President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
April 7 2010, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Diehl, Emerson, Galster, Hawkins, Squires, Vanover and Harlow.
The minutes of March 3, 2010 were approved with four affirmative votes. Mr. Diehl, Mr. Galster and Mrs. Harlow abstained.
The minutes of March 17, 2010 passed with six affirmative votes. Mrs. Emerson abstained.
Mrs. McNear said at the last meeting I read a letter from the Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control regarding all the permits that would be expiring June 1, 2010. I said I would follow up with Chief Laage to ensure that we didnt have a problem with any of those locations. He did respond to my request with an e-mail that states: We have no objections on any of the permit holders. We also just completed our annual alcohol educational exercise where we visit permit holders within the City with an underage person who attempts to purchase alcohol. They visited fourteen establishments and no permit holders sold. They then advised the permit holder that if they sold or not, this was an educational exercise and followed it up with management for not selling or letting them know they would watch in the future.
Mayor Webster said I received a letter this week. I would rather not identify the resident although she did sign it. It says, hello, Im a resident of Springdale and for the first time in thirty years Ive needed the Springdale nurse. I was released from the hospital but was not told how to administer diabetes shots. She came to my house and showed me what to do and how. Needless, to say, she saved the day. Since then she checks on me on a regular basis. Mayor Webster said this is one of our elderly citizens. She was very appreciative that we had a nurse.
Mrs. McNear stated I did receive a letter at my home this week from an employee. It was anonymous and I will not be reading it because we do not read anything on the Council floor if it is not signed.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Abbott Thayer, of Peck, Shaffer and Williams said we are here concerning the issuance of bonds by Butler County on behalf of Maple Knoll Communities. We fund a portion of the bonds issued by the County in 2002. We need your approval because some of Maple Knolls facilities are within your corporate boundaries. You all participated in this fashion in 2002 and 2007 and were hoping you will do so again.
Mr. Parham said in 2007 Council did pass Ordinance 23-2007 in support of this project for Maple Knoll. At that time the legislation identified their organization as LifeSphere. Now I see the language does call out Maple Knoll. It was for construction of units at our location as well as Butler County.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW FIRE DEPARTMENT CAPTAIN
Chief Dan Shroyer introduced new fire captain, Anthony Stanley. Chief Shroyer said weve been several months in an extensive process that began with a presentation to Civil Service to change what we had used as a process in the past predominantly based on a written test. We met with them and had an opportunity to change to a combination of a written test as well as an assessment with the Chief, chief officers from other departments who would interview the candidates in a set of scenarios we gave them particular to our City and our department. We were very happy with the process. The candidates were happy with the process. Anthony has been with us a little over ten years. He came to us with no training. A lot of departments lean towards already certified people. We have subscribed to the theory that we can take a good individual and make a firefighter out of him. We focus more on looking for a 25 to 30 year person. Anthony has a put a tremendous amount of effort into himself, his education. I think he will be excellent in this position. We had a number of capable applicants but we felt Anthony was the one.
Anthony Stanley said I appreciate everything the Chief said about me. Im very humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve in the position. I leaned on guys like Lenny French to help me out and teach me how to be a firefighter. I didnt get here by chance. I put a lot of hard work in. I have had a lot of people help me and Im excited about the opportunity. I want to thank everyone involved in the process of selecting me for the position. Ill do the best job I can for the City, the residents, business owners.
Mayor Webster said were very proud of you. For a long time we have not been extremely happy with how we select leadership positions, especially in the Fire Department because it has been done by test. I dont think you get the absolute best person, especially in a leadership position, from testing. This took a lot of hard work, ingenuity on the part of Mr. Parham and Mr. Thamann. Our Civil Service Commission was receptive. The Fire Department and fire union were supportive of our efforts. It shows what can be done when everyone is working towards the same goal, thats to get the very best possible person in a job, especially in a leadership position.
Mr. Vanover, Mr. Squires, Mrs. Emerson, Mr. Diehl and Mr. Galster and Mrs. Harlow offered their congratulations.
Chief Shroyer stated we have been talking to Dr. Volker and his folks about his property on Kemper Road for a period of time. Their intent is to take that building down. We were able to have conversation with them about how we may be able to help them do that, save them some costs and provide us a rare opportunity to do live fire training in an existing structure. There are training standards in place that in order to burn a building you almost have to remodel it. We needed an environmental study before we could do any burning in there. The doctor and his family have taken care of that. We are within days of finalizing an agreement that will allow us to get in and do live training. The end result is that we will burn it to the ground, probably saving them considerable money in demolition, then they will come in and clean up the site. So if the residents can bear with us, we will move through the process and then take it down.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION NO. R6-2010 COMMENDING BHE ENVIRONMENTAL ON ITS RENEWABLE ENERGY INITIATIVE
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mayor Webster said I requested this resolution. I saw an article in the paper and the more I read, the more proud I was that BHE is a Springdale business. You hear all the talk about energy and a lot of that is hot air energy talk, but heres a company that is doing something constructive. They hope this leads to bigger and better things. They benefit, the environment benefits and Springdale benefits. We are proud to have BHE as a corporate citizen in Springdale.
