President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on May 18, 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, Vanover and Harlow. Absent was James Squires.
The minutes of May 4, 2011 were approved with six affirmative votes.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - no report
Board of Zoning Appeals Mr. Hawkins reported that at the May 17, 2011
BZA Meeting, there were 5 members present and one item on the agenda. There was a variance request from the owner of 1010 Castro Lane to place a utility building less than 5 ft. from the rear inside lot line. Said variance is from section 153.097 (b) (4) stating that all other structures must be not less than 5 ft from any rear or side lot lines. The variance was granted 5 to nothing with the condition that there had to be at least a 2 ft set back from any lot lines.
Board of Health Mayor Webster was filling in for Mr. Squires, Mayor Webster informed council that Mrs. Squires had surgery and as far as he knew things were progressing well. The Board of Health met on May 12. Mayor Webster stated that Mr. Squires reported at the last meeting that the City of Cincinnati was eliminating their Lab and we would need to find another option for the food sampling and pool samples. Health Commissioner Cammie Mitrione has several alternatives to have the sampling done, however, she only had $400 budgeted for that purpose and now the cost will probably come in close to $1500-$2000 dollars.
Childrens Health Fair - Mayor Webster reported that we had a very successful Childrens Health Fair again, approximately 512 children attended. There were 22 learning centers. Mayor Webster commented that it is always a very nice affair, very uplifting and that the kids enjoy it and looks forward to it, getting out of class and going through the learning center.
A most noteworthy thing that happened at the meeting, the Public Health Nurse, Jean Hicks received a letter from the Ohio Department of Health commenting on Ohios H1N1 vaccination efforts. Dont ask me how they arrived at their numbers, stated the Mayor; however, the Ohio Board of Health estimated that as a result of the concentrated effort to get everyone vaccinated to the H1N1, probably 64 lives were saved, 1400 hospitalizations were averted and 310,402 cases of influenza were averted because of this pandemic and the maximum effort to avoid the pandemic. He felt it was very worthwhile that Ohio believed its efforts saved about $8.4 million in hospitalization cost. Mayor Webster offered his congratulations to the Springdale Health Department on the great job they did in making sure that everyone who needed the vaccine in this community, received it.
Mayor Webster announced the Celebrating Womens Health Fair will be held on Saturday, July 11, at the Vineyard Healing Center, free heart health checks, blood pressure and glucose screening, cholesterol, body mass index, and mammogram screening by appointment only. Mayor Webster stated that this is a real nice affair and it is sponsored by Healthy Women, Healthy Lives and Tri-Health Womens Health in concert with the Healing Center at the Vineyard.
Mayor Webster stated that the final item of report, Jean Hicks announced that The Fall Flu clinic will be held on October 18, 2011 which happens to be the same day as the Springdale Chamber of Commerce Annual Business Expo. He commented that it has worked out well in past years to have both in the building at the same time.
OKI No Report
Mayors Report - Mayor Webster stated Mr. Parham, Jeff Williams and I met yesterday with Dr. Gary Pack, Superintendant of Princeton City Schools along with the treasurer Jim Rowan in reference to the rebates that a number of Springdale Businesses received. He believed that the City had received the report about the rebates on the day of the finance committee meeting, approximately two to three weeks ago. The report indicated that some Springdale Businesses had filed for a rebate on the taxes they paid from the last half of last year starting July or August 2010 through December. This amounted to $2.5 million in rebates. Some of the rebates were absolutely ridiculous citing a decrease in the valuation. One building that was previously valued at approximately $750,000 was reduced down to $100,000. Of the $2.5 million in rebates that were given, as far as we could tell it amounted to $150,000 out of our coffers and devastated the Princeton Budget at approximately $1.6 million out of their budget. Mayor Webster stated that this was money that we had anticipated that we would receive. In November or early December of last year, Council passed an ordinance or resolution accepting the rates and there was a dollar amount stated on there indicating what the millage should generate and that is what was put in the budget. All of a sudden the envelope was opened and it was short more than $150,000 directly from this issue. Princeton experienced the same thing, when their treasurer opened the envelope, it was $1.6 million short. The purpose of the meeting was not necessarily to cry on each others shoulder, but just to see if there was anything going forward that we could do jointly. By state law, the County must notify the school districts if there is a hearing or appeal of someones property value if it is over 500K. The plan is to set up something in the event that if the School is notified of a case, they will notify the City and we could help them gather information to go before the appeals board jointly and try to mediate the impact. On the flip side, a good example, a local restaurant that opened a business after the site was vacant for 5 or 6 years, there is nothing automatically that would trigger that site to be placed back on the tax rolls until maybe 3 years from now when the Auditor performs another valuation. The schools have no way of knowing that, however, we would through our Building Department. So hopefully that is what the City would bring to the table. Mayor Webster stated that it was a very productive meeting and he looks forward to having a good relationship with them and hopefully it would be mutually beneficial to both parties. Mayor Webster stated that he did not think the impact of the rebates was known at the time of the Finance meeting. He thought the details were a little sketchy at that time. Maybe Council was told that it would be around $348,000 at that time; however, it may not be that much because the rebates were given the first half of the year and we should be getting what we were expecting the second half of the year which would certainly help.
