President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on August 18, 1999, 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 Galster, Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Wilson and Danbury. Mr. Vanover was absent.
The minutes of August 4 were approved with four affirmative votes. Mr. Galster and Mr. Danbury abstained.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Galster said the crack seal program is completed. The new curb and gutter have been installed on Allen Avenue and the median work on Kemper Road at old Commons Drive is underway. The asphalt work within Beacon Hills and Oxford Hills subdivisions is scheduled to start early September and be completed by the end of September.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Ms. Manis said on the West Kemper Road Storm Sewer Phase II project, construction is to be substantially completed by the end of October. At the Community Center underground utilities, footings for columns and walls, load bearing masonry walls, concrete slab base and placement of structure steel is being done, but they are still 2-4 weeks behind. There was a problem with the delivery of the air handler for the Police Department HVAC so construction is expected to start in September with completion in early November. The Rec Center ball field lighting replacement is to start September 7 and should be completed by the end of September.
FINANCE COMMITTEE Ė Mr. Wilson reported I have reviewed the material given to me by Mr. Knox relative to Ordinance 42. I am requesting a Finance Committee meeting prior to the vote as a body.
PLANNING COMMISSION Ė Mr. Galster stated Sport Therapy, 11729 Springfield Pike requested approval to house a student on the second floor of the building. This is a residential home with a transitional overlay so they have been allowed to have an office there. They also wanted to have a student live there a few weeks a year. There was a question about firewalls and this was denied 7-0. White Castle requested approval of a proposed parking lot at the corner of Kemper and Springfield Pike. They were going to take over Precision Tune and redo their parking lot and drive thru. They received a lot of comments from staff prior to the meeting and asked to have this tabled until next meeting. Gold Star Chili requested a neon light on their new restaurant. They thought since White Castle had it they should be able to do it as well. We find that the White Castle light was put up with non-conformance and without approval so weíll address White Castle when they come back in. The Zoning Code has been forwarded to Council with Planning Commissionís approval.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS Ė Mrs. McNear reported Mr. Bert Huffer, 808 Yorkhaven Road requested a variance to allow him to park his boat next to his existing driveway. His issue was that he couldnít park it any closer than five feet to the nearest lot line and he had to have it on an improved surface. After looking at it again it was decided that he could meet the side lot line issue and the only problem was the improved surface. He had a very mature tree in front of this area and we determined that we would rather see a temporary paver system rather than lose the tree by putting in an improved surface. That was approved 7-0. The Vineyard Community Church, 11340 Century Circle requested the placement of an off-premise sign at East Kemper Road and Century Circle. They had been in several times before about the sign. The board felt it was a Pandoraís Box so that was denied 7-0. Angiloís Pizza, 11554 Springfield Pike requested a variance to allow the replacement of their existing sign. The current sign has been up about 30 years and is in disrepair. The applicant wanted better signage so people northbound could see the sign. We allowed them to have a small sign on the facia of the building as well as on the side. The applicant decided to withdraw and take it back to their sign company. Jerry and Laverne Ford, 157 Ruskin Drive, requested a variance to allow the placement of a shed three feet from the property line. They currently have one there and were going to increase the size of the concrete slab and put up a larger shed. That passed 6-0-1. James Skirvin, 672 Cloverdale Avenue, requested a variance to allow him to park his 37 foot recreational vehicle. His RV exceeds the 30 feet in length that the code allows. However, due to the heavy screening by trees and shrubbery, you can only see the rear end of this vehicle. Itís been parked there for six years and this is the first time it was noticed. It was required that they park 52 feet from the right-of-way, 7 feet from the lot line and it could not exceed 38 feet long in case they should purchase another vehicle in the future. That was granted 7-0.
BOARD OF HEALTH - no report
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION Ė Mr. Coleman said previously I had indicated that Civil Service was in the process of reviewing revisions to our Rules And Regulations. We have concluded that review and the recommendations by the Law Director. We have now accepted those revisions. We certified the next ten candidates for the position of firefighter. This has been an ongoing process because of candidates indicating that they are no longer interested so weíve had to certify and re-certify over a period of time to make sure we maintain the list of ten candidates.
