President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on March 7, 2001 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. Ms. Pollitt was absent due to surgery.
The minutes of February 21, 2001 were approved with six affirmative votes.
E-mail from D. Bailey: "I have to share with you that I am eating mounds of crow. I shared with my family that if people were going to use the gym, they would be using it by now, myself included. I am there a lot more than I ever considered before, and I am so grateful to have such a beautiful center to participate in. It makes me more proud to be a Springdale citizen. I am also grateful I refrained from sharing my opinions and feelings publicly. I hope Mayor Webster likes it too."
Mayor Webster said I talked to Mrs. Bailey because we didnít know if she wanted it read or not. She apologized for the composition of it because she sent it at 4:00 in the morning. She is telling us that she shared my feelings in that she thought we were building something too big for the City. She wanted to see it pared back and sheís now glad that we didnít. Sheís very happy with the facility. I am also equally proud of it. I think itís a real plus for the community to have a facility like that.
Mr. Knox stated the second communication is from Time Warner Cable. It reads: "Dear Mayor Webster: Time Warner Cable is proud to announce the addition of two programming services to the digital cable service tier. Effective March 8, 2001, Odyssey will be available on channel 129. Odyssey is a 24 hour service that features the best in wholesome family entertainment. Effective April 1, 2001, Much Music will be available on channel 128. Much Music provides more of the music videos which are so popular with so many of our customers. As always, we continue to keep you informed of any changes in our channel line-up. Sincerely, Pamela McDonald"
Our third communication is from Princeton High School After-Prom Parents Boosters: "Dear Community Leader: We are writing to ask your support for this yearís Princeton High School After-Prom Party. PHS parents with the support and encouragement of Dr. Bauer and the PHS administration, are again sponsoring a safe, fun, after-prom event for PHS students. Last year over 200 students attended this event. Student administrators and parent chaperones ensured that the party was safe, free from drugs and alcohol, and fun for the kids. This yearís after-prom will be held from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. following the prom at a local community center. The after-prom features games, music, karaoke, a caricature artist, food and prizes. This yearís after-prom will have a tropical island theme with games and entertainment coordinated by Premier Casino Events, Inc. The games will be Monte-Carlo style games. None of the games will involve real money. As you might expect, throwing such an event requires considerable funding. Students pay a small and affordable admission fee. The admission fee covers a very small portion of the expenses. Last year the boosters raised nearly $7,500 toward making the evening a success. We received donations from individual parents, local businesses and community groups. The purpose of this letter is two-fold: one, to provide you, our local community leaders, with information about the PHS after-prom and explain the benefits of having a safe event for our students to attend; and two, to ask each government, Police Department and Fire Department to support this event with your encouragement and your donation. If youíd like to contact the After-Prom Parents Boosters for more information, please feel free to contact us via Karen Schafer at 513-489-3618. Thank you for your support. Please send your donations in any amount by March 21, 2001 to Princeton High School After-Prom Boosters, 11080 Chester Road, 500 Wing Office, Cincinnati OH 45246."
Mr. Knox said the address will be available in the Clerkís office if anyone is interested.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Springfield Pike Streetscape - Jim Warner, CDS
Mr. Danbury said, as you recall, we applied for a grant that will take care of some of the items we are going to be discussing tonight. Keep in mind, when Mr.
Warner goes through the presentation, that there are three or possibly four distinct phases to this. Heís going to give an overview of the whole thing but there are three distinct phases. Phase I is what we are looking for approval from Council on tonight. Phase II and Phase III are things that can happen in the future. About thirteen or fourteen years ago we adopted the Rt. 4 Corridor Study and I think this is a good enticement for redevelopment in the City. The gentlemen from CDS have done a great job.
Mr. Osborn stated we have been working on this project for several months. We have been working at the community level and staff level. We have made a number of decisions about design selections on various types of fixtures or streetscape items. We would like to hear from you this evening, your perception of whether or not we are going in the right direction. Is this the look you want to see on Springfield Pike? I should also add that the first phase would occur no sooner than the summer of 2002 so we have some time before construction. The project has been value engineered once already. We have a working budget of $800,000 for the first phase. In one of our initial review meetings, after we reached a point where we felt we were ready to bring this to Council, we found that we were well over budget. We had to ask the consultants to look at ways to trim out costs without giving up quality. When you see this this evening, keep in mind that this is something that has already been value engineered to try to reduce costs. To add to this will clearly put us over budget. We are still a little bit over budget now.
Mr. Danbury said if there is something we would like to add, we could look at that for the second and third phases.
Mayor Webster said the streetscape is very exciting. I hope when you get through hearing the presentation that you will be as excited as the committee has been up to this point.
