President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on January 21, 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 January 7, 1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
COMMITTEESS AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - Ms. Manis reported we received a memo from Mr. Schneider regarding the running of dogs at large and invisible fences, which we will be reviewing and having a meeting on. We will report on that at the next meeting.
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS - Mr. Vanover stated that the Public Works Committee will discuss the 1998 street program this month and will report to Council on February 4 with a bid in late April and construction from early June to September.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - Ms. Manis said the Community Center pool repair and improvements are scheduled to be completed in April 1998. The Sharon Road repair and resurfacing public meeting has been scheduled for March 25. I would like to announce the committee for the Rec Center expansion review. They are: Joe Rudick, Kathy Kauffman, Sandy Burt, James Bush, Jennifer Ihle, Patty and Tracy Murphy, Michelle Miller and David Gleaves. We also will have open seats for the Recreation Center staff. We will also have open seats for Planning, Finance and Capital Improvements committees. Since we supposedly can't have more than four Council people for a meeting, depending on what is being discussed or who can show up, we'll do it that way. We'll probably meet the first week in February to set up a time line.
Mr. Danbury said I would like to be on that committee. From my understanding of past practices, the President of Council would be on the committee.
Ms. Manis responded you can come any time. The meetings are open so anybody can come.
Mayor Webster said I have some ideas I would like to share with Council as far as make up of this committee and how it will work. Ms. Manis, as chairman of Capital Improvements you have the right and in this case, the obligation, to try to open this up to the public. We want everyone's input but there's a limit on how many people you can take on field trips unless you want to rent vans or busses. I was hoping we could have town hall meetings starting very soon and advertise them so that we can get input not only from coaches, but from senior citizens, Community Center staff, people who may not even use the Community Center. Then use the ideas there to form this group that would go on site visits. If I look back on the way it was done with this building, it was Capital Improvements Committee, President of Council, Administration (which in this case will probably be represented by Mr. Osborn) and one or two members of the Community Center staff). Then have another town hall meeting to update the community on the progress. If you want to have your own Capital Improvements Citizens' Group I think that's great, but I think the official City group should be comprised of Council people and the Administration who solicit input from all facets of our community.
Ms. Manis said the people on the committee do represent all facets of the community. We even have a teen. A lot of these people were recommended by the Community Center staff. I think your way sounds fine but I think it will drag it out. I know a lot of people who are here tonight would like to see it done as soon as possible. I don't know that that will happen. I have nothing against town meetings but I think there has to be something tangible you can present at the town meeting.
Mayor Webster said I think you have a cross section of the community and that's fine. The fallacy is that it is hand picked. I think it should be wide open for anybody to show up and give us their input.
Ms. Manis replied all the meetings will be announced and people are welcome to come to those also. I anticipate this being a pretty quick time line and then if we want to have a town meeting before we even get things on paper formally then that would be wonderful. As far as the field trips, it's up to the committee members to make the site visits on their own. I know the Administration and Rec Commission have already done the site visits.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION - Mr. Galster reported that they met January 13. There was a preliminary plan to amend the preliminary plan for the Tri-County Commons PUD to allow the construction of a proposed MARS Music Store next to Dave & Buster's. They specialize in going after musicians in the tri-state area. They don't anticipate a lot of traffic. The vote came in 4-3. We're having the Legal Department look into whether this is a final action, making that 4-3 vote not recommended from Planning Commission to Council and therefore, we will need five votes to pass. I think the majority of the board thought the store is a good use in the building. The major concern is signage. If I had to poll the Planning Commission board today I would say six or seven people would be in favor of the store.
We had final plan approval on a proposed addition to Romano's Macaroni Grill at 925 E. Kemper Road. That was approved 7-0.
We had final plan approval of a proposed three-story office building, Executive Park Plaza III, 135 Merchant Street. This is a Duke development and that was approved 7-0.
Pine Garden requested plat approval #4 for the Pine Garden sub-division. That was approved 7-0.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car requested development plan approval of a proposed addition. That was tabled 7-0. We didn't have an actual owner or authorized agent there.
Vineyard Community Church requested final plan approval for the church at 11355 Century Circle East. We did come to some agreement on the tree replacement policy. That was approved 7-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS -Mrs. McNear stated that they met last evening. Provident Bank, 11525 Springfield Pike, requested a variance to allow white light poles and fixtures instead of brown or black which is required by the corridor study. We felt there would be too many precedents set if we allowed this and it was denied 0-7.