Ms. Manis asked for a copy of the Rules and Regulations to be distributed to Council.
O-K-I - no report
MAYORíS REPORT Ė Mayor Webster read a letter he received from Chief Posega on the great job Mike Wheeler had done at the Fire Department.
"Dave Butsch, Superintendent of Public Works: All of us at the Fire Department, especially Assistant Chief Shroyer and myself would like to thank you and your personnel for the beautiful landscaping job this year at the Fire Station. As I told you when we first met regarding this project, we canít let the Administration Building get ahead of us and they arenít. Seriously though, we had virtually nothing around the building prior to this work and its drab look was proof. Now the grounds have a new fresh look and stand out in the neighborhood as an example. We would especially like to convey our thanks to Mike Wheeler for his vision and outstanding work. When we started we had a general idea of what we wanted, and Mike certainly took that idea, added to it, and produced the beautiful results we now enjoy. He is to be commended for his foresight and hard work to accomplish that idea and bring it to a successful completion. Also, please thank all of those who assisted from day to day. Without their help the final project could not have been accomplished. Sincerely, Robert Posega, Fire Chief"
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR - Mr. Knox said yesterday we had the final meeting about our annual audit by Berg and Co. When we get a signed copy of the audit, each member of Council will get a copy of it. Mr. Berg complimented the City personnel on their cooperative attitude and how well the audit went on both sides. They did come up with three management comments. First, they said we do not have a complete disaster recovery plan and, considering the emphasis on Y2K, they advised us to work on that. Mr. Parham has some of that done but it is not complete at this time. Secondly, they said some of our bills are being paid and approved by the same person. These are the life insurance, health insurance and utility bills. Mrs. Burton and I are going to look into that and make sure that someone else reviews them. Theyíre not particularly concerned that someone is going to pay them erroneously; they are concerned that a new person coming in wonít catch errors sent in on the bills. They are very confident that Mrs. Holden is able to take care of things as they stand now. They also said some of the costs attributed to some of our inventory items were from the previous year so that will be looked into and those number brought up to date.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Osborn said The Vineyard Church has developed a new complex on Century Boulevard. If you havenít seen it, you might want to drop by, as it is quite impressive. As part of that improvement, they had to build a cul-de-sac at the end of Century Circle East which serves as the primary entrance to their complex, and as part of that cul-de-sac they requested permission to build a planting area in the center of the cul-de-sac. Planning Commission and the Administration agreed that that would be an acceptable and worthwhile idea. This is their primary entrance to the church property. In order to allow them to install landscaping and maintain that landscaped area, we feel itís appropriate and necessary to issue a license to the church for that purpose. We all understand right now whoís responsibility it is to do what, but ten or fifteen years from now, when other folks are sitting in these respective positions, it may not be as clear as to what the rights of the church are concerning the use of the right-of-way. We will draft for your consideration a license agreement and would request Council consider it at your next meeting with an emergency clause. They are hoping to be able to do the landscaping in September and we would like to move it along.
The second item I have deals with L-TIP funding under the Year 2000 L-TIP Funding Program through the Ohio Public Works Commission. This deals with the next major project on our capital budget, the improvements to East Kemper Road, from just west of S.R. 747 to Tri-County Parkway. Some of the improvements that weíll add include an additional lane eastbound on Kemper Road, a double left-turn lane from westbound Kemper to S. R. 747 and an additional right turn, drop lane from eastbound Kemper to southbound S. R. 747. The engineering plans are nearly complete. The right-of-way acquisition is underway and we are scheduled to go to construction in 2000. The cost estimate for this project is $1,521,400. We have already applied for 10% funding for this project under the Municipal Road Fund. Of the remaining 90% we are proposing that 50% of that be local and that 40% be L-TIP. The reason we asked for these percentages has to do with the amount of money that is out there and available. If we were to ask for $800,000 to $1 million there is a very low likelihood that we would get awards. Our approach is for a 50/50 match and we think we have a far higher likelihood of success if we take this approach. We have discussed this with the Hamilton County official who has oversight responsibility for the technical committee that makes decisions about projects, and we feel we have positioned ourselves to maximize success. The project is on the five-year budget and the distribution of costs is $252,600 in 1999 and $1 million in 2000. We have not provided in the budget for any outside funding, so any money we get in will put us ahead on the five-year budget. This is a very extensive project and itís certainly improving the regional infrastructure. We do hope we will be successful in applying for funds, but in order to be successful we need to file an application by mid September, and we are requesting legislation at your next meeting authorizing that application.