Mr. Warner introduced Phil Partridge, who is serving as project manager; Bill Ream, project architect and designer; and Don Shvegzda, who is serving in an engineering capacity. We are very excited about the opportunity to be able to develop this design. Mr. Warner said we have a slide presentation and we have samples here this evening. We had several goals in looking at this project. One of the things that was a real charge to us was to try to do a streetscape that really gave Springdale a unique character; something that makes your community distinctive from other communities. We also recognized that Springdale is a very progressive community and it has a very good history to draw upon. To strike that balance of history and the progressive nature of your community was a goal of ours, and certainly of the Capital Improvements Committee. A lot of the fixtures make gestures in each direction. We also wanted to introduce things in the streetscape that really give you a whole new sense of character for the streetscape; something that would add a lot of interesting rhythm as well as color to your streetscape. We reviewed the Corridor Study that was performed back in 1990 and there were some key elements in that study that we tried to pay special attention to, such as entry features and to identify the core of the City. Also, we also wanted to identify where the historic grid is, how this could enhance that and give you the tools to build upon as future planning and development happens. We also wanted to pay attention to linking neighborhoods. In the update to the Corridor Study that was performed in 1997, there was a real emphasis on trying to create a thematic image. We also recognized that the current streetscape is pretty monochromatic with limestone and gray stones. We are trying to introduce alternating paving materials to give it more interest because of the nature of the community to have a very residential scale. There are a lot of things we can do to make gestures to the pedestrians and invite people to walk up and down the streetscape and to draw people from the neighborhoods to the streetscape. We hope that will encourage future development, particularly in your business district, with the development of businesses that will be able to take advantage of that kind of introduction. We tried to screen where people would move from the vehicular traffic to soften that and to try to give opportunities where people could get relief from that. We will start at the south end by Northland Boulevard and extend north to Kemper Road. There are places where the streetscape extends back east and west. Those particular areas that would fall into Phase II.
Mr. Warner gave a slide presentation. He said we wanted to have the signal system integrated with the lighting fixtures so it all looks like the same aesthetics. You now have real high Cobra lights that are lighting your roadways. Those are upwards of 40 feet from the street level but we have a need to provide pedestrian street lighting. We felt having smaller scaled fixtures up and down the streetscape ranging 18 feet in height would be more suitable and scaled. There would also be lane change designations that could be suspended from the arms of the signal poles. Baskets of flowers could hang from the arms on the poles as well as banners. There are a variety of finish options and the one we are suggesting is called Verdia green. It actually has a slightly bluish cast to it. It has a black base finish and like an aged bronze surface. Because of the black character it allows us to use a lot of accessories with it that would be compatible aesthetically. The acrylic light fixtures are larger than the glass because they generate a lot of heat and need to have more distance from the actual light source. The upper portion of the fixture allows a glow to be directed upwards but most of the light is actually directed downwards because of the optics that are in the base of the luminare. The finials on top of the fixtures are acorn shaped. The pole base is fluted. We opted to stay with a less ornate arched arm thinking that would strike a balance between the historical and contemporary progressive. By having the light fixture mounted on the signal pole it throws some illumination onto the signs so they glow and make it easier to see. There is an option to do internally illuminated signs as well.
Mr. Warner showed samples of the paving materials. Mr. Warner said brick was actually produced in Springdale in the 1800s and it seemed appropriate to have brick introduced on the streetscape. We felt that a mix of color would be desirable to give it more of an aged character. We are suggesting using the cobblestone paver next to the curbs. That way it would be a deterrent to kids riding bikes next to the curb. It would also be a tactile warning to someone who might be visually impaired and it also makes a gesture to the historical character that you had in the past. Weíre not doing the entire streetscape with pavers of this type. We are leaving a five foot wide section of sidewalk. Another element of the streetscape is furniture; also waste containers. We also have a suggested bike rack that could be added later.
Mr. Warner said we thought there might be a number of points along the corridor where it would be appropriate to memorialize your history with plaques. There are a variety of depths along the streetscape, from ten to fifteen feet. In the midst of the blocks we have the opportunity to place the trees. We have a five foot depth for accommodating the trees. We also provide a slight angle of cobble pavers that bound the mulch bed on each side.
Mr. Warner said the Phase II part starts closer to where the cemetery is. There are a number of places along the streetscape where we have deeper right-of-way to do some landscaping that would enhance areas like the intersections. In some cases where we donít have existing right-of-way, we are proposing the possibility of future right-of-way acquisition that would allow some developments like this. One of the things we wanted to accomplish is to have a good sense of gateway where you are entering the streetscape. The intersection at Kemper has the new signalization built in to the base bid. White Castle conformed with your Planning Commissionís recommendation to do some extensive landscaping as well as to provide a curved wall there. We are proposing some stone walls that extend up through the street. The colors in ours would be more like those in the cobblewood stones. We have a mix of blues and earth tones to give it a more interesting character.
As we move up towards the Municipal Building that would be Phase III work. Some of the work would be proposed as part of Phase II such as putting in the street lights and providing some benches. Our thoughts on identifying this as a park-like area would be to help persuade the development of that area. It would help you lure some pretty nice businesses associated with that. A small restaurant or bistro could have some outdoor eating. We are proposing a stone wall along the length of the corridor and created a nice little area, perhaps with a water feature. On the street side we are proposing that the earth be sloped up towards the wall and it would provide opportunity for perennials and annuals to be planted there and add a nice splash of color as you get close to the Municipal Building. On the back side perhaps you could have a historic time line that might be displayed in plaques on the back side of the wall. There may even be a map of the corridor that would show historic spots that would correspond with where you have plaques, monumental sculptures, etc. You might be able to use this as a basis to go after some arts grants for future funding. Going north in that same area, one of the ideas is at the end of that expanse, to have a gazebo that would have a lot of the characteristics that you have on the Municipal Building. One of the things we have proposed in the Phase II portion is to create some gateway elements. It might be some kind of vertical kiosk, twelve to fifteen feet tall, that would have graphics. Maybe it would have a silhouette of a stagecoach that would be suggestive that you were on a stagecoach route. There might be some banner graphics. As you go further north approaching Glensprings, the area around Perkins is slated for ODOT funding. There is a potential of developing that corner and softening that area of the streetscape. At the eastbound ramp of I-275 there is an item called special ODOT funding. Weíre proposing to make gestures to the streetscape so as people come off the ramp, they know they are entering Springdale. There would be planters and pavings at the end of the ramp. As you look straight ahead towards the substation at the end of the ramp, we want to do something to soften that. We are proposing to introduce some high evergreens that are very narrow. That would be a back drop for signage such as you have on the westbound ramp. We would also have some sloping beds where you can introduce some color.
