President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on November 21, 2001, 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, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of November 7, 2001 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mr. Galster abstained.
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 2001 street program is completed. We are planning our 2002 planning meeting for December 10 at 5 p.m.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements - Mr. Danbury said there is no change to the CSX grade separation. It will be bid next September, awarded in December and the construction phase will be 2002-2004. The Kemper Road improvements at SR 747 have been completed and punch list items have been addressed. The Springfield Pike Streetscape contracts for the signals and street light poles have been re-bid and will be open November 28. The streetscape project will be bid in the spring of 2002 and should be completed in the fall of next year. The Kemper Road Phase II old Commons Drive to Chesterdale Road project was successful in receiving approximately $660,000 in outside funding. I know we will have ordinances next month to renew services with our law director and engineering firm. Iíd just like to commend our engineering firm for helping us out, initiating a lot of these things and seeking outside funding. A lot of times we forget that no only do they do the engineering for various projects but they are a valuable resource for us to try to get additional funds. The Old Commons Drive project schedule is detail plans have been completed. We will do the right-of-way negotiations by January 2002, begin construction in the summer and the project will be completed by September 2003. The West Sharon Road bike path Stage III approval is scheduled for January 2002, final tracings submitted in February and construction next summer. The Glensprings Drive culvert extension cut-up plat for the required property is complete. We have a meeting scheduled with the property owner to discuss the transfer. It will probably be another year out before we do construction. The Heritage Hill Drive signal project will be bid in December. Construction will start in January with completion scheduled for April 2002. Mr. Shuler, is there a reason we have a three month construction period just on that signal?
Mr. Shuler replied this is just a matter that the construction will done over the winter. We anticipate a slower than normal process there with weather-related issues but weíll work with the contractor to do everything we can to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Finance Committee Ė Ms. Pollitt stated they met November 5 and reviewed the five-year revenue expenditure report that the Administration put together for us. The Administration did a fantastic job. We will have our 2002 budget for Council to review on December 3 and a Finance Committee meeting again on December 11.
Planning Commission Ė Mr. Galster reported Karloís Bistro Italia at Pictoria Island was approved 6-0. Hobby Lobby, 11630 Princeton Pike, requested exterior changes and signs. The project was not addressing the whole building so weíve asked them to come back and take a look at the complete old HQ building in its entirety as opposed to trying to piece it together. We had concept approval of a building addition at the Church of the Nazarene, 11177 Springfield Pike. This is an addition to the church. They are coming up all the way to the back of the property line backing up to Cameron Park. They pursued purchasing some property from the City in order to get the proper setbacks but itís going to be in the same position anyway. There are a few things to be worked on so we look forward to preliminary plans when they are ready to move forward. The next item was approval of exterior building elevation change for Variety Wireless, 11512 Springfield Pike. They were proposing to put an awning up with their name on either side. The awning was bright yellow and that is the corridor district. They are also looking at removing a pole sign so there is some give and take. They are going to look at a different color more in the corridor standards. That was tabled by a 6-0 vote. The next item was approval of amended covenants at the Northwest Business Center. This was basically to get land sizes proper and it was approved 6-0.
Mr. Vanover said on the Hobby Lobby issue we requested that the landlord, who was not in attendance, return because Planning Commission has several issues that need to be addressed.
Board of Zoning Appeals Ė Mr. Squires reported that they met last evening. Howard Johnson, 400 Glensprings Drive requested the placement of temporary banners for almost five months. That was tabled because of a no show. George and Iva Pocisk, 760 Yorkhaven Road, requested a variance for two utility buildings on their property. They have had two buildings on the property for over ten years. However, one of the properties is a playhouse. They did not want to tear down the playhouse and we granted a temporary variance for up to five years with the proviso that if the property is sold, one of those buildings would have to be removed. Carolyn Peters, 690 Allen Avenue requested a variance to allow the construction of a front porch well into her front yard. She also wanted to enclose the one car garage that she has and add a carport, not a garage. After considerable discussion, it was pretty well determined that the architect that drew up the plans was not totally cognizant of all of our building codes. The board asked that it be tabled to allow the architect and construction engineer to consult with Mr. McErlane in the Building Department to iron out some of these difficulties. They suggested that they would do that and come back in December. Joan Ruskaup, 156 Ruskin Drive, requested construction of a patio enclosure six feet from the rear yard setback. This lady has no rear yard. It was approved for her to tear down the patio enclosure she has and rebuild one the same size. Christi Rose, 309 West Kemper Road requested a variance to allow a goat to reside in her back yard. The Rosesí child is allergic to cowís milk and soy milk. The only thing this child is able to have right now is goatís milk, raw and unpasteurized. The request was amended to allow two goats so they would be companions to each other and not make noise at night. The request was denied. Many of us on the Zoning Board told Mrs. Rose we would try to help her find an avenue to find goatís milk for the child. The Church of the Nazarene, 11177 Springfield Pike, wants to build an addition. This addition would go right up to the property line. There were two other variances in this package. One included the parking lot and one was the placement of a dumpster in the side yard. A motion was made to grant the variance but it died for a lack of a second. Iím sure they will go back to Planning with this. I wonder if Administration would like to comment on this because City property was definitely involved in this.
