President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on April 7, 2004, 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, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, and McNear.
The minutes of March 17, 2004 were approved with five affirmative votes. Mrs. McNear abstained.
Mr. Knox read from a memorandum from the Ohio Ethics Commission that said, "this memorandum is a reminder that the annual financial disclosure statement filing deadline is April 15, 2004." Mr. Knox said the second communication is from OKI on the Regional Transportation Plan. It informs us that public meetings will be held. The nearest one will be for Butler County on April 15th at the Fairfield Park and Recreation. The one for Hamilton County will be April 27th at the Public Library, 800 Vine Street.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 10-2004 "APPROVING THE MODIFIED PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF APPROXIMATELY 1.666 ACRES LOCATED AT 1313 EAST KEMPER ROAD AND APPROXIMATELY 0.967 ACRES LOCATED AT 1333 EAST KEMPER ROAD (TRIAD COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES)"
First reading. Public hearing April 21, 2004.
ORDINANCE NO. 11-2004 "AMENDING ZONING CODE ARTICLE 42, SECTION 153.423 SPRINGDALE STATE ROUTE 4 GENERAL DEVELOPMENT STANDARDS; TO AMEND ARTICLE 52, SECTION 153.529 SIGNS IN RESIDENTIAL DISTRICTS; TO AMEND ARTICLE 48, SECTION 153.489 WASTE CONTAINER SCREENING REQUIREMENTS; TO AMEND ARTICLE 36, SECTION 153.248 CONDITIONALLY PERMITTED USES"
First reading. Public hearing April 21, 2004.
ORDINANCE NO. 12-2003 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGREEMENT WITH UNITED MEDICAL RESOURCES (UMR) AS THE THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CITY’S SELF-FUNDED HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
ORDINANCE NO. 13-2004 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH HCC BENEFITS CORPORATION TO PROVIDE FOR STOP-LOSS INSURANCE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
ORDINANCE NO. 14-2004 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH TEC ENGINEERING, INC., FOR THE PROVISION OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR THE OPERATIONS AND MAINTENANCE OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE’S CLOSED LOOP TRAFFIC CONTROL SYSTEMS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 14-2004 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 15-2004 "AN ORDINANCE CONSENTING TO THE EXECUTION OF AN AMENDMENT TO AN ENTERPRISE ZONE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO, AND GENERAL ADVERTISING PRODUCTS, INC., AND GAP BUILDING CORPORATION"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded.
Ordinance 15-2004 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 16-2004 "AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION REGARDING ENHANCEMENT FUNDING FOR PHASE II OF THE SPRINGFIELD PIKE STREETSCAPE PROJECT"
Mr. Danbury asked if Council wanted to add the emergency clause to this ordinance.
Mr. Osborn responded I would rather not mess with the State’s legislation. They are very specific about the language in their ordinances. I did consult with the state official that handles these matters. He agreed that they did have time for two readings and the normal thirty day waiting period.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to read by title only. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Knox said there is no title other than "preliminary legislation."
Mr. Osborn said I consulted with the representative of the state and he suggested that the language that says "County Route Section Ham, SR 4 Springdale Streetscape, Springfield Streetscape Phase II" is the title of the ordinance.
Mr. Knox read the title.
Mayor Webster said we went to the community to try to raise the earnings tax saying without that increase there was no money for what we considered discretionary spending. This would definitely fall into that category. We are putting up $165,000 and that will net the City $661,000 more from the State. We are prudent with the way we spend the money and whenever we can effect a project like this, that will impact our downtown area to the degree that the first phase did, we’d be foolish not to do it.
Mr. Osborn said I distributed the cover letter that came with this legislation that sets out the numbers that Mayor Webster just mentioned to you. If you look at the body of the ordinance it doesn’t say how much money the State is prepared to put into this project. The City’s responsibilities are to do the preliminary engineering, acquire any necessary right of way, and to pay for the non-federal share of the construction costs. They’re saying they will pay the first $661,862 and the City is on the hook for anything over that.
