President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on May 15, 2002, 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, Wilson and McNear. Mr. Vanover was absent.
The minutes of May 1, 2002, were approved with six affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission Ė Mr. Coleman reported that we made an amendment to Rule 7 allowing part-time employees with more than two years of services who pass the written test with a score of at least 85 to be granted an interview. Also, individuals who did not pass the physical agility test would have the opportunity to retake the test.
Rules and Laws Ė Mr. Wilson said we discussed Section 39.03 which will be voted on in ordinances 31 and 32.
Public Relations - - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works Ė Mr. Wilson said the 2002 street program was awarded to Adleta Construction. The saw cutting of the curbs has begun and the work will be completed in late July.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements Ė Mr. Danbury stated most of the CSX right-of-way acquisition is done. The total cost of right-of-way acquisition will be a lot less than the $2.6 million estimated by ODOT. Construction will be 2003 to 2004. The final specs have been submitted to ODOT for approval on the streetscape project. Construction will begin this summer and finish later in the year. There is no change in the East Kemper Road Phase II Old Commons Drive to Chesterdale Road project. The final inspection for the Heritage Hill School Drive signal is scheduled for this week. Construction on the Sharon Road intersection improvement should begin in August and be completed by December 2002.
Finance Committee Ė Mr. Wilson said they met May 1 to discuss borrowing money for capital expenses.
Planning Commission Ė Mr. Galster stated that Globe Furniture was back in for modifications to their exterior and it was tabled at the applicantís request. The Comprehensive Plan was recommended to Council by a 5-0 vote. David Whitaker is resigning effective after the June 11 meeting. Thatís a Council appointment so we need to look for a replacement.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health Ė Ms. Pollitt said the board discussed whether there was a need for regulatory control of dry cleaners. The Health Commissioner stated that after visiting both of our local dry cleaners he did not feel that we need regulatory control of those cleaners. He recommends that they follow up in a year and perhaps do a yearly inspection. There will be a health fair at Hunters Glen on May 20.
O-K-I Ė Mr. Knox said we voted on the 5810 funding to buy vehicles to transport senior citizens to various activities. They prioritize who gets the money and the first five people on the list for urban would get the money. Iím very happy to say that LifeSphere came in third and should be getting federal money for a new vehicle.
Mayorís Report Ė The judging for the annual landscaping awards will take place June 30 to July 15. The winners will be announced July 17 with awards being presented August 21.
Mayor Webster said we are very proud that for the tenth year in a row Springdale has been granted a Tree City USA award. This is quite an achievement. Mr. Butsch and his people do a wonderful job of managing the forestry program. Mayor Webster presented the award to Mr. Osborn.
Mayor Webster read a proclamation proclaiming May 12 Ė May 18 police week. Mayor Webster presented the proclamation to Dale Morris and Dave Buschmann.
Chief Laage said on behalf of all of the men and women at the P. D. we thank you. We also thank you for the past support our City leaders and Administration have shown us throughout the many years here. We picked two officers to accept this award. Officer Dale Morris was selected as Officer of the Year last year. He has only been with us three years and he received the Donald W. Stayman Award which is our highest award at the department dinner earlier this year. Dale is a leader; does whatever he is asked; his cooperation and professional knowledge is outstanding. Dave Buschmann is a long time veteran. David was selected to receive the proclamation because on Sunday evening he will be presented an award at the Greater Cincinnati Police Appreciation Awards. These are the highest awards throughout Hamilton County and these are presented during Police Week. David will receive the Contribution to Law Enforcement Award for all of his duties related to his senior work last year. David was assigned as our officer liaison to the senior community within Springdale and at Maple Knoll. Every month there is a senior citizen meeting at the Rec Center. We had probably been there once or twice in my 25 years. Since David was assigned this task he has been down there every month. Since then he has pulled other people down there with him. David may give some advice on home safety, personal safety; he may talk about scams going on or he may just read the police log to let people know whatís going on in their neighborhoods. I think that information to the senior community is very important. Every month David stops at the Sterling House, talks with the residents and with management. Last May Dave gave a presentation to our seniors. This was a regional event and he talked on security issues. Last year David started doing radio spots on WMKV. This really gets the word out and we thought it was a great addition to the program. Our core values are integrity, professionalism, cooperation, commitment. I think David has really shown that heís a good representative of the department. I would like to congratulate him again on his award. Mr. Parham supplied me with some census data. Approximately 25% of our population is over fifty. I do think we have to address some of the needs. Dave is on night shift this year but he continues to do his senior work during the day.