We have another application for the DARE grant program for the 1999-2000 school year. This covers 50% of our personnel costs for the DARE officer during the school year. Last year we applied for just under $16,700 and were awarded $13,617. Besides the threshold maximum of 50%, there are also limitations on how much you get based on how many qualified programs apply and how much money is available. They try to break the money up as equitably as possible and the Police Department was successful last year in getting the majority of the money they requested. For the 1999-2000 school year we will be requesting $16,139. This is a little less than last year because changes in the school calendar reduce the length of the program by three weeks. Again, we are requesting an ordinance with an emergency clause in order to meet an application deadline.
Finally, the Building Official, Bill McErlane, has recommended several changes to the Property Maintenance Code to make it more responsive to frequently encountered problems. This program has been in place for five or six years but weíve only had a full time person on staff enforcing it for the last year. Some features need clarification or additional language, such as flaking paint on non-wood surfaces. The language in the code right now could be interpreted to limit it to only wood painted surfaces; when, in fact, we intended it to be greater than that. Another area would be repairs to curbs, drives and walks on private property. The regulation in place requires those improvements on public property but right now, if somebodyís driveway is turning to gravel, there is nothing in the code to order the repair to their driveway.
Another item is the residency occupancy load. In our new Zoning Code we are going to be altering how we describe units of housing. In the past we have called properties single family, multi family, etc. With the release of our new Zoning Code we are attempting to comply with case law dealing with the interpretation of what family means. As a result we use the term household in the code. What do you do to regulate the number of people in a dwelling? In the past we have had some language regarding occupancy load. The Building Official has proposed that we try to refine our language as it relates to residency occupancy load. He has borrowed some language out of the National BOCA Property Maintenance Code and Iím sure that can serve as a starting point for discussion, not intended to be a final point in itself. We want to establish a reasonable standard. We donít want to establish one thatís going to bring 40-50% of the community into non-compliance. I think we have to tread carefully but I think we need to set a minimum threshold. We anticipate having an ordinance before Council on September 1 for a first reading and if Council sees fit, a second reading on September 15. This is not so time sensitive that it could not be programmed over a longer period of time if you feel appropriate.
Ms. Manis asked is the cul-de-sac for the Vintage Church similar to the one proposed for Pictoria Island?
Mr. Osborn replied itís a little different. It is a fairly large area with the planting in the middle. At Pictoria Island they have come to the conclusion that they may eliminate the center area as they donít have the capacity to make the turning radius for some of the bigger vehicles.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Schneider introduced Christy Holmes, his newest law partner and Tim Quinn, who is here on the bond issue.
ENGINEERíS REPORT - no report
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 39-1999 "AMENDING THE ZONING CODE AND ZONING MAP OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO PROVIDE FOR THE REZONING OF APPROXIMATELY 12.403 ACRES LOCATED ON MCCLELLANS LANE FROM R1-A (SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL) TO PUD (PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT) (COSTCO)
Jeff Ashida of CostCo Wholesale, said we are locating the unit on the back of the lot. We have a corner entry and try to keep a band of parking around it. We will have a remotely monitored gas station. The building materials will be earth colors. There will be a storm water retention pond in the back. We will landscape extensively. We are very happy and excited to be in Springdale.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Ms. Manis seconded.
