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Ohio University contributes to county planning forum

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 26, 2007) -- All Athens County residents are invited to attend a county plan forum beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, March 2, at the Athens Community Center. The forum is designed to provide information on a wide range of topics and to engage citizens in the county planning process.

Ohio University plays multiple roles in assisting the county with preparation of the county land use plan.  The Institute for Local Government and Rural Development (ILGARD) is providing Geographic Information System (GIS) support and one of the forum presenters is Darren Cohen, GIS specialist with ILGARD. 

At 9 a.m. Cohen will address how GIS is used to help formulate the Athens County Plan.  This is a great opportunity to learn more about this powerful geography-based tool. 

At 11 a.m. Michelle Greenfield will discuss using solar radiation and wind as energy sources.  Greenfield is co-owner of Third Sun Solar, an energy business located in Ohio University's Innovation Center. 

University staff and faculty have also provided volunteer support on a variety of planning issues from park development to light pollution to community facilities to survey tabulation and analysis. 

These guest speakers, along with several others with expertise on particular planning topics, will provide a formal presentation for 15 minutes and then the floor will be open for questions and a roundtable discussion of the topic.  Citizens are encouraged to provide information about what their experiences have been and what they think local government, individuals or groups can do to make improvements to the county. 

People can attend any or all of the sessions based on their schedules.  If someone is only interested in one topic, then they need attend only that session. 

The complete agenda is as follows:

  • 9 to 10 a.m.      Darren Cohen, ILGARD, Use of a Geographic Information System for the Athens County Plan
  • 10 to 11 a.m.    Katherine Eckstrand, Ohio Arts Council, Arts and Planning and Adam Voris, ADR Engineering, Decentralized Sewer Systems for Rural Towns
  • 11 a.m. to noon    Michelle Greenfield, Third Sun Solar, Solar and Wind Power in Athens County and John Winnenberg, Sunday Creek Associates, Appalachian Culture and Planning
  • noon to 1 p.m. Rob Kagler, McKenna Associates, County Comprehensive Plan Experiences in Ashtabula and Tuscarawas Counties
  • 1-2 p.m.      Jeff Darbee, Benjamin D. Rickey and Company, Heritage and Planning Dave Swanson, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Forestry issues in Athens County
  • 2-3 p.m.      John O'Meara, Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, Parks and Park Districts
  • 3-4 p.m.      Jill Clark, Center for Farmland Policy Innovation, Ohio State University, Farmland Preservation

Attend a session and participate with planning your county's future.

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Contact: Athens County Planner Bob Eichenberg, 740-594-6069

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