President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on November 20, 2002, 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 Danbury, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. Ms. Pollitt was absent.
The minutes of November 6, 2002 were approved with six affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - Mr. Strange said Civil Service has completed all the testing and interviewing for violations bureau clerk. We had some City business that was brought before us. We talked about doing some cooperative testing as well as interviewing with Forest Park and Fairfield, the thought being that we can attract more candidates at one time and help defray some of those expenses as well. We also had a discussion about the demographics of this City and how that continues to change, and the importance that all our City positions reflect the population that they serve. The City has done a wonderful job with that in the past and we want to ensure that we continue to do that.
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works – Mr. Wilson said the 2002 street program project is completed and final inspection is taking place. There were a few punch list items that need to be addressed, one of which was those areas of grass that need to be reseeded and a few spot concrete areas that have to be shored up.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury reported the CSX grade separation pre-construction meeting will be next Monday. Construction will start in December with completion in 2005. The Springfield Pike streetscape is looking good. Everything but the tree planting should be complete this year. Barrett Paving will begin construction for Kemper Road Phase II in March 2003. Barrett Paving has started work on the Sharon Road intersection improvements. Most of it should be completed by this year.
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission – Mr. Galster stated the first item of business was approval of a color palette, retaining wall, mechanical units, elevation changes to Pappadeaux Restaurant. We came up with a modular wall system that is going to support that area and go back into the pond 1-2 feet below usual water level. It will have a more attractive look as you come off the exit ramp at I-275. The next two items were temporary banners for Pictoria Island and the former Roberds Grand for lease information. Both of those were approved. We had a concept plan for a commercial and senior housing development at Princeton and Crescentville Roads which is GEEAA Park. Planning Commission was asking to put the whole project in a PUD instead of zoning by sections. There was no final recommendation but I think the applicant had a pretty good understanding of where the City would like to see the project go. The last item was a right-of-way plat redraw for the senior subdivision which is the Urban Renewal Area #2. That has been forwarded to Council for consideration.
Board of Zoning Appeals - Mr. Squires said two variances were granted back in April and no construction has been done on either of them. They were revoked with a 6-0 vote. James Grieshop, 299 West Kemper Road requested a variance for 34’ x 40’ garage at 291 West Kemper. This request was denied 5-1.
Board of Health – Mayor Webster said the board spent some time discussing the possibility of nationwide smallpox vaccination and the role the City would play there. The plans are still being developed. Five flu vaccine clinics have been held. There is still vaccine available so if any residents would like a flu shot, call the Health Department.
Veteran’s Memorial Committee – Mr. Wilson reported the purpose of the meeting on November 6 was to review possible designs for the memorial and to finalize the location.
O-K-I – Mr. Knox said the meeting of November 14 was canceled. I have a letter asking who the nominee for this position for next year would be. Mr. Knox agreed to do it again.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster reported that Dave Gambrel and Tom Holmes have been reappointed to the Housing Building & Fire Appeals Board. I’d like your confirmation of my reappointments of Rita Hart and Dr. Kevin Ketring to the Board of Health. I would like a resolution at the next meeting. We will be judging Christmas lights December 11 through December 15. We will announce the award winners December 18 and have the presentation the first or second meeting of January. The tree lighting ceremony will take place December 1.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mr. Knox stated Ordinance 73-2002 is on the agenda tonight. We’re requesting a simplification in our tax code which was part of the subject of the meeting held yesterday at Columbus in the Senate Committee. The information you received starts out with the first line "recently you received a letter from us stating that that Senate Bill 261 passed the legislature. That’s only 60% of that bill. Somewhere hidden in here is the formation of the committee that is looking into many things, among them the State collecting municipal income taxes. Many municipalities did not like this so we went up there and filled the room. The majority of those who went were elected officials or tax commissioners. They very strongly pointed out to the State that we didn’t like this idea. One of the state senators questioned where we got our information from. Suddenly it didn’t exist because all they wanted to do was simplify, stabilize and unify the code. To me it looks like they are trying to take over our tax code. Mr. Nicely for Euclid answered several of their questions by saying the best government is local government. We will have to keep up the pressure on this and I will be speaking personally to Mr. Raussen and Mr. Mallory.
