President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
August 20, 2008, 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 Danbury, Diehl, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and Harlow.
The minutes of July 16, 2008 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission Mr. Galster said Thompson Thrift requested a concept plan review for 6200 square feet of retail space at 11580 Princeton Pike. There was a lot of building and a lot of parking on one little site. We dont know if the applicant will come back or not. The majority of board members concurred it was too much for that one parcel.
Board of Zoning Appeals Mr. Danbury stated the first issue was Thompson Thrift and there is no action until it goes through Planning. The property owner at 595 West Kemper Road wanted to erect a fence on a corner lot sixteen feet from the side and project into the front yard. This was rejected 5-2. The property owner at 232 Harter Avenue wanted a utility building two feet from the rear lot line and two to three feet from the side lot. The concrete pad was already there and this was a replacement shed. This passed 7-0.
Board of Health - no report
Veterans Memorial Committee Mr. Wilson said there is an issue that has a completion date of late September. With Veterans Day closing we have to stay on top of this and make certain that everything that can be done is done in time for our memorial. Were still getting paver donations.
Mrs. Harlow said I noticed they have not been working on the site the last couple of days. Its my understanding that they are waiting for some material.
Mr. Osborn said there was a truck in today to offload what I believe is the facing material for the wall.
O-K-I Mrs. McNear reported that the meeting was administrative and there was a presentation by SORTA.
Mayors Report At the Mayors request, in response to Mrs. Harlows question at the last meeting, Mr. Parham reported on the sound wall on I-275 between mile markers 40.7 and 40.8. Mr. Parham said there is a Springdale sign on the wall with vegetation in front of the sign. I contacted ODOT and raised the issue of relocating that panel or to remove the vegetation or any other solution they may have. They had the engineer and architect look at and asked for an estimate to move that panel from its current location to the one I preferred. The estimate was $14,000. The option they decided on was to remove the vegetation in the next couple of weeks or months. They will have to remove quite a bit to effectively see that sign.
Mr. Galster said I dont like the look of the wall anyway. Id rather keep vegetation. Its my hope that vegetation will eventually cover the wall.
Mayor Webster said if we feel strongly about that we need to get back in touch with the State and hopefully they will honor our request.
Mr. Parham stated they are not going to add any additional vegetation to what you see out there now. They do not maintain vegetation on the interstate.
Council chose to keep the trees if possible. Mr. Parham will notify the State.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administrators Report - no report
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Madl said construction is underway on the SR 4/Crescentville project and will be substantially completed this year. There are a couple of paving issues on the Kemper Road Phase 3 project. That should be corrected as early as this Sunday. The concrete walkways and pavers are in for the Veterans Memorial. The stone cladding will take a few weeks with a revised completion date of October 19. The plans are 95 percent complete for the SR 4 southbound lane addition at I-275. We will be submitting MRF and OPWC funding applications in August and September and anticipate the project to begin in August 2009 with funding. The 2008 street program curb replacement has begun and we anticipate paving work to begin next week. Design is underway for the Northland Boulevard repair and resurface. We will be submitting MRF and OPWC funding applications. The Police Department pedestrian bridge repair is out to big. Construction should be completed by October 31.
Mr. Wilson said lets not have dirt when we have our formal ceremony. Lets try to have grass.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Chris Kinard, 673 Hillgrove Court asked has there been or will there any sort of post mortem analysis of why Springdale was not successful in the pursuit of the GE consolidation project?
Mayor Webster said to sum it up, West Chester has an overabundance of land compared to the site that we have available for a project like this. We dont know all the details of the West Chester economic package but were lead to believe that our package was equal to or superior to the economic incentives that West Chester offered but we cant manufacture land. GE wanted to move to a campus like setting and consolidate a number of operations and we were very limited in what we could offer. I dont think were going to spend a lot of time looking back. Were going to try to get some replacement tenants and get back on our Tri-County project.
Mr. Galster said at our last Council meeting there was a representative from GE who said Springdale bent over backward to do anything and everything that GE has asked for even before they asked for it.
