It's 2018: Meters to the rear.

I want to discuss gas meters in German Village, but first, let's have some fun. To be effective preservationists, we also have to be futurists. So, let's do a little exercise.

It is 2060. You just woke up in your cottage, circa 1840. You look out the front windows onto a sunny, winter day. The ground is covered in last night's heavy snow. Your sidewalk is already clear thanks to the embedded tubing they hooked into the geo thermal heating and cooling system you share with your neighbors on the block.

You glance at your communication device, run via free community Wi-Fi. It appears the snow does not hamper the AP's (short for 'AutoPorts,' the autonomous vehicles we all now use for transport) so you will get to work on time. Out the door you go to catch the AP at your sandstone curb.

At the Livingston node, you hop out and directly into the MP (MultiPort) that will take you out to Pataskala and your job at Amazon HQ. As it pulls away, you glance out the window over German Village, a view unencumbered by those old utility lines. The poles were removed in 2030 when the final homes were declared net-zero efficient. A tree was planted in each hole as the poles came up.

The sun is glinting off the roofs; the majority of them appear to be the old slate. A closer inspection reveals them to be 'SolarSlate', the result of collaboration between Tesla and the German Village Society back in 2024.

Arriving home, you walk over to the Platz where the farm market is in full swing. All goods have been grown at the indoor vertical farms that were built inside the old Fortner complex on South High way back in '21.

Once home you call some girlfriends over and retreat back to the library at the rear of your property. It was converted from a garage immediately following the banishment of cars from the district in 2028 when the APs began providing full coverage.

Ok, back to 2018 we go ... . What does your vision of German Village look like for 2060? Envisioning the future makes us better preservationists today.

Now, about those gas meters: we have received the addresses that Columbia Gas will be upgrading over the next 12 months. You can review the address list online at germanvillage.com/2018-german-village-columbia-gas-planned-work-routes-schedules/

As a result of our settlement with Columbia Gas, it is now the preference that all gas meters be relocated to the rear of structures, out of public view.

If Columbia Gas, working in partnership with you and with the German Village Society, cannot find a location on a rear facade that meets their safety rules and regulations, or if you, the property owner, simply do not want it back there, finding a location as far toward the rear as possible along a side facade is the next best thing.

If you are interested in restoring or repairing them or converting your concrete sidewalks to brick during the course of this project, please contact the German Village Society to learn more about our Sidewalk Repair Incentive Program.

You may be eligible for $200 to $700 reimbursement.

Remember our 2018 mantra: Meters to the rear.

German Village Society Historic Preservation Advocate Nancy Kotting submitted the Village Notebook column. More of her columns about preservation topics can be found at germanvillage.com/the-advocates-blog/