Ordinance 39-1999 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 40-1999 "APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF APPROXIMATELY 16.447 ACRES LOCATED AT EAST KEMPER ROAD AT COMMONS DRIVE (COSTCO)"
Mr. Schneider said the progress is in working order but there are a lot of things that need to be completed yet such as declarations, covenants, etc. That would be subject to the Engineerís and Law Directorís approval. There have been recommendations made and they are still working on them. I just want to make sure the developer is aware that accommodations need to be made before the Planning Commission approval process can be considered.
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said Mr. Schneiderís comments are more generic than just the covenants but as I mentioned at the last meeting, the items that are still outstanding are those that are typically finalized when the project goes back to Planning Commission. The item I consider to be the greatest hurdle to be cleared has been resolved and that is sewer accessibility. We have received copies of the letters that the developer has received from MSD and EPA verifying that there is sewer availability for the sites. With that, I am confident that we will resolve other outstanding issues. Most of them are more a matter of refining details such as the tree replacement program. I believe that those issues that are still outstanding will be resolved between now and the time this goes back to Planning Commission.
Mr. Danbury said it seems like a good plan. Unfortunately in this instance, we have a lot of residents who will no longer be living in Springdale. I was reading an article in the paper last week and I know a lot of people have been living there for many years and Springdale has been home to them. Weíre glad everyone has been taken care of and that they feel that they are being treated fairly.
Ordinance 40-1999 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 42-1999 "AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE AND SALE OF $7,000,000 NOTES, IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS TO PAY COSTS OF CONSTRUCTING, FURNISHING AND EQUIPPING ADDITIONS AND RENOVATIONS TO MUNICIPAL RECREATION FACILITY, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Knox said traditionally the City has used the method of competitive bidding for issues of this sort. There is another method and at the meeting on Wednesday Mr. Quinn raised the possibility of having an underwriter represent us and negotiate the sale of these bonds. I have given each member of Council and the Administration copies of the information that has been sent to us on the efficacy of competitive bidding versus negotiated bidding. As you can see by the bar chart that was provided to us by Mr. Erickson, about half of the cities choose competitive bidding and half choose an underwriter. My recommendation is to choose the underwriter method of negotiation. Initially, if we do a competitive bid we have to make out official statements that costs us in the neighborhood of $15,000. That is not the case when using an underwriter. We can save that amount of money. The question becomes, will the interest rate be the same or within a range that would cost us less than $15,000. The answer I am getting right now is yes. The down side of this is when you choose one method, youíll never know how the other one would work out. Another advantage to using an underwriter is because we do not have a great amount of expertise in this area. When you have an underwriter you have somebody in your corner. I talked to quite a few finance directors of the counties and cities around here and each one liked having that person there working for them all the time. One said that the underwriter improved their bond rating, thereby saving them money again. This will be discussed at great length at the Finance Committee meeting but I would like to request the three firms who have shown interest in our issue to present us with proposals to be here in time for the Finance Meeting and we can take a look at those at that time before any final decision is made.
Mayor Webster asked is that a feasible approach to get proposals from three reputable firms?
Tim Quinn from Taft Stettinius & Hollister, said I drafted that ordinance. I donít think three firms can come in and say I can guarantee you this rate. I think they can give you a range. In response to Mayor Webster he said they could tell you what their costs would be.
Mayor Webster said in the meeting last Wednesday we talked about the qualified tax exempt obligation and I would assume, that this does make these qualified tax exempt obligations, and it also requires us to be indemnified if some third party comes in and by virtue of some act later, causes these not to be qualified.
Mr. Quinn replied you canít make them qualified tax exempt obligations without this determination. The indemnification language is intended that if more than $10 million of bonds or notes are issued in a give year, under most circumstances they cannot be qualified tax exempt obligations. So if there is a question of a third party to issue bonds or notes that put you over the $10 million, this would be Council going on record as intending that they would be indemnified for the difference between what it would have gotten if they had been qualified versus what they got if theyíre not qualified.
Mayor Webster said so with this language we go forward and issue $7 million worth of notes and weíve issued no other debt other than possibly the renewal of the TIF, these would be qualified tax exempt obligations?
