Village names citizens panel to develop goals

Contributed photoPictured from left: Village trustees Joshua Lipsman and Gail Lasher, Mayor Stephan Bradicich, and trustees Amy Serrago and Rob Scott. The village is working on updating its 13-year-old comprehensive plan.

ATHENS — The village of Athens began the process of reviewing its 13-year-old comprehensive plan by establishing a citizens committee, village officials said.

The steering committee, which at this time has nine members, will advise and guide village officials as they update the comprehensive plan originally adopted in 2007.

“The comprehensive plan is a vision for the future, with long-range goals and objectives for all activities that affect the community,” Village Mayor Stephan Bradicich said. “The 2007 plan is a great foundation but is due for an update because of significant changes in our economic, social, and environmental conditions over the past 13 years.”

The nine committee members were selected based on recommendations from the community, Bradicich said, adding that there are still openings for anyone else interested in volunteering.

Village Trustee Joshua Lipsman estimated that when the panel is complete, the steering committee may consist of 15 to 20 people.

“We are pleased that these volunteers are stepping up to the plate to help guide the process,” said Lipsman, who will chair the new committee. “They will help set up and review the results of the many public forums we plan to hold over the coming months. The forums will collect input from as many people as possible, to ensure our update is inclusive and comprehensive.”

In October, the village received a $9,900 matching grant from the Hudson River Valley Greenway for the comprehensive plan development.

Hudson River Valley Greenway Executive Director Scott Keller said he is pleased to be a part of envisioning Athens’ future.

“This project will help to preserve natural and cultural resources and shape future growth and conservation in Athens,” he said. “The Greenway is pleased to make this award to assist in improving the Village of Athens.”

The village will match Greenway’s contribution through a combination of cash, in-kind services and volunteer hours, Lipsman said. The village has committed to making a $4,000 cash contribution, he added.

The village is working with Community Planning and Environmental Associates, the same firm that assisted with the 2007 plan, Lipsman said.

The steering committee’s first meeting will be held Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the Athens Community Center.

The village of Catskill is nearing the end of its comprehensive plan update, which began in September 2018.

The final version of the comprehensive plan is under review by Greene County, Catskill Village President Vincent Seeley said.

“We will take into considerations any comments made by the county before adopting the comprehensive plan,” Seeley said, adding that he expects to hear from the county in February.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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photo credit Yves Gerard and Village of Athens

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