Council was called to order on April 16, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. by President of Council Randy Danbury.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the governmental body and those in attendance. The Invocation was given by Mrs. McNear.
Roll call was taken by Mrs. McNear. Present were Council members Boice, Galster, Manis, McNear, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of March 19 were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
In the minutes of April 2 on page 5714 Mr. Wilson said Simpson should be Simmons. The minutes were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
Ann McBride, City Planner for Springdale gave a presentation on the Springfield Pike Corridor Study. I would like to present a very brief review and overview of our recommendations based on that study. The City has long recognized the importance of the Springfield Pike corridor to the City and retained the consulting firm of BOHM-NBBJ to study the corridor and make specific recommendations as to preserving the assets of the corridor and improving any of the weaknesses that might exist within the corridor. That study was completed and adopted by the City in 1990. It was prepared in conjunction with the community. They surveyed 5,000 households. They held public meetings. There were work sessions in addition to the regular analysis and research that goes into the preparing of the corridor study. The study basically broke the corridor down into four areas:
A) City line south to I-275
B) I-275 South to Kemper (includes municipal building complex)
C) Kemper Road south to Northland Boulevard
D) Northland Boulevard south to the City line or Sharon Road
Specific recommendations were made for each sub-area and for the corridor overall. In recognizing that the City recently hired Pflum, Klausmeier and Gehrum, the firm I am with to review and assess the status of that corridor study. Where is the City today in relation to those recommendations, the goals and objections that were established and adopted by the City in 1990 and where should we focus our energy and our time and money in terms of preserving the corridor? I'd like to review some of the study recommendations. We did them in a color coded fashion: red-goals that remain to be accomplished; green-goals that had been achieved by the City; blue-goals that are on-going. We have achieved some of those but they are on-going things we want to continue to work on.
Goals, Objectives and Strategies
1. Develop Springfield Pike as a community spine to help foster a sense of community identity apart from the regional development that had occurred elsewhere within the City. The City is working towards that and it is an on-going effort. We are trying to attract and retain neighborhood businesses that exist within the corridor and we're striving to create an image for the corridor that sets it apart from the Tri-County Mall area.
2. Protect existing residential areas and increase the amount of residential development of varying types. This is also an on-going effort. We're doing that through the discouragement of rezoning of residential properties to non-residential type uses, office or commercial. We're encouraging in-fill housing and multi-unit senior housing. Obviously with the construction of Sterling House we are working towards that goal.
3. Improve Springdale's image as a residential community. This is an on-going goal. We are maintaining the residential zoning. There are future developments going in around the corridor. The development taking place on the corridor itself is being held to a residential scale. Much of that is being done through the Corridor Review District. That's a really key item the City has put into place.
4. Reestablish the pedestrian linkages between residential areas and Springfield Pike as well as other major activity areas. This is something we want to continue to work on. We want to encourage pedestrian travel versus the automotive travel. It's hard to do in our society but it is something we want to continue to work on.
5. Separate regional movement from local movement where possible and avoid concentrations of traffic. That is an on-going goal we will want to continue to monitor as development and re-development takes place along the corridor. We have realigned the intersection of Kemper and Northland and we have made the decision to maintain Springfield Pike to three lanes south of Northland to Sharon Road.
6. Develop a consistent theme or a visual image along the corridor that is unique to the corridor. That has been done and is being implemented through what I mentioned earlier as the Corridor Review District. The district sets up the criteria for each of the four sub-areas in terms of setbacks, design criteria, lighting, signage, building characteristics, building materials, etc. That really is the backbone to how we are implementing that.
7. Increase amount of green space on the corridor. This is an on-going effort but we have been preserving vegetation through the Tree Preservation Ordinance. We have been acquiring additional landscaping in yards as well as in parking lots. We are using green space now as a buffer - berming, landscaping, etc. - as a buffer between different types of land uses as well as utilizing green spaces at activity centers.
8. Create opportunities for local businesses to expand but to avoid a strip appearance along the corridor. This is a goal we are working toward. We are not there yet but with the possibility of the urban renewal area, that will go a long way toward achieving some of the aspects of goal number 8.
9. Improve the mix of uses along the corridor and provide for more community service oriented uses versus strictly retail uses. We have done that. We need to keep doing that and again, that goes back to our corridor review district, to our urban renewal plan. All of those elements tie together in achieving these different goals.
10. Insure safe and convenient pedestrian and vehicular circulation. We've done that in a lot of ways but we need to provide better pedestrian crossings at some of the major intersections. That was identified as a goal within the study. We haven't really quite achieved that yet; however, we have gone a long way in controlling the number of curb cuts for new developments and redevelopments that are occurring along the corridor. We are trying to encourage the linkages between the pedestrian walkways and the activities that are occurring along the corridor.
11. Tailor corridor improvements to the unique character of each segment. Some of these items we have done and some we haven't been very successful with. In terms of connecting Sub-area A with the rest of the corridor, we don't feel we have been very successful. That is the area north of I-275 and it is hard to bring that into the rest of the corridor but we do need to work at that. The Kemper Road intersection does not contain the landmark style development that the corridor plan recommended. However, there are a number of elements we have been able to achieve. The municipal complex obviously has increased its exposure. We need to continue to protect residential areas. I think we have done a good job with that but we need to continue to strengthen the pedestrian linkages and create a non-urban appearance in that respect.
12. Retain public property as open space for use as community services. We have done that and we need to continue to monitor that and continue to realize that is one of our goals and maintain that as such.
13. Avoid uses that specifically increase traffic congestion. We have done that and continue to do that. Through the Corridor Review District we require traffic impact analysis be done for developments that come in. By those we can gauge how much traffic is going to be generated from those proposed uses, particularly during peak hours. We also require an access management plan. We're much more conscious as to where curb cuts are located, asking for joint tie-ins to developments that are adjacent to other compatible uses, etc.
14. Preserve vegetation in yard areas along the south Sub-area D segment from Northland south to the city boundary. We have done that through the Tree Preservation Ordinance and also through the Corridor Review District we do have the requirement of street trees in that specific district.
15. Create opportunities to install a sense of history or tradition which the plan suggested through the placement of landmarks. We haven't really done that per se, but I will talk about in a minute some of the things we have done. That is something we want to continue to achieve.
Overall the plan indicated that the corridor needed some kind of community presence for identification, trying to separate itself from the balance of the regional oriented retail in the community. They suggested a series of activities to create that identity. Specifically they identified them as creating residential enclaves, visible landmarks, accessing public and semi-public spaces, creating pedestrian activities, pedestrian linkages, creating a sense of entry and arrival into the corridor. That was very important and continues to be important. Also, add additional landscape area to yard spaces trying to create a sense of green along the corridor. With that concept in mind, the consultant set up a series of goals for each sub-area.