Mr. Quinn responded that means a bank can buy it and deduct its costs for doing this. Itís roughly the equivalent of if you buy a car and get a car loan, you canít deduct the interest on the car loan. If you charge it against a second mortgage you can deduct it. For a bank a qualified tax exempt obligation is a bit more attractive investment because it can deduct the interest.
Mayor Webster said for everyoneís benefit, the discussion was the pending TIF at Pictoria Island. If that comes to fruition this year and we donít know for a fact that it would, but that could, in fact, put us over the $10 million total issuance for 1999. With this language, though, weíre at the alter first and we have the indemnification clause in there. On page 3, you make two references in Sections 7 and 9 to a bond retirement fund. I know thatís probably the norm but we donít have one today.
Mr. Quinn said you may not have one on your books but statutorily there is a bond retirement fund. Because you havenít been issuing bonds it hasnít been appearing on your books.
Mayor Webster said these are notes. Do they have to go into a bond retirement fund and then be transferred by Council to a capital improvements fund in order to spend the money?
Mr. Quinn replied yes.
Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Schneider if he had any comments on the ordinance.
Mr. Schneider said we need an amendment relative to the Clerk of Council/Finance Director. I think all the other obligations have been met. We met with Mr. Quinn on several occasions. Weíve had phone conversations with the Administration and I think itís in order.
Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Quinn if he would be at the Finance Committee meeting. The Mayor and Clerk have already talked with you but we havenít and we want to be part of this too before the body as a whole votes on it so that we, as Council people, feel very comfortable with it as part of Finance Committee.
Mr. Quinn responded as Mr. Knox was reading the ordinance aloud, I was thinking this was even stranger than I thought it was when I was reading it on paper so I understand exactly what you mean.
Mr. Osborn stated Mr. Quinn is serving as bond counsel for this issue and bond counsel effectively represents the issuing authority to validate that we are observing the law and by so doing, essentially secures the bonds as tax exempt. We could do something perfectly innocently but inappropriately that jeopardizes the character of the bond. Mr. Quinn is serving two roles; first in giving us advice in how to do this and secondly, to protect the nature of the bonds for the benefit of the eventual buyers. With that Iíd like to ask Mr. Quinn, typically how long would you say it takes once we have the underwriter in place and the legislation in place to do the sale and have the money on deposit?
Mr. Quinn said it could be done within two weeks.
Ms. Manis said this legislation is for issuance of notes in anticipation of bonds.
Mr. Quinn said you canít issue notes in and of themselves even though itís the likely policy of the City to pay them off before bonds are ever issued.
Ms. Manis asked when we are talking about underwriters and competitive bidding is that for this or the bond issue?
Mr. Quinn replied for the note.
Ms. Manis said so we could have a proposal in here before the next Council meeting and make a decision on that at the next Council meeting.
Mr. Knox replied yes. The people we are talking to will not give us a rate. They will tell us what service is and may suggest a range of rates as Mr. Quinn said, but we should have that in here and ready for the Finance meeting.
Ms. Manis asked will the range of rates that weíre given be any different than the range of what we think the range of competitive rates would be? The range is not that great to begin with.
Mr. Knox replied no, I seriously doubt it. There could be a variance but the variance would be very small.
Ms. Manis continued once we issue the notes, is there anything that the underwriter does for us during the year?
Mr. Knox replied itís possible that the Pictoria Island situation will arise. If anything like that occurs they would tell us the best way to go about it. Itís essentially hiring somebody to work for us.
Ms. Manis asked do we retain Mr. Quinn or is he done after we issue the notes?
Mr. Schneider said he is part of the issue so far as it goes and is ready to answer any questions on a continuing basis.
Mr. Quinn said yes but I try to make the distinction between legal and financial advice. I think an underwriter would be much more qualified to give financial advice.
Ms. Manis asked but once they are issued is there anything else that can be done with them during the year?
Mr. Quinn replied because these are notes and will probably be renewed on an annual basis, they could say that rates have moved in such a way that issuing bonds now makes sense so you are locking in a rate that will be cheaper for you over the period of time than the issuing of the note.