Mayor Webster commented on an article that was in the Enquirer over the weekend in regards to Minorities Fuel Regions Growth. The article had some numbers that rather blew him away. He just did not believe the numbers. He stated that we take a lot of pride in this Community. Inter-diversification, but at the same time it needs to be properly stated in the Newspaper. If you are going to do an expo like this in which, someone puts a lot of work into and with this amount of information, they went back to the 2000 census and compared the white population and the minorities with 2010 and came up with numbers that were off the chart. The article said that in year 2000, the minority population was 54.89% in Springdale. When we go back and pull up the 2000 census, the true number was 31.6%. The article says that the minority population in 2010 is 57.48%; our numbers say that the non-white population is 45%. They are saying that we had an increase of 2.59% increase in minority population when the true number is 13.4%. All three numbers that they present are incorrect. The only number that appears that they did get right is the population for 2010. It did go up to 11,223. Mayor Webster stated that he just wanted to point that out and that we could point it out to the Enquirer for a correction but he suspects it would be hidden so far in the back of the paper that you would never see it. It would be a waste of our time to make a phone call.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Mrs. McNear reported that last week she took a required class required by the state for various positions. One of the classes that she took was relative to cash management and regulatory and legislative updates and how they could affect us. She wanted to point out the new pending law called the Dodd Frank Implementation. The document is 2,300 pages long; it will generate 67 studies and 22 periodic reports. There are quite a few deadlines. The regulators have missed the first 30 of 51 deadlines, including the last 26 in a row. Who knows when this will be put in place; however, it is something that will affect interest rates and mortgages. They are saying it might be the end of the American dream because they are looking to go back to financing along the lines of what it was in the 70s, where if you wanted to purchase a home, you will need great credit and 20% down. They anticipate moving back toward that. Mrs. McNear stated that this is a part of the collapse of the mortgage system and housing decline. Mrs. McNear stated we will probably be hearing more about this. She also indicated that Mr. Williams took a required course relative to records retention. Mrs. McNear wanted to do a shout out to the Princeton HS Graduates. She was very honored to hand out 10 Scholarships this past Sunday and 3 of the scholarships were awarded to Springdale residents. The scholarships were $1,500 each.
City Administrators Report Mr. Parham informed Council that the Community Development Block Grant Program through Housing and Urban Development at the Federal level and administered through the county was coming up for renewal. In 2008, the City adopted a resolution to participate in the program for a span of a 3 year period from 2009 - 2011. Mr. Parham stated that the City has experience much success using the funds for the home improvement program. In 2009 and 2010, the City was awarded $20,000 for the home improvement program. Under the program, the City would reimburse the homeowner for their expenses related to exterior improvements to their property. This year, we are scheduled to receive $30,000 for that program. At the same time, this year we were awarded $30,500 for improvements to the Chamberlain Park Playground Equipment. It is that time again where we need to approve legislation authorizing the Citys participation for the 2012 - 2015 program. Mr. Parham requested legislation for the next council meeting. The program is intended to assist low and moderate income households. There are special income limits that make one eligible to benefit from the program. In 2010, the income limit for a family of 4 earning less than $55,600 or a single person making$38,950 qualified them at the moderate income level. To date we have not received those limits for 2011. We have had residents calling and stopping by the Building department wanting to sign up for the home improvement program; however, we technically are not supposed to proceed until we have those income limits. Mr. Parham stated he had a discussion with the Hamilton County Community Development Director yesterday and she does not feel that there has ever been a time when the limits have decreased. Mr. Parham stated that he hopes to have that information soon. The home improvement program is scheduled to go into effect in May; however, as I stated, we still have not received the eligibility limits. Later on this year and once Council adopts the resolution, we will get a notice from the county in which we will need to hold two public hearings to address potential projects. At the second public hearing and if Council approves the proposed programs or projects, we will need to forward information back to the county notifying them of the projects that we would like to put forth. We expect to hear back from the County in early 2012 as to whether we were successful or not. Mr. Parham requested authorizing legislation for the Community Development Block program at the next meeting.