The goals for Sub-area A were to create a gateway which I don't think we have achieved; to emphasize the intersection of Crescentville Road and Springfield Pike, which maybe we haven't done as well as we should have; and to create a 10-15 acre park in that area which has not been done. We are requiring additional landscaping. You will be seeing some potential redevelopment in that area and we are requiring extensive landscaping.
In Sub-area B, the transition area, located here where the City building is, we have increased the landscaping. We have increased the Municipal Building exposure and we have maintained the residential uses around the Cloverdale Avenue area. We want to continue to create the pedestrian linkages and we want to encourage the development of adjacent residential tracks. We do want to work on the creation of gateways at the northeast and northwest corners of Springfield Pike and Kemper. Gateways are very important in establishing and creating the corridor, its identity, its theme, and maintaining it as a neighborhood oriented area.
In Sub-area C, dubbed the village core, we want to preserve and restore the village grid that exists there. The City has been very proactive in that stance as to looking at redevelopment opportunities that have come in and how they relate to that village grid. I think that it's important that you continue to do that. You have created the park at the southeast corner of Kemper and St. Rt. 4, and the northwest corner of Springfield Pike and Grandin has been developed for institutional use by a financial institution as recommended by the plan. Additionally, the pedestrian walkway system has been enhanced in that area.
In Sub-area D, which the plan called the southern entry, we have created gateways to specific developments. A number of developments in that area have very attractive, very lovely gateways into this specific development. However, again, there is no gateway into the City of Springdale. There is a small sign once you get up the road a bit and there are a number of other signs about the boom box ordinance, no parking, etc., but nothing that really says you are in Springdale, landscaping-wise, theme-wise, whatever. That's something I want to get back to. We want to make sure we maintain the residential scale in that area and also the mixture of uses. We want to continue to minimize curb cuts as we do throughout the corridor but to permit office and multi-family uses within existing office business districts, again to a residential scale.
We have implemented a number of the goals that were established as part of the corridor study, most specifically the adoption of the corridor review district. There are a number of other items we would like to discuss with you this evening, what we have identified as four strategic focus areas for the City. Looking back, here is what you decided to do in 1990 and you have done a number of these items but understanding what has yet to be accomplished, where should we go from here? There is one item I'd like to touch on with regards to Sub-area A. We did not target that as a strategic focus area but we think the identity of that area is very important and we'd like to suggest that the City look at making an attempt to provide additional linkages from that area to the rest of the corridor. Initially we are suggesting some type of landscaping; possibly if the Sheraton was willing to cooperate, to do some kind of landscaping that spells out Springdale, something that lets you know you are here but also creates an entryway into the community.
Sub-area B held our first focus area one and Council has heard a lot about that area. It's the blocks located in the northeast corner of Kemper and Springfield Pike. The conditions in that area have continued to decline. The City has declared the area an urban renewal area and we are in the process of preparing an urban renewal plan for that particular portion of the City. It's going to be very important that the City move forward with the implementation of that plan. I think that will be a key focal point to continuing the movement that started with this corridor plan. One other note we had about Sub-area B was the opportunity, if it exists, to improve the appearance of some of the drainage area there at the northwest corner of Glensprings Drive and Springfield Pike. That also is a very key area for the City for the people coming in off of I-275 or coming down Rt. 4 from Fairfield. That really is another entryway into the City and we want to make sure that that properly reflects the image we want the City to have.
Strategic focus area number two would suggest the creation of a design plan for the northwest corner of Kemper and Springfield Pike. As the northeast corner starts to redevelop under the urban renewal plan, it's going to become very clear that the northwest corner now is the piece that doesn't fit the puzzle. We would suggest the creation of a design plan that would include some of the gateway elements that we talked about previously this evening and would also include some of the features that we would want to see within that redevelopment; for example, the placement of parking, landscaping elements, design treatments, etc., implementing the techniques that are in the Corridor Review District with The Corridor Study and then some additional elements that will be brought in from the Urban Renewal Plan, combining everything into that fourth corner of that intersection.
Focus area three is located within Sub-area C. We would like to encourage the rejuvenation of the original village core. These are all elements that were suggested within your original corridor analysis. We'd like to do that by encouraging in-fill housing within that area and that in turn, is going to increase pedestrian activity. We'd like to pull those linkages into the balance of the corridor. We'd like to define some design principals in terms of landscaping that would also occur within that area.
Focus area four would be a recommendation to create a unified plan for the northwest corner of Springfield Pike and Sharon Road. When you come in from Glendale to the left there are a variety of uses. Some are very attractive. We'd like to see a more unified plan of design for that area, with interlocking curb cuts, shared curb cuts, interacting access, coordinated landscaping along the street frontage and again, to feature an entryway or gateway element to the City. Again, when you come into the City until you see some of the smaller signs that are posted, you really don't know you are in Springdale. You really haven't made that statement and that's very important to the corridor and also to the City.
We'd like to recommend to the City that you look at some upgrades to some of the intersections on Springfield Pike, specifically Crescentville, Kemper, Northland, Sharon, Grandin and Glensprings. Those are what we see as the major intersections along the corridor and something in terms of a gateway type theme that would be repeated throughout the corridor so you know you are still in the corridor, creating that theme of fact. The City has started to establish something like that with the stone walls and landscaping here adjacent to the City building. It doesn't have to be to that extreme, maybe a lower wall, less landscaping but something to let you know you are still within the corridor. We were asked to do an analysis of where are we, what have we done, what haven't we done, kind of a report card on the Corridor Study. We've taken that and tried to put in some of our own ideas as to where we might go from there.
Mr. Danbury said you said on page 5, in the Area 5, you said develop a 10-15 acre park. Where would that be?
Ms. McBride said that was one of the recommendations that was included within your original Springfield Pike Corridor Study. It did not specifically say where in that area that park should be.
Mr. Osborn stated I believe what was in mind was, should the property between Springdale Lake Drive and Oxford Hill develop in the future, that there be an effort to cause a park type use to be developed in that area.
Mr. Danbury asked on page 6 of Sub-area C, what is bollard lighting in the pedestrian walkway system.
Ms. McBride replied that probably should have been ballard lighting. The lighting sheds light on a specific area but does not produce any glare or spillage onto adjacent properties.
Mr. Danbury said if we are going to develop this whole corridor there are some things that would involve land acquisition or someone coming in and developing it themselves. What could the City do in a most cost efficient way? Would it be landscaping, signage, a combination of both?
Ms. McBride responded first of all I think it would be to develop some kind of key element that is repeated throughout the corridor and identify one that you can establish a cost element on because that will be repeated throughout the corridor. I would suggest a mixture of a feature, such as a stone wall, and landscaping. In terms of encouraging redevelopment of the corridor, I think it's important that you have the planning tools in place prior to that redevelopment or development occurring because if the private sector were to come in and look at assembling some parcels on their own, you want to make sure you have those elements in place, that you can go to them and say we're really happy to have you and happy to see this redevelopment and this is how we'd like to see it done.