Dwight Wilkins, pastor of Macedonia Living Word Fellowship and resident and I want to let you know about my experience. First of all, I was part of the police clergy training program and my desire was to be part of the Springdale Police Departments effort here in the community. The Council of Christian Communities informed me that they would not allow me to do that because of some domestic violence or something that was on my record which is a lie. It probably could have been pursued legally. They just asked me not to do that so I dropped it. I dont know if it was the police chief or who told them that but it was kind of embarrassing and very discrediting to me as a pastor. The other thing I want to bring up is that Hickory Street was blocked off and trees put up and a fence which caused our church to have to reroute its entry into the parking lot. Nobody ever talked to us about it and we were never notified that that was going to happen. We just looked up and bulldozers were on our property, tearing up our parking area and putting up that blockage which has made a significant impact on my congregants access to our property. They wanted to come tonight and fill the room up but I told them not to do that. Recently I came to the church and a bulldozer was on our lawn digging holes in our front lawn and they have hoses hooked up to our water and nobody ever said anything to us about it. Nobody has told us what the plan is to fill our lawn. It feels extremely disrespectful. When this happens over and over again I have no alternative but to assume were being disrespected as a congregation and as a resident in this community. I didnt want my congregation to come in here and make a scene but they feel disrespected.
Mayor Webster said I know you and I tried to get together two or three times and couldnt hook but I think Mr. Osborn had a pretty in-depth conversation on the issue of us not notifying you and we apologized. The blockage of the street was the intent from day one. We had public hearings, community meetings that were widely advertised. Were sorry for the inconvenience for your parishioners but we intentionally did not want traffic going down behind that shopping center. That was warmly received by all the residents.
Mr. Wilkins said thats not what I hear and I dont know how you publicized it so widely without some notification coming to our church. I assume youre a man of integrity but I heard nothing about it. Im at the Community Center every day.
Mayor Webster said I guarantee you it was not done in secrecy. We did have a notification list by neighborhood. The church should have been notified and it was not. We apologized for that. You are on that Baldwin Grove subdivision list now.
Mr. Wilkins said that church has been there since 1959. Why is it not on the list? Put yourself in my shoes. How would you feel?
Mayor Webster said when we disrespected you and your congregation when we blocked off the street did you call anybody at the City?
Mr. Wilkins said I sent a couple of people over to talk with Mr. Osborn.
Mr. Osborn stated this is the first Im hearing of that other than your conversation we had the other day at which time I apologized to you on behalf of the City and I took full responsibility that you werent notified. I cant say it any other way. Who did you call about the police clergy team?
Mr. Wilkins replied I didnt call anybody. The Council of Christian Communities was notified by somebody.
Mr. Osborn said you are laying on a lot of things that weve shown to cause a disrespect for you but youve not shown any interest to call us.
Mr. Wilkins said all I want is to hear Im sorry.
Mr. Osborn replied I said that to you.
Mr. Wilkins said and that doesnt help me. Whats the plan for replenishing our front lawn?
Mr. Osborn stated the restoration you are talking about isnt in your front lawn. Its on the public right-of-way but we will restore it as we do all our projects.
Mayor Webster said I asked the Director of Public Works if that work is being done in the right-of-way or on the churchs property and if so, do we have right of entry. I was assured it was on public right-of-way.
Mr. Wilkins asked have you seen it?
Mayor Webster replied yes. I came down to see you personally when I got your phone call.
Mr. Wilkins asked what about them using our water?
Mayor Webster replied that is wrong but this is the first time Ive heard that we have a contractor out there using the water from a church, a business or residence.
Mr. Wilkins said I just want you to know what my experience has been in Springdale for the last nine years. My congregation feels disrespected. We as a church feel disrespected. I guess an apology is the best you can do.
Mayor Webster asked what would you have us do?
Mr. Wilkins responded maybe you should come over and apologize to them, the people who have to reroute themselves and cant go down the street, and our parking area is torn up with a bulldozer on our parking area. Maybe there should be a written apology, something to show us that we are part of the community and appreciated.
Mayor Webster stated Id be more than happy to address your congregation and apologize for not notifying them. Well make no apologies for closing that street off because thats one of the best things we ever did for that subdivision.
Mr. Squires said nobody on this body is disrespectful to you or your church. We bend over backwards to listen to our citizens and hear their complaints but disrespectful is just not us.
Mr. Wilkins said Im not saying you intended to disrespect us. Im saying we felt disrespected. My people dont know you all. Youre welcome to come by.
Mr. Squires said we need to get to know you and I will be there.
