President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on September 17, 2008 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mrs. McNear asked for a moment of silence for former Mayor Vern French and gave the invocation.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Diehl, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and Harlow.
The minutes of September 3, 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 Wimbledon Plaza wanted to move a sign from one side of the mall to the other to a smaller space. The signs of the stores beside them are not quite over the center of their spaces so this relocation would not put it in the boundaries of the lease space in order to fit in their properly. That was approved 6-0. Guitar Center is locating in Kemper Commons and the largest sign they can have is 150 s.f. Based on the scope and size of the building this was approved 6-0.
Board of Zoning Appeals Mr. Danbury stated the residents at 871 Summerfield asked for a variance for a utility shed three feet from the property line. They also built a gazebo which would be their second structure and they wanted to add a pergola. This was approved. There were three garage conversions that were also approved. Mr. Danbury said we are going to be faced with a lot of garage conversions that were done in the past and we dont have a record of it because of the rental property inspections.
Mayor Webster said I think we should have them on record as having a variance so someone is not faced with this issue again in another twenty years.
Mr. Galster said with the rental property inspections we are going to find a lot of items that never had variances and need to get up to date. Im not in favor of allowing everyone to get rid of their garages so they can have additional living space. In the last Zoning Code rewriting there was a concerted effort to make sure we did allow ample garage and parking area even in The Terrace. I would not be in favor of just changing that.
Mr. Danbury said it may not be up to code.
Mr. Galster responded if we are going to grant variances for construction that was done twenty years ago, maybe part of that variance should be to require that they have it inspected to make sure the heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, etc. were at least up to code when it was done.
Mr. Vanover stated thats a good idea but the only way you can sufficiently address the electric is to visually inspect the wire.
Board of Health Mr. Squires reported the food fees for 2009 were established. Critt R Catch R raised their fees $5 each for setting a trap and removal of animals. There will be a hearing for appeal of smoking violations by The Boulevard at the October meeting. Flu shots will be available by appointment on November 6 and 13. The coyotes are back and we are urging residents to watch their small children and pets.
Veterans Memorial Committee Mr. Wilson said the dedication has been postponed from Veterans Day until Memorial Weekend next year.
O-K-I - no report
Mayors Report Mayor Webster said Mr. French was the fifth mayor serving from 1983 to 1991. He was the most unselfish and dedicated of public servants.
Mayor Webster continued the first responders did a wonderful job coping with the wind event. The unsung heroes are our Maintenance Department workers.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Mrs. McNear said you should have a copy of a letter from the management company that did the government auditing.
Mr. Vanover asked did we get a response back on the Sunday sales issue for the liquor license for Costco?
Mrs. McNear said I believe Mr. Schneider was going to check on whether Sunday sales is permitted there.
Mr. Galster made a motion that there were no objections to the liquor license. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Administrators Report Mr. Osborn said the first item relates to the major project at the intersection at SR 747 and Crescentville Road that has a price tag of $3.4 million. This is a program we applied for in 2004 that will provide ninety percent funding to an improvement project that will add an additional left turn lane westbound to southbound through the intersection and an additional eastbound lane through the intersection with a dedicated right turn and left turn lane on that particular side of the intersection and a third southbound lane. We are really beefing up the capacity of the intersection to pass traffic. Thats critical. Our local share totals $440,682. We, as the lead agency will have to cut a check to ODOT in that amount. We are splitting that cost with Butler County so we have already invoiced Butler County $220,341. I will have to have a standard ODOT ordinance at your meeting October 1 for consideration and approval.
Mr. Osborn said the second item deals with the Hamilton County Community Development Block Grant Program. I asked you in May for authorization to commit the City to participate in that program again for the upcoming three year cycle. They are now accepting applications for funding. This program targets low to moderate income households and is intended to help people related to housing. A family of four having an income of $52,950 or less would be considered in the moderate income range. A single person having an income of $37,050 would be considered moderate income. About forty percent of our population would fall into that category. We had initially hoped to find something that would help us as we ramp up our rental program but there was nothing there. We did find a grant program that is currently in operation in a couple of jurisdictions. We are proposing that the City apply for $20,000 a year for each of the three years. We would then give grants to residents of up to $1,000 to make improvements to their homes. The people would have to show that they are eligible for the grant and then they would have to perform the work to get the money. The program does require the resident to spend the money up front. Folks who are in a situation where they need this type of grant may not be creditworthy enough to borrow the money to get the work done before they are reimbursed. The Mayor, Bill McErlane and I discussed this and decided to take this to SOS.