Ms. Manis asked who are the underwriters? Is Seasongood & Mayer an underwriter?
Mr. Knox replied yes, Seasongood & Mayer is a highly recommended firm. Fifth Third purchased the Ohio Company. They and Connors & Co. are the three I am speaking of right now. All of these are either local or between here and Columbus.
Ms. Pollitt asked Mr. Knox, will you be sure that Council is notified of the Finance Committee meeting so that we can attend the meeting.
Mr. Schneider said it would have to be announced as a Council meeting as well as a committee meeting if more than three members of Council are in attendance.
Mr. Wilson said Friday when we spoke, you mentioned that one of the advantages of using an underwriter was timing. Can you elaborate on that?
Mr. Knox responded that one of the underwriters stated that if we pass an ordinance one day they could have us the money the next day. I have found out by talking with people out of the state of Ohio that looking at our situation, they believe our issue will go rather quickly and at a very good rate because of our record. I would assume that it would move more quickly than in a competitive situation because in a competitive situation there is a whole lot more we have to do.
Mr. Quinn said if there is underwriting there is a good possibility that the underwriter will sell it to one institution and all you have to give the institution is your financial statement. But in a competitive situation where you donít know where these bonds are going, you have to prepare an official statement which is of some length and detail because you donít know if itís a single institution, or ten individuals, or ten institutions and ten individuals. The $15,000 referred to earlier is cost is also the factor in time.
Mayor Webster said Ms. Manis, to answer your question about the underwriter, after the sale they really donít do anything for us. I think weíre smart enough and Mr. Knox is smart enough to monitor the market, and once these come up for renewal next September, then I would certainly hope that we have Tim on board again for that reissuing. Heís done a marvelous job up to this point. At that point, you solicit the advice of the underwriters who will be trying to help every way they can in hopes that weíll choose them as the underwriting agent. So it comes down to do we trust that method to get us as good a rate as we can do competitively? I think if you look at all the information Mr. Knox has supplied us with, itís a roll of the dice. Youíll never know if you went the right way or not. I think rates are on the increase and the sooner we act the better.
Ms. Manis asked, does the amount of money issued affect your rate?
Mr. Knox said smaller issues are more expensive rate wise. Our $7 million issue is a benefit and will get us a better rate.
Mr. Osborn said no matter what decision is made by Finance Committee concerning public bidding or underwriting, the legislation we have before us will not change. It is appropriate for either case. This enables the act of issuing bonds to occur. Just to add to the Mayorís comments, there will be an end point where we will run out of money if we donít do this note. Weíre not at a threshold situation where we have to do it by September 1 or weíll run out of money, but if we drag it out for a month or two, we could be in a position where we run out of money in 1999. Expenses are coming in on the Community Center. We just got a draw for $250,000 this week. Weíre getting monthly draws and the numbers are ramping up at this point.
Mayor Webster said this legislation has to be passed regardless. This is why, as a result of the meeting last Wednesday, we said letís get it on the agenda. Itís not that weíre trying to push it through without Councilís involvement. We knew you would have questions and if you want to push it back, weíll push it back, but it does have to be done.
Ms. Manis said if we get a windfall from somewhere, then we donít have to issue bonds because we pass this legislation. Itís just the enabling tool.
Mr. Wilson said at our last Council meeting you said we were about two weeks behind on the Community Center. Where do we stand currently?
Mr. Parham replied 2-4 weeks. We havenít made any progress and have had a few other challenges that have arisen.
Ms. Manis made a motion to change the terminology in each place in the ordinance from Clerk/Finance Director to Clerk of Council/Finance and any other references to the Clerk to read Clerk of Council/Finance Director. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion to amend passed with six affirmative votes.
Council decided to have a special meeting on Wednesday, August 25 to discuss the financing of the note.
Mr. Quinn said there is a renewal note on the existing tax increment financing that comes due on September 18, 1999 and I can prepare the legislation for the next meeting. It doesnít have to be adopted then but I want to make sure it doesnít fall through the cracks. In addition to this $7 million, there is a renewal of a $2 million note issued that the City has authorized before.
