July 2017
If you'd like to volunteer, please contact Amy Rubenstein at  amyhrubenstein@gmail.com
JCC and Village Pursue Potential Expansion at Amberley Green

As the Village continues to examine the best use for Amberley Green, the Mayerson Jewish Community Center (JCC) has been collaboratively working with the Village on its interest in the property for additional off-campus space.  The JCC submitted a letter of interest to the Village in April 2016, and Village Council approved a resolution in May 2016 to provide the JCC time to consider development potential on the Amberley Green. 

In the pursuit of evaluating how the property might benefit their organization, our community and the Village, the JCC conducted an analysis of the former clubhouse and property.  The building was found to be structurally sound by McGill, Smith and Punshon (MSP), and there was asbestos, mold and other environmental issues found by Terracon.  The Village was able to cost share these expenses, and the report results were encouraging as the Village will be able to maintain an existing structure and avoid demolition costs.

At its June 12, 2017 regular meeting, Village Council approved a memorandum of understanding between the Village and the JCC to begin further evaluation of the property.  Over the next six months, both entities will incur expenses to perform the work necessary to determine if there is an acceptable case for the potential relocation and expansion of some of the existing JCC activities onto approximately 27 acres of the Amberley Green property.  During this period, the following work will be undertaken between the JCC and the Village: design and engineering, economic case for each party, traffic impacts, zoning on the property and process to amend zoning, plan for the balance of the property, and funding for the project.

The Land Development Committee is anticipating for this work to be reviewed in October and mid-December.  The next step in the process is for the Village to hire a planning firm to assist with review of the land use and other elements of Amberley Green.  To stay updated on this project, sign up to receive meeting notices of the Land Development Committee by clicking on Subscriptions at www.amberleyvillage.org.
Electric Aggregation Program Renewed
The Village electric aggregation program with IGS Energy will conclude in October 2017. IGS Energy has presented an offer to extend the existing rate to guarantee residents a 7.3% savings.  Village Council at its June 12, 2017 regular meeting approved to amend and extend the 2014 service agreement which conditions that the rate cannot exceed $0.0576 per kilowatt hour.  It also includes a green power rate option that residents can choose that will be $0.002 higher per kilowatt hour.
The new electric aggregation rate is $0.0527 per kilowatt hour for a three year term from September 2017 through August 2020.  The new rate is 8.5% lower than the current rate of $0.0576 and 14% lower than the current Duke Price-To-Compare of $0.0615.
Residents who are currently enrolled in the Village electric aggregation program with IGS Energy will receive a letter providing a 21-day window to choose to opt-out of the program.  The opt-out letter will be sent to all eligible residents, including anyone who may have moved into the Village or any others taking Duke service.  Duke Energy will then notify those same eligible customers to confirm their decision giving residents 7 days to opt out.  Unless you are with an alternative electric supplier, you will become part of the Village electric aggregation program and begin saving money.
To receive the green power option, residents can contact IGS Energy after enrollment into the Village's aggregation program and request green power for their account. 
Due to the expiring contract, residents can expect to receive calls and mailers from competitor suppliers that would like your business.  To stay with the Village's program, simply do not respond to the phone calls or mailers and the Village negotiated rate savings will be passed on to you. 
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Filling Potholes & Sealing Cracks

The Maintenance Department's street maintenance program includes crack sealing on several streets throughout the Village.  The department's crack sealing program will utilize over 15,000 pounds of tar which slows the deterioration of Village Streets, reduces the potential development of pot holes and strengthens the roadways for the winter season.

This maintenance prevents water from getting into the cracks and base layer of the street.  Preventing the water from entering the surface of the pavement prevents the freezing and thawing in the cracks and the weakening of the base layer, both causing pot holes and deterioration of the street.    Water intrusion is the most damaging element to roadways, thus crack sealing is a vital step in maintaining Village streets.
As part of its ongoing multi-faceted approach to street maintenance, the Department also continuously fills potholes in the roadways throughout the year. Filling potholes and sealing cracks provides relief to drivers and prolongs the life of the street by several years.
Speed Hump Installations

The introduction of temporary speed humps on Village roadways over two years ago has been effective in slowing down the driving speed of vehicles in our community.  The devices are deployed to streets where speed has been monitored by the Police Department.  The goal is to deter speeding as well as keep drivers mindful of pedestrians and cyclists sharing the roadway.   