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn said Ordinance 78-2002 deals with a dedication plat for right-of-way on Pear Street, Walnut and Kemper. We are selling the residue after taking that right-of-way to UDF for redevelopment of that corner. As part of that overall agreement, they have also committed to dedicate right-of-way to that portion of Pear Street that borders their property. This is being done at no cost other than it is rolled into the negotiations for the sale to UDF. We would expect to have the plat and legislation supporting it before you at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn stated a number of you remember that years ago Springdale, Butler County and Sharonville put together a funding application for improvements on East Crescentville Road. Sharonville and Springdale came up with our local share, working with Hamilton County. Butler County’s engineer didn’t give it any priority and it didn’t get funded on the other side of the border. There is now a new County Engineer in Butler County, Greg Wilkins and we have revived this project. We also got the Hamilton County Engineer involved in this dialog. As it sits right now the three jurisdictions are planning to make a joint application for STP funding. The deadline is December 6. The project involves East Crescentville Road from GEEAA’s east property line east to I-75 bridge. The improvements would include three travel lanes on the north side of the County border, a fifteen foot mounded buffer and a 24 foot access road for the residents in Springdale and Sharonville. The south edge of the access road would be no closer than the existing back of the sidewalk. We are doing this project to protect the residential character of this property. The berm area and access lane would be on the Hamilton County side of the road and the three-lane expansion on Butler County’s side. Butler County would fund 50%, Springdale, 37.5% and Sharonville 12.5%. Engineering, environmental cost and right-of-way negotiation costs will remain as a local cost. They would be split on the basis described above. The construction and right-of-way for this project has a very rough estimate of $6 million. We would be looking at applying for STP funding on a 80/20 basis. Springdale would be responsible for $450,000. We would then make an application to LTIP and the Municipal Road Fund. Our practice has been to split that up 40% LTIP, 20% MRF and 40% local. Under that scenario our cash contribution for a $6 million project would be $180,000. That’s if everything works exactly as we’d like to see it work. The project is tentatively booked to go to construction in 2007. Springdale has been requested to serve as the lead agency. Butler County wanted to defer to us because they thought they would have better chances of securing OKI and Hamilton County’s participation if a Hamilton County agency was the lead agency and since we have the majority funding for Hamilton County, we agreed to serve as that agency. We may not need to have legislation; we may be able to do this with letters from each of the three jurisdictions committing to the project. If it does turn out we need the cooperative agreement we have one in the drafting process and would have it completed and have it out to the other jurisdictions by the time we need to meet that schedule.
Mr. Danbury said you said there is a price to negotiate the acquisition. We ran into the situation with the grade separation where the value of the property went up significantly. Do we think this price would go up?
Mr. Osborn said the estimate for the right-of-way went up. The State doubled that and it was close to what we had. ODOT was using an inflated cost. It’s hard to say. We’re talking about prime real estate.
Mayor Webster said just bear in mind that we’re not going to be on the hook for the right-of way. We’re going to split the negotiating costs, legal fees, appraisals, etc., but the acquisition of the right-of-way will be Butler County’s.
Mr. Osborn said it will be under that $6 million in which we would end up with $180,000. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement.
Mr. Danbury said we were going to have some kind of barrier. Will this project include that?
Mr. Osborn replied yes, it’s a fifteen foot buffer that will be mounded, landscaped, sprinklered.
Mr. Galster asked how far does it go?
Mr. Osborn replied the berm area will transition out at the east side of GE Park.
Mr. Osborn said the City of Springdale has been recognized by the National Salt Institute for salt storage management procedures. The award was presented to David Butsch at a conference and he will bring it to the next Council meeting and share it with you.
