Johnstown's Old Town Committee will present its first community forum at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, in Johnstown council chambers.

Johnstown's Old Town Committee will present its first community forum at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, in Johnstown council chambers.

The committee was created earlier this month to ensure the ongoing development of Johnstown by making recommendations to council on all matters related to downtown development, historic preservation and design review matters.

During Tuesday's council meeting, village manager Judy Edwards said the community forum will include discussion about opportunities and challenges facing downtown.

Other topics to be addressed will be the role of the Old Town Committee as well as intersection safety improvements at state Route 37 and U.S. Route 62.

Johnstown residents and members of the business community are encouraged to attend the meeting.

During other business Tuesday, council discussed the role of committees that had been formed on Jan. 5.

Several council members were under the impression that the Design Review Commission (DRC) was specifically for the downtown area, but learned that it is for the entire village.

Edwards said there are seven design review districts in Johnstown, with one of them being the new Kroger area.

"My goal at this point is to get some teeth in design review of our code," she said.

Design review has been a responsibility of the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC), Edwards said.

Council member Sean Staneart said council should have at least one common representative on the DRC and PZC because current codes are being reviewed and updated.

"Both boards will be working simultaneously to come up with a look for Johnstown," he said. "Being that the two are intertwined with each other, I feel that having one council member serve on both boards would allow the left hand to know what the right hand is doing."

He also expressed interest in talking to candidates who applied for the DRC and PZA appointments.

Edwards said she and village planner Jim Lenner will be a common thread for both commissions, but council committee appointments will be reexamined following the resignation of council member Cletus Beam.

"All the legislation will have to go through council in the end," Edwards said. "My hope is that candidates will help Jim and I bring ideas to the table. I hope it will be a polished product by the time it gets to you."

Council approved the following appointments: Phil Burgel and Ron Danne to four-year terms on the PZC; Bill Van Gundy and Charles Campbell to four-year terms on DRC; and Janet Piper and Marvin Block to two-year terms on DRC.

Joyce Evans, David Keck, Carol Van Deest and Kevin Riffe voted in favor of the appointments while Staneart voted no. Council member Sharon Hendren was absent.

Council also approved a resolution to authorize Edwards to enter into an agreement with the Licking County Planning Commission for the administration of flood plain regulations.

"They will administer our ordinance at no cost," Edwards said. "If there's a violation, they will let us know and we'll prosecute accordingly."

In other discussion, Block announced that the Johnstown Historical Society has started a campaign for a chair lift that will cost $16,800.

He said the amenity would be unobtrusive in the old town hall, and it will assist persons who can't negotiate the stairs to the Opera House.

"The historical society is taking this on as a money making project," Block said. "We'll be having events and asking for donations."

He anticipates the campaign to take 8 to 12 months.

"We have a large amount of people with hip and knee problems," he added. "Close to 20 percent of our people have trouble getting up and down."

Beginning in the fall, he said the historical society hopes to sponsor a monthly function in the Opera House.