President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on December 1, 2004, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of November 17, 2004 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
PROCLAMATION - Commending Damion Crews for rescuing his cousin from a swimming pool.
Mr. Knox read in part a letter from Cinergy: “This letter is to inform you that the Cincinnati Gas and Electric Company will file an application for an increase in rates with the PUCO of Ohio in December 2004. The application will propose an increase in rates of approximately $6.6 million for the rider, AMRP (Accelerated Main Replacement Program) for CG& E’s gas distribution service. It will be effective in May 2005 and will result in an additional charge of $1 per month for residential customers and represents an increase in CG&E gas rates of approximately 1.2%. “
Mr. Knox stated the reason they are doing this is to replace some mains that date back to 1873. There were 1,000 miles of them within Hamilton County. Now we are down to 686 miles still to be replaced. There were some bare steel mains that needed to be replaced and they have reduced them by about 46 miles. It is a safety thing.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
RESOLUTION R29-2004 “COMMENDING THE 2004 SPRINGDALE BOYS U-7 FALL YOUTH SOCCER TEAM, THE MEAN GREEN MACHINE, FOR WINNING THE 2004 KOTH-BURT CUP”
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Resolution R29-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster said I want to thank the coaches Kathy Davis, Rick Snyder and Holly Emerson for a fantastic job. They did a good job and gave other kids an opportunity to score. I also want to thank Mr. Gene Burt, for whom this tournament is named, for his continued participation in the youth sports program.
Mr. Danbury and Mr. Vanover offered their congratulations.
ORDINANCE NO. 57-2004 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO APPROVE A CHANGE ORDER IN THE AMOUNT OF $55,565.00 TO INCREASE THE CONTRACT OF STERNBERG LANTERNS FOR THE SPRINGFIELD PIKE (SR 4) STREETSCAPE LIGHT FIXTURES AND FINISHING AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Osborn said the prices we are enjoying under this ordinance and the following ordinance are a result of the contract we entered into in 2002 with both companies in which we provided a three-year lock-in of rates for the equipment with a modest escalation for inflation each year. We believe that has served us well. That three-year commitment by both vendors expires this month and that’s why we felt it essential to consummate both these purchases by the end of the year.
Ordinance 57-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 58-2004 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO APPROVE A CHANGE ORDER IN THE AMOUNT OF $52,260.00 TO INCREASE THE CONTRACT OF TRAFFIC CONTROL PRODUCTS FOR STREETSCAPE POLES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said under Phase II of the streetscape program, we have 80% funding through the federal government. We wanted to preserve the consistency of the product that we used for street lights and signal poles, but that was not going to be guaranteed if the project was bid out by the state and we only paid our 20% in cash. However, we worked out an arrangement with them where we can go out and buy the product ourselves, make sure we get the same equipment, and then count that towards our 20% local share.
Ordinance 58-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear nominated Chuck McCauley to be a member of Charter Revision. He has been a resident of Springdale for eight years and is employed by PC On Call as a network engineer. He is with an organization called Hope Worldwide as an advisor to the director.
RESOLUTION R27-2004 “APPOINTING CHUCK MCCAULEY AS A MEMBER OF CHARTER REVISION”
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Resolution R27-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R28-2004 “APPOINTING THOMAS GOINES AS A MEMBER OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION”
Mr. Galster nominated Mr. Goines and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Wilson said I think we have a good team on Civil Service and it is commendable that they continue to serve.
Resolution R28-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn reported we are in the process of reviewing the trust agreement and escrow agreement associated with the TIF bond sale that was authorized by Council back in September. During the course of the review process it has become a little convoluted, a little more complex than we had anticipated, and there have been delays that we had not expected. Given the fact that this is a $10 million issue and we only get one chance to get it right, we would like to engage the services of Peck, Schaeffer and Williams, specifically Brenda Wiemer, to serve as special counsel to the City for purposes of reviewing the details associated with the bond issue. The bond counsel is hired by the borrower, and beyond the borrower’s interest, represents the bond purchasers. We would feel safer bringing in special counsel with specific expertise to look over our shoulder and the bond counsel’s shoulder to make sure we’ve got it right. The proposal from her is for $250 an hour plus expenses, such as copying costs. We can adopt an ordinance but for purposes of time, I suggest we get a motion of Council that you agree that this is an appropriate way to go. We will then issue a purchase order. We should be able to more than accommodate the expenses under that purchase order as we can cover up to one hundred hours and I don’t think it will take nearly that.
Mr. Knox said I too was at the meeting with Ms. Weimer and I have great confidence in her ability. We’ve been reading these documents and reading them, and we really need an objective look at them by a knowledgeable person.
Mr. Osborn stated it’s our understanding and belief that at the closing for the sale of the bonds, we will be able to recover these expenses as part of the bond sale.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to approve retaining Ms. Weimer as special bond counsel to the City. Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Wilson asked what is the normal amount of hours this type of person would take to do our project?
Mr. Osborn replied typically you don’t do this, and we wouldn’t be doing this except for the protracted nature of the process so far, and the redrafting. In order to give us assurance and confidence in what we are doing, we wanted to bring these folks in. It’s hard to say how many hours it will take. My point is that we can pay for up to one hundred hours on a purchase order. I don’t think it will be half that.
Mr. Schneider said I agree that it probably won’t be that much. It will be the review of documents, meetings. It’s hard to guess how many hours because it depends on how many changes need to be made. I’m sure she will account for her time by the hour. Most of these projects are done on a flat-rate basis at a substantially higher hourly rate than she is proposing.
Mr. Wilson stated I am concerned about open-end contracts. Is there something that says if we need to back off, we can?
Mr. Osborn responded, under a purchase order we would not be able to exceed $25,000. If we began to even approach that number we would come back before you for an ordinance or your decision not to spend anymore money.
Mr. Knox said every document so far says that the City of Springdale will not spend any money from taxation or the general fund. We have a fair amount of money in that account right now so when we pay the money it will come from that account.
Mr. Galster said when we were drafting these documents we were pretty confident that the City was well protected, even beyond what the preparer of the document had seen at other municipalities. Is there anything that has changed that has made us think we need to double check this?
Mr. Osborn answered I can’t say that we can point to a fatal flaw that would jeopardize the validity of the bonds and documents supporting the bonds. However, we can’t say that they are without flaw. We have discussed certain changes that we want to see. Mr. Knox and I have forwarded changes that we would like to see and they weren’t always fully answered in the redrafting. Quite honestly, neither he nor I have the capacity to review these very complex financial documents. That’s not to say we don’t do a good job with the knowledge we have, but these are well beyond anything we work with on a daily basis. We just feel that we need somebody else to take a look at it.
The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said I have a copy of a letter from CDS asking for a slight increase in fees for their next contract.
Mrs. McNear said we also have a request from Wood & Lamping as well.
Mr. Knox stated we ended up with two ordinances with the same number, Ordinance Number 40-2004. Wood & Lamping has suggested changing one of the ordinances to 39A-2004. We will have legislation at the next meeting.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Finance Committee - December 8
Board of Health - December 9
Planning Commission - December 14
Board of Zoning Appeals - December 21
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Temporary Appropriation - December 15
Ordinance Number Change - December 15
CDS contract - December 15
Wood & Lamping - December 15
Council adjourned at 7:40 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council