Mrs. McNear said congratulations and thanks for the fine job the city police officers do. Itís a big commitment and big family commitment because the officers do have to change shifts every year. There are a lot of missed ballgames, concerts, etc. We do appreciate that.
Mr. Danbury said it is refreshing to hear these good things. Itís a tough, thankless job but weíre proud to have you here. Ms. Pollitt also expressed thanks.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - Mr. Knox said the House State Government Committee passed the amended House Bill 518 which is an increase in the tax levied on rooms in hotels and motels by a vote of 11-0. Originally it was supposed to be 16.5% total. Itís down to 15.5% right now. However, it looks like a sure passage in the house and the senate has promised to fast track it, and the governor said he would sign it when it gets there. My major objection is that when you do the math it doesnít work. Thereís supposed to be $198.2 million coming out of this. When you start running the figures and seeing exactly where itís supposed to come from, you come up several million dollars short. The most widely optimistic estimate anybody has come up with is $2 million short. Most people figure between $5 million and $15 million. Thatís if everybody makes their contributions, and those come from such places as the Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitorís Bureau. They cannot give money to Ohio but they can give it to the Ohio Convention and Visitorís Bureau, and then that money would be released to go to the hotel/motel. Another $15 million is in naming rights for the center and an additional $15 million over thirty years. Thatís supposed to be Delta Airlines. If you read the paper thatís as far up in the air as some of their airplanes. The State of Ohio is supposed to put in $20 million. Senator Finan said yesterday said we are $1.7 billion dollars short so where this $20 million is coming from nobody is certain. It affects Springdale and some of our neighbors because at a 15.5% rate of tax, some of our motels will have problems. It will cost jobs. Some of the hotels might not even make it. Our income tax collections will drop and so will our percentage of the lodging tax that we normally get. We are doing this so the people downtown will have a new toy to play with. If the bond money does not show up it will have to be made up half by the City of Cincinnatiís general fund and half from Hamilton Countyís general fund. So they would get into our pockets a second way with this. One of the County Commissionerís seats is coming up for election in November. I suggest the voters of Springdale look at each of the candidates, find out where they stand on this, and make sure we elect somebody who can add and somebody who will represent all of Hamilton County, not just the downtown interests.
Mayor Webster said I thank Mr. Knox for his involvement. I would also like to thank Mayor Lovitt for leading the charge in trying to get that tax reduced. They did but unfortunately only by one percent. I canít express my dismay enough at Commissioner Portune and Mayor Charlie Luken. I think this is so short-sided on those two individuals to drag the whole county into a mess to try to finance a building downtown. The math doesnít work, the number they are throwing around for naming rights is something that Delta pledged a number of years ago when the center was going to go out to the interstate and now that they have scaled it back, Delta is on record saying they donít feel an obligation to that commitment. All they have done is drive more business out of Springdale, out of Hamilton County and probably out of the City of Cincinnati. Itís like a cesspool and they are going down the tubes and Mayor Luken is trying to take everybody in the county down with him. Unfortunately he has a former City Council person, Mr. Portune, who is going right along with him. I agree with Mr. Knox that the only way to correct things like that is at the ballot box.
Mrs. McNear asked are there any figures on how fully occupied that building is with different functions. When I go down there, there are always plenty of empty rooms there. Iím just curious as to why they need to expand it.
Mr. Knox replied I canít answer the question directly but I can indirectly. That facility has never run in the black from 1987 so it isnít very full. Now they want to make it bigger and from the figures where they have done this in other cities it has not really increased the business. A lot of us are just wondering why they are trying to do this. By the way, the City of Cincinnati had less tax than anybody else had. Everybody else was at 3%. They were at 1.5%. They also did not do any renovation or rehab during the 15 year period. Meanwhile their hotels had a 1.5% comparative advantage against the other ones. If they had taxed during that period of time we might have had a better convention center and things might have been better. Because ODOT has been directed to give the 68 feet of right-of-way to the convention center so they can do the expansion, the third street ramp wonít ever be used.
Administratorís Report Ė Mr. Osborn said I would like draw Councilís attention to the report on the leaf collection report that Mr. Butsch distributed following our last meeting, particularly page 5, where he has outlined both the capital costs and the operating costs for that program. The total capital investment occurred primarily last year and totaled $37,200. Taking into account all costs for last seasonís operations, it cost us just over $15,000. Thatís looking at labor costs for our full-time people. It was regular time, not overtime hours. The seasonal labor was $4,538. We used those seasonals for other work. Sixty percent of seasonal work expenses for last season were related to the leaf program. If you feel you have information to make a determination as to what you want to do next fall, we are prepared to hear from you and take whatever action is necessary.