Mr. Osborn said there is a very minor amendment to the by-laws of the Planning Partnership that provides for a form of association with the Planning Partnership called Friends of the Planning Partnership. This type of recognition would have no voting authority but it would give people who are interested in regional planning an opportunity to be involved in communications, newsletters, etc. They can serve on committees but they don’t have a vote. We see it as a positive. It may also serve as a fund raiser for the Planning Partnership so with your consent I’ll sign the document saying Springdale agrees with that amendment. Council made a motion and unanimously agree.
Law Director’s Report - no report
Engineer’s Report - no report
Presentation – Mill Creek Watershed Council - Nancy Elwood
Mr. Osborn said Nancy Ellwood is the Executive Director of the Mill Creek Watershed Council. A number of you have met her before on creek walks. She is very active in environmental issues. She also serves on the Storm Water Management Education Program which is again another product of the Planning Partnership. They have this traveling presentation that they make available to groups to help inform us on issues related to storm water management. This will be important to all jurisdictions in the coming year because we are coming under the Clean Water Act of 1972 Phase II Applications. We all need to be as informed as possible because this is new territory.
Ms. Elwood passed out a manual on her Storm Water Education Task Force Presentation and made a presentation to Council.
Mr. Knox read a communication from the Government Finance Officers Association dated November 1, 2002. It reads "The Certificate for Excellence in Finance Reporting has been awarded to the City of Springdale, Ohio for the GFOA for its Comprehensive Annual Report (CAFR). The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management. An award of financial reporting achievement has been awarded to the individual department agency designated by the government as primarily responsible for preparing the award has been awarded to the City of Springdale Finance Department." Mr. Knox said Mr. Williams has received this letter. He has not received the plaque itself. This is two years in a row and puts us in the upper 5% of cities that have CAFRs. We will bring in the plaque at the next Council meeting.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Mr. Kerry Rabe, Councilman from Sharonville said I’m asking for some assistance. As you are well aware there were two fatalities on I-275. Cassandra Conrad is a girl I knew very well having coached her for quite a few years. I’m trying to draw some conclusions as her parents are, as to how this could have happened and how it could have been prevented. I drove the interstate several times and it seems to me that guardrails could be the solution to the problem. Springdale has guardrails through 80% of the road. All indications are that the guardrail may prevent fatality. I know the stagnation that the State of Ohio has with anything you suggest for their interstate. I’m sure the guardrails would come from the State of Ohio but I’m just asking Springdale to help plug the gap.
Mayor Webster said we thank you for your concern and we’ll follow up with our elected representatives in Columbus and see what we can do, but I can’t help but think that just five or six years ago one of the state representatives in Butler County wanted to increase the speed limit to 70 mph through there and made some serious allegations against the City of Springdale and I think Sharonville that it was a speed trap. We certainly will follow through.
Mr. Rabe said the speed limits are greatly exceeded through the whole corridor.
Mr. Danbury said the representative was Michael Fox. I can see what you are getting at. We can’t safeguard everybody and I just hope everybody learns from this.
Mr. Squires mentioned all the car accidents by teenagers in the past year and said we have to learn from it.
Mr. Rabe said when I called the Springdale Police Department they were very helpful and courteous.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 73-2002 "AMENDING CERTAIN SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 94: TAXATION OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Ordinance 73-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 76-2002 "AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 48-2001 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXPAND THE SCOPE OF WORK ON THE BHE ENVIRONMENTAL AGREEMENT TO COMPLETE VAP APPROVAL ACTIVITIES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn said we are talking about a Voluntary Action Plan for the former Burns property. The City acquired that in 1997 and concluded the acquisition in 2000. The property was a multi-tenanted site. One of the tenants had been a dry cleaner and we did Phase I and II environmental assessments on the site. After acquisition we found that there was contamination in the soil, but not significant enough that we would have to take any remedial action beyond a Voluntary Action Plan. We engaged BHE in September 20001 at a price of $50,000. He submits a No Further Action letter to the State. The State reviews those documents and if they agree, they submit back to the applicant a Letter Not to Sue, which means they will not bring litigation against you for environmental reasons related to the subject of the VAP. Our consultant submitted out application in May. In September we got comments back from EPA on our initial submission. We had to address those comments. I have been using a purchase order to pay for expenses up to when we could get this ordinance adopted. The additional work involves some additional geo-probes in the soil area around the drain where the greatest contamination was found, geo-probes along the east side of Walnut Street and a water testing well on the east side of the property. The proposal for all this work and to amend the VAP is $37,000. Based on the nature of the dialog with EPA it sounds like EPA wants to get this resolved. They are giving our consultant immediate response and we hope to see the end of it pretty soon. Since we first started looking at the property our total cost will be 250,000. We will recoup some of this through the sale of the property. We also have litigation in place against the operator of the former dry cleaner on this property. We hope to recover all our costs associated with this. We encourage Council to adopt this ordinance.