Resolution R6-2010 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster presented the resolution to Mark Pohlman, Director of Business at BHE.
Mr. Pohlman said we appreciate the recognition. Were trying to do our part in reducing our carbon footprint, reducing the amount of CO2 greenhouse gasses and bad things in the atmosphere these days. It was also an economically advantageous project to undertake.
ORDINANCE NO. 9-2010 AMENDING THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, TO AMEND SECTIONS (A)(3)(a) AND (A)(3)(b) OF CHAPTER 153 .533 OF THE SPRINGDALE ZONING CODE
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster said the ordinance recommended to Council a year ago had a sunset provision and expired a couple of weeks ago. This makes it a little easier for our businesses to display banners. The original ordinance required you to only have banners two or three times a year and you had to wait thirty days to put them up again.
Mr. Galster stated business owners had a hard time justifying the expense to only have it up for two weeks.
Mayor Webster said this allowed a business to have it up continuously for twelve months, subject to review after each thirty day period. We have some businesses who have taken advantage of this. Springdale Elementary School would not be able to have their banner up showing their excellent rating so we encourage Council to readopt this. This ordinance also has a sunset clause. I would not at this time be in favor of making this permanent. Hopefully, our economy turns around and businesses dont need this, but before we put the other back on the books, I think we need to look at it and maybe soften the requirements a little bit.
Mrs. Emerson said after the thirty days, they have to reapply each time so if a sign is put up that we do not like or whatever, we have the allowance to remove it at that time.
Mayor Webster replied yes, if it didnt comply with all the rules and regulations, then we would not give them a permit to renew it.
Mr. Galster said every time a banner is renewed there is an inspection to make sure it is in compliance, not tattered or torn or bleached out so much its not readable. With multi-tenants we limit it to two banners in a shopping center. If two are up they can keep them and renew them. If a third party wants one, they get in line, then the next one to expire would have to take theirs down and get back in line.
Ordinance 9-2010 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 11-2010 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH DANNY L. JONES, IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $33,000.00, FOR PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING SERVICES RELATED TO THE NORTHLAND BOULEVARD PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Parham said we received stimulus money in the amount of $950,000 for the improvements to Northland Boulevard. As a part of that process we were unable to have the design engineer serve as the construction engineer on the project. Mr. Shvegzda, City Engineer and Jeff Agricola, Director of Public Works advertised for Request for Qualifications from a number of organizations that had an interest in performing these services. We received proposals from two firms as well as a proposal from Mr. Jones. Mr. Shvegzda and Mr. Agricola did go through an extensive interview process with each of those firms as well as Mr. Jones. We were able to select Mr. Jones, who was laid off from the City of Cincinnati after twenty years of service as a senior engineer in construction management. He has a variety of experience, has worked on a number of projects with ODOT and was selected by the interview team. They were able to reach an agreement with him as you see in the ordinance for an amount not to exceed $33,000. We estimate that his time on the project in conjunction with that of our Public Works Inspector, Mr. Green, will probably average between two and four hours daily. We wanted to hurry and get this process underway in an effort to schedule the preconstruction meeting so we can get the project moving along. In the budget for this year we had a number of $47,000 for construction engineering. Using his services could save us around $14,000.
Mrs. Harlow asked how far west on Northland Boulevard will this project go? The westbound lane at the Springfield Pike intersection is very bad.
Ordinance 11-2010 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster stated at our last meeting I gave a report on Planning Commission with an update on Princeton Plaza. I told you we would try to get them to come in and give you a presentation once we had a final plan on what they were going to do at Princeton Plaza. We did have a work session meeting on March 19th and a subsequent e-mail from the applicant, and I dont know that the changes to this project are going to be substantial so Im not sure a presentation will be required. Right now they are submitting a remake of their main corner sign at SR 747 and Kemper Road that would include a video display board plus additional panels, and strictly a repaint of the building.
Mrs. Harlow said Im disappointed. I was hoping for a facelift on the corner.
Mr. Galster said it strictly comes down to dollars and sense. They dont owe anything on the property. Its a matter of how many dollars they want to invest in the property. It seems to me that a lot of their dollars are going towards signage because as any landlord or retail developer in Springdale will tell you, signs are the most important thing to attracting new and better tenants. While I dont necessarily agree that signs are the only way to get a new quality tenant in there, that seems to be the way this particular applicant is leaning. Planning Commission had made an attempt to try to get them to address that out lot building and how it blocks their main center because we believe the fact that they added that building is what created a lot of the site issues and the ability to recognize the tenants in that building in the first place. I dont know that they are going to get the bang for the buck that they need to see there and Im not sure how that meeting will go on Tuesday but thats what they will be submitting.
