Acting President of Council Tom Vanover called Council to order on March 17, 2004, 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, and Wilson. Mrs. McNear was absent.
The minutes of March 3, 2004 were approved with six affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works - no report
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury said on Kemper Road where the wall fell down, the block facing has been taken down and should be completed next week. The construction is being done at the contractor’s expense. Smith and Johnson is clearing the temporary relocation for GE Park for the CSX grade separation. The next project will be storm sewer installation along the railroad track.
Finance Committee – Mr. Wilson reported we had a meeting this evening and reviewed eighteen items that we had previously postponed on the 2004 budget. I will bring up one of those items under new business.
Planning Commission – Mr. Galster stated Crossings at the Park requested approval of landscaping, tree removal, lighting and signs. This was previously tabled from February. That was approved 7-0. Steak & Shake asked for approval of a redevelopment. They had previously proposed a redevelopment that would turn the building 90o from its present location. The proposal we saw March 9th did not rotate that building. That created some additional concerns that the Planning Commission had in reference to traffic flow, parking situation and their drive-thru. This was continued at the applicant’s request. A small band of neon lighting was approved for Jade Buffet 7-0. Modification for a preliminary PUD plan for Kemper Pond was approved and will be coming back before Council. There are some Zoning Code amendments that were forwarded to City Council for a public hearing also. Most of them are housekeeping items but some are major concerns that have come up recently.
Board of Zoning Appeals - Mr. Squires said the first request for a 1600 square foot single family dwelling to be located at 458 Dimmick Avenue was tabled. A variance for a single family dwelling at 426 Smiley Avenue was approved at 1769 square feet. The house will be in the center of two lots and will be brick. The third request was for a variance to allow the approval of an in-ground pool located five feet from the property line at 486 Vista Glen. The variance was granted with a 10 foot setback provided that the structure would not exceed any covenants by the Owners’ Association.
Mr. Galster asked will there be a fence around the pool and is that permitted in their covenants?
Ms. Pollitt replied it will be a decorative fence.
Mr. Galster asked about the ten foot setback and Ms. Pollitt responded that is at the back of the house by the golf course. The side yard setback meets code and is even with the house.
Mr. Wilson asked if he’s got two lots and the requirement is 2,000 square feet, why would he not build a 2,000 square foot house?
Mr. Squires said he felt like a 2,000 square foot house would put him out of price range for that neighborhood. If this wasn’t done, the neighbor could possibly sell the two lots and a builder could build a 2,000 square foot house on a 50 foot wide lot, and there is nothing we could do about it. There are actually four lots as there are two others that were tabled.
Mayor Webster asked are there any other in-ground pools in the Glenview Subdivision? Ms. Pollitt replied the neighbor has one.
Ms. Pollitt said I’d like to address Mr. Wilson. The builder could build a 2,000 square foot house he called a cereal box on that piece of property. The plan the gentleman submitted is a beautiful plan. It is brick front with siding on the gables. I would prefer to give someone a few extra square feet than to have the neighbors complaining because they have a cereal box or two or four on that street.
Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt said the Health Commissioner presented the Hispanic brochure that is now available to our Hispanic residents. We are going to ask for a resolution for a model quarantine/isolation policy. If we have a catastrophe the Board of Health would have to meet and vote in order to quarantine. After September 11, 2001, the State decided that it would be wise to give the Health Commissioner the authority quarantine.
Mayor Webster said Ken, I think Cammie has talked to Jeff Forbes and he has indicated that just a motion of Council would be sufficient to give her the authority to issue a quarantine until such time that the Board of Health could convene and do that in the normal fashion. Are you aware of that?
Mr. Schneider replied Jeff did mention that to me and I did express some concern as to what authority we had to act in lieu of the Board of Health. The Board of Health is our health officials. We have not resolved that issue but that is a concern. I don’t know that we have any authority to act in their behalf. The action is Board of Health action.
Ms. Pollitt said it says here that "the model local Board of Health policy relating to delegation of authority to quarantine and isolate was written by a joint AOHC/ODH committee to assist local health districts with their obligation to meet the provision of HB 6 which calls for policy approval from district advisory councils or city councils. The model policy can also be adopted by local health districts." I think Cammie was asking us to make sure. We couldn’t convene Council any easier than we could convene the Board of Health in an emergency. It would be to provide the Health Commissioner with the ability to quarantine if necessary.
Mayor Webster asked to let Ken look over the document and Council could make a motion later.
