President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on February 16, 2000, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of February 2, 2000 were approved with seven affirmative votes. Ms. Pollitt asked that on page 4, second paragraph the second paragraph be changed to read "compensation increases that our City employees have received since 1985."
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE no report
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Wilson said the street program is on schedule.
PUBLIC UTILITIES no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Mr. Danbury reported the CSX grade separation utility plans are being developed at this time. CSX is also working on a construction estimate for the railroad work. They are also looking at plans for traffic. The project is scheduled to bid in the fall of 2001 and project completion by the end of 2003. East Kemper Road improvements at SR 747, right-of-way negotiations are continuing. Cinergy has begun the relocation of overhead work and the gas maintenance lines. We just received the Waterworks relocation plans and weíre scheduled to start this summer and last about a year.
Mr. Danbury said I am going to ask Mr. Parham to give an update on the Rec Center.
Mr. Parham said we held a meeting this past Tuesday. We have been discussing the frustration with the welding issues at the running track. I reported at the last meeting that we had successfully tested 5 of the 22 haunches. Twenty of the them had been completed by yesterday and they were going to finish the last two. The steel on the running track should be complete and they will begin putting on the rails, lay the concrete, etc. The HVAC contractor has reported that they are about 80% complete with the duct work in the gymnasium. They have completed the equipped exercise room, another 50 or so in the aerobics room. The plumber has probably moved faster than anyone. He has completed all of his work in the new addition. We have been talking throughout the project about how we can catch up and how each contractor can begin to bring on more employees. The plumber is looking at reducing his load because he has completed that section and now heís awaiting other things that we have to have complete in the existing building so he can continue his work there. He has things to keep him busy up to that point. The building is closed. The skylights have been installed except for the larger one in the foyer area. One of the window panes arrived cracked. They have laid the cracked part on the top and have ordered the new replacement which should be in in about five weeks. The stairwell in the gymnasium has been erected and that is an emergency exit. The elevator should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. The shaft is erected. The frames are in place for the windows. A great deal of the work now is falling back on the electrical contractor. The HVAC prime estimated that 95% of his work has to be done before they can do a test on the system. The schedule put together by the general contracted and presented to us 1 Ĺ weeks ago showed us seven weeks behind. After receiving feedback from the other primes we find that weíre around eleven weeks behind. This does not count for the rooms where the fire damage occurred. Weíre still pulling together our numbers for the insurance companies. The architect team has put together the scope of services for redoing that room. We have gotten that information to the five primes and told them we would like to have a turn-around by next Friday. Once we have those numbers we can pass them on to the insurance companies along with all the other losses.
Mrs. McNear said it seems someone is always asking you to give an update so I would like to make that a permanent part of the agenda. That way you can be prepared to give us an update.
Mr. Galster asked if financial responsibility had been assigned in reference to the running track steel.
Mr. Parham replied early in the project we met with the general contractor and his sub who fabricated the steel. We met with the installer of the steel and also with the architect team. We made it clear to them that that particular issue was their problem and that they would be responsible for whatever payments were there; that none of that would be the responsibility of the City or the architect team. He acknowledged it and indicated that that doesnít prohibit him from asking for compensation. We told him we didnít mind him asking because I didnít mind saying no.
Mr. Danbury continued that the Police Department HVAC improvement is done with the exception of clean up.
FINANCE COMMITTEE Ė Ms. Pollitt stated that they brought the compensation issue before Council last meeting and it is on the agenda tonight under Ordinance 10-2000. Iím sure we will be discussing that in that ordinance.
PLANNING COMMISSION Ė Mr. Galster said they met February 8. White Castle came in in reference to the proposed parking lot at the corner of Kemper and Springfield Pike. We went through a complete presentation by them. There are a couple of issues in reference to the actual owner that need to be resolved yet. By mutual consent that was tabled 7-0.
Sofa Express expressed final plan approval for alterations at 11750 Commons Drive. There was no representation and that was tabled 7-0.
Office Resources, inc. requested final plan approval for a proposed expansion at 171 Container Place. This was a manufacturing building that was non-confoming but was grandfathered in. They wanted to continue with the existing non-conformance and also create an additional non-conformance. That was denied 4-3.
A new proposed fee schedule for the Building Department was recommended by Planning with a 7-0 vote.
Mrs. McNear asked are the fees similar to what we have had year to this date other than the single residential household. That is so contrary to everything we have done because we have done away with so many of the fees.
Mr. Galster responded right now there is no charge for a hearing. The new fee is $50. We considered not having any charge but you have to remember that these are people who are trying to do something against the code that everybody else is forced to live by, whether itís a pool, deck, shed, etc. This $50 doesnít even cover the advertising in the newspaper. Instead of just having them build something and not worry about a permit, at least this way we can have a little bit of a bite to make sure they come in for a permit. We debated this back and forth but keep in mind that these are people who do not want to comply with what everybody else in the City does comply with. It was Planning Commissionís belief that because of that and the advertising costs, it creates a special circumstance for that residence that would require a charge.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS no report
BOARD OF HEALTH Ė Ms. Pollitt said the meeting was routine. The nurse would like me to report that the Childrenís Health Fair will be held April 4 at the Sharonville Convention Center for the local third graders. All public officials are invited to attend. Anthony Munoz will be there from 9 a.m. to 10: a.m. The nuisance animal removal program cost $4,000 less this year than last year. We removed 100 raccoons, 54 opossums, 15 groundhogs, 11 squirrels, 9 cats, 8 skunks and 1 snake.
