President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
November 2, 2011 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, Squires, Vanover and Harlow.
The minutes of October 19, 2011 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster stated I believe all of you received a letter from Mr. Ron Pitman. Hes supposed to be here so Id like him to read that into the record himself. I have some responses to that and in fairness to him, I would like to hold those off.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION FOR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (LTIP) 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. Squires seconded.
Mr. Parham stated in 2009, as we were preparing for the 2010 City Budget, there were a number of capital improvement projects that the City decided to move forward and perform the engineering. The Merchant Street Rehabilitation Project was one such project. Another project was the Chamberlain Park - Beaver Run Bank Stabilization project and there was a third that escapes my memory at this time. The 2010 Budget authorized us to complete the engineering for the Merchant Street project. In 2009, we also applied for OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) funds to perform this project. At that time, we applied for a seventy/thirty split (thirty percent City) but were unsuccessful because at the time the inspection team representing OPWC reviewed our road and some comments were made such as I wish our roads were this bad. The OPWC inspection team is made up of individuals of multiple communities. Merchant Street is a primary street within the Citys office park area. We have received a few comments, particularly in 2009 and 2010 from some of the businesses in the office area as to whether or not there was something planned to upgrade or rehabilitate the street. Due to the condition of the curbs, gutters and pavement of the street, we will have to do something to rehab the street in the very near future. Merchant is not in the same poor condition as Century Circle, but it is one that we need to keep in line especially since we rely on the office areas to bring jobs into the community. We know we have one office building that is vacant right now, the Executive Centre III Building. We would like to encourage someone to bring in jobs and opportunities to the City and would hate for the roadway to be a hindrance to that opportunity. We are requesting that the City put forth an application for funding to perform the necessary improvements on the road. In our application, we have increased the Citys contribution from thirty percent to fifty percent. In the original 2009 scoring process, we scored 265 points. At that time, the cut off score for projects that received funding was 310 points. Due to the continued deterioration of the roadway as well as increasing our participation amount to fifty percent, we were able to score 320 points. There is no guarantee that the award threshold will still be at 310, but these factors did increase our score, so that maybe if we do not score well in the initial project funding, we may have a chance in the secondary round. If you recall, with the Century Circle project, our project was originally not funded during the initial OPWC process. However, we were told that as residual funds are returned due to some communities perhaps not being able to meet their matching fund levels and/or their projects came in lower than originally estimated, funding for Century became available. So now we are going to get $374,500 in funding for Century Circle if the construction costs come in at $535,000. In this case were still estimating the project to come in at $390,000. In that case, our share would be $195,000. Again, we have already paid for the engineering. The other costs would be for construction engineering and that would be determined by the skill set of our Public Works Inspector that replaces Mr. Green or some organization we may have to bring in to perform that task. So today we ask that you give us authorization to file the application to see whether or not we would be successful in receiving funds in the amount of $195,000.
Mr. Squires asked does it look pretty good at fifty/fifty.
Mr. Parham replied if the points are any indication and if the previous submission is any indication, then I would say it looks pretty good.
Mr. Squires asked where is Executive Centre III located.
Mayor Webster responded that Executive Centre I is where Humana is going. Executive Centre II is where Cincom is located and Executive Centre III is vacant. Just for the record the three projects we were talking about were Century Circle, Ross Park and Merchant Street. If we push this one across the line thats two out of three that we have gotten help on.
Mr. Hawkins asked is the engineering cost coming out of that $195,000 or is that an addition?
Mr. Parham replied we have already paid for the engineering. We had CDS performed the engineering as part of the 2010 budget. The only thing remaining under their contract is the cost for putting the project out to bid. The design work has already been concluded. There may be a necessity to take another look at the quantities and make sure they are up to date.
Resolution R13-2011 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Vanover said tip of the hat to Mr. Shvegzda, Jeff Agricola and Mr. Parham for the presentation that was given last night at Heritage Hill on Phase II of the Beaver Run project. It was very informative and something I wish we would do more often.
Mr. Parham stated as part of the funding for the Beaver Run project, we were required to have a public meeting. That meeting was held last evening. Participating in the presentation was the Mill Creek Watershed Executive Director, a representative from OKI, Mr. Bruce Koehler, members from CDS, Mr. Agricola and Mr. Huxsoll from our Public Works Department. At the Community Center, as well as here at the Municipal Building, we have a smaller version of that fact sheet (pointing at the board on the easel across the room) that describes the project. Residents can pick them up at either of the two locations. I think it is very valuable information for them and also shows photographs of the current gabion walls that are being replaced
Mr. Forbes said I understand at the last meeting there was a question raised about a local option issue on the ballot about a liquor permit. I just wanted to report back to Council that Costco already has Sunday sales of alcohol between the hours of 1 p.m. and midnight. The only thing this issue would do is allow Costco to begin selling alcohol at 10 a.m. The issue will only be on the ballot in Precinct E and it is specific to this particular business.