Ms. Pollitt said we also talked about public health performance standards. This is something new the Ohio Department of Health is coming out with and will be effective 1/1/2005. The Springdale Health Department is one of the departments that will be testing this pilot program. Ms. Mitrione gave us the number of employees who have been through the ServSafe training. The employers pay for the training so it’s not costing the City any money. It’s also offered in Spanish and that will enable us to feel really comfortable about where we’re going to eat in Springdale. I think that’s fast-forward thinking on her part to do that.
Mayor Webster said to echo Ms. Pollitt’s comments on the ServSafe program. We had one particular restaurant that had eight Hispanic employees and they asked Cammie to bring the program to the restaurant. She got Victor Velez to do that and they were extremely happy. They paid all the costs associated with it. The City and the patrons of that restaurant are so much better off having that done. I think as long as there is a need for those types of programs we certainly want to provide those.
Veteran’s Memorial Committee - no report
O-K-I – Mr. Knox said a committee was formed with the Director of OKI and several other people. They went to Washington DC and not only got to speak to the members of Congress about the Brent Spence Bridge situation, they also got invited to the White House. Hopefully, there will be something moving forward on that bridge.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster said the latest snow storm cost us $2700. We’re well under budget for the entire winter.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Parham said the annual renewal of our self-funded insurance programs is coming up. One item is for our third party administrator and the other is for the re-insurance. I’d like to have the first reading at the April 7th meeting, and the second reading with an emergency clause at the following meeting. I will have a report to Council prior to the April 7th meeting.
Law Director’s Report – Mr. Schneider stated I will respond to the question raised earlier. The new HB 6 indicates that we need informal Council approval, which we can do by a motion of Council to show consent of authority. This is the first overlapping that I am aware of between Councils and Boards of Health.
Mr. Galster made a motion to delegate authority to quarantine and isolate to the Health Commissioner. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Engineer’s Report - no report
Mr. Knox said we have one communication from the Ohio Department of Commerce. "The purpose of this letter is to notify you that all permits to sell alcoholic beverages in your political subdivision will expire on June 1, 2004. In order to maintain permit privileges, every permit holder must file a renewal application. The ORC provides legislative authority with the right to object to renewals, etc." I took the liberty of contacting Chief Laage and other than one issue that is under investigation right now, he doesn’t have an objection to anybody. Council did not object to any of the licenses.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 9-2004 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A COOPERATIVE AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF FAIRFIELD ON THE S.R. 4 AT W. CRESCENTVILLE ROAD INTERSECTION H.E.S. PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to approve and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Parham said in the pending legislation document we indicated that a part of this project would be the southbound access lane to I-275. It is actually part of a separate project. The amount you find in the legislation of $150,000 is an estimated dollar amount. It is an attempt to try to capture all of those portions that will be part of the City expenditures. The project amount was $1.45 million. It is being paid 90% by the Ohio Department of Transportation. The local share of 10% is between Fairfield and Springdale. We had an estimate earlier of about $800,000 for construction costs in Springdale. Springdale’s share would then be approximately $80,000. We then tried to capture other portions of the agreement that Springdale is responsible for, such as 30% of the engineering cost and right-of-way. Springdale will be responsible for the traffic control signals.
Mr. Danbury asked what area do you think is going to absorb most of the $150,000?
Mr. Shuler replied we put $10,000 in the budget for right-of-way; $50,000 for engineering and $80,000 to $85,000 for construction costs. We rounded up to $150,000 since we really don’t know what the amounts would be until later in the process.
Mr. Danbury asked are they taking into consideration full occupancy for Pictoria Island?
Mr. Shuler answered the improvements will significantly help the efficiency of that intersection simply because we will get an extra lane north and south on SR 4 north of Crescentville. We will have a double left southbound of SR 4 to Crescentville where we have a right turn only lane now. Currently northbound from SR 4 onto Crescentville, that will become a thru lane. We’ll have a new right turn lane. All these things together will help alleviate the problems we have today plus provide some capacity for the future.
Mr. Danbury said I know it’s a separate project but when you are going westbound on I-275 and people get off on SR 4, it’s not really wide enough for two lanes even though people use it as two lanes. When we were going eastbound on SR 747, we did widen that. Sometimes you get somebody right in the middle and it stops traffic on I-275.
Mayor Webster said I think this will greatly facilitate the traffic through that intersection, especially with the double left hand turn lane. What will really juice it up is once we do the new lane southbound on SR 4, you will have two lanes that access the interstate.
Mr. Parham stated the earliest we anticipate this project to be under construction is the third quarter of 2006. We plan to begin our application for funding of other separate projects in 2005 to have them built simultaneously.
Ordinance 9-2004 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Knox said I received a request from an organization called ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) of Ohio for the following resolution.