Mr. Osborn said I did have this on my list when I heard the report by Mr. Galster. Over a year ago we were approached by the Church of the Nazarene to see if the City would sell a strip of property to them along the eastern side of Cameron Park. The church wanted to expand. They had specific square footage goals that they would like to achieve and they wanted to expand to the rear because their main sanctuary is to the front. The first proposal was that they come to us and acquire some property. We went to the time and effort of looking at the site, verifying the property line and getting an appraisal of the property. The church took its time getting back to us. About two months ago they came back with conceptual drawings. The Recreation Director and I went out and looked at the property and concluded that we think the Cityís interest would be better served by not selling the property, but encouraging the Zoning Board to give them a variance. If we sell them the property, we lose control of that property. The building would be where it is on their proposed plans whether we sell them the property or not. If we retain control of the property, we have more options in terms of future use of the property as well as any existing screening that is there. There is a pretty dense underbrush and tree line through there that would be sold off to the church. We want to retain control of that screen. We recommended to the applicant that they seek a variance as opposed to pursuing the acquisition of the real estate from us. In our view, it seemed in a better interest of the City to retain control of the property.
Mr. Squires stated that motion died for a lack of a second and that allowed the Zoning Board to table that so they will come back to us, Iím sure. Mr. Osborn, we were a little bit confused as to exits and entrances on the back side of that building.
Mr. Osborn replied to my knowledge there isnít any public access to the rear.
Mr. Squires asked have they approached that with Planning, Mr. Galster?
Mr. Galster responded yes, in concept drawing. The majority of that building is the back of the basketball court. There were no windows or exits out the back of the building. There is an exit to the side but itís pretty much a brick wall.
Mr. Osborn said if any of you have been involved with churches and their building programs, itís all by committee, so it takes a while to make decisions. The Church really worked with us to find out what options were open to them. Itís our fault that they sought a variance. I talked this through with the Building Department. The church is planning to make a major investment and going to the rear is the only direction they can go. Would it be appropriate for the Administration to be at your meeting to explain this in more detail? Was the issue the property line setback?
Mr. Squires replied that was the big issue.
Mr. Osborn stated we examined it from the standpoint of would it interfere with the use of our existing soccer field. It would not. We have a significant distance from the goal to the property line as it exists right now and we donít anticipate this being an impediment in any way. Thatís why we suggested the variance instead of selling the property to them.
Mr. Squires said a representative at the December 18 meeting might be well advised.
Mr. Galster stated Mr. McErlane was present at the Planning Commission meeting. I donít know if Mr. Okum was in attendance at your BZA meeting but as liaison it might have come across a little better if that had been explained. The other thing is that they have trailer buildings on the back of their property right now and those would be removed. I believe those are within a foot or two of the property line. There are a lot of things to look at. Itís a good plan and I think the Planning Commission was supportive; however, they needed to get a few things clarified and also needed some information from the Recreation Director on how the effects would be on the actual soccer field and park.
Mr. Wilson said, if you remember, Mr. Squires, some of the board members had concerns about aesthetics. They saw the brick wall and there was discussion on how they could screen that wall so that it would not look like a brick wall.
