President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on August 18, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mrs. McNear gave the invocation.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Diehl, Emerson, Galster, Hawkins, Squires, Vanover and Harlow.
The minutes of July 21, 2010 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - Mr. Potts reported Administration submitted a request for an internal posting for the Chief Fire Inspector with a waiver of the civil service testing based upon minimum qualifications for that position. Civil Service did agree to that request. We conducted a promotional exam for the position of police sergeant. Fourteen candidates took the exam.
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - Mr. Galster said at the August 10 meeting Hoxworth Blood Center requested a box type sign at 11812 Springfield Pike. That was removed from the agenda by the applicants request. T J Maxx had signs approved at 493 East Kemper Road. Entenmanns at 11774 Springfield Pike has box signs that are not permitted at that property. No applicant was present so that was tabled.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health - no report
O-K-I Mrs. McNear said they met August 12. They awarded $12 million in transportation projects in northern Kentucky. There was approval to execute an application for the Department of Housing and Urban Development for sustainable commitments for grants.
Mayors Report - no report
Clerk of Council/Finance Director The tax software that was approved will be upgrade between August 30 and September 2. There is a follow up meeting tomorrow with the auditors to go over the annual review.
Administrators Report Mr. Parham said we are requesting legislation at the next meeting to purchase rock salt. At the end of 2009 we thought we had sufficient rock salt at slightly over 1,000 tons of salt. During the winter season of 2009/2010 we had eleven storms and ended up using 1,297 tons of rock salt. We were fortunate enough to find a vendor to purchase additional salt this year. We spent just under $25,000 to purchase 317 tons of salt. In past years, we would put out a bid for rock salt. A couple of vendors would respond and we could choose the best vendor. In 2008 the market began to shrink or the salt was trapped somewhere. When we put out a bid we received no responses. To date we do not have an approved list for rock salt. Our dome is said to hold around 2,400 tons of salt. Mr. Agricola did not think we had that amount, so his personnel measured the amount in the salt dome to arrive at a more confident number at 750 tons of salt. We were approached by the County to participate in their bid process. Normally to participate in the Countys bid process, you had to pay a $500 fee giving you access to their products. This year the County waived that fee for us. The salt vendors or suppliers now require that if you are going to place a bid to market you must have a guaranteed amount you are going to purchase. We identified 750 tons and the bid came in for the City of Springdales rate at $68.42 a ton. The salt we were able to buy from the vendor this past winter was at a rate of $77.94 a ton. The State of Ohio had a bid of $78.43. We were hoping to get the salt for the 2009 rate of $62 but we ended up at $68.42 a ton for a total of $51,315. During the budget season we reduced the amount of salt purchased for 2010. Previously we had allocated $50,000 but we thought we could cut that back to $40,000 based on the fact that we had over 1,000 tons in the dome. We expended the $25,000 and now have $15,000 remaining in that line item. I told Mr. Agricola if we are going to purchase this salt and exceed the budget, then we are not going to spend dollars in our 2010 street program to match that amount. If we are going to be over our salt budget by $40,000, then thats $40,000 less in the $100,000 street program budget. At this time we do not have any projects scheduled for the 2010 street program.
Mr. Thamann reported that the Citys waste collection contract will expire this year. We are looking at two options. One is with the Center for Local Governments consortium, the Southwest Ohio Regional Refuge Consortium currently consisting of members from CLG which are Greenhills, Loveland, Fairfax, Blue Ash and Springdale. They are jointly seeking bids for the waste collection services. The bid submission date for the consortium is September 14. The other option is going out independently for waste collection services. We are preparing the specifications for that bid process at this time and we will be doing that if we feel we do not get a favorable bid through the CLG Consortium. We will keep Council informed.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda said on the SR 4 southbound lane addition at I-275, prior to ODOT issuing the construction permit, they are requiring that the south terminus of the limited access right-of-way be extended just south of Ray Norrish Drive. Current delivery time on the mast arm signal poles is estimated to be six months. Construction will not begin until spring of 2011.
We are anticipating that the total repair quantity for the Northland Boulevard repair and resurfacing will be substantially over the plan quantity. The contractor has requested that the completion date be extended to late September.
