. The plans will examine “the future of growth, development, and quality of life for the Centerburg, Danville, Fredericktown, and Gambier communities. The description also states, “Rooted in community aspirations and implementable goals, each Strategic Plan (is to) provide an honest evaluation of present and future needs.”
In other matters in the village of Gambier, village Administrator R.C. Wise said this week he expects at least two businesses to submit bids on installing an automated chlorine feed system for the village water supply when bids are opened Aug. 19 at noon. The automated chlorine system has been ordered a cost of $33,606 from ProMinent Fluid Controls of Pittsburgh. If those submitting bids exceed $50,000 with their proposals, the village council would be asked to approve the winning contract during its September council meeting, he said. The CT Consultants engineer’s estimate for the installation project is $50,000.
All told, Wise added, all construction costs associated with the automated chlorine feed system — to be located in a remote area of Brooklyn Street and necessary to combat evaporation and diminished chlorine levels in the system — will total about $100,000. The Energy Cooperative has already been paid $13,600 to construct the electrical system to involve a new transformer placed near the project.
A concrete building pad is also part of the project as are two electrical conduits — one to provide electricity for the flow of water coming in from Mount Vernon. It will allow the automated system to dispense the appropriate amount of chlorine as needed, Wise said. He added that although it will be powerful in what it does, the automated chlorine feed system to be constructed is not large — with dimensions of 4 feet by 10 feet.