Mr. Wilson said Im your district representative and also your neighbor. Anytime you have questions you call me. We are a city that works with our residents. We are a city of diversity. We will work with.
Mr. Vanover said we put notices in the paper. It would be nice if we could knock on everybodys door but we have to take the avenues that are normal and customary and will serve the purpose. This whole body voted not to put sound walls in. We had residents in here complaining that they wanted the sound walls. We have sound walls now.
Mr. Vanover said like Mr. Squires, I did take offense at some of the verbiage. The tone of voice was angry. We listen, we change our vote if thats what the people want within reason.
Mr. Wilkins responded I said we felt disrespected. I didnt say anybody was disrespectful. Im about to feel disrespected tonight when you tell me I acted angry. Im here with passion. Ive not done anything to give you any inclination that Im angry.
Mr. Galster said when we do a project we get approval from businesses to go onto their property if necessary. If bulldozers were on your property thats contrary to everything we have done. If we dont hear about it until after the fact, we cant do anything about it. I can apologize for the contractor but if we dont know about it until after the fact, we cant do anything about it. If they mistakenly went on your property because you never gave them authority to go onto it in the first place we could have gone back to the contractor and said look at this pavement you have damaged on this private property that you didnt have authority to go onto. You need to fix this.
Mr. Wilkins answered I called Mr. Osborn and he gave me the contractors name. I had to call the contractor. The contractor did fix the pavement.
Mr. Galster said based on the history and the proper documentation that we go through for right-of-entry I would assume that that work is happening in the public right-of-way. It may surprise you how far back that public right-of-way goes. In that case we wouldnt need to get permission.
Mr. Danbury said the City has an organization called SOS and we are inviting churches and other community groups to get involved. Its a group of volunteers who help out our fellow citizens. We invite your church to participate.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 30-2008 ENACTING AND ADOPTING THE 2008 S-9 SUPPLEMENT TO THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 30-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 31-2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH PCMS DATFIT, INC., RELATED TO THE OHIO JOB CREATING TAX CREDIT PROGAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt. Mr. Squires seconded.
Jeff Tulloch, Economic Development Director, said PCMS applied to Ohio Department of Development for an Ohio jobs tax credit. That required a local match which was determined to be $69,000. PCMS currently employs ninety-one people at 135 Merchant Street. They will be expanding by seventy-one additional people for a total of employment within a three-year period of $162,000. According to statute we are able to provide a forgivable loan, a grant. So long as PCMS meets the payroll and employment requirement, we pay out an annual sum of $23,000 to PCMS for the local match for the Ohio local jobs tax credit. Its really gauged on the basis of the new jobs being created. The actual fact is to also retain PCMS which already has ninety-one jobs. I would like to introduce Susan Buller, controller of PCMS; Terrin Williams, Marking and Products Manager; and Laurence Jones with Brixey-Meyer, consultant to PCMS.
Ordinance 31-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 32-2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH CDS ASSOCIATES, INC., TO PROCEED WITH DESIGN SERVICES ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORTHLAND BOULEVARD REPAIR AND RESURFACING PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Galster asked this is a budgeted item in this years budget? Is it in line with budget?
Mr. Osborn replied I believe it is in line with budget. Northland Boulevard needs to be repaired. We are applying for funding that should result in the Citys share being limited to thirty percent. The engineering for this is definitely in line.
Mr. Galster asked do we need the engineering in place to apply for the funding?
Mr. Osborn responded yes because they are going to release the money in January so we need to have the engineering done so we can bid this project in the first quarter of next year.
Ordinance 32-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 33-2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO FILE A DRUG ABUSE RESISTANCE EDUCATION (DARE) GRANTS PROGRAM APPLICATION AND TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO ATTORNEY GENERAL NANCY H. ROGERS TO CONTINUE A DARE PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn stated this is an annual application that we make. We apply for fifty percent of the salary for a police officer for nine months. We provide the other fifty percent match. This individual serves as the DARE officer for the schools in Springdale. Last year we received $19,181. This year we are applying for $20,141.
Mr. Squires said this is one of my favorite programs. I have attended several DARE graduations and they are quite meaningful to these young people. If it just saves one child its well worth it.
