President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on August 19, 1998, 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, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of August 5, 1998 were approved with 6 affirmative votes. Mr. Galster abstained.
Mayor Webster introduced the new City employees:
Heath Waxman - Public Works
Cynthia Miller - Finance Department
Rachel Naegle - Tax Department
Ron Smith - Building Department
Damon Shepherd - Parks Maintenance
Shelly Payton - Community Center
Landen Smith - Municipal Building
Mayor Webster stated that Bob Sears retired July 31. His assistant, Dave Butsch was appointed the new Public Works Superintendent. Congratulations, Dave!
Mr. Butsch thanked Council, the Administration and Bob Sears for being a mentor. Hopefully the level of service you received from the Public Works Department will continue at that level. He said he had reached one goal I set for myself. Bob knows we always try to improve.
Mayor Webster said earlier this year when we were looking for two park patrol officers we were fortunate enough to hire Keenan C. Riordon. He was on our eligibility list to be a police officer. He performed very well as a park patrol officer and now I would like to swear him in as our new police officer.
Police Chief Laage said we feel very fortunate in catching Keenan. He is from Dayton, Ohio and attended St. Clair Community College, obtaining his associateís degree in law enforcement. He attended the University of Cincinnati, majoring in criminal justice. We were impressed by his work ethic and he seems like a very, very good person. We welcome him aboard.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - none
PUBLIC RELATIONS - none
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - none
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Vanover said R. A. Miller Company said the 1998 concrete program including total curb replacement with asphalt overlay of Rosetta and Silverwood would start on July 13, 1998. Construction will start August 10 with a completion date of September 25, 1998. Terry Construction has completed the work on the crack seal program. Final inspection is taking place in order to prepare a punch list. The 1998 curb ramp replacement program is due to start August 10, 1998 with a completion date of September 25, 1998.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - none
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Ms. Manis said the West Kemper Road storm sewer phase 1 construction is approximately 80% done on the north side. It should have begun on the south side August 17 with a completion date of October 2, 1998. The Sharon Road repair and resurfacing completion date is September 18, 1998.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION Ė Mr. Galster reported that they met August 11. The only item was a proposed sign package for Kemper Square, 107 West Kemper Road. They requested the ability to remove their pole sign that is obstructed by quite a number of trees and put up a new pole sign and monument sign. We debated that for quite some time. We didnít want to see new pole signs on Kemper Road. The item was tabled 6-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS Ė Mrs. McNear reported on the meeting of July 21. Randy Zugg, 404 West Kemper, requested a variance to allow the removal of a garage. This is right next door to the Mobile Station. There wasnít much of a driveway there. What was there had been eroded over the years. There was somewhat of a garage that had not been used in many decades. It had deteriorated and never been used. Mr. Zugg also owns the property next door. The people who lived at 404 were using the same driveway. The variance was so he didnít have to put that garage back in there with the driveway. That was granted 4-0.
Bert Huffer, 808 Yorkhaven Road, requested a variance to allow him to park his boat on an unimproved surface next to his privacy fence. This fence was in the front yard but on the side of his property. There was a fence that belonged to the neighbors. There were a lot of privacy hedges. His boat was too large to get into the driveway. He couldnít get his boat between the house and the fence because it wasnít wide enough. This was denied because it was too close to the neighborís property.
Nita Sharma, 127 Silverwood Circle, requested a variance to allow the construction of a shed two feet from the property line. The applicant said the slope was too great to put the shed five feet away from the property line. People from the Building Department went out, looked at it and took pictures. It was basically a flat yard. That was denied with 4 votes against.
The Book Market, Inc., 485 East Kemper Road, requested a variance to allow the hanging of a banner for three months. We allowed them to combine all of their weeks for the year so they would have eight weeks to display the banner. That was approved 4-0.
Mary Tabeling, 12093 Benadir Road, requested a variance to allow the placement of an air conditioning unit in her side yard. Ms. Tabeling lives on a corner lot. Even if the unit was in the back yard you would still see it. We asked her to put evergreen screening around it and she was granted a variance 4-0.