Mr. Osborn said this is a report card of where we are but also an effort to cause us to reevaluate our strategy, reaffirm our strategy as to what we want to do, what our priorities are. We've done this to some degree by initiating this Urban Renewal Study and plan in the corridor at the northeast corner of St. Rt. 4 and Kemper. The corridor plan takes two different paths. One is a planning strategy; the other is a visual strategy. The planning strategy focuses around some of the other development nodes like the northwest corner of Sharon and Springfield Pike. That property from there to the church is another area where we need to put some focus, as is the northwest corner of Springfield Pike and Kemper Road. Just as we have done initially here with this first exercise, it may not be an urban renewal plan because the properties may not qualify for urban renewal, but again, it's having a strategy because there are quite a number of those properties down there that are on the market right now. It's an area in transition and we want to make sure we have a game plan when it starts happening. We'll probably be a part of making it happen. I don't think we can sit back and expect people to comply with what we have put on paper here. I think we have to be proactive, get a plan out before the public, invite developers to come in to look at them, etc. I guess that's really the benefit of going back and having the planner re-examine our existing corridor study.
Ms. Manis said I think it's a very good summary. I do agree with all of it. The part I hadn't thought of that much before is the neighborhood area. I would think that would be one of the most important areas to me as far as just keeping the area residential. The other developments on the other corner of Kemper will happen as the development comes in and changes. We can push those along then but I would hate to see the residential area over there just die. I think not using a whole lot of our money but saying here are some low interest loans you can get and maybe even helping with their landscaping, not through the City but through a volunteer group we can do a lot. I think it's a very important part of the City. We can do a smaller version of the little things like the signs with not a lot of money and not a lot of time. I think there is a lot we can implement in here quickly and not kill us money-wise.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS - Mr. Vanover said we're happy to report that the pre-construction meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, April 17 for the 1997 crack seal program, the 1997 asphalt repair/resurface program and the 1997 concrete repair program with the construction work to take place between June and September. After the pre-construction meeting tomorrow we should have a better feel for timetables. The driveway apron program is out for bids which will be open April 21. We would like to award the contract at the Council meeting of May 17 reporting on the Rockcrest reconstruction. The reconstruction will begin this week and is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - Mr. Wilson said the Community Center HVAC replacement pre-construction meeting was held on April 8 and the construction work will be performed in July and August. Common Creek improvements at the Heritage Hill School design work is now completed. The project schedule is as follows: advertise and open bids, May 1997; award the work, June 1997; construction period, June through August 1997. St. Rt. 747 CSX grade separation final environmental document has been submitted to ODOT for review. We anticipate this project will be approved by ODOT to begin the design work by mid 1997. Community Center pool repair and improvement plans are scheduled for completion in May with a bid opening in June and construction from the end of August through November. The Community Center field-wiring replacement pre-construction meeting was held on April 14. Construction will begin this week.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION - Mr. Galster reported Planning Commission met April 8. Judith Muellenhard of Pine Garden Landominiums had been tabled from the previous meeting. She had requested screened decks and porches be added to her development. That was tabled again 7-0. We had written a letter to the applicant asking that they come in compliance with some of the documentation they are lacking. Until they do so they pretty much won't be heard before Planning Commission. The second item was concept discussion of the proposed Holiday Inn Express. Now it's not going to be Holiday Inn Express but it might be some other building express at the old Pizza Hut on Sheraton Lane. Originally the applicant came in with the Holiday Inn Express three story building. It was a pretty intense development for that land. We asked him to look at a two story building because that's what the PUD calls out. He did do a lot of work in trying to reduce the size of the project. He did get it down to a two story building. It's small enough that Holiday Inn isn't interested but we're still waiting to work some things out. It's still a large structure up there on top of the hill. We're trying to get some residential look to it. The applicant is working with us. There are some recommendations to try to get it more in line with what we want to see up there and it was tabled 7-0.
Final approval was requested from Gilhart Enterprises requesting an addition to Princeton Plaza which is the old Payless Shoes which is now Strictly Golf and connecting that to Borders. It was passed with a 6-1 vote but the way it was passed would require that they close one of the entrances from Kemper Road into Princeton Plaza right in front of the old Payless Shoes. My personal opinion is that I don't think the applicant is willing to do that so I don't believe it's going to move forward. There are probably going to be a lot more discussions with Administration and Engineering to try to figure out a better traffic flow there.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS - Mrs. Boice reported they met last evening. Dan DiMarco, 585 Grandin Avenue, requested a variance to allow the removal of an existing carport and to add on a second story. If you will recall, I referred to this at the last meeting where he had asked to table and go back and rework his plans. After consideration and knowing that structurally a two story would not fit into that particular area, he has withdrawn his request and has been dropped from the agenda. A. G. Hauck Co. requested a variance to allow 112 parking spaces for the Fitness Store at 11336 Princeton Pike. It's a case where they want to use the lower area. We had a gentleman in who is their supervisor. Mr. Hauck was called out of town on an emergency. This is the third time it's been on our agenda. The first time they asked for it to be tabled, the second time no appearance and it was dropped, and it was tabled again yesterday because the gentleman who was here was not clear as to what type of business was going in there and we're talking about five less parking places. They could be moving in 25 telemarketers. We've got to know what the business is. We are hoping that Mr. Hauck will appear next time and explain that to us. Until we know precisely what is going in there it is virtually impossible to grant a variance. That was tabled 7-0. Sign-a-Rama, 115 W. Kemper Road, requested a variance to allow 34 square feet of window signs. After a lot of discussion he withdrew his request and is going to work with the Building Department to come under compliance. Mrs. McNear has made it very clear to almost everyone who has come in on these signs that we are cutting no one any slack. This is the way it's going to be. You will have to get into compliance. She is very definite about that and the rest of the board has certainly followed suit and supports her in that stand. William Gerth, 11712 Kenn Road, requested a variance to allow the remodel of his garage. This is an area which each single family dwelling is required to have a two or more car garage. There are some dwellings that have single car garages and that garage was in existence when Mr. Gerth was there. The problem is he had taken off the two doors. To get two cars in there would be almost impossible. It's 19'4". He had put a single door in and had forgotten to pick up a permit which I think is what caused the whole problem. That garage was in existence when he bought the house and he is doing a lot to upshore the looks of it and the variance was granted 7-0. Judith Muellenhard requested the placement of directional signs at Lawnview and Princewood Court, Lawnview and Kemper Road, Lawnview and Rt. 4. She did have letters from all the people involved that were in agreement that they would allow her to place her signs there. We did explain that we did not want to set this type of precedent. She said people had a difficult time finding the place. As I stated I cannot imagine what is so difficult about finding Lawnview and Princewood. You come down Kemper, turn onto Lawnview and keep going until you come to Princewood. It seemed quite simple to me but she said the problem was that people do not know. They will have to do more advertising and let them be aware that these are for sale. That variance was denied 7-0. Cecil Osborn, 12080 Kenn Road, requested a variance to allow the construction of a split rail fence in the side yard. It was an instance where he would be going five feet beyond what was required there. We had detailed plans and looked at them very carefully. Mr. Osborn was certainly prepared with a good presentation and that variance was granted 7-0. Marla J. Dodd, 909 Yorkhaven Road, requested a variance to allow the placement of a satellite dish in her side yard. Ms. Dodd had moved here from Missouri. She is on a corner lot and she explained to us that she has moved from Michigan to Missouri to here and she has carried this dish every place. She wanted a lot of guidance that we can't give. We suggested landscaping. She wanted to know if we know an engineer we could recommend. Of course we cannot do that. We did explain to her and Mrs. McNear made the point, rather than put it to a vote last night because there was no way we could accept it as it is, that if denied she would not be able to come back for six months so that was tabled 7-0.