RESOLUTION R10-2004 "A RESOLUTION PROCLAIMING MAY 2004 AS MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS MONTH IN OHIO"
Mr. Knox stated this exact document will be read in Columbus and the names of the cities who have declared this resolution will be re-read.
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Resolution R10-2004 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Parham said I just want to remind the public of the Survive Seminar on March 23 at the Community Center.
Mr. Parham reported on Saturday, March 27, there will be a safety fair for kids at the Community Center hosted by the staffs of the Community Center and Police Department.
Mr. Wilson said the Finance Committee discussed bringing back the summer street program, which would include the Springdale Park subdivision streets and Lawnview. That would be resurfacing the streets along with curb, gutter removal and replacement in the Springdale Park subdivision other than the section of Cloverdale that was done in 2003; on Lawnview Avenue it would be Kemper to Nelson. From Nelson to SR 4 it would be resurfacing only.
Mayor Webster said there was an original plan as to how we were going to do the residential streets. Due to our budget constraints we had to call off last year’s program. We were able to get some grant money and do part of Cloverdale. We are proposing to do everything that was scheduled last year and in 2004. We will not have the money in the treasury to do that. In the past we were putting $900,000 a year in the street program. We are proposing to borrow $1.5 million on a note basis and paying that off in 2005. If everything went south on us and we absolutely had to, we could just pay the interest in 2005 but I would not advocate that. With interest rates the way they are today we are probably looking at a 2% interest rate. Inflation alone will drive up more than 2% of that cost, especially when we are dealing with asphalt and the way petroleum costs are escalating. Once we do the 2005 projects that pretty well wraps up everything we have for the residential streets. We still have lots to do on the commercial streets but we try to get matching funds for that.
Mr. Danbury said we initially wanted to have that entire subdivision with a plan for five years at 0% interest. Mr. Osborn reported that we were going to resubmit a bid and try to get that funded under that same program. Are you saying we should abandon that?
Mayor Webster replied if we follow that we cannot make the application until later this year so it would be throwing the whole project back another year.
Mr. Shuler said we calculate that the cost increase would more than offset our interest costs for that same period.
Mr. Danbury said I’d like to encourage everybody to walk along these streets. We have a lot of walkers and some of the curbs are just horrible.
Mr. Squires said nothing has been said about the Grandin/Observatory area? When is the last time we did that?
Mr. Shuler responded that area followed the area we are talking about now. They are probably in the twenty-five year range. It’s coming on in a few years.
Mayor Webster said when I alluded to finishing the entire city, that’s the area that is left.
Ms. Pollitt asked when this project is complete, when can we expect to have to do it again?
Mr. Shuler replied probably in 20-25 years other than specific areas where there may be a failure or problem.
Mayor Webster said we alluded to eighteen items that we restored in the 2004 budget. We will be giving you a copy of those and we can talk about them at the next Council meeting. Some of them will need legislation, some are contractual items. It’s about $630,000 of 2004 budget money.
Mr. Parham stated in the pending and future legislation report, we talked about bringing forth a contract for our computer administration. We have since decided to pull that off tonight’s agenda so we can take a reassessment of our costs in that area. We recognize that we have rather aging equipment, but we found the numbers presented to us by our current vendor to be rather alarming. We plan to put together specifications and see what the market bears. The service they have been providing us for the past eight years has been excellent. Even though the service has been excellent we need to make sure the numbers are in line.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mr. Squires reported that the Springdale Youth Boosters would like to announce that opening day will be Saturday, April 17.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Contract for computer services - future date
Third Party Administrator for insurance - April 7
Stop Loss Insurance - April 7
Contract with TEC - April 7
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Kemper Pond - April 7
Zoning Code changes - April 7
Mr. Wilson introduced Victor Velez. Mr. Wilson said I met him seven or eight years ago. He and his wife founded a Hispanic self-help organization, ALAS, which means Awareness of Latinos Arriving in the States. He’s been very involved with the Latino community in the Springdale area and Sharonville, Fairfield and Hamilton.
Mr. Velez said Springdale is a wonderful city. About five years ago we got an influx of Latinos coming into the greater Cincinnati area, particularly Springdale. Springdale has the most Latinos per population. The reason is the work environment. Our organization is to bridge our resources with the City and try to make them as comfortable as possible. I want to thank Council and every department. Every department has been very generous in providing training for the community. I was just working with the Health Department doing training of Latino employees in restaurants.
Mayor Webster said thank you very much. I don’t know what we’d do without you, especially in the Health Department. You have been helpful in every area of the City.
Council adjourned at 8:08 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council