Mrs. McNear said there is a liquor license transfer request from Los Tres Amigos LLC at 316 Northland Boulevard to Galicia Brothers at 318 Northland Boulevard. This is a D5 and D6. There were no objections.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - Nov 8
Board of Health - Nov 10
Board of Zoning Appeals - Nov 15
Mayor Webster said the Veterans Day ceremony will be held November 11th at 1 p.m. There will be a golf cart available for those who need transportation from the parking lot to the site.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Mayor Webster said Mr. Pitman, under Communications I asked that your letter not be read, waiting for you to arrive to see if you wanted to read the letter or make your comments. I do have some responses and I didnt think it would be fair for me to make those without you being present.
Ron Pitman, 579 West Kemper said there seems to be a little incubator thing starting up that Doyle and I were trying to resolve. I have been away from City government for a while but twice in the last month I have had a run-in with the Building Department on the Property Maintenance Code. I dont know who the inspector is but there have been some problems and it seems to be getting worse. I checked with some other folks on some other things. Maybe its time to look at the Property Maintenance Code. While its good in certain areas I think a lot of it is out of date and not as constitutional as it used to be. Ive had two issues in the last month and Ive not had that in forty years. The last issue was garbage cans that we have on the side of our house. They have been there since 1967. All of a sudden there is an issue of violation. Where were they forty years ago, thirty, twenty. We try to keep the community clean and nice but we can go overboard with harassing. The inspector went to my house and I got this nasty gram from him. I went around the back streets of Observatory, Madison and Lafayette and I came up with fifty-five violations of the exact same thing. If its a situation that I have to follow behind the inspector and get 5,000, I would. Well help them to do their job. That was the whole point of the letter. I dont know who the inspector is but personally I think you have problems. Thats the crux of it.
Mayor Webster said the real issue is the fact that you received a letter stating that you had to shield your garbage cans so they cannot be seen from the street. You feel that there is some carry over from a previous incident where you were given a letter about a license plate on a vehicle.
Mr. Pitman said the vehicle is one that my wife was getting rid of. She was down in Florida with her mother who has Alzheimers. She was going to get rid of it when she got back up here. When she got this letter, needless to say, Linda reacts a little differently on some of these issues. That turned her the wrong way so she said fine, well get it tagged and let it sit there. The inspector was out on that. I dont know if he was not pleased that it was still there, that we got around the regulation, but less than a month later we get another one for the garbage cans. The cans have been sitting there for forty-four years. When we put the shed up in back of the building Herman Grant, who was the building inspector at that time, suggested we put the pad right there and put the garbage cans where they are so basically we had Herman Grants permission to do that. If it worked well then there should be a grandfather clause based on that if nothing else. Evidently the inspector had other ideas. I sent a copy of this letter downtown to the U. S. Attorney to review the constitutionality of it.
Mayor Webster said I would be very, very concerned if we had an inspector who was not pleased with the outcome of one instance and then tried to cite you on another. I think that would be a deplorable situation. So (showing a stack of paper) there is three months of letters that have gone out. Its an inch and a half thick, Id say 350 to 400 letters. One hundred fifty-two of these deal with garbage cans and your garbage can letter isnt in there. I dont think the inspector is picking on you. I did inquire when I got your phone call last week to see if it was a complaint or Community Pride. It was a Community Pride operation and there were six or seven in your neighborhood. As I told you when I paid you a visit last week I looked around to see if I could see any other violators. I did see some other ones. When I came back to City Hall I wanted to see if these other people had gotten letters also and I think that they did. When we looked back to last year, we had 644 letters that went out last year and that was down nine percent from 2009. Out of those 644, 419 were the same type letter you got. They were routine inspections where the inspector noted a violation. Of the 644, all but 22 of those were resolved between the City and Building Department without any court action. Im not sure when the Property Maintenance Code was put into place.
Mr. Parham stated that it was put in place in 1988.
Mayor Webster indicated that it has been on the books for a long time. I know we amended it at least once since Ive been Mayor. Im not opposed to taking another look at it although I think the intent on this specific incidence of garbage cans, I cant imagine even if we updated, that wouldnt still remain. I know I dont like to see them. I have to keep mine in the garage. I dont have any place to keep mine on the outside of the house. After looking at this I dont think for a minute that there was any retaliation on the part of the inspector. I think it was routine and it was a coincidence that he observed the license plate earlier in the year, then this time it happened to be your neck of the woods that was due to be inspected for the Community Pride program.
Mr. Pitman said I guess time will tell. Well see how it goes if that is a true statement. A lot of times because Im an old cop, I wait for the other shoe to drop. If youve got that many violations within the community, could it be the Code is too stiff. Is that a possibility? Maybe the Community Pride program is too stern for the community. You dont want garbage all over the place but you could be going overboard in trying to tell people how to live in their own houses. You can get carried away with some of this as far as municipal control.
Mayor Webster said Im not opposed if Council wants to revisit the Property Maintenance Code and make changes to it. If they ask for our input though, we certainly will want the garbage cans out of sight to remain in that Code. It would be up to Council to leave that in or not but I think it should be there.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Ordinances 44-46 - Nov 16
Final Appropriation and Transfer Ordinance - Dec 21
Temporary Appropriation - Dec 21
Board Appointments (Charter Revision, Civil
Service, Board of Health (3) - future
2012 Budget Presentation - Dec 7
Council adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council