Yellow Springs Development Corporation Introduces Mills Loan Program

Planning for the Millslawn Elementary School building and site in the heart of town has begun.

At the request of the Yellow Springs School District, the Yellow Springs Development Corporation (YSDC) will work with district leaders to “help shape the future” on nearly nine acres of land when the district is no longer needed. I agreed. For school.

The lawsuit takes place when the district seeks approval for a combination of property and income taxes in a November ballot, and now middle and high school campuses are building a K-12 facility of 35 , $ 6 million on East Enon Road. Will be done. Construction of the proposed facility resulted in the cancellation of the Mills loan, which raised questions among concerned community members about possible prospects for the building and surrounding green space.

YSDC continued its executive session, which began on August 10, the last regular meeting held directly at the John Brian Center, in a special meeting held on Thursday, September 2 via the online platform Zoom. .. In private meetings on August 10 for about an hour and September 2 for about 25 minutes, YSDC members returned to approve three items related to Mills’ loans.

• Accept the school district’s request for assistance in exploring the construction and site options for Millslawn.

• Accept grants through the Yellow Springs Community Foundation to cover the costs of the exploration project, including costs related to aspects such as project management, consulting, management costs and assistance. legal.

• Approve the creation of sub-committees to manage exploration projects, including the hiring of consultants as needed.

The vote for each of the three points was unanimous, with abstention from Steve Conn and Steve McQueen, two representatives of the YSDC education council.

YSDC followed up on the meeting in a press release on Tuesday, September 7, announcing the group’s first actions in agreeing to work with the district.

No timeline has been set, but the press release shows the expected years 2023-2024 that the school will vacate the property once the facility is taxed and the proposed K-12 structure is completed. I did. YSDC president Lisa Abel told a meeting on September 2 that she would like to establish a subcommittee as soon as possible and that its members do not necessarily have to be part of the YSDC.

In a follow-up email to current affairs issues, Abel said YSDC members “look forward to a community engagement process in the coming months. This time it looks ripe.

In a press release, she wrote: “Essentially, YSDC approaches this task in two parts.

First, instead of destroying the entire building, try to find a creative reuse of the Millslawn building. Second, it sponsors a public engagement process to find the best use of the remaining acreage and potential managers. ”

In response to a current question about Community Foundation grants, Abel responded that the grants were directed to the Mills Loan Initiative from private donors through the Foundation.

“YSDC didn’t ask for funding,” Abel replied. “Instead, an anonymous donor asked the Foundation if they could fund the Mills Loan exploration process. The Foundation does not run such a project and the funds are donor savvy they can be sent to non-profit organizations. [such as the YSDC] You can run this type of project. “

Abel said the amount of the gift is unknown. “But I was given a green light to take the next step. I hire a project manager, I identify consultants to help me with the work and I pay when I meet them.

YSDC is a nonprofit quasi-government group formed in early 2020 that brings together representatives from village and township governing bodies and institutions to attract and support the economic development of Yellow Springs and the Township of Miami. I am.

This group contains 11 voting members and a small number of ex officio members. Executive sessions are private, but meetings are open to the public.

According to the group’s statutes, the voting members are two representatives of the YS Village Council (currently Lisa Krieger and Kevin Stokes) and two Miami Townships (Councilor Don Hollister and Nominee Collie Van Osdal). Consists of Mayor Clifton or Candidate (Alex Bieri)), 2 from the Yellow Springs Board of Education (Conn and McQueen), 1 from Antioch College (Hannah Montgomery), 1 from YS Community Foundation (Abel) One from Sarah Courtright and one from the whole community (Sherry Blackman). The ex officio seats include the mayor of the village Josué Salmerón, the director of the school Terri Holden, the director of the chamber of commerce (currently vacant), the president or candidate of the Antioch College (currently the administrator of the Maureen Lynch University), and the General Secretary of the Community Foundation, Jeannamarie Cox.

According to Abel, working with schools on the future of Mills Loan is “just the kind of project that YSDC has created to promote.”

In a press release, she said, “YSDC believes that the economic health and future vitality of the village is closely related to both the health of the school and the makeup of the central business district and surrounding areas.

The group recently announced a new partnership with the University of Antioch to reopen the wellness center, which had been closed since March 2020, when the pandemic blockade began in Ohio.

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