Mr. Danbury asked are we still sighting coyotes?
Ms. Pollitt replied there have been a few sightings but there have not been any problems with them coming too close.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION Ė Mr. Coleman said they last met in January and reviewed the rules and regulations. The changes that we have sought to put in place have been acknowledged and we have sent it back to Legal for a final reading. We intend to adopt those changes at the next meeting.
O-K-I no report
MAYORíS REPORT Ė Mayor Webster read a letter he got from the West Fork Mill Creek Collaborative Greenway Committee. "We would like to invite the City of Springdale to nominate a representative to the West Fork Mill Creek Collaborative Greenway Committee . As you may or may not know, a new bikeway trail is being planned to run along the Mill Creek from Wyoming to Winton Woods. Planning is well along in this project and construction has begun on the first section. The project is very exciting to us. We feel it will greatly enhance the environment and improve the quality of life in the region as well as provide new economic opportunities. It will be a high quality installation similar to the very popular bike/hike paths in the Hamilton County District. The greenway is planned to run from Wyoming north through Woodlawn, roughly along the west fork of the Mill Creek. Tentative plans have it turning westward at the north end of Woodlawn. From there it will go westward towards County Park land to connect with the loop trail around Winton Lake. Since the West Fork Greenway will be fairly close to Springdale we would like the City of Springdale to be aware of our plans and activities. We see the potential for significant mutual benefit through cooperative actions so we are contacting the nearby communities. If you would like to nominate a representative from Springdale to attend our Greenway Committee meetings we would welcome them. We would especially welcome someone with an interest in business and passion for bicycling, environmental, recreational or outdoor activities. Our committee is informally organized. It serves as an advisory board to the communities involved. The Springdale representative would be welcome to participate in all discussions and activities and would be expected to serve as liaison to Springdale. Local governments, of course, will make all formal decisions regarding governmental actions. The Springdale representative will be welcome at our next meeting which is tentatively set for March 2." If you choose to nominate someone I have the name and number. Mayor Webster passed the letter around and said if anyone has an interest please get back to me.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR Ė Mr. Knox said Mrs. McNear and Ms. Pollitt both asked me where are the Springdale tax forms. We had a delay in getting a disk with all the addresses to the people who are going to mail the forms. The forms should be mailed early next week and should reach you by February 25-26.
Mr. Knox said a few months ago I said we were going to propose changes to the tax ordinances. Almost immediately the State Government came up with H.B. 477 which has several provisions that apply in areas we were proposing changes so we delayed. It is now going to the Senate and is expected to be passed during this term. Also, since we are going to have a new Tax Officer and Finance Officer we thought it would be good to withhold that until he/she gets in the position and can add his/her expertise so there will be a delay on that.
Mr. Knox continued we received a letter from Time Warner Cable who has undergone a change of ownership. They sent us a letter asking us if we would want to send a letter to them in the form of a resolution giving our approval. Mr. Schneider was going to look into that.
Mr. Schneider stated that we do not need to take any further action.
Mr. Knox said there is a petition that is going to be passed around, possibly in the work place and at the polls. The petition is requesting a constitutional amendment to the Constitution of the State of Ohio. The petition will say "Be it resolved by the people of the State of Ohio that a new amendment numbered consecutively be added to the State Constitution as follows: No Ohio resident shall be subject to or required to pay any local government tax on his/her earnings or income except by the City, Village Or Township in which he/she resides as provided by State Law. This amendment will take effect January, 1 on the second year followed by its passage by the electors." If a sufficient number of petition signatures are gained by August of this year, that will be put on the ballot. At first, it sounds really good. People will not have to pay as many taxes as they had in the past. But this is one of these things (copies passed out) that sounds good, but, in fact, is not good, not for the City and not for individuals either. The individuals will look at this and at first think they will be saving money on their taxes if they live here and work elsewhere. But think of the implications. If we have this amendment go into effect we will lose 70% of our income in Springdale. We have discussed this in the Administration and there is no way around it. We have to get that money from somewhere because we canít just shut down the City. We will also have to cut services. We will have to cut the animal nuisance program. We will have no money to pay for the garbage pickup. We will have to cut every department in the City, and weíll still have to raise taxes to get to a point that we break even. This is a very serious threat to this City and the individuals. What we canít get in taxes we will have to make up in fees. If this goes through we will have to increase business taxes and when you increase taxes on them, they leave. Also, we will not be able to support businesses to the level that we do now, for instance, the work we will do on Kemper Road, the underpass on SR 747. The businesses will go and take their workers with them. Every one of us will suffer. Your property values will go down. If you see one of these petitions, please do not sign it. If you hear about one where you work, talk to other people and let them know itís a real problem and will get worse over the long run. Some of the people backing this are running for office and using this as their major campaign issue. They are doing a disservice to themselves and to us. I am proposing that the City send a resolution which I took the liberty to write. I should give credit to Ms. Niessen from the City of St. Bernard who sent me a copy of one. The resolution says in part: "Whereas, such an amendment would have a devastating impact upon municipalities by eliminating the major source of revenue required to maintain the current level of services as provided to the general public Ė employers, employees, residents, and visitors alike; and whereas, passage of such an amendment would require increased fees to all, and lead to elimination of the community financial base providing for the health, safety, and welfare for all within the municipality whether resident or non-resident; and whereas, residents of Villages and Townships currently imposing no earned income taxes, who work in other municipalities would pay no tax whatsoever in support of the services that make their employment in these Cities feasible, and would shift that burden entirely upon the shoulders of community residents". Now, these people say taxation without representation. My answer to that is that they have state representatives, state senators, federal representatives, federal senators, representation from County Commissioners. They have representation but are going to cause us great problems if this go forward. I would request that you please donít sign the petition and ask your friends and family not to sign the petitions.
