President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on October 15, 2003, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. Mr. Danbury and Ms. Pollitt were absent.
The minutes of October 1, 2003 were approved with five affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works - Mr. Wilson said the SR 4 ODOT resurfacing project from Cameron Road to Glensprings is complete. The final change order from ODOT notes that the final construction cost was $18,805 under the contract price. East Crescentville Road repair and resurfacing from SR 747 to Chesterdale is complete. The final construction cost to the City is $111 under the lowest bid.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements - Mr. Wilson reported the Kemper Road Phase II project is substantially complete. SR 4/Sharon Road intersection project is complete. SR 747 CSX grade separation has a bid opening scheduled for October 19th. Construction is to start in early 2004 and finish mid year 2006. Construction is underway on the Beavercreek Restoration project. Completion is anticipated in November. The West Sharon Road bike path is completed.
Finance Committee - Mr. Wilson stated Resolution R16-2003 is a result of the last meeting. Iíll reserve my comments until we get to the resolution.
Planning Commission Ė Mr. Galster said Best Western requested the approval of a trailer placement at the rear of the building. There was no representation and that was tabled. Approval was granted for a Christmas tree lot at Tri-County Mall. Landscape plans and building colors for Dunkin Donuts was approved. KFC requested final approval of a redevelopment plan. The only outstanding issue is in reference to water detention that the applicant will have to see if they can afford to do. That was approved with the detention in it. Kemba has requested a four lane drive-thru. They have a parking problem and hope the drive-thru will move the traffic through quicker. That was approved 7-0. Poster Service Inc. requested approval of exterior elevation modifications. There will be a frame production plant and small retail outlet at the old NAPA location. Ashley Furniture requested a loading dock and exterior alteration changes. There was no representation and this was tabled.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health - no report
Veteranís Memorial Committee Ė Mr. Wilson said we will meet tomorrow and have an open agenda.
O-K-I - Mr. Knox reported OKI voted last week in favor of the plan put forth by the consultants, expanding I-75 to four lanes with an additional fifth lane in certain areas and installing light rail. There are 108 members of OKI. Thirty-four members voted on that. The plan as put forward will never be 100% implemented. I think too many things will change. Too many things will happen. We have to start somewhere and right now that is the best plan. If we donít do something about I-75 and start planning to do it now, our children and grandchildren will be cursing at us down the line. The plan that was voted for is a stake driven in the ground. The more people get involved, the more good ideas that go into it, the better it will be for all of us. If anyone has any good ideas please put them forward.
Mayorís Report Ė Mayor Webster said Friday, October 31st between 6 and 8 p.m. is officially declared trick or treat time.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administratorís Report Ė Mr. Osborn said earlier this year we made application for funding under the Ohio Department of Public Safety to prepare a signal inventory of the Cityís thirty signalized intersections. We have been 100% funded and we will enter into an agreement with TEC. The study will assist us in assessing our equipment in the field, give us uniform means of determining what equipment is present at each controller, the age of the equipment, the condition. It will also do schematics of the intersections, pavement markers, information regarding other pieces of equipment in the system. When the system is in place it will help us schedule repair and replacement activities. It will design traffic signal modifications and plan for ultimately replacing the system and applying for funding to help with that replacement.
Mr. Osborn reported the City has received good news about Springfield Pike Phase II. We made application for the second phase between Kemper Road and Glensprings Drive. The project has a cost of $827,328. We anticipate getting 80% funding. The project has been approved by ODOT and we had a Scope of Services meeting with the Department of Transportation. We expect to begin engineering in 2004 with construction as early as 2005.
Mr. Osborn continued a few years ago we initiated an interchange modification study at I-275 and Springfield Pike and we asked Fairfield to join us in that study. They then initiated an intersection hazard mitigation study of the Crescentville/SR 4 intersection and asked us to join in that. As a result of those studies, Fairfield as the lead agency made an application for money under the ODOT Hazard Elimination Program at 90% ODOT and 10% local. We have been advised that this project will be funded. Its cost estimate is $1,450,000. The portion of that project in Springdale is estimated to be roughly $800,000, making our share around $80,000. The project in Fairfield will add an additional northbound and southbound lane north of the intersection. In Springdale what is now the right turn lane northbound, eastbound, will become a thru lane and weíll add a new drop lane there at the intersection. Coming south from the intersection we will add a second southbound lane dedicated to the access to the interstate. The lane going southbound as part of this project will transition back to an area across from the entrance to Showcase Cinemas. We will be making an application under other funding to complete that work. Design for this work will occur in 2004; right-of-way acquisition in 2005; and construction in 2006. We have reached an agreement with Fairfield where they will pick up 70% of the design cost. We determined that on a linear footage basis. For the actual cost of construction weíre going to pay on a unit quantity basis. We believe we have all the right-of-way that we need for this project. The Cityís second part of this project would continue that southbound lane on down to the interchange ramps at an estimated cost of $675,000. We will apply for LTIP and MRF funding to support that.