BOARD OF HEALTH - Mr. Vanover stated they met last Thursday and we are moving forward with the acquisition of the cholesterol testing equipment. I carried Mrs. Boice's recommendation back to Board of Health and they had already intended to include glucose testing. We will let you know when that will be available to the residents but I think that will be a big plus. There was some discussion about the accuracy but we have talked to several labs. One of the Dayton hospitals had run comparisons of this unit to their own labs and they were as accurate as their own labs.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - Mr. Coleman said as a result of a request of the Assistant City Administrator, Mr. Parham, for candidates for the position of firefighter, three candidates were submitted for a second certification and seven candidates were submitted for a third certification. Following the attempt to contact these ten individuals to determine their continued interest in the position vacancy, seven were successfully contacted. As a result of the three unsuccessful attempts three additional candidates have now been submitted.
O-K-I - no report
MAYOR'S REPORT - Mayor Webster said as a footnote to Mr. Vanover's report on Board of Health, today I signed the purchase order for the cholesterol testing equipment so we should be getting that very shortly. It's with a great deal of sadness that I come in on the demise of a former City employee, Mr. Herman Grant. He was in the City's employment for close to twenty years, a lifelong resident; built a lot of homes in the City. He had a lot of friends and relatives in the area and on behalf of the City I would like to extend to widow, Ruby, and his family our heartfelt condolences and sympathies.
I have issued a proclamation regarding Arbor Day and at this point I would like to read that.
Whereas, in 1872 J. Sterling Morton proposed to the Nebraska Board of Agriculture that a special day be aside for the planting of trees;
Whereas, this holiday called Arbor Day was first observed with the planting of more than a million trees in Nebraska; and
Whereas, Arbor Day is now observed throughout the nation and the world; and
Whereas, trees can reduce the erosion of our top soil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife; and
Whereas, trees are a renewable source giving us paper, food for our homes, fuel for our fires and countless other wood products; and
Whereas, trees in our City increase property values, enhance the economic vitality of business areas and beautify our community; and
Whereas, the City of Springdale wishes to encourage its residents to plant and maintain trees in the City;
Now therefore, I, Doyle H. Webster, Mayor of the City of Springdale, do hereby proclaim April 25, 1997 as Arbor Day in the City of Springdale and urge all citizens to support efforts to protect our trees and woodlands and to support the City's urban forestry program; and
Further, I urge all members of the community to join in recognizing this significant occasion.
In light of that I would also like to issue an invitation for all of you to come and join us the 1997 Arbor Day celebration at the Springdale Community Center at 4:00 p.m. on April 25. The Arbor Day festivities will include the planting of the traditional Arbor Day tree, a proclamation by me, balloons and stickers for the kids, cake and refreshments, and various pamphlets that will help you select and care for your trees.
Mr. Danbury said they have been planting trees there at the Community Center for a lot of years and I don't think a lot of people realize the significance of those.
Mayor Webster said I would also like to thank the Garden Club for their participation.
ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT - Mr. Osborn said on April 5, we mailed out 359 notices to property owners by registered mail on the driveway aprons. Obviously those have been delivered and we have had contacts and follow ups with quite a number of folks. I distributed to you last week a list of frequently asked questions and I thought for the public's benefit we might go over those.
1) Will I be charged interest if the cost of my apron is assessed as part of my taxes? The answer is no. The City has made a decision not to assess any interest as a part of the cost of financing the aprons through a two year recovery on the tax rolls. The County, however, will levy a 3% handling charge each year on the cost of the assessment.
2) Do I need a permit to replace my apron? The answer is yes. In order to encourage and facilitate the replacement of the aprons the City is waiving the permit fee. We do need you to take the permit, however, so we can track which aprons are being replaced by residents. The place to obtain that is the Public Works Department at 771-6835.
3) Is there a leeway if I want to do my own apron but can't have it done by the deadline of 16 June 1997? The answer again is yes. We would request that you have your permit by 16 June. However, we will allow completion on an individual basis to go as late as 7 July. After that we will have to start doing these ourselves in order to meet the schedule we are under.
4) When will the City know the actual cost per square foot for its contractor for replacing driveway aprons under the City's program? April 21 is when we are having the bid opening for the driveway apron program.
Mr. Osborn continued that there will be some legislation before you at the next meeting or the following meeting dealing with sump pumps. There are a number throughout the City that discharge water from foundation drains into the curb line. That's not a problem until winter gets here and then the water starts freezing and building up and in some cases, creates a hazard in the roadway. We intend to bring legislation before Council which would regulate the manner in which sump pumps from foundation drains are discharged into the public right of way so they are not just put through the curb and allowed to cause standing water in the curb line. That issue is being reviewed right now by the Building and Public Works Departments.
I just wanted to check with Council and see if everyone has had a chance to look at the 1998 tax budget process and determine if the dates we had outlined are agreeable. The two critical dates for Council would be the Finance Committee meeting the week of June 23 and the public hearing that would be scheduled for July 2. Are those dates acceptable to Council? (Council replied yes.)