Mr. Wilson made a motion that they continue the program on an annual basis and Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn continued Mr. Gary Thompson, Assistant Recreation Director, who has been here since the beginning of our current community center, will be retiring in June. His last day is June 21 and we would like to bring him before Council at your next meeting and present a resolution to him honoring him for his service to the city and his retirement.
Mr. Osborn said for the past several years we have sold our surplus vehicles by contracting with Cincinnati Auto Auction. We would like to do that once again. They are charging us $105 per vehicle and I think itís a very effective way for us to do this. We do have five vehicles that we will be auctioning off. Two are former police cars and three are confiscated cars. On two of the confiscated cars Springdale will receive 80% of the proceeds and 20% will go to the Hamilton County prosecutorís office. Fraud and embezzlement was used to steal money from Provident Bank in order to finance the purchase of the third vehicle so Provident Bank has a claim for it. The only way the court can convert that to cash for the bank is for Springdale to be awarded the car and have it auctioned. Twenty percent of the proceeds go to the prosecutorís office and 80 percent to Provident Bank. We felt that this was something we would want to do. The prosecutorís office has been very good to us with the disposal of vehicles.
Mr. Osborn said in our 2002 budget we have $200,000 for the construction of parking lot number one in the Old Town Springdale area. As we got into the planning of that area, it became evident that we really needed to consider rebuilding Elm Alley prior to the parking lots. The parking lots will be accessed from Elm Alley. The construction costs for the work is about the same as the parking lot. We would like to substitute the work on Elm Alley for the parking lot. We would like authorization to proceed with the proposed engineering cost of $43,100. We will actually be taking this to a street configuration and we may want to think about changing the name from Elm Alley to Elm Street.
Law Directorís Report - no report
Engineerís Report - no report
Veteransí Memorial Committee Ė Mr. Wilson said we talked about what the memorial is to represent and possible locations for the memorial. The committee will go out in the future and look at other memorials in the Cincinnati area, look at photos and printouts and come back with some thoughts of what weíd like to do.
Mr. Knox said we have one communication from Time Warner Cable addressed to Mr. Osborn. It talks about the fact that Time Warner Entertainment, an affiliate of AOL Time Warner, has our franchise to operate cable in this city. Itís a limited partnership wholly owned and controlled by AOL Time Warner but they only own 75%. Media One owns 25%. Iíll quote, "As you may have read AT&T and Comcast Corporation have announced a transaction whereby their respective cable television holdings (including AT&Tís 25% interest in TWE) will be combined under AT&T/Comcast Corporation ("AT&T/Comcast")." They do not believe it will have any affect on us but they want us to be aware of it. The franchise will continue to be held by Time Warner Entertainment. There will be no transfer or assignment of the franchise. There will be no change in the partners. The local staff will stay the same. There will be no change in the control of the franchise. There will be no change in their commitment to provide the best to their customers at a competitive rate. It will have no impact on their business policies or practices and they will continue to report to the same people they reported to in the past.
Mr. Wilson said I wanted to publicly recognize Mr. Don Darby for being appointed Superintendent of Princeton City School District. It just shows that another Springdale resident is rising up. It makes me feel good that even when I talk to people outside of Springdale, even in the Princeton City School District area, we can talk about what Springdale residents are doing. Itís the firefighters, police, private citizens, and now we have the school superintendent who is a Springdale resident.
Mr. Knox and Mr. Squires both said Mr. Darby was the right man for the job.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 26-2002 "AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND THE GREATER CINCINNATI CHAMBER OF COMMERCE PERTAINING TO "PARTNERSHIP FOR GREATER CINCINNATI 1999-2003"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Squires asked Mr. Osborn, is the City well pleased with this partnership?
Mr. Osborn replied the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce is a true partner with the City of Springdale. They have assisted us in numerous ways over the years. This particular program is intended to promote our region nationally, internationally, etc. Weíre not an economy unto ourselves. We are part of the regional economy. If we canít keep the regional economy healthy, weíre not going to be healthy. Even if a major facility comes into Blue, Ash, Sycamore Township or Forest Park, itís better than it going to Pittsburgh or somewhere else because it sustains our economy. Specifically, the Chamber of Commerce has helped us retain and, in some cases, attract major employers. We feel we get a real benefit out of our relationship with the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and we would encourage Councilís support of the ordinance.