On the flood insurance Zone A study we have obtained the lowest grade elevations around the subject structures in the area. We have confirmed with ODNR the next package of submittal information they will need. We plan to get together with Mr. McErlane who is the flood plain administrator for the City to get everything in concurrence. I can say specifically that the properties on Grandin are above the flood elevations in that area. Were reviewing one in particular that was not impacted by the Zone A boundary but upon further investigation is impacted by the flood elevation, We expect to submit that information to FEMA by the end of the month.
Mayor Webster said you made reference to an intersection in the SR 4 southbound lane addition.
Mr. Shvegzda responded this is actually the I-275 westbound off ramp and SR 4.
Mr. Parham stated Mr. Shvegzda mentioned in his report the Northland Boulevard repair and resurfacing project will be substantially over the planned quantity. This project was one in which we were to receive stimulus money in the amount of $950,000. The low bid for this project came in at $834,000. When we met with ODOT, they indicated that we would not receive the $950,000. We would instead receive the bid amount of $834,000 and then they would add an additional ten percent of the bid amount to cover construction engineering. Of that construction engineering, half of it would be retained by ODOT for their administrative services. The City has hired QCM to handle the construction engineering inspection on our behalf for this project. The project has been underway for a while. The outer lanes have been paved. If we originally started with an estimate of 300 cubic yards of full depth repair, were now at about 2,000 cubic yards. There is a joint that goes down the center of the road and there are horizontal joints across the road as well. When the engineers were inspecting the road to determine the scope of the project, there was indication of damage to the horizontal joints but no indication of damage to the parallel joints down the center of the road. The photograph being passed around, was taken at the site today. It shows one of the joints that are parallel down the center of the road. This is one of those instances where you dont see the wear and tear of the joints that have now been found. We have three options for repairing the road. First, we can simply pave the surface over the problem areas. The second option is to perform a partial depth repair which occurs when you go at least four inches deep. Once you exceed the four inches in depth, you enter into the third option which is a full depth repair of the road. Most of the locations on this project where we originally estimated a partial depth repair; we will now have to perform full depth repairs. Thats an additional five inches down and approximately 4,500 feet long. If I segment the road into four sections; one section would be on the south side of Northland Boulevard from SR 4 to Tri-County Parkway. Section 2 would be from Tri-County Parkway to Kemper Road. Section 3 is coming back the opposite direction from Kemper Road to Tri-County Road and Section 4 would be Tri-County Parkway to SR 4. As they were out working on the road, they found a lot of problems in Section 1 in the outer lane. We then began to realize that the quantity was going to be much higher. We tried to establish some idea of what we may run into. It turns out that Section 1 and Section 3 were the really bad sections.
As you may recall, any cost above the award amount the City has to pay. At this time, we estimate that it may cost somewhere around $100,000 to $300,000. As Mr. Shvegzda indicated, they should be finished with the markings on the entire length on the southern side of the road by earlier Thursday. They will try to finalize the northern side by the end of this week and maybe by Monday. At that time, well have a better sense of what the total quantity cost will be. I just wanted to make you aware that we are going have a pretty sizeable expense on this project. At some point in the future we are going to have to come back with a change order for this project. We need to repair that road properly and not simply do a basic paving job or try to accomplish it with a partial depth repair. According to the staff, when we were out there this morning, there is concrete that shows evidence that its been there since the 1960s. It has been over twenty years since we worked on that road. If we do it right now, maybe we can get another twenty years out of it.
Mayor Webster said it is terribly important that we do it right. There has been discussion about patching it up and trying to find more funds. I think that would be short-sighted. We have half the road done. I think we need to do the rest of it and do it right. Three hundred thousand dollars is a lot of money, especially given our financial situation but Mr. Parham has a meeting tomorrow with the Hamilton County Engineers Office to try to get some money from the Municipal Road Fund. Hopefully they will come through with some money for us. Bear in mind, the more we get for this project the less there will be available for some other projects. We may have to rearrange some other priorities in order to get help with this one. We may have to look internally to free up some money to off-set this. Its a bad situation. Had we known it was going to be a $1.1 million project we could have applied to the Feds for $1.1 million. Instead we applied for $950,000 and the State ran off with $75,000 of that money.
Mr. Vanover asked is it just age, movement between pads or water seepage?
Mr. Shvegzda replied it is age. Between SR 4 and the Public Works facility water is involved. Surface water is getting down under the subgrade.