As you are aware the City has been looking at a very major renovation to E. Crescentville Road along with the City of Sharonville and Butler County. We have been working with the Butler County Engineer and the Safety Service Director from Sharonville and over the years we have developed a concept that was presented to the residents at a public meeting last summer. The concept that was presented at the time of the public meeting and which is still in place is the construction of a new five lane Crescentville Road just north of the existing edge of pavement exclusively in Butler County, and then taking the existing area where the road is and construct a 15 foot mounded barrier and on the south side of that, a 24 foot service road fronting on the residential homes in Springdale and Sharonville. We have gone out for engineering services, Butler County being the lead agency. Based on the solicitation made by Butler County and the evaluation the firm selected for the engineering services is Balke Engineering. The amount of the fees are $334,477. Based on a front footage formula which all parties agreed to, Springdale's share would be $125,428.87. Last year in preparation for the 1997 budget we had plugged in $110,625 into the 1997 Capital Improvements Budget so we are fairly close to our budget number. The schedule is pretty aggressive. This project is popular both with the Butler County Engineer and the Hamilton County Engineer. We are looking at design in 1997, right of way acquisition in 1998, and construction in 1999. There will be very little right of way acquisition required on the south side of the road; however, Butler County will have a substantial amount of right of way acquisition on their side of the road. The construction cost estimate right now is $4 million. We have had two meetings, one early on and one just recently, with the Hamilton County Engineer to talk about resources for meeting these construction costs and I'm optimistic that we will be fairly successful in applying for State Issue 2 funds through Hamilton County as well as the Municipal Road Fund to help cover that cost. We are currently reviewing a draft agreement with Butler County which will identify them as the lead agency and I would anticipate bringing in legislation at your next meeting authorizing the agreement with Butler County as the lead agency on this project.
Recently in our newsletter we put out a form asking residents who would like to be listed on a list we hand out to solicitors saying don't call at this house. We have received 170 returns so far. I would encourage anyone who may have put their address on the list in 1986/87 when we first created it to do it again. There has been a lot of turnover since then and we're hoping this list will be our new version. Just to make sure you don't get missed if you put in your name a number of years ago, please let us know again so we make sure we don't miss you.
There is a recurring form that we put in the newsletter called Request for Service. We get a good response from that. Sixteen have been turned in so far from this current newsletter and I wanted to show you how we deal with that. The example I have for you is a request from a resident on Flagstone Drive requesting that we look at extending the curb line on Ballinger, wrapping the radius return around onto Ballinger on the southeast corner. Mr. Sears went out and looked at that and he agrees that that would be a good idea because we have people cutting the corner, rutting it up, etc., so we are going to wrap that radius return and extend the curb line on the east side of Ballinger. When we get a request like this we have a route sheet. These come to Mrs. Brillhart and either she or I identifies what department it goes to and if it's something other than the Administrative Office, it is immediately sent to that office. If you note at the bottom, we date the time it is received by the City, the date it is sent to the respondent and then there is a suspense date. We are telling the department director he/she has until this date to make contact with the resident and get back to us. When they return it, they fill in the information. In this case, on April 8 Mr. Sears wrote a letter to the individual and explained that we would follow up on her request and install the curb on Ballinger. Then he returned his route sheet to us showing what action he has taken and the date he sent the response to the resident. We want to track how effectively we are at getting back to the resident. In this case we were able to satisfy the resident's concern. In some cases we can't. But I think when somebody sends in a request for service it's just as important to get back to them and tell them we can't help them rather than just sit on it and/or ignore it. We have been following this practice and because of that the residents do use it and we're very pleased with it. It is a good way for us to have immediate contact with a resident who has a problem and try to deal with it one on one with them. I think it's a successful way of trying to identify these smaller issues. I would encourage anyone who has any type of service or question related to the City to take advantage of that form that is in the newsletter and we will do our best to respond.
Ms. Manis asked are all the projects on Crescentville Road expected to be done at one time?
Mr. Osborn replied yes. We had initially looked at doing this in two phases. There is a section of it that is on the west end of the project. The project has St. Rt. 747 as the west terminus and I-75 overpass as the east terminus. Initially we had broken the project down into two phases; that part across the frontage of GE Park in Springdale which would be all five lane, and no residential buffering. The remainder of the project would be in the residential portion of Springdale and Sharonville. We had broken it down into phases because of the size of the cost. Again because of the enthusiasm of the county engineers who are participating we have now concluded that we are going to do it all in one project. It would have required us to do some transitioning. We may not get it all done in one construction season but it may facilitate how much disruption we have to the residents. We won't be putting them through two projects. It certainly will be just as frustrating during construction but hopefully, we'll be able to get the majority of it done in one construction season.
Mr. Danbury asked weren't you at one time talking about having a line of trees there that can be like a buffer in-between?
Mr. Osborn responded I mentioned the fifteen foot buffer. That will be mounded on a three to one slope. I will probably be getting back to you in later years hopefully with another agreement with Butler County. The way that road lays out that buffer is actually across the county line in Butler County but we're going to sign a maintenance agreement with Butler County because we want to have responsibility for that buffer. In the same vein we have asked to pull the design of that buffer out of this contract and we're going to give that to a landscape architect. We want to have as much control as possible as to what that is going to look like. We have talked about it a little bit with our City Engineer and they are consulting with us on that. We certainly do expect it to be typically vertical and bushy type evergreens, mulch covered instead of grass covered with juniper type creepers and things of that nature to help hold everything in place. Also we hope to do some architectural walls here and there. If you have a fifteen foot space at a one to three slope you can only go up so far and then you have to start going down again. But if you have a wall on one side you can continue to using that entire fifteen feet and go up that entire fifteen feet and make that barrier a little higher. It won't be like that all the way across but maybe two or three of these along the entire course of it just to give it some variation. I should add that this median will be sprinklered as well to keep it looking nice and fresh. We're working very aggressively to try to make that not only an effective buffer but a very attractive part of the environment.
Mr. Vanover asked on the purchase of the right of way acquisition do we anticipate some strong resistance? I know that Planes just put that new building in which will be right in the middle of the road.
Mr. Osborn replied that is Butler County's side of the road and we have discussed this with them. They feel pretty confident that they can accomplish it. I think you may see some things you don't expect though. For example, the Kraft facility is pretty close to the road as well and we had anticipated that might come into play. The county engineer is anticipating using a jersey barrier, which is a concrete barrier you see on expressways that are frequently used for temporary barriers to steer you. That is a grade of protection that is approved by federal highway. The engineer will probably put that along the edge, right up against the Kraft facility and then it would be just like on an expressway. You'd have a bit of a breakdown area and a stripe line. That way he has very little right of way requirements there. There would be almost a zero set back but I think we would all agree that that would be better than us having to push the road south into Springdale. Also if they had to go in and start buying the first 24 feet of Kraft it could certainly become burdensome. I think all parties recognize it's going to be tight on the north side but I think Mr. Foster is already thinking about how he's going to deal with that.
Mr. Wilson said initially we were talking about phases I and II and the costs associated. We had a breakdown. Now we are doing it all in one. Can you enlighten me on the costs now?