Mayor Webster said we are going to attempt to advance the money to a resident in need once they have qualified for the grant. We only have $4,000 available so after we loan money to a few people we would have to get the reimbursement before we could go any farther.
Mr. Osborn said we ask people to put on a new roof, replace the driveway. These are pretty big ticket items so I think we can help people get these things accomplished and it benefits everybody. With SOSs involvement it does make the program more viable. This is one of the items we will recommend for your consideration. We are in the process of putting the applications together and we will have public hearings at your next two Council meetings where the public can come forward and make any recommendations they would like regarding types of programs they would like us to consider under the Community Development Block Grant Program. These regulations are rather stringent and very detailed and not all good ideas can be funded. If anyone has some good ideas please contact Derrick Parham, Bill McErlane or me. We will be publishing an ad to get people to attend the public meeting. The first meeting we will just be asking for ideas. The second public hearing we will be advancing what our recommendations are and asking you to approve those. The second project we are looking at is a significant improvement to the play area at Chamberlain Park. The project would be about $30,000.
Mr. Osborn said the Citys work force responded aggressively to the storm damage. Within two hours of when the winds started to pick up I received a call from the Police Chief. They deployed eight generators to intersections to keep our traffic signals operational while there was no power. Twelve intersections have been wired to accept an AC power source from the generator. We then purchased small generators and have a pad where they can be attached to the controller. We also have an inventory of 4 way stop signs. The Police Department could identify areas were trees were down. They answered numerous trouble calls and controlled the access to gas stations as they came on line. The Fire Department made secure and marked down power lines, opened roads for access and temporarily covered roofs. They assisted residents in neighborhoods by helping to remove trees and branches from homes and covering roofs. Public Works is the workhorse right now. Weve had two three-man chipper crews on a twelve hour schedule since the storm started. They have chipped and transported twenty-four loads of chips. Thats equivalent to six weeks of chips in a normal cycle. We also have two two-man cutting crews cutting trees and limbs in the right-of-way. We lost about 150 street trees. Duke is holding daily phone calls letting us know how things are going. Their priority is hospitals, grids with 10,000 people, grids with 1,000 to 10,000, etc. Everyone should have power back on line by the weekend.
Mr. Danbury said its my understanding that the State of Ohio allows utility companies to recoup their losses by charging the customers. I wonder if we can petition FEMA. What is the normal strategy for us?
Mr. Osborn responded I dont think FEMA is going to help the individual taxpayer. Hamilton County EMA is evaluating whether we can qualify for federal assistance for municipalities, townships, etc. to recoup costs associated with addressing the damage we have incurred. I dont know what rights Duke has in recouping these costs.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda said the punch list items, particularly the problems with the bridge overlay and waterproofing, and repair of the widening joint from Tri-County Parkway to John Morrells drive are being addressed on the Kemper Road Phase 3 project. The contractor is dealing with the CSX punch list items. We have submitted drawings to ODOT for the SR 4 southbound lane addition. We have also submitted for MRF funds. The remainder of the asphalt resurfacing work for the 2008 street program is being done now. The design is underway for the Northland Boulevard repaving project. We have submitted for MRF and OPWC funding for that and it is a joint project with Forest Park. The legislation for the Police Department pedestrian bridge is before you tonight. I contacted ODOT regarding a representative coming to Council and spoke with the head of the construction department for District 8. At this time he didnt think it was prudent for him to appear before Council until construction was completed and they had a chance to deal with these issues. He requested we submit a letter formalizing our concerns and send them to them.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Shvegzda, I would hope you would never again spec this micro surfacing for any job in this City. I dont know what that cost us this summer but I think we just wasted the taxpayers money. Thats the poorest job Ive ever seen. It was either the workmanship or material and I suspect it was a little of each.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Virgil Lovitt, Mayor of Sharonville introduced himself and stated he is running for State Representative for District 28.