Mr. Parham said in the photos you can see in the area further to the north of the Public Works garage driveway there is water coming up underneath the concrete.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
First Sergeant Charles Peterson, U S Army said I would like to speak on behalf of all service members. We have passed out to the elected officials the Community Covenant. With service members being deployed there is a lot of stress put on those families. The Community Covenant is an outward expression to service members and their families to say we may not agree with the political aspects but we do support the military service members and their spouses. The program bridges the gap between the community and service members. There are over 450 covenants already. Communities are encouraged to identify any programs you have that may assist the service members.
Sergeant OBradovic said I spoke with Mayor Lovitt of Sharonville and he volunteered the Convention Center so we could bring communities together for the signing of the covenant. I spoke with representatives of the Yellow Ribbon Society, Thank You Foundation, Cell Phones for Soldiers and other programs who expressed interest in letting communities know what they do.
Mr. Galster said if this is a program that just asks the community to help, I know a lot of people in this community that would do whatever it takes. I guess its a matter of getting that information from the soldiers. I dont know if this covenant is the avenue that lets us know the needs of the soldiers in the community.
Mayor Webster said I would like to extend my thanks for your service. If there is anything we can do Id like to see the City be a part of it. If its just trying to get the community involved there are a number of ways we can do that. We have an elaborate e-mail system through the Community Center, a quarterly newsletter and a website. What do we do to make it happen?
Sergeant Peterson said there is a photo shoot and then a covenant signing.
Mr. Parham said you have described a formal signing process but in your presentation earlier you were talking about programs or assistances to spouses and the soldiers themselves. Other than having the officials meet on a certain date, have a formal signing process and vow to be supportive of our troops, what else are you looking for?
Sergeant Peterson replied one city did library cards for spouses and kids. There may be some things that you look at. It may just be reduce costs on certain things. Its really about putting all our resources in one location.
Mr. Parham said you are looking for support through the ceremony signing. Then you are looking to us to look at what resources we have available that we may be able to offer in support of the spouses and service members.
Mrs. Harlow said we are interested in pursuing this.
Mayor Webster said lets put our heads together. If anyone has ideas get them to us. I think its a great opportunity for us to help and show our support for the troops.
Gale Keller, 681 Allen Avenue, stated I am here on behalf of my fiancée, Linda Bosken. I found out the City did put in a 33 inch water line that is dumping on our property and washing it away. Ive had Mr. Shvegzda and a couple other gentlemen out to look at this. Mr. Shvegzda said he didnt even know that hole existed back there. The 33 inch water line drains 3/8 of a square mile. It used to be a gulley that ran fine. Mr. Keller said that during the last rain the 33 inch water line (storm sewer) ran full and it shot out of the pipe approximately twenty feet before it hit the ground. At the other end of the property there is only a 24 inch tile. Its eating the land away. I have lost five big trees and I want to know whats being done about the problem.
Mayor Webster said I was contacted a couple of weeks ago by Gale and Linda. Some other Council people have probably been contacted off and on over the years about this problem. We do have Mr. Shvegzda looking through his files and the City files, and Mr. McErlane through his to see if we can find some as built drawings. This goes back to when those streets were rebuilt in the early 1970s. Cloverdale is where the 33 inch storm sewer was installed was built in 1971. At the other end there is a 24 inch inlet that goes into a big manhole. The output of that manhole is like a 48 inch sewer that drains into the creek that runs down behind Perkins. There are a lot of things going on around that manhole on Harmony, Park and Allen. There are several other sewer lines that go into there so its not just this 24 inch that someone installed to service the last two lots on Allen Avenue. There is a lot of investigative work to be done. We have instructed Mr. Shvegzda to do that and we hope to come away from this process with some factual information as to when it was built, if there was an easement and it wasnt filed or there was no easement. We will try to establish if the City has any responsibility here.
Mr. Parham said I have had a number of conversations with elected officials and staff. I have not had an opportunity to meet you. We have had a number of indications that the City has constructed that 33 inch pipe. As Mayor Webster indicated, Mr. Shvegzda is trying to figure out who put the 33 inch pipe in, but if there is any information you may have, any documentation you can share with us, that may help with the process, we would be more than happy to take it. We are going to eventually get to a conclusion as to who put that 33 inch in, whether there is an easement, whether it is public or private easement, where the responsibility lies. As the Mayor indicated, if its our responsibility we take care of our responsibility. If it isnt, then unfortunately, it will be the responsibility of the property owner. We just want to get to a conclusion and provide you that information.