Mr. Danbury said thank you for getting this resolution together. I would like to reiterate what you were saying. This would devastate communities in the State of Ohio. One of the arguments is that they wonít have representation. They wonít have representation when their jobs move across the river to Kentucky. This is penalizing communities like us, Sharonville, other areas in surrounding areas who have done the homework and legwork to build up their infrastructure. Weíve done tax abatements. It will kill the school systems because the schools wonít be able to get companies coming in here. It started out as a grass roots issue for the townships because they donít have any industry and all their residents are contributing elsewhere. They are being very short-sighted if they do vote for this because the jobs will go to Kentucky because the taxes will go up. Ninety cents on the dollar that most communities collect is from businesses. Our streets are some of the best kept streets in this whole area. We cannot continue to do that. We are building a Rec Center for many millions of dollars and we will have to look for ways to pay for that and take care of all of the other people. If they vote for this, donít be surprised if in five years they have to drive across the river to get a job. Their property values will go down. It will affect not only the citizens of Springdale but also Springfield Township, Mason, West Chester, etc. Companies will have to evaluate if they can afford to operate in the State of Ohio. If every state were this way it may be different. Once the jobs go to Kentucky they still wonít have representation. They wonít be able to vote there. This is something that is very serious to the general health of the State of Ohio. I donít see any businesses wanting to move in here because they taxes will be so high.
Mr. Osborn said this proposal is and continues to be a leverage point between the cities and villages and townships over the issue of annexation. The sponsors of this bill have made it clear that should the Municipal League moderate its position on a few of the issues currently under discussion between the various groups currently trying to put together a package of legislation that would amend the current State law amending annexation, they would, in turn, moderate their position on pushing this particular constitution amendment. It is very much true that this would be a devastating factor on business in the State of Ohio. I have a list of a couple of newspapers in the State of Ohio that have come out in their editorials against this proposal; Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Business Courier, etc. Even though most people would like to see some reduction in taxes, the editorial staffs of these newspapers have recognized the end product of this would be devastating to the State of Ohio. The Municipal League has said there would be hundreds of cities going into bankruptcy if this law were to become a fact. This year our 2000 budget projects revenue of $13.2 million. Of that, $9,253,966 is earnings tax. We would see a 70% reduction in our earnings tax. Overall, the general revenue would be just over $6.8 million. To give that some perspective, it will cost us $5.7 million to operate the Police Department this year. Thatís just keeping people on the street and protecting lives and properties in the City. We would have just enough left to cover our debts and pay for other operating expenses that appear outside the general fund. We would only have enough money under this scenario to operate a Police and Fire Department. We have other departments that we have to maintain. We would see a major curtailment in the types of services we could provide. Clearly we would have to walk away from providing a Health Department. We would have to dramatically reduce our recreation program. Across the board you would see significant reductions, even in public safety, in order for us to fall within a budget that would have to be augmented by additional property tax. We couldnít do public improvements. We would be at a point of filling pot holes, sweeping the streets and cutting grass. We would not have the money to do anything else. The equivalent increase in property tax relative to the reduction in earnings tax is somewhere in the area of 22 mils. We canít go to the electorate and ask for a 22 mil levy. Thatís what we would need to be even. We would have to ask for substantial increases in property taxes with a dramatic reduction in services. Many of the other fees that Mr. Knox alluded to would also have to be increased or initiated. The residents of Springdale would stand to lose significantly if this amendment is put on the ballot and adopted. We encourage our citizens to take a very close look at this issue before they make a decision to sign a petition.