Mr. Osborn said in September we received notice that the City has an obligation to adopt a natural hazard mitigation plan if we want to be eligible in the future for hazard mitigation funding. About a year ago Hamilton County EMA obtained a grant for the development of a natural hazard mitigation plan for the County and for the 49 political jurisdictions in the County. The County is doing this collectively for all the jurisdictions. The plan has been drafted and is available on their web site. The draft was developed by a committee of representatives of different jurisdictions and professions related to public safety. The report focuses on the following natural hazards: flooding, tornadoes, severe storms, landslides, earthquakes and droughts. In our response to the request from the County for a resolution we also have to declare which of these hazards the City will support in trying to address problems in our own jurisdiction. My suggestion is that we identify flooding. The Countyís consultant has indicated that it is better to identify one or two of these rather than all six of them. Even though you say you are focusing on one of them, if another happens, because we have adopted the plan, we can apply for post-mitigation dollars. I have a copy of the resolution that summarizes the requirements for the program that can be used by the City. I would request that we bring in a resolution at the next Council meeting adopting the Councilís Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Mr. Osborn stated the City has participated with nine other communities in the ownership of the Judicial Use Of Force Firearms Training System. The system is under the management of the Center for Local Government. We all bought into the program initially. Our contributions paid for the system and we paid an annual maintenance cost to keep the system operating. Over the past several years there have been a number of jurisdictions that have indicated a desire or interest to join us, but we felt we were stretched to the limit in utilization of the existing equipment. The Center of Local Government came up with a proposal for the seven jurisdictions that want to join to buy their way in. We will receive credit for our investment to date, and we will end up with two systems with updated software cost-neutral to the City. We would like to bring in the necessary legislation authorizing the agreement with the Center for Local Government to serve as the management agency for the newly configured group.
Mr. Osborn said I want to remind Council that West Kemper Road is scheduled to be closed just east of Lawnview Avenue the last week of this month for five days. We have sent letters to the residents and businesses on Kemper Road that are west of Northern Boulevard. We will be putting the message board sign that the Police Department has on Kemper Road to warn the general public about the detour.
Mr. Parham stated presently we are in the fourth year of our waste collection contract. We entered into an agreement with Rumpke in 1999. The contract expires December 31, 2003. In preparation of getting the specifications to go out for bid, I realized that we have the option for one additional year if we chose to take advantage of that. We reached an agreement with Rumpke for a slight increase in the current rates. Right now we pay $7.00 for each unit per month for regular waste. For curbside recycling we pay $2 per unit per month. The proposal is to increase the regular waste to $7.30 per unit per month and the curbside recycling to $2.08 per unit per month. Each is about a four percent increase. The recommendation this evening is that we accept these rates and take advantage of one more year, then at the conclusion of 2004 go out for bid. I would ask for legislation at the next meeting if you choose to go in this direction.
Mrs. McNear said to Mr. Osborn, the southbound lanes going onto the expressway, will one be dedicated to eastbound and one to westbound exclusively?
Mr. Osborn said that is correct.
Mr. Vanover asked on southbound SR 4 onto East Crescentville, are we adding an additional turn lane?
Mr. Osborn replied no, itís northbound SR 4 to East Crescentville. Itís a drop lane. It will replace the one we are transforming into a thru lane. That drop lane starts at the I-275 signal and serves as a right turn only all the way to the intersection and then it drops. That will continue as a thru lane and we will add a new right turn lane northbound to eastbound at the intersection.
Mr. Vanover asked will there be any change on that side going onto eastbound?
Mr. Osborn responded I donít think so. There will be an extension of the right turn lane and of the double left turn lane coming westbound. The road will be widened on the east leg of the intersection to make that right turn lane and two left turn lanes longer. I donít believe they are going to increase the turning capacity. By giving the intersection more capacity, they will be able to distribute the time differently. By moving the north/south traffic quicker, they can put more time into the left turn lanes.
Mr. Vanover said the last two mornings I have been coming through and southbound on SR 4 to make that left-hand turn on East Crescentville, the stacking lane has exceeded its capacity and they have backed up into the turn lane. Technically, thatís Fairfieldís side.
Mr. Osborn said itís all part of this project and I donít think they are going to make a second turn lane there. My hunch is that theyíll deal with that by adjustments to timing on the signals.
Mr. Shuler stated when itís all done there will be five lanes northbound, three thru, one right and one left. Southbound there will be two thru and one to each direction onto the interstate.