Council did not see a need for a presentation to City Council.
Mr. Parham said at the last meeting I requested an ordinance and you were so kind to adopt that ordinance to allow the City to enter into an agreement with the Center for Local Government for a collaborative in seeking electrical energy coverage for our municipal facilities. At that time I reported to you there were between fifteen and nineteen local jurisdictions that were looking to become a part of that organization. We received an estimated savings analysis from the Good Energy Group who was serving as the broker for this group. For Springdale they estimated a thirty-eight percent savings at $147,000 annually. On March 16 they were able to receive bids from a number of electrical energy companies. Only ten jurisdictions now plan to buy their electricity jointly. Those ten communities are Newtown, Lockland, Lincoln Heights, Amberley Village, Springdale, Milford, North College Hill, Silverton and the Little Miami Joint Fire District. We were able as a group to save over $590,000 over a nineteen month period. The process will begin in May and run to the end of 2011. As a result of the bid process, the City of Springdale is expected to experience a 42 percent savings or $361,000 over the nineteen month period. This turned out to be a very worthwhile process. We have signed the documentation. The successful bidder for the group was Direct Energy.
Mr. Diehl said we have ten communities in the group. When that grows to fifteen or twenty, would that increase the savings?
Mr. Parham replied I believe we are locked in with those ten communities. I don't believe it is a program you can join later on because they took it out to the market and bid it with the communities that had submitted in a timely fashion.
Mayor Webster said we are going to look into what kind of money we could save the residents if we entered into an alternate supply for electricity. There is a lot of work to be done on it.
Mrs. Harlow asked is there anything like that for cable television?
Mayor Webster replied not that I am aware of.
Mr. Parham said as Mayor Webster indicated, I dont believe that there is a similar type program for cable television. However, we are investigating another joint bid process for waste collection. In our region everybody delivers to Rumpke. If the Mayor and I are two separate waste haulers and Mr. Hawkins is the Rumpke hauler, it is easy to identify what our costs are going to be for delivering to the Rumpke facility. In the case of Mr. Hawkins, we dont know his cost because it is his facility and he may not charge himself. This program will begin to separate the facility cost and put everybody on equal footing with the hauling cost. It would benefit the City and our associated costs overall, but something directly impacting the residents I cant think of off hand.
Mr. Tulloch stated earlier this week Mr. Parham and I took a call from Todd Kinskey, Director of Planning for Hamilton County Regional Planning, and he advised us that we would be receiving the 2010 Frank F. Ferris award for community planning for the retail district revitalization plan . The Frank F. Ferris award is presented annually by the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission to a public or private business, group, municipality or township in Hamilton County for a project that demonstrates planning excellence and civic, economic, aesthetic or environmental significance. The nominated projects are judged by the strength in several areas. The project must show a strong support for planning and the planning process. It must demonstrate significant results through a successful implementation and/or creation of a plan and must adequately address the problem it is designed to solve. The project must be original, innovative, high quality, comprehensive and a strong example to others in its design. The project must also demonstrate strong civic qualities through consistent use of citizen participation, collaboration and community building. I was confident it was a good plan and I have received a lot of comments but to get this regional award is really something. The award will be presented at the annual meeting of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission in a ceremony on April 19th. It is a very prestigious one and recognizes the excellence of planning which addresses specific community issues. While the award is given to the City we will be sharing it with Kinzelman Kline and Gossman, who is the consultant who guided us through the whole process. I know we have a great plan for the retail district. Now all we have to do is turn around the entire national economy to encourage consumer spending so we can implement it. We do have some baby steps for implementation. We did do the Tri County Mall/Cassinelli Square new signalized intersection. The Thompson Thrift project was approved last month and the Princeton Plaza project is a step in the right direction. The owners and retailers are faced with tremendous fiscal trials these days and trying to get them to invest capital is difficult so when we have an opportunity to encourage that, we should be doing it if it is moving us in the right direction.
Mr. Parham stated we have been informed that Shubh Hotels, Inc. (the owners of the old Sheraton Hotel) have not responded to the Ohio Board of Building Appeals. As a result, the Board has now established a date for the Goldman hearing to be held on Monday, April 19th. I, along with Mr. Forbes and Chief Shroyer will be going to Reynoldsburg, Ohio to present the information to the Board. Were looking forward to that opportunity and as I said before, this does not give us the ability to take ownership of the facility, but it does help push it into a direction of maybe getting it to a sheriffs sale at some time. The Board sent three letters to representatives of Shubh Hotels notifying them that the hearing has been scheduled. One letter was directed to Shubh Hotels, one to Atul Basaria, and the other to Anup Piilai, their local representative out of Pittsburgh. The letters did make it very clear that because they did not respond or request a hearing in that thirty day period, the board is not required to permit them to put on any evidence at the Goldman hearing.