Mr. Warner said Phase I includes the removal of some existing pavement and trees. In the site work we have pavers and landscape walls as well as some concrete work. We have the site amenities which include the benches and trash receptacles. We have landscaping and the overhead street signage and lights. We have electric being provided along the entire streetscape. We are providing outlets at every street tree so that you will be able to power lighting on the trees at every location. Where there is a wall the outlets will be built right into the walls. The Kemper Road signal would be provided. We have the general contractor overhead profit and a 10% contingency in the project. There is a line item for the Cinergy buy-back program. You currently have the COBRA fixtures that were purchased under a program. And we just found out today that the City purchased those so that number will probably go down. We will still have to remove the existing poles that we have. We have an $896,000 budget for Phase I under this estimate. Alternate 1 would be providing the signalization at Rt. 4 and Northland Boulevard. In the Phase II work we would have the same elements that we talked about in Phase I. The areas that this covers would be the areas that extend east and west from the streets going back towards the neighborhood areas and would include crosswalks such as Peach Street, Cherry Street, etc. Then we had additional signals at Lawnview and Glensprings. This was budged at $1.27 million for Phase II. The Phase III work included any areas that would have more historic type areas and the proposed gazebo. We are looking at $265,000 for that line item. The ODOT program for the eastbound exit will be the site and paver work. It includes the actual signage and is budgeted at $51,675. Things that are not included in any of these estimates are bus shelters, banners, or the historic plaques or gestures. We might propose next to Perkins a bronze stagecoach with horses or a mule team as a sculpture. They would add a lot of interest as you are coming into the City. Hopefully this will give you a real vision of whatís possible.
Mr. Vanover said itís very impressive and I think in long term this is what we would like to see. Our current business mix is not conducive to this mix but I would hope we could get some redevelopment in there. Thereís no allocation for relocating overhead power services.
Mr. Osborn answered that was done about fifteen years ago.
Mr. Warner stated we are feeding the pole fixtures and the outlets at the street trees. Where we are crossing aprons we are actually trenching it right at the curb and a strip of the cobble pavers would be placed near.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Vanover is right. Some of the businesses in that area are not appropriate for this. Hopefully this is attracting businesses that would do that. One would have to look at some of the pictures we viewed earlier in the presentation from Montgomery and Blue Ash. There are a lot of places in Blue Ash that didnít have the businesses fifteen years ago we see there now. We are doing a lot of work to integrate the City to be a pedestrian city. Weíre having bike paths. I think this is the first step to attract the businesses there. Itís not to say that we donít want the businesses that are currently there but we would like to see if we can have a nice sit down restaurant like Montgomery Inn or a nice bread shop, etc. The way it is right now, it doesnít have any character and thereís nothing to entice a company to come there. The Route 4 Corridor Study was a way to develop the downtown image of Springdale. This encourages the residents from the side streets to visit our local businesses. This is putting everything in a proper order.
Mr. Wilson said the whole idea of this streetscape is to try to attract the types of businesses we want downtown and hopefully from a pedestrian standpoint. Thatís why we have the trees the way they are; to encourage people to park and walk to all the shops up and down the street as opposed to going to one shop, parking, making their purchases, and then leaving. We want them to remain in the area and frequent all the shops.
Mr. Osborn said on page 2.3, thatís the drawing that shows the perspective of a light pole with a person. In Montgomery I think they really did a great job but I think their light fixtures were oversized for the light poles. We talked about that at the time. If you look at the fixture on page 2.3, everything is pretty much in proportion. If you look at this fixture in front of us, itís is close to four feet in length and if itís on an eighteen foot pole, that means it would make up 22% of the height of the pole. Could you give us an explanation of how that example might relate to what we are doing here?
Mr. Warner said we were proposing poles that would be eighteen feet to the base of the arm.
Mr. Osborn replied thatís my point. If itís eighteen feet to the base of the arm, if you look at the fixtures of the two that are up here right now, I think they are going to be disproportionate to the drawing that we have.
Mr. Warner responded the glass fixture is smaller in the same product line. That is what you are seeing illustrated.
Mr. Osborn replied I want to restate my concern. I think Montgomery has done a great job but if I was doing something different than what they did, I would redo those fixtures. I think they will be top heavy.
Mr. Vanover asked are we going with the glass fixture?
Mr. Warner said one of the reasons the glass is smaller is for a 250 watt bulb, the acrylic needs more breathing area. Also, when you are lifting off the head or changing bulbs, you donít have quite as large a product to maneuver. Those are standard sizes so the acrylic would be bigger. The acrylic would have a ten year life before it started showing yellowing; however, you will have more resistance to damage from projectiles. Hopefully, that will not be a big issue. The glass is tough but not as tough as the acrylic from that standpoint.
Mr. Osborn asked are the options we have in front of us consistent with photometrics? We have already had the electrical engineer space out the poles and work out the photometrics. We wouldnít have to change pole spacing if we picked a different head, would we? Mr. Warner replied no.