Mr. and Mrs. Branum, 186 Balsam Court, requested a variance to allow the construction of a driveway in an eight foot area. A very large garage was built in the back yard but there was no driveway into it. That was granted 4-0.
At the August 18 meeting we had the Kemper Square sign request for one ground sign and one pole sign. They wanted an eight foot high sign that was seven feet wide in a small area; one next to Delhi. You cannot see the pole sign because of the trees. The color of the sign was a bright orangy red. The vice-president did say they would look at that and maybe use West Shell commercial colors of green and gold. We did grant two ground signs, no pole sign by a 6-0 vote.
Ms. Manis asked the difference between the Balsam property and the one on Bernhart, where they had poured concrete in the back and we made them tear it up.
Mrs. McNear replied I believe the problem was not enough clearance between the property next door and that house. You couldnít get a car past there without scraping the houses.
Ms. Manis asked are we allowed to asphalt our driveways?
Mrs. McNear replied yes. Mr. Osborn stated that an asphalt surface does qualify as an improved surface for purposes of our codes. The distinction is that the driveway portion that is in the right-of-way, the apron and the part across the sidewalk, has to be concrete. Once you get past the property line it can be full depth asphalt.
BOARD OF HEALTH - none
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION Ė Mr. Coleman stated he was going to announce the new employees who have already been introduced.
Ms. Manis asked are we doing any other testing? Mr. Coleman replied not at the present but we do anticipate testing in October.
Mr. Osborn said there is a position in the Fire Department that we are planning to replace. A few years ago we put together some open houses and an academy type setting so that we could attract applicants who may not have had experience in the fire service. We want to do that again. Mr. Parham and Chief Posega want to get together with the Civil Service Commission to lay out a schedule.
Ms. Manis asked is this a position that has been vacated?
Mr. Osborn replied Jeff Love, who was a full-time firefighter with us and has remained a part-time firefighter, finished first on the Cincinnati fire exam and has gone to Cincinnati as a full-time employee.
O-K-I - none
MAYORíS REPORT - Mayor Webster read a proclamation for N. Michael Goecke, Eagle Scout.
The debris pick-up program has exceeded 200 requests for the third year in a row. Property maintenance inspections have been going pretty good, considering we didnít have a full-time person until Mr. Smith came on board. We really expect that activity to escalate and now we will have the manpower to follow up.
Mr. Vanover said Michael Goeke is a fine young man and last spring he was awarded a music scholarship. He is a well-rounded individual and has a bright future.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR Ė Mr. Knox said at the last meeting under Update of Legislation, I failed to mention that we were going to bring in Ordinance 57 for the issuance of $2 million in notes under the TIFF. I recommend that to you and we need to act promptly on it.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT - Mr. Osborn said we have an Eagle Scout on the dais here, Mr. Shuler. Mr. Shuler has a lot of awards and accolades on his walls in his office, but the one that is front and center is his certificate as an Eagle Scout.
The County Prosecutor along with the County Fire Chiefs Association would like to formalize the county arson task force that has been in existence for many, many years but in an informal setting, and create another mutual aid agreement out of the existing mutual aid agreement for fire and EMS services. Not everyone will belong to the special arson task force. Although we have never used the task force or contributed to it, Chief Posega and I feel that we should enter into the agreement and become at least a contractual member of the association. There is no direct cost to us for being a participant at this point. The fees are stated on an as affordable basis. We would ask for legislation without an emergency clause at the next Council meeting authorizing the City to enter into the SCATF mutual aid agreement.
We tallied the responses to the Community Center expansion survey as late as yesterday afternoon. We received 219 responses:
Option Votes Percentage
Option 1 63 29
Option 2 32 15
Option 3 15 7
Option 4 22 10
Further study 33 15
No expansion 34 16
Not committed 20 9
We have another category comprised of people who submitted comments but may not have selected a particular option or selected multiple options. We have tried to faithfully reproduce all the comments received from the residents during the course of the survey and those are also listed by the options under which that household responded.
Mr. Danbury asked how many surveys went out. Mr. Osborn replied we have about 3200 households in the City.