Mayor Webster said I was going to point out that the anti-annexation battle that is being fought is the root cause of this. Itís not that these township trustees are concerned about taxation without representation. They are trying to leverage the State Legislature to pass a favorable anti-annexation bill for them. They are using this as a ploy. They would bankrupt every city in the State of Ohio just to get a favorable anti-annexation law passed and itís pretty tragic. And those people have the nerve to call themselves public servants. Youíve heard about the impact it would have on the City of Springdale. Cincinnati would lose $145 million; Cleveland, $200 million; Columbus, $140 million. Itís not just a localized issue and the State of Ohio would not be a very nice place to work, live, shop, if this goes through.
Mr. Squires said this is a political tug-of-war between people who want favorable annexation votes in Columbus. Itís a dangerous game and will affect every city and township in the State of Ohio. I hope every City Council throughout the State will start taking a close look at this.
Mr. Knox said youíve heard of the mythical win-win situation. This is the honest to God lose-lose situation. Donít let people be short-sighted enough to believe that the few dollars in their pocket now is going to do them some good. It will cost them in the long run. If Council desires to pass the resolution, I would like to put a cover sheet on it and have each member of Council sign it, in addition to the President of Council, the Mayor and me; and then send a copy to each State official, because if the cities go bankrupt, where are they going to go for money? They will go to the State. I also want to send copies to the candidates.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Osborn mentioned that we would need 22 mils. You now pay 3.08 mils in local taxes. The School District wouldnít be hurt quite as bad other than the repercussions of the loss of jobs. They donít derive that much money from the earnings tax.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Osborn said you may recall that we have been reviewing some of the issues that occurred in Montgomery and Blue Ash when they had that tornado last April. One of the anecdotes we heard was one of their Council members was responding to a meeting within in the City but because of the perimeter that was put up to isolate the area affected by the tornado, a well-intended deputy sheriff doing his job turned back the Councilman because he didnít have proper identification identifying him as an elected official. For that reason and other occasions, we would like to ask all of our public officials if they would mind stopping by the Community Center and having their photograph taken for a picture ID card which weíll put together and issued to you.
Mr. Parham said this morning we held a bid opening for playground equipment and surfacing at Cameron Park. There were three bidders; Double J Construction, Inc. with a bid of $43,894; David Williams and Associates, Inc. at $23,350; and Anderson Recreational Design, Inc. at $27,994. Youíll notice that David Williams and Associates is the low bidder. They have installed this very same type of equipment into at least two of our parks, Chamberlain and Beacon Hills. We also have the same type of equipment in Ross Park. Since we have used David Williams and Associates in previous projects and have had no problems with them, we would like to recommend that legislation be brought in at the next Council meeting to award the contract to David Williams and Associates for $23,350.
Mr. Danbury asked did the bidders bid on the same project? Mr. Wilson asked did they bid on the same equipment?
Mr. Parham replied in previous bids weíve had some contractors who desired to bid a different type of surface or a different brand of equipment. I think this particular time, the equipment was pretty much the same. Mr. Karle, Assistant Director at the Community Center, said this equipment and surface are the same type of equipment and surface that we have at the Community Center and other outlying parks which would lead me to believe that the one bidder was a bit more specific to the type of equipment and surface we would like to use here.
Mr. Osborn said I asked Jim Burton about why the one bidder was so high. I couldnít tell you if the package they were bidding had thicker metal and thicker paint, etc., but this particular bidder had not been in this market before. Itís the fifth park weíve done in five years with exactly the same package. Itís always run around $20,000.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT no report
ENGINEERíS REPORT no report
Mr. Knox read an e-mail from John Hedger, 662 Smiley: "I think a pay raise would be in order. Itís about time."
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 6-2000 "AMENDING THE ZONING CODE OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, CHAPTER 153 IN ITS ENTIRETY"
Mr. McErlane said I sent a memo January 28 and also today. There are three proposed amendments to the ordinance on the January 28 memo. One is the definition of a passenger vehicle. My recommended change is to change the ĺ ton load carrying capacity to 1 ton because 1 ton pick up trucks are commonly available and will allow 1 ton pick up trucks to be parked in residential districts. There is additional protection in the requirements for parking of vehicles in residential districts. They would be limited to 8 feet in height and 20 feet in length exclusive of RVs. RVs are handled separately.
In dealing with pole signs the term "shall" is proposed to be changed to "may".
The third item deals with parking spaces in office building districts. The number currently attached to the ordinance indicates three parking spaces per 1000 square feet of office space, and one space per 400 square feet of net office area, which is a pretty minimal number of parking spaces for an office building. The industry typically requires four spaces per thousand. The five for the first thousand feet is for small offices.
The first part of the memo you received today was really clarification of some of the changes in the Zoning Code draft. The recommended change to the Zoning Code ordinance deals with parking of commercial vehicles. In our discussion last time we indicated that we included a restriction on the parking of large commercial vehicles on commercial properties in the parking field in order to use that as advertising. The section we are modifying prohibits that from happening and prohibits a vehicle bigger than a parking space to be parked in a loading area of the facility. The change I am proposing is to change "and" to "or" which would effectively say if the vehicle is larger than the nine foot wide parking space or longer than 19 feet, it needs to be parked in a loading area.