Mrs. McNear asked how much is the construction going to impact the traffic as you are putting all these pavers along the sidewalk? Will you have to close down lanes to work on this?
Mr. Warner replied I think it will vary depending on where it is and the extent of work being proposed. A lot of this work can happen from the sidewalk side of things.
Mr. Shvegzda said there will probably be situations where there will have to be some temporary lane closures, particularly when we are replacing the traffic signals. We will have to place a temporary signal system in those areas to allow that to take place and still maintain traffic.
Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Osborn, were you thinking of proposing a higher pole?
Mr. Osborn replied no, my preference would be to go to one of the smaller globes as opposed to the big, acrylic one that I think is disproportionate to the size of the pole.
Mr. Vanover said we talked about lane closure. What about interrupting the existing flow in and out of existing aprons?
Mr. Shvegzda replied we are not doing anything across the driveways. Mr. Warner said we are bringing the electric across and we will be putting in pavers which would be pretty quick to set.
Mr. Vanover asked was there any consideration given to using concrete instead of pavers?
Mr. Warner responded we did look at that. We also considered concrete pavers as well. We felt like we would go for the quality for a couple of reasons. One is because of the amount of street trees that you have. By having pavers sit on sand beds, it allows the percolation of water in and around the roots. It also gives easy maintenance access to the electric or anything else in that particular area. With concrete you would be faced with tearing it out. The concrete pavers are somewhat less expensive but there are some down sides. It does tend to lose its color over time. It also doesnít have a lot of the character that you get with these other types of pavers.
Mr. Galster asked what happens if we get one section done and then we wait one, two or three years for the next phase? How hard to match the brick, pavers, light fixtures, etc. and make it look like one project? I wonder, if instead of doing phases of sections of street, is it possible to do phases of one type of the project through the whole thing, such as pavers and landscaping; street lighting and light poles; signalization; etc. in order to keep the look throughout the whole corridor consistent.
Mr. Osborn stated that is another approach to it. We have to keep in mind that we have a grant for a specific physical area of Springfield Pike. The money we have from the enhancement program has to be used between Kemper and Northland. The other factor is true long term whether we phase or not. We want to have a fixture that will be available from the supplier for many years to come. Weíve been dealing primarily with products from known vendors that have a history in this particular area. The other reason we were looking at phasing over a number of years is to give us the opportunity to get outside funding. The cost for this project overall is pretty significant and we want to try to attract outside funding. We take the approach where we put all the light fixtures in throughout the entire length of the project. But then we will be opening up concrete to lay the electrical lines so we would have that kind of work to do anyway. I donít think the problem with matching stone will be as critical as you think. It might be optimistic to say that we will be able to do this in three successive years. It may take five or six years by the time we gear up to finance it unless we want to put a higher priority on it and move it up the list of capital projects. If materials are a problem in the short run, then weíve picked the wrong product.
Mr. Galster said Phase I total cost with alternate 1 is about $1 million. You mentioned that we have $800,000 in the budget. What part is the funding we have obtained and how much is actual City dollars?
Mr. Osborn replied we have just under $300,000 in outside funding. Of the $900,000 cost, $600,000 of that is local funding. If you bring in the Northland intersection, which is something I think we have to take a really hard look at, we are looking at the magnitude of $750,000 for Phase I with option 1.
Mr. Warner said I did one to speak to the longevity of materials. The materials we have under consideration are from very old companies that manufacture that. These particular products have been used at the Statue of Libertyís renovation and a number of universities are going to this type of material on their campuses. We are doing very detailed research on how these have been used and what kind of life expectancy they might have as a product line as part of our recommendations. As we get further into the design we will be refining that with you as far as final selection. Because it is a bid selection we are trying to identify two or more that have the same qualities so that we can get good competitive pricing.
Mr. Danbury asked Mr. Osborn, didnít you say last night that we might have a better opportunity of acquiring additional funds for Phase II or III.
Mr. Osborn responded if we had made a major commitment locally for Phase I and were coming back to the same funding source and same committee that will be looking at grading the projects, if we can show them the level of investment we have made in Phase I and how it fits into a more comprehensive plan, and we have a plan laid out, we would be in a better position to go after funding. There is no guarantee because there is a finite amount of money available and quite a number of people chasing that money. Having this plan in place gives us a real head start for making application for future funding.
Mr. Danbury said you hit on a key word. This is a business campus that invites the community and local businesses to locate their businesses here. I think itís a wonderful presentation. My hatís off to your whole firm.
Mr. Galster said originally when we got the outside funding, was that based on a percentage of what we anticipated the project to be, or was that okay, this is as much as you can have?
Mr. Osborn replied we started out with a much more modest product and we got 100% of what we asked for. The initial project was just replacing in kind what we had out there. Then as we started talking, we thought if we are really going to do this, we need to take a more aggressive look at it. What would we really like to see happen out there? Replacing in kind would look new but not much different than it does now. So we came up with this project. You may recall during the budget process that I mentioned to you that we had increased the scope of this project significantly from its initial concept. Thatís when we jumped from the $300,000 level to the $800,000 level. The funding we got was 100%.