Mr. Squires asked is there reason to expect that this additional work is expected to confirm our original expectations that this will finally be done?
Mr. Osborn replied except for one fact it was a homerun. We had one fact that surfaced in the analysis that will cause us to have additional dialogue with EPA. We believe this to be very manageable.
Ordinance 76-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 77-2002 "ACCEPTANCE OF CONSOLIDATION PLAT FOR SPRINGDALE SENIOR SUBDIVISION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said the plat shows that the Jasper situation has been totally resolved. Is that factional?
Mr. Schneider replied yes.
Ordinance 77-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 78-2002 "ACCEPTANCE OF DEDICATION PLAT FOR PARTS OF PEAR STREET, WALNUT STREET AND WEST KEMPER ROAD AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 78-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R27-2002 "CONSENTING TO JOIN THE CINCINNATI NORTH CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, INC."
Mr. Knox said the group that has been coming up with a response to that of the Greater Cincinnati Convention Center completed their work last Friday and sent our version to the Greater Cincinnati Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. They had been asking Mayor Lovitt daily where the thing was. Mayor Lovitt sent it to them Friday and sent an e-mail yesterday saying the silence has been deafening so we have not resolved our disagreement with them yet and I hesitate to ask Council to pass this until that happens.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to table and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Resolution R27-2002 was tabled with six affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R28-2002 "A RESOLUTION OPPOSING ANY AMENDMENT TO THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF OHIO REGARDING ANY EFFORT TO COLLECT LOCAL GOVERNMENT EARNINGS TAX BY THE STATE OF OHIO"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Resolution R28-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said we have a few positions that will be coming up before the end of the year. Marcia Sherry’s position on Civil Service will end December 31, 2002. Edgar Smith’s position on Charter revision also expires December 31, 2002. The vice-presidency of Council is a one year term and will have to be considered at the next meeting as well.
Mr. Galster said I’d like to extend my thanks to CDS, in particular, Jim Warner, for a quick preparation of a revised drawing that I asked for on Friday and picked up on Monday. Today we received a verbal commitment from Community Management Corporation for a donation of land that will allow us to create a more ideal presentation of the memorial site and we’d like to thank them for their contribution to the project.
Mayor Webster said Council needs to decide what they want to do with the first meeting in January.
Mr. Osborn said one of the options is to skip that meeting. We intend to bring in a temporary appropriations ordinance at the last meeting in December just to cover that first two-week period of the year. When we adopt the true appropriations ordinance at your first meeting that will eliminate the temporary appropriation.
Mrs. McNear asked do we have a heavy agenda coming the first week?
Mr. Osborn replied we always have a list of initial ordinances and resolutions related to fiscal issues but I don’t know why they couldn’t be put off two weeks. The only critical thing is the appropriations ordinance because we do have a pay that falls during that period. We have a weekly settlement with our self-funded health insurance program that we have to make.
Mrs. McNear said if we skip it, it will make the second meeting very long. Mr. Vanover suggested that they meet January 8. Council agreed to have a meeting January 8 and January 15.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Firefighters Volunteer Board - November 24
Mr. Wilson announced I will be out of town next week. My brother, currently a member of Council and Vice-Mayor of the City of San Ramon will be sworn in as Mayor of the City.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss personnel issues. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 9:04 p.m. and reconvened at 9:31 p.m.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Council adjourned at p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council