Board of Health Ė Ms. Pollitt said the board had a routine meeting. Nurse Jane will be publicizing when the next flu inoculation will be depending on when she can get the serum in. We have a nuisance animal control program that the residents can call in for. Iíd like to have copies of this report presented to Council members so they can take a look at it. We have spent $22,580 this past year on nuisance animal control. That would include 99 evaluations, 126 geese, 99 opossums, 121 raccoons, 68 skunks, 55 squirrels, 38 woodchucks, 20 cats, 3 birds and 1 deer. Iíd like to have everyone take a look at this. I know that this nuisance control was a directive from Council to the Board of Health quite some time ago. I would like for you to look at the animals that have been removed from residentsí homes and see if these are the same type of animals that we want to continue removing or do we just want to look at the animals that are considered rabies carriers and could pose a health threat. Not all the animals on here do pose a health threat. The $22,580 does cramp that budget line. If you could give me some feedback at the next Council meeting, Iíd appreciate it.
Mr. Vanover said opossums, raccoons and skunks are euthanized after being caught..
Mayor Webster said an addition to Ms. Pollittís report, weíve asked the Board of Health members to give this some thought and it will be an agenda item for our next meeting. Hopefully in that meeting we can come up with a recommendation back to Council as to what we recommend going forward with. The program was certainly well meaning at the outset and I think most of our residents appreciate what we do, but does the City really want to take responsibility for removing squirrels from somebodyís attic? Thatís not a health issue. If someone sees a deer in their yard, do we want to send the trapper out? I think itís gone too far personally.
Mr. Squires said the Board of Health called our house today regarding flu shots saying vaccine is available. For any residents who have not received the flu shot call the Health Department and see whatís available.
Mr. Danbury asked are you going to have an outline of the types of calls we would go on. Looking at the report I see a few birds on here. I donít think birds qualify as a health hazard. We want to help our citizens but the public funds are being extended with every day normal life. Iím sure that they are a nuisance but theyíre not a health hazard.
Ms. Pollitt responded thatís what the Board of Health wants to look at. Do they want to limit it to the animals that can carry rabies? Thatís what Doc Ketring and the Board of Health will be looking at.
O-K-I - no report
Mayorís Report Ė Mayor Webster said the Christmas light judging will begin on December 8 and run through December 16. The tree lighting ceremony will take place this Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m. We have tentative reservations for 26 people at Maple Knoll after the swearing in. We have to be there at 8:30 p.m. If you want us to firm those up we will do so. If someone wants to take the initiative to find some place else, thatís ok. Please tell us how many of you will attend.
Mr. Schneider said Judge Melba Marsh had a conflict in schedule which she worked through today. She was very gracious of the invitation and will join us in swearing in the various candidates.
Mayor Webster said I would certainly appreciate Councilís support for Ordinances 59, 60 and 61. These are our court officials, our magistrate, prosecutor and public defender. They have all graciously accepted to serve the next twelve months.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Ė Mr. Knox said at the last meeting I read a letter from Mr. James OíDonnell about the geese problem. I did provide him with a copy of the memo from Mr. Osborn explaining to him what the expenses would be and what has to be done. Mr. OíDonnell, knowing in the State of Minnesota they had successfully removed some geese, although Michigan was not able to do that, has volunteered to find out what the documentation is. I donít believe Jim will let this drop. He will let us know what has to be done. Secondly, Mr. Danbury was alluding to the fine performance of CDS last year. Oddly enough, we have a letter from CDS to Mrs. McNear saying that CDS Associates is very pleased to have completed another year. They say they are preparing to raise their fees for the coming year. I must comment that they are not requesting an adjustment to the base retainer or to the renumeration of the principal. Last but not least, for our legal counsel. At Wood & Lamping there was an increase last January and they did not charge us until October of this year.
Administratorís Report Ė Mr. Osborn stated. as you are aware, we have MDTs in our police cruiser. Although at one time they were state of the art they will be replaced county-wide by a new device called an MDC (Mobile Data Computer), a smart computer as opposed to a dumb terminal. The purchase process will be the same as it was for the MDTs. Because the County is acquiring and subsidizing them, the title of ownership will have to remain with the County and we will be leasing them. The cost to us to lease a unit is $2500. We have budgeted for twelve units at $2500. We have $36,000 budgeted and an invoice coming to us for $30,000. I would like to request legislation at the next Council meeting authorizing the agreement for the lease for the MDCs.
Mrs. McNear asked is that a one time cost and how long do we use them?
Mr. Osborn replied yes, it is a one time cost and we use them until they wear out. We lease them because technically the County cannot buy them and then give them away. They canít subsidize the local jurisdictions. They are responsible for maintenance.