Mayor Webster said we did the comprehensive Route 4 study thirteen years ago. The City has not been proactive with that plan. We have used it to try to get the businesses to conform with the slopes of the roofs and the color schemes, etc., but really the plan has been on the shelf. We felt if we were going to get $300,000 to replace in kind, now is the time to take this one step further and get the Corridor Study off the shelf and try to pull in some of the things that were pointed out in that thirteen or fourteen years ago and make it a reality.
Mr. Vanover said I would agree with that. We have spent a lot of time and money and have upgraded the Corridor Study. We have used that as a planning tool. I agree with Mr. Osbornís statement that replacing in kind isnít really going to do anything to change the business atmosphere that is out there. I would love to see this come to fruition and maybe spark a change in the business mix that we have there.
Mrs. McNear asked what is our next step here?
Mr. Osborn replied we wanted to bring this to your attention and get a feel from you if this is the direction you want us to go because we are in design right now. This project will not be bid out until next spring. We are at a crossroads where we are just finishing a concept level review and are going into detail plans. Before we make that leap we want Councilís input as to whether we are going in the right direction.
Mr. Wilson asked do we want to decide about fixtures or are we premature with that?
Mr. Osborn replied why donít we let the consultant look at it a little bit. This is the first time anybody on the committee has even seen the stuff.
Mr. Galster asked what are we committing to? We are not saying tonight by nodding heads, letís go ahead and start building this thing.
Mr. Osborn stated we already have a contract for the engineering work on this program so we really donít need any additional approvals at this point. We have a long time frame to complete the design but there is a lot of work to do. We are at the front end of that design and this is a review by Council to see if they agree with the direction we are going. I think I heard enough this evening to say that Council as a group feels that the design team is progressing satisfactorily.
Mayor Webster said now is the time if someone feels we arenít going the right way. Your silence says letís make this happen.
Mrs. McNear said my feeling from the comments we got this evening is to go forward.
Mr. Danbury said I will go on record and say I am in favor of the concept as presented tonight. Mr. Squires and Mr. Vanover agreed.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Galster, are you in agreement.?
Mr. Galster replied I have no problem whatsoever with the concept of design and the general feel for what we want to do along the corridor. I know that we are budgeting now to spend some of that money we were awarded, and all of a sudden we have gone from a $300,000 totally funding replacement project to a $2.5 million plus redo of the landscape. Yes, I like that but Iím not sure how it fits into the budget and what priorities are in the budget. We have one year in the budget right now. We donít have anything beyond that. Iím not willing to say Iím 100%. Letís start building the thing tomorrow and finish it out in three phases and weíre done.
Mr. Osborn said I think we have to keep in mind that there isnít any automatic sequence that Phase II is going to immediately follow Phase I. We need to pace ourselves in order to make sure we can accommodate the cost of this project. I think another factor is Phase I can almost stand alone. The one thing I think can make Phase I stand alone is by adding the Northland intersection. If we didnít get to Phase II for five years, Phase I is out there. What we are talking about in Phase II is a linear extension of that first phase. If we find the cost for future phases is not justifiable, then I donít think we have to say, letís not build Phase I. The reason for doing this concept isnít necessarily asking you tonight to build all three phases. We are asking tonight, do you like the appearance of it; the way the program comes together. We are zeroing in on a design plan for Phase I that would come to a point of construction in 2002.
Mayor Webster said I think Cecil touched on every point I wanted to make. Phase I can stand on its own. We can walk away from it and never come back to it. Hopefully that wonít happen but we wanted to show you our vision of what the whole thing could look like. I envision us being back here next year, maybe two years from now with Phase II with hopefully some funding to go along with it. I apologize if any Council member thought we were saying give us the whole thing.
Mr. Vanover said if at any point in time we feel uncomfortable writing that check we can walk away from it. I think it bodes well with the other work the City has taken. I think we are taking a proactive stance and not waiting until we get into a defensible posture to do something. We all know if we canít pay for it, we canít do it.
In response to Mrs. McNear, Mr. Galster replied I was extremely comfortable with the presentation and the plan. There are some issues still out there and I wanted to make sure I was clear in my whole-hearted support of Phase I.
ORDINANCE NO. 16-2001 "ACCEPTING A BID AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH SUNESIS CONSTRUCTION FOR THE WALNUT AND PEAR STREET IMPROVEMENTS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this project has come in significantly over our budgeted numbers. This is another situation where we have outside funding involved. We have budgeted $208,000 for this project, of which $105,000 is from a CBDG grant, which means we have $103,000 of local money in that $208,000. We came in at $341,205, which pushes us about $133,000 over our current budget amount. I think it is important that we do this project. I believe we can make up that short fall through opportunities in other parts of the budget or ultimately a transfer from the General Fund. If itís okay with Council I would like to ask Mr. Shuler to review how we got to this point.
Mr. Shuler stated in addition to some comments on the budget, this is one of those projects that seemed like a simple project to complete some work in an area that we had been looking at for a long time. However, when we got into it and started working with the school, some issues came up. Then the potential redevelopment of the Burns property added another element to this, which was why we do have a number of alternates here. We really donít want to go in and do a lot of work that may be torn out or damaged when that site is redeveloped. At the same time we want to have the contract in place, so hopefully as the redevelopment plan for that site is approved, we can coordinate it with this project and all this work can go ahead as scheduled. Further, the project is burdened by the fact that we have told the school the majority of the roadway work will be done during the summer when school is out, and at the same time, we have the grant money that is going to run out if we donít use it. Dealing with the cost more specifically and the major items that effected the increase from the original budget we did two years ago, the single largest amount of that is the run-up of asphalt prices. We also cut back our summer street program last year because of the increase in asphalt prices that affected that work. We now have a number of items of work that Cincinnati Waterworks is requiring. While we have the street torn up some upgrades of the water main work and some repair there that constitute about $40,000 of additional costs that were not in the original budget were done. We did put more sidewalk into the design than we had initially anticipated and also put in a larger school bus pull-off area. So, there were a number of items that contributed to the cost and we will hopefully be working this project in conjunction with the redevelopment of the Burns property.