Mr. Galster made a motion to amend Mr. McErlaneís comments from both memos. Mr. Wilson seconded. The amendment was agreed to unanimously.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt the ordinance and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said the fees that were proposed are separate from the ordinance. Mr. Vanover said the fees are separate so they can be reworked without affecting the new code.
Ordinance 6-2000 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 8-2000 "ACCEPTING A PROPOSAL UNDER THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PURCHASING PROGRAM AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH TAYLOR TEAM OF DEALERSHIPS, LANCASTER, OHIO FOR THE PURCHASE OF A 2000 DODGE RAM Ĺ TON PICKUP TRUCK AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded. Ordinance 8-2000 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 9-2000 "ACCEPTING A PROPOSAL UNDER THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PURCHASING PROGRAM AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH BOB ROSS BUICK-GMC TRUCK, CENTERVILLE, OHIO FOR THE PURCHASE OF A 2000 GMC ĺ TON PICKUP TRUCK AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded. Ordinance 9-2000 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 10-2000 "MODIFYING THE COMPENSATION OF THE MAYOR, CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR AND COUNCIL MEMBERS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
ORDINANCE NO. 11-2000 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE TO ACQUIRE A TEMPORARY RIGHT-OF-ENTRY AND CONSTRUCTION EASEMENT AND PERMANENT RIGHT-OF-WAY AND UTILITY EASEMENT FROM CONCORDIA PROPERTIES LLC FOR THE KEMPER ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded. Ordinance 11-2000 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R5-2000 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO/KENTUCKY/INDIANA COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS FOR ITS TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT (TE) PROGRAM THROUGH THE TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (TE21) FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF BIKE LANES ALONG WEST KEMPER ROAD"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this is one of four projects which we are recommending Council consider for application to the Transportation Enhancement element of the TE21 federal highway program. The project is separate from the others because it would be a joint application with the City of Forest Park. This is the third or fourth time we have gone after funding for this particular project and typically it has been in partnership with Forest Park. The project itself would incorporate bike lanes both eastbound and westbound on Kemper Road between SR 4 and Kenn Road. The overall cost of that project in both cities is $444,500. As we will be doing with the forthcoming projects, we are recommending the funding application represent 80% federal and 20% local funds. Springdaleís local share would be $70,231 or 15.8 percent. Forest Parkís share would be $18,669 or 4.2% of the project. I should mention that there is also a priority that we have to establish for these projects. This project and another bikeway project have been attempted before without success. We do recommend continuing it; however, it will be lower on our recommendation priority.
Mayor Webster said we are talking about a little over two miles of bikeway. Iíve asked this before and am flabbergasted that it would cost $444,000 to build two miles of bikeway when weíve already created an area for them. We are not moving any mountains or houses. Weíre not building culverts or drains. I donít want to oversimplify it but it looks like you just throw down some asphalt and turn the kids loose on a bike path. Iím sure thereís more to it than that. Can you explain how weíre going to spend $440,000 on the bike paths.
Mr. Shuler responded this is different than the next one which is a bike path, which is separated from the roadway on West Sharon Road. On Kemper Road, even though it is a bike lane for bicycles, it must be built to the same specifications that we build roads for because we know vehicles are going to pull over on this; trucks will, mail vehicles will. From a maintenance standpoint and serviceability standpoint, even though it is a bike lane, in essence we are adding an additional full lane of roadway pavement to Kemper Road for this entire length. We have already graded that area to accommodate this but we will still have to do a full-depth construction of a roadway.
Ms. Pollitt asked will this have a curb that separates it from the main roadway?
Mr. Osborn replied there would be a three-foot section of pavement that would be striped out, separating the bike lane from the travel lane. Mr. Shuler said it is separated from the roadway but we donít want to put a physical barrier there because of the safety issue of a car or bike hitting it and with the mail truck pulling over we really canít put a barrier there.
Ms. Pollitt asked do we really feel this is going to get the use to warrant spending that kind of money? You can go from Kenn Road to SR 4 once this is completed. Is there another phase to be brought in to take you further west?
Mr. Osborn responded it is called a bike lane but it is also going to be used by pedestrians. If you look out there now, itís a very dangerous situation for pedestrians. The roadway has a very narrow shoulder, two feet of gravel and then you are into the grass. I couldnít tell you how many people use it but there is a lot of foot traffic out there now. There is an overall bike plan for the City to tie together several bikeways. If you consider the residents that live in that direction, getting their kids to the Community Center, that is an improvement in terms of safety. This is a funding opportunity for us. We have not been successful on this project with several other applications but because it does qualify and because we have had it before you before, we included it in the four we brought to you. It wonít be our first or second project recommended. My hunch is that it will not be successful but again, we have identified four projects that would be eligible. If Council feels this is something you wouldnít want to do even if we get the money, then we wonít do it. We brought it to you because it is an eligible project under this mechanism.
Ms. Pollitt asked what kind of response do we have from the residents along that route?
Mr. Osborn replied I canít tell you. We havenít had any discussions with them other than at district meetings where we indicated that this was a future potential application once we got the grading in place.
