By Jim Krencik
Medina Journal-Register — ALBION — The long process of developing an updated comprehensive plan for the town and village of Albion reached its conclusion Wednesday, with the village board unanimously approving the plan after one final conversation on the recommendations for the community’s future.
The village okayed the new set of recommendations, an update to the 1996 plan, after ensuring that a potentially disruptive advisement was tweaked.
A last minute change was made to a section on downtown codes that had previously stated that changes be made in alignment with the views of the Albion Main Street Alliance. It now recommends making changes with the consideration of AMSA’s goals.
After a brief discussion of the impact of that change, Mayor Dean Theodorakos noted that the document doesn’t set those words in stone.
“It’s a list of recommendations, not requirements,” Theodorakos said.
The board was ready to act — and finish up a project that took three years of studies, visioning meetings, public meetings and compromises over specific wording to complete.
“This has dragged on long enough,” Theodorakos said before resolutions to accept a negative declaration of environmental significance and the plan were passed.
While the ideas in the plan will require a whole new level of scrutiny to become realities, the board discussed a pair of projects that could potentially be in place soon.
Department of Public Works Superintendent Dale Brooks is working with a vendor to switch the downtown streetlights from 400-watt metal halide lights to 30 or 45-watt LED lights. Brooks said the lights would be cheaper to run and easier to maintain.
Brooks said a demonstration of a 45-watt light in one of the village’s 41 lights was a success.
“Nobody noticed a difference,” Brooks said.
The village will also look into new light fixtures that would direct light in a more downward angle.
Downtown Albion Neighborhood Advisory Committee Streetscape Chairman Tom Rivers presented the board with an update on his proposal for spending a $50,000 grant.
Rivers said the village’s Historic Preservation Commission favorably received a map of where benches, trees and planters would be placed.
Rivers said he’d like to have eight to 10 benches, all painted by local artists with themes of local history, in place by the Albion Strawberry Festival in June.
• Richard Ertle of Amato, Fox and Company presented on an audit of the village’s finances for the 2011-12 fiscal year.
“You’re in good shape,” Ertle said, noting the village’s accurate financial projections and fund balance levels.”