Mr. Knox stated that we have the certification of the election and the tax increase did pass by the numbers that we had seen before, so we can go forward with that.
Mayor Webster said to follow up about the certification, we will need to enact legislation to raise the earnings tax.
Mr. Forbes said that is correct. It is my understanding that it will take affect July 1 and we can plan accordingly to have the tax ordinance before Council.
Mayor Webster responded I think we would want to go ahead and do that. I know the Tax Department has a lot of work ahead of them to get everyone notified. Let’s bring that in at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn said in order to stay eligible for the FEMA flood insurance program we are compelled to make some amendments to our flood control legislation. I think they are all positive. We would like Council to consider an ordinance at your next meeting for a first reading.
Mr. Osborn said a bid opening was held for fuel. There were two bids, BP Oil and Lykens. BP Oil was the low bidder. We wrote our specifications so that we’re really bidding against the oil pricing index service (OPIS) which is published in the Wall Street Journal every day. We request legislation at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn asked for legislation for engineering services related to the 2004 street program. The grand total for the work is estimated to be $1,570,100. Engineering expenses are anticipated to be $53,000.
Mr. Osborn said my last item deals with the recent conceal carry state law. We will be obliged to post our building to prohibit the carrying of concealed weapons. We do have a legal opinion from Jeff Forbes that lays out our responsibilities and limitations. I will put that in your packet for the next Council meeting. We can prohibit anyone from carrying a weapon into our buildings. In fact, the law requires that we do that, but we cannot prohibit anyone from carrying a firearm into a park setting, soccer game, or softball game, which to us, seems upside down. They talk about the school safety zone and the entire zone is prohibited but with government facilities, they talk about specific buildings. There has to be other people besides us who are concerned about this and I hope we can get an amendment to the law that would give us relief there. We’re also in the process of preparing an administrative policy to inform our employees of their rights and limitations of carrying concealed weapons onto City property.
Mr. Knox said we received two 401 application notices from the Ohio EPA. One is in Forest Park but it will not affect us.
Mr. Knox stated we have an application from Tri-County Baxter’s for a D5-I liquor license. Mr. Osborn said it is a very big restaurant and that’s why it is a new license.
Mayor Webster said I wanted to comment on Mr. Osborn’s report on the conceal carry law. We had a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting last evening and we discussed this at some length. It’s Mr. Karle’s opinion that we can enforce the no carry anytime there is alcohol being served, such as the festival. That is not the impression I left the Hamilton County Municipal League meeting with last Thursday. I just wanted to take this opportunity to ask Jeff what the true story is there.
Mr. Forbes replied my understanding of the new law is that it lays out very specific places where people cannot carry a concealed handgun. One of the exceptions is to the effect of any room or open air arena in which liquor is being dispensed under a D permit. I can’t answer your question exactly tonight. I can look into it.
Mr. Osborn stated I think also what will be critical is how we define the area when the permit is taken. There are certain limitations on how you define the premises for a permit.
Mr. Knox said when you apply for a one-time event permit you must describe the area that you are using. I’m also interested in the status of fields 5 and 6 being school property. Could we permanently restrict those two fields?
Mr. Forbes said it is owned by the school. The new law lists as an exception a school safety zone and is specifically defined by the new law. We can look at how the law defines the school safety zone and determine if it’s ownership or just location.
Mr. Danbury asked would the school safety zone be just the school itself or would there be a proximity level?
Mr. Forbes said there is already an existing definition of a school safety zone. I’m not sure if the new law has amended that definition or not.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Opening Day - April 17
Board of Health - April 8
Planning Commission - April 13
Board of Zoning Appeals - April 20
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 10 - April 21
Ordinance 11 - April 21
Ordinance 12 - April 21
Ordinance 13 - April 21
Ordinance 16 - April 21
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Earnings tax increase - April 21
FEMA flood control - April 21
BP Oil - April 21
2004 street program - April 21
Council adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council