Ordinance 33-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 34-2008 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. Osborn stated the Pictoria Tower garage was built under a TIF. The financing was finalized in 2006. The owner, MEPT wanted to finance it for more than we felt was appropriate. They wanted to pick up their carrying costs for financial expenses they had during the course of construction. We didnt feel that was legitimate because the delay was to a great extent their own responsibility. As an alternative we proposed that they talk to the Port Authority of Greater Cincinnati, an organization that can also issue debt. Because the service payments that are going to be generated by the project through the TIF are not going to be enough to meet the annual debt coverage a special assessment had to be laid on top. In exhibit B, the last page, the line where they calculate the 2009 special assessment rate, the general gross annual assessment is $1,594,000. Thats the amount of money it will take in 2009 to make the debt service payments. There was $1,391,608 generated in 2008 that ere accumulated through service payments through the TIF. This provides a backstop. Any time the service payments fail to equal the gross annual assessment then the owner of the building has to pay the difference in a special assessment. In this case in 2009, it will be 203,037. This is a protection to insure that the debt on that garage paid off over the course of the thirty years of the term.
Ordinance 34-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R18-2008 AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION FOR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FUNDS AND/OR STATE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (SCIP) FUNDS, AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ALL CONTRACTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said Id like to give you a little background on the two projects under consideration, the first one being Northland Boulevard. Its really failing. Weve had cores taken, substantial sampling of the joints in the pavement. Once you get past the asphalt the subsurface concrete pad that should be there is nothing but powder. We will have to open cut at the joints, do a full-depth repair, put some type of pave prep surface or membrane on it to protect the joint and then resurface the street. The other thing we are doing is completing the public sidewalk along Northland Boulevard. Right now it stops at Olde Gate. This will carry it another 3100 feet east to Kemper Road so we will now have a complete sidewalk system from Springfield Pike into the Tri-County area. The project cost is estimated to be $947,900. The funding breakout we are proposing is sixty percent from SCIP, $563, 550; thirty percent from Springdale, $284,370; and the Municipal Road Fund through the County at ten percent, $100,000. The idea is to accomplish a project that is approaching $1 million for just under $300,000 on the part of the City. Ive taken some time to look at the capital budget over the next few years. Ive had a few discussions with the Mayor. Ive eliminated a few projects that were not yet fully involved in that I felt could be postponed. Ive even eliminated two where we were in line for funding but they werent critical. This one is critical. My proposal would be to finance this through what would otherwise be our 2009 street program. We typically budget $750,000 in that line item. Im not even saying we will have that much in the line item next year but this should constitute what we would consider our street program for next year. Well also have two other paving jobs occurring that we have had in the queue for several years through the State of Ohio under the Urban Paving Program. That will be the paving of the south part of SR 4 in February/March and SR 747 from the expressway to Kemper in August 2009. That is to say nothing of the intersection improvements at SR 747 and Crescentville Road.
Mr. Osborn continued the second project is the continuation of that southbound lane on SR 4 between Crescentville and the expressway. As part of the program going on right now, we and Fairfield, are adding an additional lane through that intersection southbound. The idea is eventually we would have two lanes southbound dedicated to the interstate. The State project only carries it halfway. We need to fill that gap. If this project is successful we would then have two continuous southbound lanes that are not interrupted by the signal at the westbound exit ramp. This project has an overall cost of $431,514. We will be applying for sixty percent LTIP at $258,910; twenty percent local match for Springdale at $86,302 and twenty percent local match for MRF at 86,302. I dont think this project is as critical as Northland but it still wouldnt hurt to put it in and see if we get funded. If we find we cant afford both these projects we can always withdraw and release the money back to the State.
Mr. Danbury asked are we going to be taking out the Welcome to Springdale signs and shrubbery for the second lane?
Mr. Osborn replied I cant recall. If it is it will be replaced.
Resolution R18-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R19-2008 AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE A RESOLUTION PLEDGING COOPERATION WITH THE CITY OF FOREST PARK FOR THE NORTHLAND BOULEVARD REHABILITATION PROJECT
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said Forest Park also has need to repair Northland Boulevard. We are making a joint application because when multiple jurisdictions apply for funding it carries more weight. Because the bulk of the work is in Springdale well serve as the lead agency but we will be working directly with and in partnership with Forest Park.