Law Directorís Report Ė Mr. Schneider reported the pre-trial date for the Springdale Cleaners litigation is set for April 22, 2004 and the trail date for May 5, 2004.
Engineerís Report - no report
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
RESOLUTION R15-2003 "RESOLUTION ACCEPTING THE AMOUNTS AND RATES AS DETERMINED BY THE BUDGET COMMISSION & AUTHORIZING THE NECESSARY TAX LEVIES AND CERTIFYING THEM TO THE COUNTY AUDITOR"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Resolution R15-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R16-2003 "RESOLUTION PROPOSING AN INCREASE IN INCOME TAX TO ONE AND ONE HALF PERCENT (1 Ĺ%) WHICH IS A RATE IN EXCESS OF ONE PERCENT (1%) PER ANNUM AS SET OUT IN OHIO REVISED CODE SECTION 718.01( C ) AND DIRECTING THAT THE INCREASE IN INCOME TAX BE SUBMITTED TO THE ELECTORS"
Mayor Webster said Section 4 says "special election". That is a regularly scheduled primary election.
Mr. Schneider said it is called a special election. Itís not the general election. We would have to pay the cost of the election solely if we were the sole issue.
Mayor Webster stated I originally thought this was going to be an ordinance and thatís why I asked to have it brought in this evening. I thought we would have a first reading this evening, a second reading November 5th, and with passage an effective date of December 5th, which would give Mr. Schneider enough time to file with the Board of Elections. I found out last Friday that itís not an ordinance, but a resolution. I would like to suggest to Council that we have four readings so that if anyone has concerns or questions they have plenty of time to come forward. This is not something that we have taken lightly. Our earnings tax collections have been shrinking over time. Mr. Osborn and I have come up with the following facts:
Mrs. McNear asked how much revenue would be generated by the increase?
Mayor Webster replied it would be $5 million if it was in effect the entire year.
Mrs. McNear asked what percentage of our tax base comes from residents as opposed to businesses?
Mayor Webster responded all but 5.8% of our revenue is generated by corporations and people who work in the City.
Mrs. McNear said I think thatís a very powerful percentage to point out to the residents who will be voting for this. Some people may think that this is unfair that these people donít live here and have to pay the taxes but they use our services. They contribute to wear and tear on our streets. They use our police and fire departments and other services.
Mr. Knox said I wholly support this initiative. As a matter of fact I was moving in the same direction when the Mayor brought this up. When you look at the numbers there isnít a whole lot of choice in the matter. Last year we came up short $533,000 in our earnings tax. Mr. Osborn set a number very close to that for our budget this year and we are down almost three percent. We have a choice of raising the tax or doing away with services. I think, having talked with many people, that the people like the services they receive. The non-residents will pay but of course, the non-residents keep generating the need for these roads we have to build.
Mrs. McNear said the state and federal government has reduced the amount of money they are kicking into the cities.
Mayor Webster said we finally came out with a freeze on the local fund money coming from the state and county.
Mr. Knox stated they froze it but they also lowered it at the same time.
Mayor Webster said they have frozen that source of funds, but at the same time they have made more money available for local matches. In order to apply you have to have money available for the match that goes with it.
Mayor Webster said there is a report titled Municipal and County Credits Given to Residents. In year 2001 we gave credit for $1,400,000 for monies paid to other municipalities. Last year $850,000 was given as credits. Itís a sizable amount of money and other communities have decided instead of increasing earnings tax theyíll just not give 100% credit to residents.
Mr. Squires said I think it is commendable that taxes have not been raised since 1972. Not many communities can boast of something like that. Add to that that we actually let a property tax expire. There was a time that when a business left Springdale, another took its place. Thatís not happening today.
Mr. Osborn said I just wanted to add to the fact that there have been no tax increases since 1972 but look at what has happened in our community. In 1972 we did not have a recreation program. We had an all-volunteer fire department. Because we had the money at hand in 1981 we elected not to renew an on-going property tax levy to support the Fire Department. The City has gotten a great deal of return for the tax payments that the City has received over that thirty-two year period with increased levels of service.
Mr. Galster made a motion to continue this resolution to the next Council meeting and for all meetings until December 3rd. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion to continue Resolution R16 passed with five affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
BZA meets October 21, 2003
Mr. Knox said we received a change of name/ownership for a liquor license at the House of Sun. There were no objections.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution to adopt Hamilton County Hazard Mitigation
Plans - November 5
Resolution authorizing an agreement with the Center
Of Local Government - November 5
One year extension with Rumpke - November 5
Resolution 16 continued - November 5
Council adjourned at 8:02 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council