of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
took roll call. Present were Council
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury said the railroad track switch has been delayed. We were moving this to early March. The steel work is up, but there have been some issues why we can’t continue at this point. The official current completion date is still set for September. The Streetscape Phase II contractors are in the process of completing work on the west side to allow these lights to be turned on. I was driving by here last night and it was pitch black. The completion is scheduled for late May this year. The SR 4 improvements at Crescentville will have a first submittal to ODOT later this month. Kemper Road Phase III final approval of bridge plans was received from CSX. The project should be awarded April 5th and construction will start this spring. The Fire Department HVAC will be rebid in March. The SR 747 pavement replacement at I-275 construction will start late July.
Mayor Webster said we are extremely
unhappy with the performance of the contractor on the SR 4 streetscape
project. We’re not driving this
project. The State is paying 75% of this
and they are managing the project. They
were not supposed to turn the lights off on the east side until the west side
is functioning. I think there is one
light on the east side between here and
Mrs. McNear said the lights on the west side of I-275 are out also. Is that related?
Mr. Osborn replied only if they hit a service line. I noticed that as well and reported it to Mr. Butsch. It wouldn’t normally be directly connected to our project unless somehow the contractor unintentionally got into a power supply running to those lines.
Mr. Osborn stated when we did the
first phase of this project we did it under a program called Local Public
Agency which means the local public agency assumes responsibility for bidding
and managing the project. Between the
first and second phases the Federal Highway Administration changed its policy
on what types of projects can be absorbed by an LPA. As a result this project has to stay in the
hands of the State and we have been very unhappy with their progress all
along. The project should not be taking
this long and we should never have had a black street out there. It’s just totally unacceptable. I did have Mr. Butsch write a letter to the
Mr. Squires asked even though the grade separation project is three months behind, do they still intend to finish in September?
Mr. Shvegzda stated as soon as we get the next progress meeting with ODOT we will get an update as to the final completion date.
Mr. Osborn said, in full disclosure, we should tell you that we recently learned that the State has called in the bonding company on the contractor. Until the bonding company and the contractor work out who’s going to do what and who’s going to pay for what, everything is at a dead stop. It can’t help but hurt the completion date of the project.
Finance Committee - no report
- Mr. Galster said
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt said
we just had our normal reports. Ms.
Messer, the nurse is retiring and interviews are being held for a new
nurse. They are hoping to have the new
nurse hired before Ms. Messer retires so that she can shadow her. There have been some sewage problems at
Veteran’s Memorial Committee - no report
O-K-I – Mr. Knox said they voted on
Mr. Danbury asked where is the bridge across the Little Miami supposed to be?
Mr. Knox replied they expected to have it as an extension of Western Row.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster said
I have a brief note from a resident who lives in Oxford Hills,
Mayor Webster reported we have only spent $30,625 on snow and ice removal. We’re well under budget.
Mayor Webster said I got a letter
from a member of the school board telling me the school board voted to redraw
the elementary school district lines. As
a result, the children in Glenview Subdivision will be assigned to
Mr. Vanover asked is Heritage Hill still on the schedule for the fall?
Mayor Webster said as far as I know, everything is on schedule and the day after school is out they start razing the old building.
Mrs. McNear said initially they were
going to use the old
Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mr. Knox said the tax
forms for the City of
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn said a press release put
out by Jim Petro reported the City of Springdale was
recently awarded a $40,000 piece of equipment that does fingerprint scanning
and converts the fingerprints to digital.
We’ve been part of a testing process for the first phase of this type of
equipment and what we are receiving is actually an upgrade. We are one of the first forty communities in
Mr. Osborn reported we have a very big cadre of people who
are certified on CPR. We are presently
in a recertification process that also includes AEDs. We have trained forty-eight employees and
have forty-fifty still signed up. These
are all volunteers. Following the
completion of the training we will install the AED devices in all
Law Director’s Report - no report
Engineer’s Report - no report
stated that she had received a letter from Mrs. Marge Boice,
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 11-2006 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Ms. Pollitt asked which traffic light does this go back to going south on SR 747?
Mr. Shvegzda replied this goes as far back as the eastbound off ramp.
Ordinance 11-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 12-2006 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this is one of the two ordinances that I had to put on the agenda at the last minute because negotiations had just been completed and we didn’t want to delay it for another two weeks. This one is with John Morrell Company and it is a temporary work easement on the John Morrell property but following construction, the area we’ve disturbed will be restored and all the improvements will be made within the public right-of-way. This is a typical agreement where the adjoining property is giving us a work easement at the cost of $1.