Resolution R19-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R20-2008 DECLARING THAT THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA SHOULD APPROVE EXPLORATION FOR NEW OIL DEPOSITS AND CONSTRUCTION OF NEW REFINERIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ITS TERRITORIES AND POSSESSIONS, AND EASE THE BURDEN OF ITS CITIZENS
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Diehl seconded.
Mr. Vanover said all I can say after filling up my truck this morning at $100 is Amen.
Mr. Danbury said Id like to commend Mr. Diehl for bringing this to the floor. The price of food is skyrocketing. Oil affects everything.
Mayor Webster said Id like to congratulate Mr. Schneider for the job he did putting this together. This is going to reflect higher prices in food, affect our business community. Restaurant owners will tell you that eating out is one of the first thing people cut out. We need to drill and we need to drill now. You have to look ahead and thats what we are asking the people in Washington to do.
Mr. Schneider said I appreciate the Mayor making a comment about us putting this together but this information was provided my Mr. Diehl.
Mr. Vanover said if you look in your house you put be amazed at what products contain petroleum.
Mr. Diehl said thank you for your support. Our whole economy revolves around oil and its really important for our country, state and here locally that our economy keeps moving and we cannot continue to pay the high cost of oil and energy. We should look for alternative energy but we need to drill for oil until we find the next best thing.
Resolution R20-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mrs. McNear read a letter from Board of Zoning Appeals recommending variance fees of $50 for residents and $100 for businesses.
Mr. Squires said a variance involves a hardship relative to the land. I find it difficult to support this.
Mr. Danbury said a man was there last night who had bought and property and improved the property, improved the neighborhood. He replaced a shed. Just to come in and put something else up we would charge him $50. I think its the cost of doing business. I think if the citizens are trying to do it right they should be penalized.
Mrs. Harlow stated for 2008 there have been seven meetings. In 2007 there were nine, eleven in 2006 and six in 2005. When I was on BZA one of the main reasons people came in was for a larger shed on a large piece of property. Now that the restriction has been changed I think there will be fewer people in for a variance. I will not support a fee for a variance.
Mr. Diehl said BZA is not overworked. However, some people came a back second or third time. If the variance is approved the fee could be refunded.
Mr. Danbury said we just talked about how money is tight and how tough it is for people.
Mr. Vanover said I have a tough time reducing City services. Theres no charge for garbage pickup. Most permits are fee-free. We are paying City staff for review. They are on payroll already. This is just a small part of their daily activity.
Mrs. McNear said we are here to serve the public. This is a nuisance fee.
Mr. Galster stated I am not in favor of this either. However, because we have a recommendation from the Board of Zoning Appeals, I am making a motion to approve the fees. Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Diehl suggested we send it back to BZA for more clarification.
Mayor Webster said I let my feelings be known last month. It is wrong to charge people to obtain due process.
Mr. Vanover said if we put a charge out there we run the risk of people doing it without a variance. The process benefits everybody. If we put up a barrier were losing control. If its done in the dark of night we dont have any control over it. I worked for an outfit that had a kitchen remodel and did the work without a permit. The City made them restore it back to the original condition and then do the remodel.
The motion was rejected with seven negative votes.
Mrs. McNear said Outback Steakhouse is requesting a transfer of ownership liquor license. Taj Mahal is also requesting a liquor license because of change of stockholders. There were no objections to either.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - September 9
Board of Zoning Appelas - September 16
In-house training for BZA and Planning - October 28
Cruise In - August 23
Taste of Springdale - September 13
Board of Health - September 11
Council - back to regular schedule
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Marvin Bullock asked what is the protocol if we dont know what you are talking about?
Mrs. Harlow stated we try to get someone to speak in laymans terms if legislation has legalese. We also have Communications from the Audience at the beginning and end of the meeting.
Mr. Bullock said my question is if its going over my head, how can I ask you to stop and back up?
Mrs. Harlow responded we dont have an open forum while we are reading the ordinances and resolutions.
Mr. Galster said this board tries to be open with the public. There are places in our agenda for the public to come forward; however, Ive never seen this Council be so formal that we cant take the time to explain a situation before a vote is taken.
Future Vincent Hicks, Peak Drive, said I enjoyed Council. It was very enlightening. I just ask that you speak a little louder.
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss possible economic development and personnel issues. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council reconvened at 9:28.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED - none
Council adjourned at 9:32 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council
City of Springdale Council