Mr. Parham pointed out to Council that in the pending legislation report there is an ordinance that would create a new chapter in the code, Chapter 125 to Regulate Hotel/Motel Registration. In essence, it would assist the Police Department by requiring that all hotel/motels in Springdale maintain a guest register which lists the name, residence, arrival and departure time of guest in the hotel. It would provide an opportunity for the Police Department to access that registry list. In addition, it would require that no person be permitted to register under a false name. Fourth, it would require that each room be clearly and properly numbered. Mr. Parham stated that the Chief of Police sited an example for him that underline why this legislation would be helpful. The department had a call relative to a potential suicide threat. They only had the first name of the individual but no last name and they were located in one of our local hotels. Unfortunately, this delayed our chance of finding the person. If we had access to a hotel register, it would have expedited time in locating the individual. Mr. Parham requested that legislation be brought forth for the next meeting creating Chapter 125, Regulating Hotels and Motels.
Finally, Mr. Parham stated we have tried to mention as often as possible the Citys intent to provide two ballot issues this year for electrical and gas aggregation. The hope is to have the legislation prepared for the June 1 or June 15th Council Meeting. Mr. Parham briefly introduced Mr. Don Marshall with Eagle Energy who has served as a consultant for a number of jurisdictions in the Greater Cincinnati area and has assisted them with their process. Don will be assisting us as we are going forward. There are certain documents that must be submitted to the state. He has the expertise and knowledge. We do not pay him directly; his income is derived from the rates that are achieved if it is passed by the residents. The target is to have two (2) ballot issues this November 8th for electric and gas aggregation.
Law Directors Report - none
Engineers Report - none
Communications - none
Communications From the Audience Julie Mathney with the Springdale Chamber of Commerce informed Council that the Springdale Farmers Market will be opening June 2nd for their third year. Some of the Vendors are repeat vendors. In addition to the repeat vendors, there will be three new vendors on opening day there should be about 14 vendors. On June 16th, there will be a live radio broadcast at the farmers market by WMKV.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 17 -2011 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF BLUE ASH TO PROVIDE PRISONER CONFINEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt, Mr. Galster seconded. Motion passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 18-2011 AUTHORIZING PARTICIPATION IN THE HAMILTON COUNTY COOPERATIVE BID PROCESS TO ALLOW FOR THE PURCHASE OF ROCK SALT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover stated that in the past there used to be multiple rates for either dumping or piling of salt. He asked Mr. Parham if there was one flat amount for the stockpile of salt under this current program. Mr. Parham stated yes that it is a single flat rate for our salt purchase. He also explained that this was an option year under the Hamilton County program for the purchase of rock salt. The City would like to participate in this years program to take advantage of the current rates in an effort to fill our salt dome and be prepared for the upcoming winter season.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt, Mr. Hawkins seconded. Motion passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 19-2011 AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 22-2009 REGARDING PART-TIME AND SEASONAL POSTIONS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Parham stated that the attached exhibit is typically used whenever the pay scales are being adjusted which results in a wage increase for the employees affected. That is not the case with this legislation. As the ordinance states, there are no changes to exhibits A, A-1, B, and B-1. In this case, only some of the pay scales have been adjusted. The real focus is on exhibit C which is the part- time and seasonal employee schedule. What we are attempting to do is prepare ourselves in the event that things get worst for the community, by creating part-time positions to fill some of the full-time vacant positions. Instead of coming to Council one position at time, we have attempted to capture what may be the potential full-time positions converted to part-time positions. It does not mean we will be filling any of these positions, at this time. Currently, the Adult Senior Programmer position is the only position that will be currently filled on a part time basis. Mr. Parham stated that he just wanted to ensure that they had authorization for the positions which is the reason the Ordinance is before Council this evening.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt, Mr. Hawkins seconded. Motion passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 20-2011 AUTHORIZING THE CANCELLATION OF THE EXISTING AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND MEDICOUNT MANAGEMENT INC. AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH ADVANCED DATA PROCESSING, INC. DBA INTERMEDIX, FOR AMBULANCE BILLING AND RELATED PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Mr. Parham stated that the exhibit to this ordinance is 30 plus pages long and therefore, it was not attached to Councils copy. A copy of the exhibit is available in the Clerks office or if any would like, a copy could be made for them. Secondly, the emergency clause was missed from being added to the ordinance. He then requested that Council consider passing the ordinance this evening so that the agreement can be executed in a timely manner. Mr. Parham explained that it will take Intermedix approximately 30 days to get the new equipment and processes into place. The City would not immediately cancel the current agreement with Medicount Management until Intermedix was up and running. Once Intermedix is in place then the notice of cancellation can be given to Medicount.