Mr. Osborn stated I can't give you a good idea because a new issue came up at our last meeting with Mr. Brayshaw, the Hamilton County Engineer and Mr. Hubbard, his assistant along with Mr. Foster. It's a little unclear to me right now but I think Mr. Brayshaw is indicating that both sides intend to use State Issue 2 funding as the principal source but because there is a county line involved Mr. Brayshaw wants the funding distribution to be broken at the county line. Butler County pays for everything north of the county line and Hamilton County, Springdale, Sharonville pay for everything south of the county line so it wouldn't come out on the same percentage basis as we did the front footage thing for engineering. It would effectively shift more of the cost over to Butler County. I can't give you a real good feel for that right now but I can tell you again, if I read everything correctly, I think we'll get very good support from the Hamilton County Engineer's Office, not only Issue 2 funding but MRF funding as our local share.
Mayor Webster said in response to Mr. Vanover's question regarding Planes Moving, we pointed that out to them when they poured the footers for that facility. They supposedly checked with the Butler County Engineer's Office and they said you are okay. I know it looks close but that's their problem. The concrete is hardly dry on that building and we all questioned the close proximity to the new road. Mr. Wilson, I appreciate your financial concern but after we get through with the engineering cost, that's the lion share of our cost in this project if things materialize the way we have them planned. So whether we do it in one year or ten years it shouldn't have any financial impact on the City or the Capital Improvements Budget.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Osborn, I just want to thank you for this service request you went over with us. When we got that survey back we got a lot of positives and it's because of taking approaches like that. We can sit up here and get all the accolades and everybody saying how we good we are and all the great things, but really it's you and your departments taking it like this and acting like you're in competition with somebody. This is a good way of dealing with the public and I think that's why the citizens are really happy with the government.
Mr. Osborn said the credit really does go to the organization. It's a product of the strategic planning we have been doing in terms of focusing on our customer and what we're doing, our purpose and mission. I think it's all rolled into that.
Mr. Danbury said you don't get the credit you deserve a lot and I think this is really good.
LAW DIRECTOR'S REPORT - no report
ENGINEER'S REPORT - Mr. Shuler said at the last meeting there was a question raised about considering putting some of the additional signals on flash overnight. We are starting to look at those. We are looking at Kemper Road first but at the same time we are going to review the list of all the signals in town. We did that initially when we put those first four or five signals on flash. We did a summary of all the signals in town, reviewed those as to which ones would be most appropriate to try on a trial basis. Now that we are re-looking at a few of the signals we're just going to look at all of them at the same time and we'll have a recommendation on that before the next Council meeting.
Mr. Vanover said I ask please include that light at Chesterdale and Kemper because especially on off Sundays it is inordinately long waiting to get out of Chesterdale onto Kemper Road.
Letter dated April 8, 1997 addressed to Mr. Knox. I called Warner Cable the 2nd or 3rd of April to find out what was wrong with Channel 4 on my TV. They told me it was because Springdale made them turn over three access stations to them and that is why they had to take off the regular programming of Channel 4. Betty Turner, 11761 Van Camp Lane
Letter dated April 12, 1997 addressed to Clerk of Council, City of Springdale.
Dear Sir: Early this week I called Warner Cable to ask them why they had removed the Odyssey Channel, a service which I greatly enjoyed. They told me that they were forced to remove that channel because of directions from the Springdale City Council and other regulatory requirements.
Is that true? If it isn't, why are they allowed to say such things? Sincerely, Bill Lindenschmidt, 11840 Neuss
Mr. Danbury said we are going to be having a few representatives from Warner Cable at our next meeting. They will be giving us an update on the converter swap out so if there are any questions you would like to pose to them, our next meeting would be the time.
Mr. Vanover said I would like to report to our residents if they have any problems concerning this please call ICRC. Secondly I have been in contact with them as late as this afternoon. We had met with Warner Cable about six weeks ago and had requested that they cease this finger pointing because as we are all aware of, we have no control over their cable line up. They pick and choose what channels to add and drop. Yes, ICRC in the contract was to pick up some additional community access channels but we do not dictate to Warner what they put on and what they take off. That's completely at their control. We had requested that they cease stating this. They had supplied ICRC with copies of scripts that they were using and they were updated and corrected and they were supposed to be using those and I would hope that they would stop this. If anyone does have a problem you can contact Mr. Knox's office but also contact ICRC at 772-4272 because they are very interested in hearing about this and this is something we can go back to Warner with and discuss again.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 33-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL /FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE CONTRACT WITH RUMPKE WASTE, INC. FOR WASTE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING SERVICES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Ms. Manis seconded.
Mr. Vanover said I am not happy that we are having to do this but unfortunately they have us behind the eight ball as they are the competition in the area. With that I will be supporting it but begrudgingly so.
Mr. Galster said I would like to state to the residents, please continue to compost and mulch. You don't have to get the stickers and bags anymore but we all know that's better for the environment in the first place.
Mr. Danbury said it is better for your lawn too.
Mayor Webster asked could we take a few minutes and have Mr. Parham recap for the audience what he covered last time?
Mr. Parham stated beginning May 1 our program will change from what it is currently. Until May 1 residents are required to put yard waste in a designated vessel or use the brown paper bags and they must put a yard waste sticker on those. Beginning May 1 residents will no longer have to use stickers and they will no longer have to separate the yard waste from their regular waste. I would like to strongly encourage any residents who have yard waste stickers left after May 1 to return them to the Municipal Building. The current cost is $5.90 per household per month. Under the new agreement we will go to $6.35 retroactive to February 1, 1997 and beginning January 1, 1998 it will increase to $6.50. In the final year of the contract we will evaluate the program with Rumpke.
Mr. Danbury said the key point is what we brought up at the last meeting. It is increasing but the City will no longer have the expense of the stickers so it will offset the increase to the City.
Mrs. Boice said it galls me that we have to pay an increase when they don't have to send the extra trucks through. I think the citizens of Springdale are cost savings people and it's important to bring those stickers back in. The more we can redeem the more of a wash this increase will be. That will make me feel better because voting on this ordinance tonight I'm going to choke on it a little bit because I don't want this increase. We might break even if we can get those stickers back in.
Mr. Parham said as long as our residents continue to mulch and compost during that final year of the contract, that will play a major role in what happens.
Ordinance 33-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 34-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, TO AMEND SECTION 35.01 POLICE DEPARTMENT COMPLEMENT; SECTION 36.02 FIRE CHIEF, AND CHAPTER 38 REGARDING ADMINISTRATIVE STAFF; DELETING SECTION 36.05 REQUIRED DRILL ATTENDANCE AND RENUMBERING SECTION 36.06 HOLIDAY PAY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Manis seconded.
Mr. Osborn said at our last meeting when we introduced legislation regarding classifications that were added in the administrative assistant category, I mentioned that when we got into reviewing these administrative portions of the codification it was clear that a major rewrite would have to be done. I think a measure of that is even as we've added language, if you look at the exhibit, the first seven pages are existing language and the next five pages are the way it's been rewritten. In the rewrite we've lost two pages of legalese. I think that's an indication of what we've done here. We've struck out archaic language that was no longer accurate and we've redrafted it to reflect the current organization of the City and the current policies of the City. It's a housekeeping exercise but you can see from the amount of changes that was made it was fairly extensive.