Mrs. McNear stated Ms. Pollitt, I share your concern about the safety issue because there is no barrier, but if you think about it, we will have something that is paved that will be safer. People are out there now walking and on their bikes, but now when theyíre on their bikes they are in the street.
Ms. Pollitt asked, if bike riders are allowed on the sidewalk, wouldnít it be cheaper to put a sidewalk in here?
Mr. Osborn responded we allow young bike riders on the sidewalk. In many cities it is against the law to ride a bike on the public street. In our City we do not restrict the sidewalks to pedestrian use only. We allow children to ride their bikes on the sidewalk. It would not be identifiable as a bikeway and we certainly wouldnít encourage or want adults riding bicycles on the sidewalk.
Mr. Vanover said I guess construction requirements are different if there is a separation between the roadway and the way we get from a bike lane to a bike path.
Mr. Osborn replied a bike path has to be multi-directional and has to be ten feet wide. A bike lane has to be five feet wide. We are adding eight feet of pavement on either side of the road and that additional eight feet would be three feet of striped out area and five feet for the bike lane.
Mr. Vanover said that is sixteen feet where we could do a bike path at ten feet.
Mr. Osborn said you would have to do it all on one side of the road and separate it from the street for safety reasons. In that case you would be biting off a really big piece of one side of the road.
Mr. Shuler stated we do not have the right-of-way to do a bike path in that area so we would be up in peopleís yards. When we had our meeting on the public storm sewer, there was concern by some residents about putting sidewalks back in their yards.
Mayor Webster said you asked about the residents, Ms. Pollitt. I think this issue falls in the same category as parks. Most people want neighborhood parks but "donít put it in my backyard." Iím hard pressed to recall a single resident who lives on Kemper Road who wants this project done. They would love to see it back in the subdivision for the reasons Mr. Osborn stated. It makes a much safer passage from their neighborhoods down to the core of the City and the Community Center.
Mr. Danbury said this did come up at a district meeting in 1995. We talked about the situation with storm sewers and our efforts at the time. The issue did come up about a proposed bike path. There were concerns but some people saw how this could be beneficial. If we get funding for this we will talk to the citizens. Weíve been very open when we talked about the different phases of Kemper Road.
Mr. Wilson said when dealing with sidewalks you have to deal with right-of-way issues. When we discussed it with the residents on Kenn Road, they did not want sidewalks so we opted not to do that. Secondly, I donít know how much federal funding we can get for sidewalks.
Mr. Parham said from time to time Iíve been a bicycle rider on Kemper Road and Iíve used the sidewalk. Once you get to Southland Road, there is a sidewalk that is on the southern side that will take you into Forest Park and west. Once you come further east beyond Southland you lose that sidewalk and you are on that two to three foot strip of pavement which is very unsafe. Itís been improved with the storm sewer project but itís still scary at times so you change your route, particularly when you get closer to Springfield Pike. I think it would add more safety, if not physically, at least mentally.
Mr. Osborn stated I would not want to rule out the idea that funding would not be available for a sidewalk project. I think a sidewalk project would qualify under this particular source of funding. However, I think we would have to re-evaluate the grading. A typical sidewalk on a street like this would be a five-foot green strip and then a five-foot sidewalk. That would be two feet further into the berm area than we are going with the proposed bike area. Thatís not to say we couldnít reduce it to a four-foot green strip and four-foot sidewalk. Itís just that that would be non-standard for us. There might have to be re-grading done. We graded out those berms very gradually, trying to keep a soft profile. Typically, the drainage between the sidewalk and street goes to the street. We would have a situation where the sidewalk would be lower than the grass area and drainage across the sidewalk creating an icy condition. Iím not sure what the pitch is on the slope but it might be more severe than we would have for a sidewalk. My suggestion would be to go ahead with this project and if it meets with some success we could ask them if we could modify it from a bike lane to a sidewalk.
Mr. Wilson asked have we investigated the possibility of obtaining the same percentage from the Feds for a sidewalk assuming we get all the residents to agree to a bike way?
Mr. Osborn replied it would probably still be 80/20 but I have no idea what the cost would be, primarily because I donít know what the grading is. We donít have a curb and gutter there. It would be a unique application.
Mr. Shuler said the way the storm sewer project was built and the yards and driveways were reconstructed was to accommodate a widening of the road to accommodate bike lanes. If we modified this to a sidewalk project the grading we have would not accommodate sidewalks. That means we would have to go back and re-grade an area flatter for a longer distance to accommodate sidewalks which means weíre probably going to get back into the yards that we just finished re-grading. Also, the sidewalk profile would not accommodate the driveways at each driveway crossing because they are built to the proposed widening for bike lanes Then we have a steeper slope either up or down from the edge of the area where the bike lane would be to accommodate the transition back to the existing driveway grade. Iím anticipating that not only would we have re-grading of each yard but also some driveway reconstruction to accommodate the sidewalk standards that we must maintain when we built sidewalks to provide for ADA requirements on public sidewalks. We have not looked at any of that and it would be premature to guess what the cost and magnitude of the project might be and the effect on residents.