Mr. Vanover asked wasnít the biggest bulk of that increase in asphalt pricing due to the upsurge of natural gas costs and oil prices? Mr. Shuler replied yes.
Mr. Galster asked how many bids did we get on the project? Mr. Parham replied there were thirteen.
Ordinance 16-2001 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 17Ė2001 "AN ORDINANCE GIVING CONSENT TO THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION TO PERFORM PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE WORK ON THE 1-275 BRIDGES OVER KENN RD AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said I just wanted to re-emphasize some points I made in my transmittal to Council on future legislation. This makes no financial commitment on the part of the City because all the work to be done is done by the State of Ohio and they bear 100% of the cost for the work they are proposing to do. It is the practice of the Ohio Department of Transportation to seek a consent agreement from the local jurisdiction when they are doing any significant work in a municipality. The work will be a preventative maintenance type program; two bridges that carry I-275 over Kenn Road.
Mr. Wilson asked had we talked about upgrading the lighting at all so it wouldnít appear so dark as pedestrians walked under the bridge.
Mr. Osborn replied I called the gentleman who sent us this material to see if this was part of a bigger project. We had heard that ODOT is going to resurface I-275 and I wasnít quite sure what the scope of this work was. This is a stand alone program. The only thing they are talking about with this program is to do some rehabilitation work to the two bridges. Itís unrelated to any other work on I-275 so this wouldnít have any relationship to the lighting situation.
Ordinance 17-2001 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 18Ė2001 "AUTHORIZING A RAILROAD CONSTRUCTION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND CSX TRANSPORTATION INC. IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE SR 747/CSX GRADE SEPARATION PROJECT"
Mr. Galster made a motion to table and Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 19Ė2001 "AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND THE GREATER CINCINNATI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PERTAINING TO "PARTNERSHIP FOR GREATER CINCINNATI 1999-2003"
Mr. Wilson asked what impact will this participation have on our own chamber? Are we duplicating efforts here and should we be spending more dollars for our own chamber as opposed to this one?
Mr. Osborn replied here in Springdale we have a very vibrant business community but it depends on the regional economy for its health. We are not autonomous. We are part of a bigger economic area and that is the Greater Cincinnati area. The Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce does a number of things for us. They market this area nationally, internationally and regionally. We could never, ever approach what they do in terms of promoting the area. The purpose behind the Partnership of Greater Cincinnati is to stimulate that type of promotion on a broader stage in order to attract development into this area. We benefit from a new plant going into Milford or a new facility in Forest Park. That helps generate additional resources that we depend on here for our local businesses. Secondarily, the Greater Cincinnati Chamber has been, in the past and will continue to be, a real asset for us when it comes to dealing with major facilities that are either going to be located in Springdale or want to relocate out of Springdale. We brought them in as a resource to either help us attract a particular user into Springdale or to stall someone looking to move to Kentucky or Tennessee, etc. They have that broader ability to reach up to the Ohio Department of Development and bring the right people down from the central office in Columbus. The Springdale Chamber is focused locally. Itís an attempt to bring our business community together so we can have a dialog with it and so it can have a dialog among its members. Itís really targeted at the day-to-day business of the individual companies and helping them generate leads within their own neighborhood. Another major purpose is to give them a way to come to us as a body and tell us if there are things we need to do. I think there is distinct and different role between the local chamber and our Greater Cincinnati chamber so I think itís vital that we continue to support both and the only way we support the Greater Cincinnati Chamber is by participation in the Greater Cincinnati Partnership Program.
ORDINANCE NO. 20-2001 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH WOODSMAN, INC., FOR THE PURCHASE OF A 2001 BRUSH CHIPPER AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn said a couple of meetings ago we asked to reject a single bid on this same purchase because we wanted to have a more competitive situation. Unfortunately, we still only have one bid but we have seen a second vendor here. The second vendor is about $5,000 lower than the one we saw last month. The vendor who submitted last month had intended to be part of this bidding process but on his way down from Columbus was pulled over by the Highway Patrol and missed the bid opening. As a result we only have one bid again but we feel, given the combination of the two bids, that this is a good bid and we recommend it to City Council.
Ordinance 20-2001 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster said the Springdale Youth Boosters issued a check to the Robbie Okum Recovery Fund for approximately $3900 from the horse races and Monte Carlo night. Five hundred dollars was direct contributions and $3400 from the proceeds. My thanks to all community members who helped make that a success.