Mr. Thamann stated that we are currently using Medicount Management for our EMS billing service. We have used them since we started billing for our EMS runs. However, with the new technology available, it gives us an opportunity to increase our revenues if we switch over to Intermedix. Also, note that all of the reporting aspects in the fire department are currently being done with some type of electronic formatting except for our EMS billing. By switching to Intermedix it will allow the department the ability to electronically file all the EMS runs without incurring any up front cost to the city. Intermedix provides both the hardware and software that gives the fire department this capability. By changing to Intermedix, the Fire Chief estimates that we have the potential to increase our EMS revenue $100,000 to $120,000 per year based on the projected number of runs. The reason we could realize the additional revenue increase is that Intermedix believes that currently we do our runs by hand which requires that hard copies are sent to Medicount. In addition, they also believe that some of the runs are being reported at the basic life support fee as opposed to advanced life support runs, which is $400 vs. $700. Correcting this problem we will increase some of our revenue. One of the main reasons we will see an increase in revenue is that this will be done immediately once the run is completed. Currently we send hard copies at the beginning of the month; we instantly have a 30 day lag reporting time. Having this done live should increase our return on collections. We are also going to start billing for mileage; the ongoing rate is $12/mile. We anticipate approximately $6,900/yr in net collections for mileage. We are asking that the ordinance be adopted, authorizing the City to enter into an agreement with Intermedix.
Mrs. McNear asked Mr. Schnider if we needed to make a disclaimer on section four of this ordinance that this is an emergency, Mr. Schnider stated that he will draft the ordinance to match the motion.
Mr. Diehl asked what our current collection rate was. Mr. Thamann said he did not know exactly, but on the projection of 1596 runs, what we would typically bill under Medicount would be around $823,000. What we could bill with Intermedix would be closer to one million dollars with an anticipated increase in the collection rate. Mr. Thamann stated he could pull the information if needed. Mr. Diehl stated that was not necessary.
Mrs. Emerson asked that if the existing contract carried a penalty. Mr. Thamann stated no.
Mayor Webster said he would just ask Council to pass the ordinance based on the fact that we are going to get better service and follow-up and hopefully we are going to generate more revenue.
Mrs. Harlow asked how long we have been billing for EMS service.
Mr. Parham said we started with Medicount in 1993 which was our first billing service provider outside of the departments attempt to handle it.
Mr. Hawkins stated he was assuming that we were looking at other entities that could perform this service for us as well and this came out to be the best bet.
Mr. Thamann stated that according to the Fire Chief this group is new to the area; Medicount basically had the market for some time. Mr. Thamann stated that Intermedix has provided presentations to both Springdale as well as a number of other organizations and they have picked up customers in Hamilton County and Northern Kentucky.
Mr. Parham stated that the City has looked at a number of other providers. As far back as perhaps 2007 or 2008 he and the Fire Chief looked at others and there were a number of other organizations that they had discussions with. Providers were located in the Dayton area and Medicount was the only one located in the Cincinnati area, as he could recall.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt with an amendment to carry an Emergency Clause, Mrs. Emerson seconded, motion passed with the amendment with six affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
Planning Commission - no meeting 5/10
Board of Health - May 12
Board of Zoning Appeals - May 17
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mrs. Emerson made a motion that Council go into Executive Session as a committee of the whole to address matters of Economic Development. Mr. Vanover seconded, motion carried with six affirmative votes. Council adjourned to Executive Session.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Council reviewed the Administrators Pending and Future Legislation report.
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Item 5, Ordinance placing issue on November ballot for Electric Aggregation, Ordinance placing issue on ballot for gas aggregation,
Amending the code permitting city placing municipal liens on property with developers
Creating chapter 125 a new ordinance amending the code regulating hotels/motels.
There was also a request for resolution authorizing participation in the community block grant program. Mr. Parham informed Council that the item C under anticipated future legislation, needed to go before the Planning Commission before it comes to Council; so it can be discarded.
Council adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council