Mrs. Boice said under Assistant Recreation Director, was there a specific reason why we said the number of persons filling such positions shall be no more than three?
Mr. Osborn replied we are inconsistent and I didn't change that. We're inconsistent in terms of setting limits in certain positions. We do that in the Police Department, Fire Department and we do that for Assistant Recreation Director but in other cases we don't set numbers like that. I think those were set by Council for reasons that were important at the time. I do agree that we have some inconsistencies but I didn't try to change any of those.
Ordinance 34-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 35-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGREEMENT WITH UNITED MEDICAL RESOURCES (UMR) AS THE THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CITY'S SELF-FUNDED HEALTH AND DENTAL PROGRAMS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. Boice made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Parham said I distributed copies of a memo directed to Mayor Webster and Mr. Osborn giving an update on the 1997/1998 health insurance renewal program. There are two pieces of legislation that come before you. There are two phases to our health insurance program. The first part is the third party administration which is Ordinance 35-1997. The second part is the stop-loss or reinsurance which is covered under Ordinance 36-1997. Currently as we have for the last three years, we have had United Medical Resources as our third party administrator. They have done a very good job administering the claims for our City and our work force. As you may recall, last year at this time there was a slight increase in the third party administrative fees. That was primarily due to the number of claims per employee per year increased from what they originally estimated under the first contract with us of 12 per year per employee to 21 per employee. This year they have increased from 21 to 24 and as a result they have asked for a 2% increase from $24.65 per employee per month to $25.15. Also included in this, if you recall in October of 1996 we took advantage of their preferred provider organization, HealthSpan in hopes that we would see some reductions in costs and potential savings for our program and those numbers are included in that $25.15 per employee per month for third party administration. Also included in there are our dental claims. Under the stop loss rates unfortunately 1996/1997 was a rather hectic year for us claimswise. For the first time since I've been here not only did we have a number of individuals who exceeded the specific stop loss maximum of $25,000 per employee, but we also exceeded our annual aggregate which is a worst case scenario for us. When we exceed those numbers the reinsurance will reimburse the City for any fees or costs that exceed that $25,000 per employee. This time we exceeded the annual aggregate attachment point and in dollars we've expended above that number which was approximately $494,400 based upon 103 employees. This contract expires April 30 and at the end of March we had expended $627,606. We have received some reimbursements for particular individuals who exceeded the $25,000 limit. Our rates for 1996/97 have increased and I was really surprised to see that they were not higher than what they are. For a single contract it is $23.94; a family is $52.56. They have increased for 1997/98 to $31.86 for a single and $52.56 for a family. These numbers are very close to what we were paying two years ago for the program. Hopefully we'll have another good claims year. So far things seem to be going in rather moderately but we had an explosion one month last year. In July we paid out over $267,000 in claims but a lot of that was reimbursed to us. I would ask for approval for both Ordinances 35 and 36. Once again we are proposing U. S. Benefits as our reinsurer.
Ms. Manis asked is it that we had a few major claims or just a lot of normal claims?
Mr. Parham replied we had a few major claims. We had one employee who exceeded $100,000. We had another around $70,000. There were twin premature births.
Ordinance 35-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 36-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH U. S. BENEFITS, INC. TO PROVIDE FOR STOP-LOSS INSURANCE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. Boice made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ordinance 36-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Ms. Manis said on the driveway aprons somebody asked me if you don't have a sidewalk, do you still have an apron? Mr. Shuler told me yes you could, if your driveway is concrete. The portion in the public right of way is considered your apron. It usually doesn't happen if it's asphalt because they fill it in.
Mr. Galster stated I passed out to members of Council and the Administration a proposed change to the Charter in reference to the Charter Revision Committee. It has been modified greatly from my original stance but if everybody would take an opportunity to read it and give me any comments or input I would appreciate that.
Mrs. Boice said I had spoken to Mr. Schneider about bringing an ordinance in because as I said, we've discussed this, overdiscussed it and it's time to put it to a vote. Your proposed addition I have no objection to except I would like to add at the request of any member of Council and with concurrence of a majority of Council. I think for one single person to put the president in that position would be very difficult for the President of Council.
Mr. Galster responded I think that defeats the purpose. My intention is if one person has a belief that there is a political bias or somehow Charter Revision has not looked at it properly, I think that's all it should take. Right now the Charter Revision Committee evaluates issues and recommends changes to the Charter. If they recommend a change to the Charter it comes before Council; Council votes on it and if it gets a super majority, then it would go on the ballot. If it doesn't it stays the way it is. There have been questions in the past as to whether or not there is the possibility of political motivation behind some of the recommendations to change. My proposed change to the Charter is to add a new process that if, in fact, somebody on Council does believe it is politically motivated or would just like to exercise it for another reason, to seat a panel that is made up of five randomly selected electors of the City. They would be presented with the facts by the Law Director and then they would evaluate those issues and come back with their concurrence as to whether the proposed amendment has validity or not. Council then has the option to vote on it just like they would any other recommendation from Charter Revision Committee. Even if the panel says 5-0 we recommend this change, Council can still vote as to whether it should go on the ballet. But I think this eliminates any perception of and is fail-safe to eliminate the argument that it's politically motivated. You can call the panel, the panel comes back and if they come up with a different recommendation, so be it, you can change your vote. If it's the same you can still vote accordingly. I just think that this allows a single person up here on Council to get beyond some of the pitfalls we've seen in the past on Charter Revision.
Mr. Danbury said I haven't had a chance to look at this but I am looking at one item and I do agree with Mrs. Boice. You said at the request of any member of Council the President of Council shall cause a panel to be seated. I think by saying President of Council or a majority because President of Council may say no we don't need that and they may be politically motivated.
Mr. Galster replied then any one Council member can cause the panel to be seated and we can take the president out of the picture. I think it's important that each individual person up here doesn't lose his/her ability to challenge and question. I think when you start saying it needs 2, 3, 4, 5 then you are talking about getting blocks of supporters for your opinion. Then I think it has the same appearance that we are trying to eliminate.
Mrs. Boice said I can't say I totally agree with that statement. Having sat in the same chair Mr. Danbury is in right now, I think for the President of Council to be in a position that from a request from a Council member to immediately state yes, I'm going to do this, puts the President of Council in a very, very difficult position. Let's be very honest. Of the seven of us who sit up here, many over the years have been close friends or we go out with one another socially and now, all of a sudden, that particular person is a close buddy of whomever might be sitting there, says I think something needs to be done. That certainly would look worse than if we have a majority of Council.