Mr. Osborn said we really do have a very close working relationship with Sharonville and dont very often get an opportunity to thank you publicly. Heritage Hill Subdivision is our most remote neighborhood. Sharonville has a fire station right on the border and they have been very gracious to provide a first response in that area for our Fire Department. There is a real synergism between what they are doing and what we have to do in our retail district in regards to the Northern Lights project. We try to keep them informed on our plans are and how are study is going on the retail district and they have been gracious enough to let us look over their shoulder on the Northern Lights project. I can tell you it can only be good things for Springdale if they are successful.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 35-2008 DECLARING POLICE DEPARTMENT BICYCLES AS SURPLUS PROPERTY AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO DONATE THE BICYCLES TO VINEYARD COMMUNITY CHURCH FOR A TWO-YEAR PERIOD, DONATING THE BICYCLES EVERY 180 DAYS, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 35-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 36 -2008 ACCEPTING A BID AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH LITHKO RESTORATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR REPAIR OF THE POLICE/PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mayor Webster said this is probably the third restoration of that pedestrian walkway. What is the perpetual problem and how long is this fix going to last?
Mr. Shvegzda responded the primary problem is the bed of moisture getting back behind the abutment on the western side of the bridge and onto the bridge itself. It sifts through there and gets through any overlayment and pushes it up. One of the things that is going to be done is to excavate in the area of the abutment to put drainage back there to get that away so that wont. Hopefully this is one of the items that will cause this fix to last longer. The surface of the bridge will probably have to be periodically repaired again.
Mayor Webster asked is it the fact that it is exposed?
Mr. Shvegzda said not necessarily, its just the moisture on the one end behind the abutment and on the surface itself. Theres a sealing material under the bridge that covers the bottom of the structure that will be removed so we can inspect and see what repairs need to be made under the bridge structure itself. Part of the contract is the replacement of that sealing area with an aluminum soffit material. That line item was over $10,000 and we are looking at non-performing that and getting quotes from contractors to do that as a separate project. The primary contractor that would be performing this work is a roofing contractor and weve not been able to get much of a response on that. Its part of the process were working through to try to keep the project cost down.
Mayor Webster asked so that would be another $10,000 on top of the $70,000?
Mr. Shvegzda replied no, it would be $10,000 less that we would non-perform. Wed still have to do the work but hopefully for a lot less.
Mr. Diehl asked how many years do you think this will last?
Mr. Shvegzda said look at it like the Kemper Road bridge where we made repairs on the surface of that in the mid nineties and then maybe fifteen years before that. It should be in that range.
Mr. Osborn said this bridge has been a problem since its construction. Its about 35 years old. We had initial efforts to improve it right after we moved into that building. The most recent effort was sixteen years ago. Its far more exposed to the elements than a sidewalk is. Im very interested to see what happens when they open up that soffit and we can see what the bridge looks like from underneath. Hopefully there are no structural issues and this number will go up instead of down but we do have to correct those drainage issues. We are taking the surface down to the rebar. Were doing a more in-depth and comprehensive repair to the bridge than weve ever done.
Mr. Vanover asked would the coating they put on the sound walls and overpasses protect the bridge more from the moisture?
Mr. Shvegzda replied we will remove the surface material and get new material in place, make sure its bonding to the surface and then put a waterproofing coating on top of that.
Ordinance 36-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 37-2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT WITH THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE, OHIO LABOR COUNCIL, INC., AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said although we did have to go to fact-finding on this agreement and weve had similar experiences in the past with the FOP, our local unit of the FOP is reasonable and professional. Also Id like to publicly thank Mr. Parham for his year in, year out in dealing with type of agreement.
Ordinance 37-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said I want to acknowledge the outstanding performance by our Community Center staff for the third annual Taste of Springdale. Greg Karle, Sharon, Jackie and Matt did a great job. Julie Matheny certainly took a lead role in lining up the vendors.
Mayor Webster said I have an abundance of fliers for Rileys SOS fund raiser. If you eat at Rileys on the specified dates, twenty-five percent of your bill will be donated to SOS.
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Zoning Appeals - October 21
Board of Health - October 9
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Agreement with ODOT for intersection at SR 747
and Crescentville Road - October 1
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Hamilton County Community Block Grant - October 1
Council adjourned at 8:37 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council