(Posted April 16, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
In the coming weeks, Mount Sterling residents will have in-person opportunities to learn about village zoning and the village water plant.
Since January, Mount Sterling’s planning and zoning committee has been working on an update of the village zoning map. Residents are invited to take a look at the map and offer feedback at an open house scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. May 18 at the Mount Sterling Community Center, 164 E. Main St.
Tom Hale, the village’s zoning director, David Kell, executive director of the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and Community Improvement Corp., Stephen Hale, the village’s solicitor, and members of the planning and zoning committee will be on hand to answer questions.
The map update began after residents approached village leaders with questions about the zoning of their properties. The group’s mission is to finish what was started more than 25 years ago but never finished.
“The lands that ultimately were annexed into the village–much of that zoning was left empty,” said council member Andy Drake, a member of the planning and zoning committee.
The group has filled in the blanks and fixed some designations and is looking for feedback from the public. The goal is to make the map reflect what Mount Sterling looks like today and what residents want it to look like in the future.
“We haven’t made massive changes, but we do want to know what people think,” Drake said.
“The whole point of having a zoning map is to set the expectations of homeowners, business owners, folks who want to start or expand a business here, so they know where they can do that… The whole point is so everybody knows where they sit in terms of zoning.”
Water plant tours
On May 19, the public is invited to tour the village’s new water plant at 440 Yankeetown St. Tours will be offered between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and again from 5 to 7 p.m.
Village leaders and several of the plant’s operators will be available to answer questions. Residents can bring in samples of their water for testing.
“We’ve never done this before. It will give residents insight into what the facility looks like and a chance to talk directly, one-on-one, with the operators,” said Courtney Bricker, Mount Sterling’s fiscal officer.
Another interactive event on Mount Sterling’s calendar is coming up May 7-8. In partnership with Mount Sterling Church of the Nazarene, the village is hosting Cleanup Days. Organizers welcome suggestions for projects that will spruce up private and public property around town. They also welcome volunteers.
The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Anyone who has a cleanup project or wants to volunteer can call Mayor Marci Darlington, (740) 869-2040, ext. 1, or the Nazarene Church, (740) 869-3127.
Speed Control and Parking Violations
On April 12, village council approved the placement of stop signs to help with traffic control on New and High streets. Drake, chair of the street committee, said residents have requested speed controls in the area.
“We have a lot of traffic right now using those two streets as a cut-through based on, obviously, the bridge being out. We really need help. It’s a safety issue.”
Council member Becky Martin, chair of the nuisance and abatement committee, reported on ongoing research into establishing a parking violations bureau. She said the group discovered the village already has provisions on the books for such a bureau but that the fines, some only $10, are outdated. The committee has reached out to other towns of similar size to Mount Sterling, asking about their fee structures.
“We’re not in the business of just trying to stir up reasons to charge residents… we just want to make sure the community is being served well,” Martin said. “We want to make sure that all of the businesses have parking spaces open for their shoppers… and that the streets are cleared off when we need to remove snow and things like that.”