Mr. Osborn said my next item deals with the 2002 budget. As was reported earlier by Ms. Pollitt, the 2002 budget is in preparation and we anticipate that we will be making a presentation to City Council on December 19. That same evening I would also anticipate that we would need to request a supplemental appropriation ordinance from Council. This is a routine ordinance whereby we balance out our fund accounts by making supplemental appropriations or transfers as necessary to make sure we are in the black with all our funds as we close out the year. The budget itself will not require any legislation because we will be adopting the budget the first meeting in January.
Mr. Osborn said on the dinner for December 1, Mrs. McNear is correct. We were concerned about trying to find a place for 26-27 people on Saturday night in Springdale. The Mayor had suggested Manor House. The service will be a buffet.
Law Directorís Report - no report
Engineerís Report - no report
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mayor Webster said I have a question for Mr. Knox. I got the e-mail for the contract for the new audit firm. Will that require legislation by Council?
Mr. Knox replied that is handled under the State contract. We could have legislation if someone desires.
Mr. Schneider asked is this an outside firm doing it in lieu of the State doing it? Mr. Knox replied yes. Mr. Schneider said I think it would be advisable to have Council approve it because there could be different ones doing it.
Mr. Knox stated we recommended one firm and sent that to the State. The State will have to get back to us. The sum total for the three years will be well above $15,000, in the range of $40,000. When the State gets back to us we will send you the information.
Mayor Webster said Iím sure we will hear more about that when it comes on the floor at Council. It sounds as though Mr. Knox and Mr. Williams have done a great job of reducing audit costs substantially, $25,000 over what the present provider was going to charge.
Mr. Knox said I give Mr. Williams most of the credit for that.
ORDINANCE NO. 58-2001 "AMENDING CHAPTER 152 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO (SPRINGDALE BUILDING CODE)"
ORDINANCE NO. 59-2001 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH TERRY D. GAINES TO SERVE AS MAYORíS COURT MAGISTRATE FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster said I would like to make a few comments about the performance of Mr. Gaines. I donít know if any of you have had the opportunity to witness Mr. Gaines conducting court but I can guarantee you that he does a very professional job. This will be his seventh contract and over the years Iíve heard nothing but positive things about the way the court is run, about the way the verdicts are rendered. Itís a very professional court and Iím very proud of Springdale Mayorís Court.
Ordinance 59-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 60-2001 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH JOHN H. FLESSA FOR PROSECUTING SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said John Flessa pre-dates our magistrate. He has probably been with us 12-15 years. John is intimately familiar with our rules, regulations, various codes and does an excellent job of prosecuting the cases before our magistrate. I urge passage of this ordinance also.
Ordinance 60-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO.61-2001 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH PATRICK J. GARRY FOR PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked Mayor Webster, how many cases has he defended?
Mayor Webster replied the last I checked he had eight cases that had been assigned to him this year. A lot of times the record will indicate that someone wants a public defender but a lot of times they donít follow through with the public defender. This is a service that was being provided by the County but we were supposed to be billed for it. The bills never showed up. I think it was the advice of John Flessa and the magistrate that we be proactive and provide this service for indigent people. Itís $125 a case. The renewal for all three of these contracts is the same as last year. Even though some negotiated for raises we negotiated that back.
Ordinance 61-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mr. Knox said we have a letter saying the term of our O-K-I representative will expire and they are requesting that we reappoint someone before January 10, 2002.
Mr. Squires said I have contractual obligations in the afternoons and cannot attend those meetings.
Mrs. McNear said if anyone else is interested in participating please give me a call.
Mr. Danbury asked does the member of O-K-I have to be an elected official? Mr. Knox replied yes.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into an executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss possible real estate acquisition. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:00 p.m. and reconvened at 8:50 p.m.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 58 - second reading, December 5
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Lease of MDCs for Police Department - December 5
Supplemental appropriation ordinance - December 19
Mr. Danbury asked Mr. Schneider do we need an emergency clause on Ordinance 58 so that it can go into effect January 1, 2002?
Mr. Schneider replied yes, we do need it now.
Mr. Osborn said I want to clarify that it looks like itís going to be an agreement with RCIC, which operates the levy for police communications.
Mr. Danbury asked when are going to fill the positions on the boards?
Mrs. McNear replied I think we should do that at the December 5 meeting.
Council adjourned at 8:55 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council