Mr. Osborn said we have shallowed out all of those ditches. One of the primary purposes was to eliminate deep ditches. We made shallow swales by carrying out the road profile for an expansion that will be on the same pitch as the road. Then we carried it into a shallow swale and up into the yards. If we have to carry a flatter section out for the sidewalk weíll probably end up with a steeper swale, if not even a ditch again in some cases.
Mr. Danbury said when we first proposed this we tied in the bike path with the sewer project and were turned down. So we did the sewer project and we were approved for federal funds. When we did the design work, it was done for bike paths. In Glenview, once they received a certain level of occupancy they put a sidewalk in which didnít line up with a residentís driveway. It was very expensive. Weíve graded everything out and designed it for the storm water sewers. We had a resident who had a lot of flooding in her basement and she was concerned. We graded it out and she hasnít had any problems. If we go to a sidewalk, she may have problems she doesnít have right now. I suggest we go forth with this and if we get funding and decide sidewalks is an option we want to go with, can we apply that money towards sidewalks?
Mr. Osborn answered I donít know if we could do that dollar for dollar. I donít know if they would let us do it at all. I think we would be in a position to re-evaluate it over the next year because I donít know that this project will meet with much success. It was just turned down in late 1999 under the TE21 part of the Federal Highway Plan managed by the State of Ohio. I agree that we should continue the application under its current form and in the interim if we feel strongly that we should move to a sidewalk profile that we re-invent this project for the next funding application.
Resolution R5-2000 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R6-2000 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO/KENTUCKY/INDIANA COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS FOR ITS TRANSPORTATION ENHANCEMENT (TE) PROGRAM THROUGH THE TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT FOR THE 21ST CENTURY (TE21) FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE SPRINGFIELD (PIKE) STREETSCAPE UPGRADE, WEST SHARON ROAD BIKE PATH AND SPRINGFIELD PIKE (GLENSPRINGS TO Ė275 EASTBOUND OFF RAMP AND BIKE PATH)"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded.
Mr. Osborn said there are three other projects that we would propose for funding. The Kemper Road project we would recommend as the fourth priority. The third priority we would recommend is the bikeway project on Sharon Road. This is a project where we would build a ten-foot bike way on the south side of Sharon Road. We have previously applied for funding and have not met with success. The estimated cost of this bikeway is $107,435. We would recommend an 80/20 split with Springdaleís local share being $21,487. The next two projects are new to the application process but you have seen them on our five-year budget. Iím torn about a priority. I gave you one in my comments in the packet on legislation but Iím very open to altering the order of what would be one and two. The second highest priority I proposed initially would be the enhancement of the landscaping and beautification of that part of Springfield Pike between Glensprings Drive and the eastbound exit ramp of I-275. Thereís a very deep wide ditch there and itís an eyesore. We are proposing piping that storm sewer area, filling in that ravine and landscaping and beautifying that part of SR 4. We have an estimated cost on this project of $367,553. At an 80/20 split our local share would be $73,527. The other project and the one I initially recommended as the first priority is the replacement and upgrading of the streetscape on the SR 4 corridor in the area of Old Springdale, just north of Kemper Road to just south of Northland Boulevard. This would involve the replacement of the bollards, concrete planters, benches, etc. We would also replace the locust trees that are in the tree grates in that part of the corridor. Right now itís a mix of linden and locust. The lindens are doing very well. The locusts have grown disproportionately in size and our Public Works Superintendent who is an arborist has recommended that we replace the locusts with another variety of linden or other street tree. We would also modify the sidewalk system in that area to make it more decorative. Weíd probably brick in the area where the tree grates are. Weíd have partial concrete sidewalks and then a brick area. This project has an estimated cost of $367,553. At an 80/20 split it would be $73,527. To give you some idea as to where these last two projects fell on our five-year budget, we had the Glensprings project out in 2004 and we had the rehabilitation of the streetscape of the old corridor in 2001. My first recommendation was the rehabilitation of the Springfield Pike streetscape followed by the closure and beautification of that ditch in the Glensprings area, the Sharon Road bikeway and then Kemper Road bike lanes. The first two projects are neck and neck. I recommend that Council discuss the priority. I think both are very valid under this funding mechanism.
Mr. Galster said when weíve applied for these type projects before itís usually been the State of Ohio, not O-K-I.
Mr. Osborn replied that is correct. The enhancement program has been constituted under T21. It existed under ISTEA as well, the predecessor to TE21. Under ISTEA it was funded through the State of Ohio. We made applications for bikeways and bike lanes under that program and were not successful. Under TE21 there are two sources of funding for these types of improvement; one being the State of Ohio which is typically going to be looking at more regional type projects and the other being O-K-I which will target more local projects.
Mr. Galster said my first impression for order was the one that came up first in the budget. I just wonder if the location between Glensprings and I-275 would get more favorable grades because of the closeness to the I-275 beltway which does go through Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
Mr. Osborn replied I think I favored the streetscape project because itís on the horizon in 2001. But I think we should consider which of the two projects would have the greatest impact on the community. I think both of them would have significant impact but I have almost equal belief that the improvements in the Glensprings area would make a dramatic change in the appearance of that corridor.