ORDINANCE NO. 43-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH SUTPHEN FIRE EQUIPMENT FOR A THERMAL IMAGINING SYSTEM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded.
Mr. Osborn said the equipment is an aid to fire departments to help them see into areas and find people in smoke infiltrated structures. The City received four competitive bids. The City also asked for alternates as part of the base bid and we have recommended the purchase of a system from Sutphen with two of the alternates; the first being a video mix display which allows that camera to function either as a thermal imaging camera or a video camera. That becomes more important as we talk about the next option which is to purchase the digital wireless video transmission capability. This will allow the Fire Department to use this camera in a smoke environment and transmit the image from the camera. Not only will the firefighter operating the camera in the structure see the picture, but that picture will also be transmitted out to the command post and the fire ground commander will also see that same image. It will be able to be switched from being thermal imaging to video so if the firefighter is in a part of the building and talking to the command post about a particular problem, it is much easier to show that problem to the command post than to sit there and explain back and forth what they are discussing. Sometimes it becomes hard to communicate specifics and these pictures will speed things up. We have made that recommendation. There was an alternate between the digital and the analog and we have recommended the digital because the applications could also be applications that could also be added to this system later on make it far more flexible if it is digital. The system does carry the recommendation of the Fire Chief and we would encourage Council to authorize the purchase.
Ms. Manis said I have one question about switching over from video to thermal imaging. The camera is not very big and they have on big gloves. Is it easily done?
Mr. Osborn replied I have not actually operated the system myself but in talking to the Chief, neither of these alternatives dramatically alter the appearance of the camera and I would imagine that as you have described, the operation of the camera has to assume that the firefighters are wearing appropriate protection. I imagine it would be some type of toggle switch.
Mr. Wilson said you said you chose digital. The digital appears to be the newest thing which gives it more flexibility. Is there a difference in cost between analog and digital?
Mr. Osborn replied yes, the difference is $700. One of the primary reasons we went with Sutphen was the fact that the system they use uses a cathode-ray tube in the camera itself rather than an LCD screen. If you have a portable lap-top computer and youíve ever looked at it sideways, you lose the image. A cathode-ray is like a television tube and you get a much more accurate image. We also feel the digital option is certainly cost beneficial.
Mr. Parham said one other advantage the Fire Chief talked about is with the analog you are only able to see it on one screen. With this camera there is the option of four separate screens and multiple individuals can see the image. The analog is only able to transfer to the computer monitor. This allows us to watch on a computer monitor, television, recorder on a VCR, etc.
Mayor Webster stated it is very important for training exercises.
Mr. Danbury asked if it has remote control capability for turning on?
Mr. Osborn replied no, thatís operated by the firefighter. The function for the command post is more monitoring than control. The digital system has four broadcast channels where the analog only has one. If we were at a situation with another department and they were using an analog that interferes with our analog capability, we have three other channels to move to to find a better clarity.
Ordinance 43-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Special Council meeting - August 25, 1999
Board of Health - September 9, 1999
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 42 (issuance of notes) - August 25
Vineyard Church - September 1
L-TIP funding - September 1
DARE Program - September 1
Property Maintenance Code - September 1
Zoning Code changes - future date
Mr. Osborn said I think Council will want to look at the Zoning Code in detail because this is one of the policy documents of our community. There are certainly changes made in this code that we need to look at and explain before enactment. It will take some time and I suggest we set a date far enough out that everyone will feel comfortable.
Ms. Manis asked when do we do the budget review process? Mr. Osborn said we could have the budget work session on December 1 and the public hearing December 15 because that still gives us two plus weeks before the end of the year. If necessary we could still hold a Council meeting later in the month. That would free up November.
Mr. Danbury said we may have new people on Planning beginning December 1 so I think that would be a good target date for the new codes.
Mr. Galster made a motion for Council to go into Executive Session as a committee of the whole to discuss pending litigation. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:55 p.m.
Council adjourned at 9:16 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council