After the positive results and resident feedback received from the initial installation of speed humps, the Village has continued with this effort this summer to utilize the temporary devices as another deterrent tool for roadway safety in the Village.  The temporary speed humps have been installed on Longmeadow Lane and Sagamore Drive and will stay in place until the approach of inclement weather this winter season.   If you are concerned about speeding on your street, please contact our Police Department at 531-2040.
Look Out for Pedestrians

Have you seen the banner on the hill by the Village's Municipal Building? It's a friendly reminder from the Amberley Village Police Department to stay alert while driving. There are many distractions that can take our eyes off the road for a moment and that is all it takes for a vehicle to begin moving out of its lane of travel.  

Please slow down this summer and be cautious! Stay on the look out for walkers, joggers and others sharing the roadway.
Fire Hydrant Maintenance Streamlined

Keeping fire hydrants functional, in good working order and visible is the Village Fire Department's goal carried out through regular maintenance of this critical infrastructure component.  Brightly painted fire hydrants are quick to spot for fire personnel when arriving on a fire scene, particularly when there is inclement weather.  Repainting the fire hydrants is part of the ongoing maintenance and the process of ensuring their visibility has now been significantly streamlined.

In time for this summer's hydrant maintenance, the Village Fire Department will launch the introduction of The Plug Hug paint removal system--a new way to make fire hydrants "paint ready" in two minutes.  The old way of repainting hydrants involved an extensive amount of time to prepare the hydrants which included manual wire brushing, scrapping or sandblasting prior to the application of the paint and time consuming clean-up.  The new removal system attaches to a bobcat or backhoe and through a series of wire brushes rotating at various angles, the hydrant is stripped of its paint in two minutes.

Plug Hug Demonstration at City of Ann Arbor, Michigan
Plug Hug Demonstration: City of Ann Arbor, Michigan
This new system brings operational efficiencies to our service delivery, eliminates a labor-intensive, outdated method that is associated with higher risk for injuries, and was accomplished at a much lower cost than was budgeted.  Through the Village's continuous efforts to seek out cost sharing opportunities with other municipalities a collaboration with the Village of Mariemont to split the budgeted cost of the Plug Hug machine saved $4,900 of our community's tax dollars. 

Ensuring the Village's fire hydrants are clearly visible and well maintained helps protect residents and businesses from extended loss by a fire and gives visitors and potential residents a sense of safety as our hydrants are one of the first things people see when driving in Amberley.
Zoning Permits
Zoning approvals (permits) are needed before work begins for fences, sheds, new construction, additions, pools, and many other projects.  In order to receive a permit, the zoning approval letter must be signed by the property owner and a minimum of 4 sets of plans need to be submitted to the Village Administration office.  Though initially the Zoning Code may seem overly strict, the zoning regulations were put in place to preserve the beauty and character of Amberley. 

After a complete application is submitted, a permit can be issued if your modifications are within the Village Zoning Code.  For large projects, you'll need zoning approval from Amberley Village before you can go to Hamilton County for a building permit.  The Village does not require a permit fee and turnaround time is typically 7 to 10 days, however, there are fees for the Hamilton County building permits.

Forms can be found at www.amberleyvillage.org to get started.   Questions regarding zoning permits may be directed to the Zoning and Project Administrator Wes Brown at 531-8675.
Volunteer to Clean the Green!
The next Clean the Green will be July 20th at  6 p.m. to perform light maintenance work in a variety of areas on the Amberley Green property. Volunteers will meet in the parking lot at 7801 Ridge Road.  

Don't forget to bring your gloves, hat and water! Everyone is welcome to join us!