Mr. Keller said I dont have anything other than what I got off the computer. I dont know how much water that thing drains, where it comes from, but I imagine it takes care of all of Cloverdale and may even takes care of some of the side streets. I know when it was just a gulley in there the water went through just fine. Now you have a water cannon with it coming out of that 33 inch tile.
Mr. Parham said let us do our research and then well contact you and share the information with you.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 25-2010 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY OF CINCINNATI ACCEPTING THE JULY 1, 1987, COUNTY WATER AREA CONTRACT AND EXTENDING THE TERM THROUGH DECEMBER 31, 2047
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ordinance 25-2010 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 27-2010 AN ORDINANCE REDUCING SPECIAL ASSESSMENTS LEVIED FOR THE PURPOSE OF CONSTRUCTING CERTAIN IMPROVEMENTS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Parham said each year we have to come before you and request a reduction in the amount that is assessed on this special assessment. The developer is responsible for the service payments. Any time the service payments fall short then the developer is responsible to pay this assessment in order to make the service payments whole.
Mayor Webster said on the last page we show the annual assessments, the special assessment reduction amount and the annual assessment to be collected. The last column is the amount we are sending the developer for an invoice amount.
Ms. Wehmer, bond counsel from Peck Shaffer Williams, said it will be sent to the County Auditor for certification on the tax duplicate and collected by the Auditor, and then remitted to you.
Mayor Webster asked why the big jump in the special assessment from $1.148 million to $1.436 million. From 2010 to 2011 there is a $300,000 increase in this special assessment reduction amount.
Ms. Wehmer responded the reduction amount changes year to year based on what is collected by the County Auditor for the service payments on the TIF and what was collected in the previous year for the special assessment and then what is necessary for debt service on the bond coming up. The adjustment this year has to do with the Port Authority applying for property tax exemption on the parcels that contain public improvements. If youll remember, the garage parcel was split into a separate parcel so they could exempt the garage and the same with part of the plaza. We all know the process for governmental use property tax exemption is not instantaneous. They continued to collect the service payments during the time they were processing the application. They have to go back and undo the distribution and then make the distribution whole with granting of the exception, which is what happened this past year. Therefore, they couldnt reduce the assessment as much in 2010 because they were expecting the County to use some of that money to make everybody whole from the redistributions with the exemption process and then it backdates itself. This year, since everybody has been made whole from finalizing of the exemptions on the Port Authority parcels, we wont need as much money.
Mayor Webster asked can we expect that trend to continue?
Ms. Wehmer replied there will be a little bit of leveling out because the Port and the Trustee reserved a little bit. Potentially, there was an over collection last year not knowing how much the County was going to need to reserve and repay everybody for the distribution so there is a little bit of excess in the fund right now that they offset the 2011 assessment by so it will probably go up a little bit in 2012 but not as much as it was in 2010. The increase in 2010 had to do with the expectation of the redistribution.
Mayor Webster stated somewhere in this process there is going to be a tip over point where more taxes are collected than what is necessary to service the debt. That money that is left over would go back to the developer to offset his payments.
Ms. Wehmer said yes, to some extent they get to recoup some of that.
Mayor Webster said we found out that the developer is carrying this as an asset on the books.
Ms. Wehmer said they are carrying it as a delinquency total credit. Depending on when the excesses come in and how much there are, in the future that may go back to the developer. But if no excess comes in, the City has no obligation to repay the developer from any other fund.
Ordinance 27-2010 passed with seven affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Rules and Laws subcommittee - Sep 8
Board of Health - Sep 9
Planning Commission - Sep 14
Board of Zoning Appeals - Sep 21
Mammography Van - Aug 19
Community Yard Sale - Aug 21
Mr. Parham stated there will be forty-five booths. The Salvation Army will be there to take any treasures that were not sold and people dont want to cart home. We will have an opportunity for residents to bring documents and shred them. Shred Safe will be in attendance to shred the documents in front of you.
Safety Day - Aug 21
Mr. Parham said there will be representatives from various City departments who will display equipment and information on programs. Public Works will have traffic signals, one to show the display of an LED light and one regular traffic signal. They also plan to have raw material for compost to the final product. They may also have the chipper machine there.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Rock Salt - Sep 1
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED - none
Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council