Ordinance 12-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 13-2006 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said we are replacing a fourteen-year old dump truck. The budget allows $98,000. With this purchase we will be purchasing the truck body and chassis. Typically we buy the truck body and chassis separately from the dump body and plow blade because we can better control the quality of those two elements by going to aftermarket type companies. The thing that requires the most maintenance on a dump truck after it gets some years on it is the dump bed. It becomes rusty and we have to cut out rust and re-weld steel into the dump bed. The last truck we bought had a stainless steel bed. That’s what we are going to do with this trade. We will be getting a trade-in of $3,500 for the old truck making our net cost for the body and chassis $52,347.
Ordinance 13-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 14 -2006 “VACATING A PORTION OF EAST ALLEY AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS NECESSARY FOR SAID VACATION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY (HICKORY ESTATES, LLC)”
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said the key word here is revised
vacation plat. When we had this
ordinance before us in October the vacation plat attached at that time assumed
that the split and divvying up of the property would occur in a certain
manner. When the plat was reviewed by
Ordinance 14-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 15-2006 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn stated this is not a typical easement agreement. It is related to the East Kemper Road Phase III project but the work being performed here would not require a license agreement but for the fact that Cincinnati WaterWorks had not yet concluded its drafting of a permanent easement agreement to support their new water main that will be coming up Tri-County Parkway. We also have some work to do. Rather than delay the project and all right-of-way being in place when we open bids, we are proposing to take a license agreement from Lowe’s and the part that is even more atypical, is that they are asking for indemnification. Because of a change in State law, there are many new restrictions on how a city can indemnify an agreement. In this agreement it reads so that the City or the contractor can indemnify the property owner. We are going to write the specifications requiring that the contractor indemnify the Lowe’s folks. Beyond that, it is pretty much accomplishing the same thing we’d normally do. It’s just a little more complicated than a typical agreement.
Ordinance 15-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R3-2006 “APPROVING THE PAYMENT OF $10,000.00
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this is probably the seventeenth year of our commitment.
Resolution R3-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said I’d like to thank everyone who came to our Neighborhood Watch Program last week. I encourage everyone to learn what you can do to prevent a crime or help solve a crime.
Mr. Osborn said I do want to touch on this one e-mail that I distributed to Council. I feel I have an obligation to do it because I made the commitment to the resident. Marge Burks communicated with us raising the issue of property evaluation and raising the question of whether the City could look into or do something about what she considers to be excessively high evaluations, at least in her residential area. She asked me to pass this issue on to you all. In talking to the Mayor and Mr. Knox, our Finance Director, there is no direct way that we know of, where we can influence this process. One thought raised by a member of Council was to have a seminar presented by the Auditor’s Office. I’m not sure that’s the issue Mrs. Burks is looking for because she has indicated that she has been through the process many times.
Mr. Knox stated I did not reply to Mrs. Burks’ e-mail myself but I was not happy with the appraisal of my house either and I protested it to no avail. It strikes me as possible that this is another way of raising taxes, raise the appraisal and the County will get more taxes.
Mr. Galster said I wasn’t happy with my appraisal either but I submitted my documentation and they reduced it $30,000. I was happy to see that final result. It was five or six years ago that they started getting more aggressive in the appraisals of the properties. It’s not a fun process but it’s a matter of getting documentation together.
Mayor Webster said I totally agree with everything Mr. Galster said. Mr. Knox, every six years they have to do a physical appraisal of properties and every three years is a statistical analysis of sales in the area. Those two things have been in place for many, many years so I don’t think there is anything going on about raising taxes. They want to make sure that the records reflect the true value of the real estate. There is an appeal process that Mr. Galster took advantage of. I got an e-mail from Mrs. Burks and I guess they have been in contact with someone in the Auditor’s Office and I guess they are going to look at the numbers again for those who made the appeal. I don’t mind having a hearing to help those folks but we don’t have any evidence to try to persuade the Auditor to re-evaluate that particular subdivision. I’m not sure everyone in that subdivision had their taxes raised. Some may have had a decrease.
Mr. Danbury said I’d just like to remind everyone that when we did the grade separation, the right-of-way along SR 747 jumped up $400,000 from what we had originally budgeted.
Mr. Osborn said we were going off the best estimate without actually doing an appraisal, but when the property was appraised our estimates were low. In the meantime, the County changed the tax status of GEEAA. As a result there was a major jump in the value of that property.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Zoning Appeals - February 21
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Zoning Code amendments
Appointing Mr. Mitchell’s position to Tax Review Board March1, 2006
Council adjourned at
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council