Mr. Osborn said there was a bid opening on March 6 for the 2001 street improvement program. We received five bids. We are still reviewing the bids. All the bidders are known to us and we will be comfortable with whomever we end up with. Right now it looks like it might be Adletta. The low bid was $979,000. When you think that we have an $850,000 budget that might cause a little concern but I think a few things need to be factored in. In addition to the $850,000 we have budgeted for the street program, we have $58,000 budgeted for some concrete work at the Police Station. We lumped that concrete work into this project. If you look at it that way we have $908,000 budgeted. Then in addition to that this cost includes some paving work on Chesterdale Road for which we will be reimbursed by the City of Sharonville. We are very close to being on budget with the project. Iím sure weíll have a recommendation and legislation before you at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn continued the second item deals with the Regional Planning Commission and the Hamilton County Planning Partnership that you may have been reading about. I have two documents I would like to pass out to you. Theyíre fairly extensive documents and Iím giving them to you in anticipation at our next Council meeting by Ron Miller, Director of the Hamilton County Planning Commission. You may have read in the press that this effort to rejuvenate the Regional Planning Commission and create this auxiliary effort at building a regional look at planning issues in the form of a planning partnership had its initiation last year. A number of communities, including Springdale, had reservations about getting involved. I was interviewed in the paper and even said as much at the time. In fact, both the Mayor and I have shared our view with other political leaders in Hamilton County. We have, more recently, had developments that make this whole process more attractive to us, one of those being that a member of our own Planning Commission, Mr. Dick Huddleston, has been tentatively tapped to be one of the co-chairs of the Planning Partnership. This Planning Partnership is made up of all the municipalities and townships in Hamilton County. In the document I have handed out to you I would encourage you to look at page 9 of the first document, which outlines the purpose of the Planning Partnership and page 10 that shows how they calculate the number of members per political jurisdiction. Later in the document there is a resolution that has to be adopted by our Planning Commission or City Council because it does commit us to an agreement. Iíve asked Mr. Schneider to give me some direction there between now and the next meeting as to whether it is to be adopted by Planning Commission or Council. In either event, I intend to extend an invitation to all of Planning Commission to attend the next Council meeting in order to see Mr. Millerís presentation. One of the thingís that has also caused us to be reluctant to get involved in this over the years, is that the Regional Planning Commission has not had much in the way of appeal to us. They havenít done anything for us. There wasnít any value in being part of the Regional Planning Commission. Another factor is the make-up of the representation on Regional Planning. Itís made up of three municipal representatives and four township representatives. We have vocalized our concern about that more than just this past year. Mr. Miller was sharing with me that they are now looking at that as a critical issue. One of the things under consideration is to have three municipal representatives, three township representatives and the fourth being the chairman who would alternate between a township and municipal representative. That is not a done deal but itís encouraging to me that they are looking at that issue now. With that as a background we have modified our reluctance to participate in this process. I think there are still some reservations about where the program might ultimately go and some of the areas it might get into. If it starts to look like itís going to erode local zoning and planning authority, then obviously weíre going to have concerns about that. In talking to some of the other jurisdictions who have also been reluctant to get involved, I think we have come to a consensus that it would be better to be working with the group on the outside than yelling at it from the outside. If it ever comes to the point that we canít accommodate some of the decisions being made, we always have the option of leaving. I would suggest reviewing some of this material between now and the next Council meeting because Mr. Miller will be here to make a presentation.
Mr. Knox said as many of you know I am retired from the Air Force. There are advantages and disadvantages to that but one think about the military is, when somebody does a job well done, thereís a way to take care of it. The Commander pulls in somebody, they write up an award and somebody gets a medal. Regretfully, we canít do that in this City. However, I would like to comment on the wonderful work done by two of the gentlemen sitting on the dais, Mr. Shuler and Mr. Osborn. As you heard a few meetings ago, the Governor of the State announced on February 9 that we would receive a little over $4 million towards the SR 747 underpass. Originally we werenít on the hook for that but the State changed the way the game was being played and suddenly we were on the hook for $4 million. Because of the good work of those two gentlemen and Mr. Shvegzda, Mr. Parham and some other people, now the State is going to pay that money. I personally would like to thank you gentlemen from saving us from what would have been a very large problem most likely.
Mr. Galster said getting back to the Regional Planning Commission, it used to be that we would get notification of nominations for seats on that board after the nominations had already been closed. Therefore, we stopped sending in our dues and started boycotting the organization. However, recently, we have gotten the nomination form prior to the nominations being closed and have submitted Dave Okumís name for nomination and weíre trying to get re-established to where we are a dues paying member for the Regional Planning Commission again.
Mayor Webster asked what about your summer meeting schedule?
Mrs. McNear said at the end of the last meeting Mr. Parham passed out the frequency of items that the Council agenda had during the summer months. We wanted Council members to be able to digest what has been going on over the last three years in the summer. It seems that we have been having reduced amount of business during the summer. Last summer we did cancel one meeting because there were no items on the agenda. We wanted to look at the possibility of reducing the summer schedule to one meeting per month. I guess there would be some adjustments made if we should reduce the amount of meetings so certain ordinances or people who were coming in to have ordinances approved would be notified that itís a little bit longer schedule to have things approved.
Mr. Galster said my first concern was that it seemed like an applicant had thirty days to do this or the next Council meeting. Iím just curious as to what effect it might have on those types of issues. It doesnít happen very often that we have projects move very quickly through Planning and try to get to Council and having to advertise if it needs a public hearing. Iím just concerned about how much of a wrench that throws into the planning of those items.
Mr. Osborn stated a few meetings ago I raised the question about the 4th of July for that very reason. I think if we have foreknowledge of the schedule we can plan around some of that on things where we have flexibility such as bid openings. There certainly is the potential for a developer to run in here and be on a tight schedule and fall in a gap that we have created in the calendar. But I think if thatís the case itís Councilís choice as to how they want to put the schedule together, but one option would be to have a special meeting.