Mr. Parham continued at the last meeting of Council we had quite a bit of discussion about our current ordinance and the process of notification for sexual offenders. I sent an e-mail to you stating the Ohio Supreme Court did not rule in the favor of the defendant (the State of Ohio), in the case of the individual who moved from tier 2 to tier 3, whereby at tier 3 a notification goes out as to where you reside. At this point it has been determined that that process is not legal.
Mr. Forbes said, in essence, what they have ruled is that the way the notification system is set up, it is basically an unconstitutional retroactive law so it has been suspended at this point.
Mr. Parham said so at this time we are not going to be sending out any notices. The Sheriffs Department is not sending notices out, as well. The State legislature has indicated that it will correct this language. As I understand, a bill has come out of the State Senate.
Mr. Forbes said according to the most recent publication from the Ohio State Bar Association, S.B 237 was introduced last month to revise the criteria for the sex offender community notification. Its my intention to track this bill as it makes its way through the State Legislature and well see what the end result is. That will give us a basis to determine what the Citys next step might be.
Mr. Parham said we have placed on the Citys website a link that says if you want to locate sex offenders in Hamilton County click here. On the next page the resident will find a description of what to do when you get to the Hamilton County Sheriffs web page. A link to the Sheriffs page can also be found on the Springdale Police Department website. At the same time, we do have on our books Ordinance 35-1999 that indicates that the City Police Department will send out notifications. Were not intending on sending the notifications forth until this issue is resolved with the State Legislature. Mr. Forbes and I talked about whether it would be prudent for us to repeal Ordinance 35-1999 that indicates the City Police Department will send out notifications or to simply leave it on the books and not enforce the ordinance. As mentioned, the State is planning to address the notification issue. Therefore, when this is resolved at the State level, if Council still has a desire for us to send notices we can revisit it and adopt additional language and begin the process. We dont have to enforce it but if you have something on your books, you may be challenged as to why you are not enforcing it.
Mrs. Harlow asked for comments on repealing Ordinance 35-1999.
Mr. Vanover asked do we have to repeal it or can we enact a suspension?
Mr. Parham replied there are a number of things in that ordinance that needs to be adjusted. The tier system was not in place at that time. The notification at that time was targeted at a habitual sexual offender plus the sexual predator. Neither of those terms is currently being used in this process. The vicinity in which the notification would need to go out has changed. At the time the State indicated it would be the adjacent residents. They have now gone to an actual distance of 1,000 feet. Our ordinance indicates two blocks. If the State had been successful in the lawsuit, our plan was to suggest that we amend our ordinance to bring it up to date.
Council agreed to ask for an ordinance to repeal Ordinance 35-19999.
Mr. Parham said a number of years ago we had a representative from Rumpke come in and there were questions as to whether or not we could make a visit to their facility. On April 22, 2010 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Rumpke will have an open house at their recycling facility, 5535 Vine Street. They are inviting all the elected officials to attend.
Mayor Webster said there is some erroneous data on the internet. SOS has been looking into the possibility of having a job fair to help people looking for jobs. Mr. Diehl found someone associated with SuperJobs, which is funded by the State of Ohio. They have had a working agreement with a church in Forest Park where they have job clubs. They have been notified that the church is doing away with the agreement and they are looking for some place in northern Hamilton County to hold this. So a job club run by SuperJobs will be held at the Community Center on Wednesdays beginning May 5, 2010 at 3:30 p.m. It will be run by Springdale resident, Kathy Nienaber. A lot of people dont know how to write a resume, use a computer, etc. There would be a different topic every Wednesday and we think it will be beneficial to people looking for employment. This is not restricted to Springdale residents.
Mr. Parham stated we will be bringing in legislation for our annual re-insurance stop loss and third party administrator. We will need to engage in those services for an additional three to six month period. Mr. Thamann will issue a report to you outlining the specifics of the rates and our program.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Health - April 8
Rules and Laws - April 12
Planning Commission - April 13
Board of Zoning Appeals - April 20
Opening Day - April 24
Mrs. McNear said I have some information on the earnings tax. We have a budget of $11,967,504 for the year. Typically, you divide that by four and thats your quarters. For the first quarter we anticipated $2,991,876. We actually collected $3,120,285. We are ahead of projections by $128,409 which is always great but I want to caution you that last year we were going along that same trend and we ended up having a deficit.
Mayor Webster said after the Opening Day Parade we will have two inductions into the Coachs Hall of Fame of two individuals who passed on the last year.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Maple Knoll /Butler County bond issue .- April 21
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Repeal Ordinance 35-1999 - April 21
Stop loss insurance - April 21
Third party administrator - April 21
Council adjourned at 8:16 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council