Mr. Danbury said from that aspect I don't have a problem. If anybody asks me to have an independent group look at something and to agree or disagree with the recommendation, with me as president right now I would have no problems with it. Anything that comes out of that committee I would let the people decide because we are not making the final decision. As a Council person or President I will always agree with their recommendation whether I personally agree or not. There are some issues that I think I am one voter in the whole public. I don't have a problem if one Council person says we need a panel. If there is a recommendation turned down by City Council and one person said we need to have an independent panel to take a look at this and that way it could be "totally independent" I wouldn't have any problems. But I think if the President of Council says no, I don't want to do it, then the Council could override the President.
Mrs. Boice said I think that might be a better arrangement because that is the President's prerogative. The way I understand the Rules of Council the President is the one who makes appointments for committees and makes those types of decisions. If there is someone in the chair who says I don't want to do this then bring in the majority of Council. I would have no problem with that either.
Mr. Danbury said it isn't necessarily that the President is assembling a committee. It's just a jury system.
Ms. Manis said I just drafted this language and the purpose of stating it this way was to get the ball rolling. It wasn't meant to give the President any type of power. He had no power to say yea or nay; he would just go the Board of Election or whomever to start the process. Maybe it's not worded correctly. That's why we're throwing it out to everybody for this reason. It hasn't even been looked at by the Law Director.
Mr. Galster said originally my idea was to get rid of Charter altogether and have it sat by jury once a year. I ran into a lot of opposition and was swayed appropriately. I think this is a good compromise. It has been compromised and rewritten and re-evaluated three or four times. I'm just looking for suggestions to make this better and workable. If paragraph 3 is in there I don't know that we need to change paragraph 2.
Mrs. Boice said I think for clarification that paragraph A.2 absolutely has to be changed.
Mr. Galster said if anyone has suggestions on how to change paragraph 3 please let me know. My personal opinion is that paragraph 3 is as important as the rewriting of paragraph 2.
Mrs. Boice asked the Law Director, what is our timing for the November election?
Mr. Schneider replied the first week of August sticks in my mind. I need to know what the majority thinks should be done. If the intent is to have a panel I'm sure we can structure it anyway you want. It appears to me to be a sounding board type panel. If any member of Council comes up with a Charter change idea, he/she still has to go to the sounding board.
Ms. Manis said we'll talk to you after the meeting.
Mr. Schneider said I'll help work on the drafting but I have to make sure I know what you want. I know paragraph 2 does satisfy Mrs. Boice's request of last meeting.
Mrs. Boice said I think it has to be rewritten to meet what I'm requesting; to make it very clear as to who can serve on that committee.
Mr. Danbury said this is not official legislation. It's just an idea so we can have something up front. If anyone in the audience or watching would like to make recommendations we'll take them.
Mr. Vanover said the best thing is for everybody to sit down, go through this and sleep on it. Maybe before we send anything back to Mr. Schneider we should have Council hash everything out, not that Mr. Schneider doesn't do good work but the meter starts running.
Mayor Webster said paragraph 2 is pretty straightforward. All you're doing is saying that the Charter Revision Committee shall contain no member that is affiliated with the City, either elected, appointed or employed. How in the world would you ever get condensed and get the point across to the electorate what we are trying to do in paragraph 3? "At no time shall any member of Council, Charter Revision Committee or the Administration be allowed to address these members while they are serving on the panel". Are we going to sequester this panel?
Mr. Galster replied I think it is important to try to eliminate the perception of having it be politically motivated. I assumed it would be discussed in Chambers here from Council's perspective prior to this ever having to be enacted. Once the panel is seated I think they need to be presented with nothing but the facts; not your personal opinion, not my personal opinion, not anyone's. I think they just need to be evaluating the issues from a factual standpoint, not a political perspective, not a personal perspective and certainly not with somebody trying to influence how they should evaluate it. I don't think it would be that difficult to pull off. If we're going to put a Charter amendment on the ballot does it have to be so many words? Does it have to be not longer than fifty words? We could put the whole thing on there. I think we have to allow the people to read what it is we're looking at. If we have to physically say we want to add this paragraph, if I really want to have it passed then it's up to me to get out and explain it enough to the public that they understand it.
Mayor Webster responded I totally understand your intent, Mr. Galster. I don't argue that at all. I'm just saying the practicality of trying to get this communicated to the electorate is going to be tough to do, to get them to understand. Notoriously if people don't understand it they vote no.
Mr. Danbury said this is the first time looking at it. The biggest issue I have is that it won't have any teeth in it. It's just a sounding board to let Council know whether they made the right decision or not.
Mrs. Boice said I attended the groundbreaking for Sterling House. I was disappointed that there wasn't a bigger turnout. We did have a couple of people from other communities and they had a luncheon at O'Charley's afterwards. It was very nice and the weather was great for it. The director, Sandra Huber, is going to be joining our local Springdale Chamber of Commerce. She called me later this afternoon and she had hoped to be at Council tonight. She said she wants to be an involved community member and hopes to attend some of our Council meetings.
Mr. Galster said the Wimbledon Plaza entrance off of Glensprings has been modified. I took my van around it and it's a lot easier to negotiate. Also, last Council meeting we had everything from one of the great lakes to a pond to a river to a stream being proposed over here. I just want to clarify and get an update on this sign over here with a waterflow feature with no standing water. What kind of time frame might we be looking at and what cost is associated with such and maybe that can be incorporated into our little areas in the City. Maybe the water will trickle over the word Springdale.
Mr. Osborn said we understand the nature of the proposal although we have kidded about it. We have held off on advancing any further with that signage project until after this evening. I think we can take a look at incorporating something like that and get some costs for you. As I mentioned I do think it is a neat idea because Springdale is called Springdale for a reason. I think there is a real possibility we could incorporate something like that and it would not be a major change in what we're trying to do.
Mrs. McNear said I did notice the change at Wimbledon Plaza and I appreciate it. Whoever is responsible, thank you very much. It does make it much easier to navigate that turn.
Mr. Danbury said we discussed briefly picking some people for an equalization board and we were told it is not necessary to put it together right now. However, has anybody thought of anyone? Do we want to wait until we have an appeal or do we want to form it immediately?
Mr. Osborn said I recommend you start forming one. We've had 6-8 letters that border on being appeals. I think all but one or two of those have been addressed and the party has been satisfied with the answer and is not proceeding with an appeal. But I think there is at least one and I would anticipate that you will need an equalization board.
Mr. Danbury said let's try to set it up at the second meeting of May. The members cannot be on any other board or needing to have their apron done.
Ms. Manis said I know in the past there has been concern about an area where there is lots of speeding and we would set up a detail to check it out. I've had a couple of concerns about Cameron Road. Maybe we could look into that at key times.
Mr. Danbury said we had an officer out there last night from 5:00-5:45 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION
Item 1 second meeting in May
Items 5 and 6 projects tentative for the next meeting
Council adjourned at 8:58 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council