Mr. Galster said I think that is one of the main entrances and I guess if I was O-K-I looking at it I would give it a little bit more weight because of its proximity to I-275. I recommend switching one and two in priority.
Mr. Wilson stated that corridor is a major gateway off the interstate for friends and relatives of Springdale residents and also people coming into the City wanting to establish businesses. I agree with Steve and feel that should be a priority. When you make that turn you see that gully. We used to complain to Perkins and then realized in part it was our responsibility too. I would hope that we would list that as first.
Mr. Danbury said I concur. If there is a major rain you see garbage coming down there. Iíd like to see if we could talk about the eastbound side of SR4. Could we put trees around the electric box?
Mr. Osborn replied we have attempted to do that. We have received permission from Cinergy to do some landscaping around the south side and north side. We wanted to put in evergreens. We ended up putting in flowering trees that are deciduous and we donít have the advantage of having trees with leaves on them in the summer. The State of Ohio turned us down on landscaping that area. Going on the premise that it is easier to get forgiven than permission weíve done it anyhow. We have put hedges along the fence north of that transformer station along the interstate right-of-way fence. We are looking at putting some additional landscaping and we prefer evergreens. The State has declined to allow us to do that but frankly, itís dramatically off the travel lanes for the interstate and I donít see a safety issue involved. We are incrementally increasing the landscaping along that part of the corridor.
Resolution 6-2000 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said we ask Council to direct us as to priority of these four items.
Mr. Galster made a motion to set the priority as such: 1) Glensprings to I-275 eastbound off ramp landscape beautification; 2) SR 4 streetscape upgrade; 3) West Sharon Road bike path; and 4) bike lanes along West Kemper Road. Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear said last year we put in a lot of signs that identified subdivisions. I think the signs that identify the entrances to the City needs some help, especially the one on SR 4.
Mr. Osborn said that is on our list for this year. We had engaged CDS to help us design a new entry sign. We have taken some preliminary proposals from a craftsman who made the signs you see in the subdivisions.
Mrs. McNear said I have a letter addressed to Mayor Webster from the Hamilton County Economic Office about the Tax Incentive Review Council that monitors the compliance of active enterprise zone agreements within a given zone. Mayor Webster said Mr. Knox is our one representative and we can have two if we like.
Mr. Knox said I am interested in continuing. It takes a little bit of studying beforehand. They send you a list of companies in Springdale and other communities that have tax incentives. You review those and in some cases talk to the individual involved. Then we have a meeting that usually takes less than one-half of a day.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mr. Osborn said Dan Shroyer, Assistant Fire Chief, said the Princeton Music Boosters are sponsoring two concerts by the Oak Ridge Boys on March 5 at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $27 a seat and can be purchased at the high school Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at the auditorium ticket office. Tuesdays and Thursdays they are open until 8 p.m. They put all of their resources into getting the Oak Ridge Boys and have no money left for promotions so theyíre asking people to pass the word.
No Mayorís Night In February 23, 2000
Proclamation and key to City presentation March 1
Cinema Races/Monte Carlo Night February 26, 7 p.m.
Terrace/Oaks District Meeting March 8
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Carol Shepherd, 680 West Kemper Road, asked have you thought about putting the sidewalks on the south side where there is a lot less territory to break up and change the area? That would be a lot less money to be spent. The bike trail would go right past my house. At first I thought it was a good idea but then I was concerned that it would bother the resale of my home.
Also, I have a neighbor who has put barb wire on his fence. All three corners of his lot have children and all three are very upset about it. Itís not necessary. Heís not holding in an animal; itís strictly aimed at children and we think itís not appropriate for our area.
Mayor Webster said I remember talking to you about this back in the fall and we did a lot of research on it. There was nothing against it in the code books. There is now a code that makes that fence illegal and because it is a safety issue, it is not grandfathered. Thirty days from today we can issue orders for that gentleman to remove the barb wire.
Mr. Danbury said I donít think the bike path will hurt your property value.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Pay increase for elected officials March 1, 2000
Building Department fees March 1, 2000
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution against change in City income tax March 1, 2000
Playground equipment March 1, 2000
Mrs. McNear brought up the $50 fee for applicants to the Board of Zoning Appeals. Mrs. McNear said it is contrary to everything we have done.
It was suggested that the Board of Zoning Appeals be given the right to charge the $50 or refund it to the applicant.
Mayor Webster said thereís no guarantee that an applicant would get his/her money back; therefore, he/she may be reluctant to go before the board. That is counter to everything we try to do up here.
Mr. Osborn said Iím concerned about charging a fee for some applicants while striking it down for single family household.
Mr. Schneider said I want to check before the next meeting whether or not we have a right to charge one group of residents a fee and another group nothing if there is nothing that distinguishes them other than weíd rather not charge single family residents.
Council adjourned at 9: 15 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council