Mayor Webster said less than 1% of the people responded. Iím a little disappointed. I think we tried to be as open and upfront as possible about this project. Weíve had public meetings, mailings, everything we can to solicit peopleís opinions. I think that showed in some of the comments. Letís get on with it, letís get it done. I can certainly understand those comments but Iíd like to assure people of a few things. We have not lost a single minute in the whole process. I think we are probably farther ahead than what Mr. Osborn laid out for you when we had the initial presentation.
Some of the comments were if we are concerned about money, why waste money on this latest survey? Iím pleased to report that this survey cost the City less than $650. Thatís a pretty small amount to give the people one last opportunity to express their concern. You can make numbers say anything you want them to say but the end result is that 60% of the people who responded said build option 1, 2, 3 or 4; and 40% said donít expand or Iím not sure what I want you to build, I need more information, etc.
Mr. Galster said just because I ran into Mr. Squires in the Building Department and he was my old math teacher, I just want to clarify that the response was around 7%. Itís still disappointing. I chose to keep the "further study" and "not committed" out of my equation. If you look at the people who are looking to build and those who say donít build, itís an 80-20 split. Out of those who want to build, 72% agree with the approved expenditure, 83% approve with the actual sum, and if you average them all together itís only 4% short of what weíve committed to so far and I think weíll make that up in the construction and final design stage.
Mr. Danbury said of the comments from those who donít want to expand or want to research it further, there are a few concerns that are legitimate concerns; what are we going to take away, what about our sidewalks and streets? A lot of the streets that were mentioned will be done in 2-3 years. We are not anticipating or planning on dumping any type of services to anybody. I canít speak for Council but I think itís a general feeling that we want to provide the best services we can, whether it be road maintenance, the Police Department, Fire Department, etc.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Schneider reported on the Christy D. Shepherd vs. Ronald Pitman, et. al. Case. This was a suit filed by a tax payer involving $12 in tax which was dismissed in Municipal Court for technical reasons. The plaintiff filed suit in federal district court, claiming quite a few damages in the matter. Our insurance counsel very effectively defended this suit. It was dismissed by the court and terminated by summary judgment. There is time for appeal up until September 9 but we have a victory at this point and all parties and the City have been dismissed.
ENGINEERíS REPORT - none
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Jean Rose, 242 Harter Avenue, said Iíve lived in Springdale since 1937 and my concern is not that I donít want the Rec Center expanded. I want to know exactly how you are going to pay for it, what you are going to do over the long run. So far I havenít heard anything.
Mayor Webster replied I think sheís asking a legitimate question and I donít think itís fair for me to answer that because I share some of her same concerns with the magnitude of debt weíre going to run up. We will have to issue bonds. The only thing we could debate here is how many dollars worth of bonds are we going to issue. The cash money is not there to build a community center, any one of the four, not option 1, 2, 3, or 4. I wouldnít think anybody up here could tell you how much debt weíre going to issue.
Mrs. Rose said I understand that and I sent in my survey. Iím all for expanding. I lived here when there were 500 families and I knew everybody. Itís grown, Iím glad of it and I still stay here. I want to stay here. You are going to have a teen game room. What about the seniors? When they say Dial-a-Ride, thatís a majority of people in Springdale. If you build a bigger place you will need more personnel. If no one uses it, what are you going to do? There are so many issues I think it should be studied more. I want to move forward but I want to know what you intend on the people of Springdale paying. If I buy something I have to know how Iím going to pay for it.
Mayor Webster responded I share your concern and I do the same thing. If I canít afford it I donít buy it. Only 10% of the people who responded feel the same way that you and I feel.
Mrs. Rose said if you raise taxes people could leave. Businesses could leave. If you make the wrong decision and we are straddled with this, somebody better be able to answer these questions Iím raising tonight.
Mr. Danbury said there are different ways weíre going to come up with this money. We have some money set aside that we are going to borrow from initially. We will have money coming in from some projects. We feel we will get matching funds of close to $1 million. We have funds for capital improvements that we had budgeted over the next few years. There will come a point where we have to look into some kind of bonding or financing. I personally wouldnít bite off more than we could chew just to have a big monument.
Mrs. Rose said then you think we are all secure in whatever you are deciding we are going to do. Itís already decided what option you are going to do.