Mr. Wilson said I reviewed the information that was passed out and I was thinking we would have it the third Wednesday instead of the first. That would give us the opportunity to have all of our committee meetings taken care of and just report everything on that third Wednesday. If we should need a special meeting we could schedule one.
Mr. Vanover said if we are going to stay on one schedule the second meeting would be it. Thatís when we give our committee reports and transmit information to the public through those reports. For those of us who still have children in the school system, with the short summers it does give a little flexibility to try to schedule vacations and not interrupt Council activities. Looking at this information it looks like June is pretty much business as usual. Itís July and August that we see a drop off.
Mayor Webster said speaking to the issue of the planning situation, I think the sooner Council makes that decision, the sooner the Building Department can start apprising applicants of the summer schedule. The same for Planning Commission. The one really important thing on this list is issuance of those notes. It appears those happened at the second meeting in August. Mr. Knox, donít we have two of those? One is for the Community Center. What about the TIF?
Mr. Knox replied that was purchased by the private investors.
Mr. Danbury said there is no requirement in the Charter to have more than one meeting. I donít care one way or the other. I do know over the years we have had three meetings in a month. I also know there are times we are scrambling because someone is sick, someone on vacation, etc.
Mr. Wilson made a motion that during the months of July and August that we have one meeting a month on the third Wednesday but reserve the flexibility of the Administration to have a called meeting whenever necessary, not necessarily on the first Wednesday. Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster said I suggest that this be for the year 2001 only and then re-evaluate it at the end of the summer.
Mr. Wilson made a motion to amend the motion to say for the year 2001 only and Mr. Vanover seconded.
The motion passed with five affirmative votes. Mr. Galster voted no.
Mrs. McNear said the at-large members have always worked on the redistricting plan. We have to do this by May. We did pass a new ordinance on this so we need to look and see if redistricting needs to occur.
Mr. Galster said we did change to the policy we need to follow but I believe Judy Simmons, when she was on Charter, had gone through and said the numbers were fine and we didnít need to do it. Maybe that was a year ago.
Mayor Webster said the Charter indicates on page 36 "the division of the municipality districts shall be reviewed by Council from time to time and as here and after provided, will be re-established on the basis of realized boundaries in May for the year in which Council makes elections for the purpose of electing Councilmen (people) from districts are to be held effective with the purpose of the next municipal election as required by the preceding paragraph."
Mr. Galster said hopefully you have them redrawn by May if it needs to be done.
Mr. Schneider said it points out that there are certain circumstances when we must do it so we need to adhere to that as well. Why donít I just get a white sheet out before the next meeting so we are all aware of it and you can determine based on that where we stand. Itís based on voter registration rather than population.
Mr. Vanover said if we do decided to look, there is a situation that was presented in my district that we have a large disparity in physical distance and we have a couple of isolated pockets. My district is probably unique in that we have at least two of the largest apartment complexes. I have in District 4 all three of the major apartment complexes; The Colony, Hunterís Glen and part of Mallard Lakes. I donít have a problem with it but as an outsider looking in there might be a more judicious way of equalizing that out.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - March 13
Board of Zoning Appeals - March 20
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Rob Hormann, 251 Nelson, said you were talking about the chipper earlier. I had received our survey for the leaf collection. I did want to come up and say it was a great program. I was ecstatic when you decided to do it and considered The Terrace as one of the places to do it. I have way too many leaves. I would like to say that I would like to see it run another week because I have some very lazy trees that donít dump leaves until late November. I believe the first week of December was the last time they ran. I still had to bag up a good eight to ten lawn bags full of leaves.
On second note, Steve brought up the horse races. Iíd like to thank everybody who attended; Council people who came and worked. Barbara and I actually do chair the races. We just wanted to thank you for all of your help.
Mr. Danbury said we talk about Springdale Youth Boosters and FRYS prior to that. A lot of people see these people selling candy, etc. but donít realize all the efforts that all the people make over the years, what a difference they make in our lives. The Okums are very appreciative of the fact that they donated all the money to Okum family. We have a lot of people in the community who get involved and try to make a difference. Thank you.
Mrs. McNear said I have been working the horse races for eight to ten years and this is largest crowd Iíve seen in many, many years. It speaks a lot for this community that everybody was reaching out to help the Okums. I think anyone in Springdale who participated should give himself/herself a pat on the back.
Mr. Vanover said I heartily echo that. It is encouraging and I think thatís what makes Springdale Springdale. People will talk about costs of some of the programs. Believe me, when you leave the confines of the Rec programs, you talk about sticker shock. Our value is well worth it and very much unappreciated until itís too late. The cost of sports program in places outside the Community Center is eye opening. We can thank the Youth Boosters and fund raisers for making that a reality.
Mr. Galster said weíve tooted the horn of the Springdale Youth Boosters and FRYS for a while. I just wanted to bring up something that came up after our last meeting. The teen events at the Community Center are quite popular and we need more chaperones. Most of the teens who attend donít want the chaperones to be their own parents. If there are any residents whose children may have moved on into adulthood who are interested in giving back to the teens in the community, that would be greatly appreciated.
Mr. Danbury made a motion that the Council go into an executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss possible real estate matters. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 9:30 and reconvened at 9:53.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 18 - tabled
Ordinance 19 Ė second reading - March 21
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
2001 street improvement - March 21
Council adjourned at 9:58 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council