Mr. Danbury said it would be interesting to see the Chamberís opinion of this house bill to raise taxes. I know the hotel industry would not necessarily be in favor but Iíd like to pose that question to them.
Mr. Knox stated we donít oppose the expansion of the Cincinnati Convention Center. In fact, the whole group is in favor of it. We are against they way they are trying to finance it. The Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce has come out in favor of this expansion just like Mayor Lovitt, the people in Blue Ash, etc. It will be good if itís done properly. Weíre saying itís not being done properly. Itís being rammed down our throats with mathematics that just donít work.
Ordinance 26-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 31-2002 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, SECTION 39.03 DEPOSITORIES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Galster said there was a little bit of ambiguity about the term we could enter into so now itís two years and we can have option years up to five. Also, we eliminated some language that prevented us from paying a service charge.
Ordinance 31-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 32-2002 "CONFIRMING THE DESIGNATIONS OF DEPOSITORIES BY THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL, INCLUDING FIFTH THIRD BANK AS THE DEPOSITORY FOR THE ACTIVE AND/OR INTERIM DEPOSITS AND KEYBANK ONE, N.A., PNC PANK, N.A., FIRSTAR, AND STAROHIO AS DEPOSITORIES FOR INTERIM DEPOSITS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO; DECLARING ALL PUBLIC MONIES COLLECTED OR TO BE COLLECTED DURING THE PERIOD OF DESIGNATION TO BE ACTIVE OR INTERIM DEPOSITS; AND ESTIMATING THE PROBABLY MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MONIES SUBJECT TO DEPOSIT THEREIN AT ANY TIME DURING SAID PERIOD AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ordinance 32-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 33-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALEíS PARTICIPATION IN THE MIAMI VALLEY RISK MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (MVRMA) WORKERSí COMPENSATION GROUP RATING PLAN FOR 2003 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ordinance 33-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 34-2002 "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT RELATIVE TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF STATE ROUTE 4 BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND THE BOARD OF HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS"
Mr. Galster made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn asked that an emergency clause be added. This is an active project thatís working off 2001 funding.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to add the emergency clause and Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt Ordinance 34-2002 and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ordinance 34-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 35-2002 "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT RELATIVE TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF EAST KEMPER ROAD BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND THE BOARD OF HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS"
Mr. Galster made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 36-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A RIGHT OF ENTRY AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE SPRINGDALE CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE AND THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this goes back to last summer when we were approached by the church to see if we would sell off part of the property along the east side of Cameron Park. We elected instead to propose a zero lot set back for their expansion. This has gone through Planning Commission and Board of Zoning Appeals. As part of that process the church was obligated to develop a landscaping plan that would protect the City property once construction was completed. That again has been approved by Planning Commission. They need this right of entry initially to do construction and then over time they may need it to gain access to make repairs. I think once construction is complete that impact will be very minimal. They do have a drainage system through there so they may have to come in at some point in the future and work on the storm sewer but I think it will be fairly benign. This is the preferred way for the City to retain control of all of our park property but, at the same time, allow this expansion to go forward by the church.
Ordinance 36-2002 passed with five affirmative votes. Mrs. McNear abstained.
ORDINANCE NO. 37-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH ENGINEERING AND DESIGN SERVICES FOR THE SPRINGFIELD PIKE/SHARON ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ordinance 37-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Zoning Appeals - May 21
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Mayor Webster asked are the two recommended Zoning Code changes on the agenda for the next meeting?
Mr. Knox replied yes, they have been advertised.
Mr. Osborn said one of the ordinances will be a first reading because there will be substantial changes. The Law Director felt we could keep that advertising date but instead of treating it as a second reading, it will be a first reading with a public hearing, and then be read a second time at a subsequent date.
Mr. Danbury said instead of closing the public hearing at the first meeting we could just continue the public hearing until the next meeting since we usually have the public hearing just before we vote on it.
Mr. Wilson stated relative to the issue of the three pets, unfortunately I will be out of the country on June 5, but I want to make it public that I am opposed to it from a health standpoint, from the point that we may end up with more dogs than we have residents in the city if everybody who wants three dogs and three cats has them. I think the Health Department should be involved in this before we even think about voting on it.
Ordinance No. 35-2002 - June 5
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution for Gary Thompson - June 5
Contract for car auction - June 5
Engineering services for Elm Alley - June 5
Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council