Mr. Danbury stated we decided this July 15. Since we are going to triple the size we will need more personnel.
Mrs. Rose asked then what was the purpose of sending the survey out?
Mr. Danbury replied the survey was a suggestion from the Mayor. This is the largest expenditure we have ever proposed for this City. This is the third survey we have done on this and we have had a number of special meetings. The Mayor, I and others want to make sure we do it right. We want to hear everything. Weíve gotten nothing but the same majority opinion that most people want a double gym or they want the type of programs we are proposing. We did a phone survey a year ago from the University of Cincinnati and we did a sampling of over 500 residents. Seventy-two percent of the people said they want some type of expansion. We did another mailer in March or April and it was basically the same thing. Council voted on it and we are proceeding but I feel we owe it to the citizens to let us know one last time. The citizens as a whole have said we are making the right choice.
Mrs. Rose said I hold you all responsible.
ORDINANCE 55-1998 "AMENDING SECTION 94.11 OF THE SPRINGDALE CODE OF ORDINANCES REGARDING COLLECTION AT SOURCE"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded.
ORDINANCE NO. 57-1998 "AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF $2,000,000 OF RENEWAL NOTES BY THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS, FOR STREET AND RELATED IMPROVEMENTS, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked Mr. Knox, do you know how our TIFF is doing?
Mr. Knox said we were recovering between $53,000 and $56,000 a year in taxes which is just a bit short of the break even point. We do have excess funds from the original bonding that will pay for that so we donít need any money out of the general revenue. This is the fourth year and next year the ball game will change. Weíll bring you up to date at that time.
Ordinance 57-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 58-1998 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE ENGINEERING DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION WORK NECESSARY FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION RENOVATION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Parham said following the last Council meeting I met with Roger Kerlin of CDS Associates to begin the negotiation for fees for the architectural and engineering design for the expansion and renovation of the Community Center. Prior to meeting with Mr. Kerlin I did a brief survey of a number of other communities, some of those you had a chance to tour, including the City of Sharonville and the City of Dublin to ascertain the fee structure that they entered into for similar types of services for the construction and renovation of their facilities. All throughout the process we have been using the number of 8.5% for the final construction plans and specifications for this project. As part of the survey I conducted I found the numbers range from 7.5% for the City of Dublin to 8% with the City of Sharonville. I was able to come to an agreement with Mr. Kerlin with the numbers attached in the letter dated August 12 from Mr. Kerlin to me for the design and construction of related costs, with the preliminary design of not to exceed number of $75,000, the final construction plans and specification number of 8%. The other three numbers of construction, administration, construction observation and pre-construction testing numbers of 3, 2, and 2 percent are pretty much what we have been using to date. The primary difference and concern is that we wanted to try to get the number of final construction plans and specifications down to 8%. As you are aware, we are the midst of the preliminary design. They will continue the process upon the approval of this ordinance this evening of further developing the plan in which the community center will be renovated. With that, Iíll be willing to answer any questions you may have and we seek approval of the legislation.
Ms. Pollitt said like Mrs. Rose and Mayor Webster, Iím still struggling with the cost on this. I have a couple of questions in regards to this. If we issue this ordinance is CDS still going to go forward and try to rework some of the designs?
Mr. Parham said CDS will begin with the full-blown design in engineering architect of this project. At the same time they are going to look at other options and opportunities where we may be able to gain savings in the design of this project as well as when we get to the construction phase.
Ordinance 58-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mr. Danbury said we have a liquor license transfer from Panda Chinese Restaurant to Amigos Restaurant. There were no objections.
Ms. Manis said I went to the Sharonville Firemenís Festival and they had a camera on display that they use in smoke filled buildings. Itís heat sensitive and it can pick up a person lying there that they canít see because the smoke is so thick.
Mr. Knox said Forest Park is raising money to purchase one of those cameras.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Regulating public newsracks in public right-of-way - open
Distribution of advertising materials - open
SCATF - September 2, first reading
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT COUNCIL MEETING - none
Mr. Galster made a motion for Council to go into executive session as a committee of the whole for possible land acquisition. Mrs. McNear seconded.
The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:18 p.m.
Council adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council