Quality Gold, 75 Tri-County Parkway, requested an extension of a variance that was granted in September. They have a temporary office trailer on their premises. They are building a new facility in Fairfield and they needed this trailer to accommodate their business during the Christmas holidays. Construction has not progressed the way they thought it would and they have asked for an extension until April 15. They will be bringing in eight ten-foot evergreen trees and mulching the area. That was granted 5-2.
Maple Knoll Village, 11100 Springfield Pike, requested a variance to allow the construction of a sun room on the back of the building. There are 29 feet to the rear yard and it is required that you have 35 feet. That was granted 5-2.
Duke Realty requested a variance to allow parking and a side yard loading area on their proposed three-story building. They were short nine parking spaces and the loading space in the side yard was screened. It didn't look like it would be a problem in the location that it was and that was passed 7-0.
Vineyard Community Church, 11355 Century Circle East, requested a variance to install an off-premise sign on the corner of Century Boulevard and Kemper across from the Macaroni Grill. There is a sign for the building that currently has a variance. It's at the peak of the hill. This would be on the same piece of property. The sign was quite large, 6 1/2' tall by 13.8' wide. Because of the configuration of the hill it would have to be cut into the slope. It's also a problem because you are not allowed to have signs off-premise from your location. The sign would also be internally lit. The applicant eventually withdrew the request and BZA has requested that this plan go back to Planning Commission for further information. The church's understanding was when they purchased the property they would be permitted to put the sign there. Nothing had ever been approved but they said it had been on their plans since 1995.
Mr. Galster said Provident Bank has already put up the white poles. Did you notice the façade change?
Mrs. McNear said that was not mentioned at the meeting. The poles were already installed. They are white and have a large housing on top of them with a blue band which they were trying to tie into the upgrades to the building. If we allow that everyone else on the corridor will want to do something.
Mr. Wilson said Quality Gold agreed to fully skirt their trailer.
BOARD OF HEALTH - Ms. Pollitt reported they met January 8, 1998. New business consisted of drafting Resolution 1-1998, setting fees for tattoo and body piercing businesses located within the confines of Springdale. The pool program cost analysis was discussed and it was decided that the Health Department will charge $290 license fee for the first pool and $152 for the second pool. This will be in alignment with what other municipalities are charging and is to recover 100% of our costs. The animal control issue was discussed in relationship to the pending issue before us. Dr. Ketring will be supply information on how an animal is labeled once it has violated the law by biting someone. The Health Department will be reviewing past complaints and will compile this information and hopefully be going to the Police Chief in the future.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - Mr. Coleman reported that David Strange has replaced Don Darby on the commission. The Civil Service Commission expresses our sincere appreciation for the dedication and service Don Darby performed as a member of the commission. On Saturday, January 10, Commission members met with our legal counsel, Tom Keating, at 8:30 a.m. to discuss procedures under the Civil Service rules related to the hearing process involving disciplinary action of a civil servant. Consequently, on Thursday, January 15, Commission members were present for this disciplinary hearing which started at 3:30 p.m. and concluded at 6:30 p.m. Following the advice of our legal counsel, our written decision was delivered to the City Administrator. The results of both the promotional examinations for the sergeant's position and lieutenant's position have been mailed to the candidates who took the examination. At the completion of the qualification process the names will be certified to continue the process.
Ms. Manis asked if the decision is appealed does it go to our board or to a different board?
Mr. Osborn replied it goes to the Court of Common Pleas.
O-K-I REPORT - Ms. Manis stated she attended a meeting on January 8. There were several items of business. Two public meetings for the Year 2020 Metropolitan Transportation Plan have already been held. Two are set for Wednesday, January 28, 1998 at Miami University in Hamilton, and January 29 at Clermont County Union Township Hall. If you want more information you can contact me. They also presented a slide show on the I-71 corridor study. They rejected these options: heavy rail, rapid transit including the monorail, commuter rail, highway expansion within I-275. They are opting for expanded bus service, time transfer transit service, suburban centers and park & ride lots, government squared transit expansion, freeway ramp metering, and HOV by-pass lanes which would be a separate lane for busses, car-poolers, etc., demand to management which would be alternative work schedules, ride-sharing, and also the ARTIMIS system which should be working soon. Since Springdale isn't part of the executive committee, I'm only going to be attending the board of trustees meetings. They are four times a year and the next one is April 23.
Mr. Danbury asked if they are still doing an I-75 corridor study?
Ms. Manis replied there are 7 corridors here and they will be studying them all. Right now they are also working on the western corridor. They will be starting on the I-75 corridor soon.
MAYOR'S REPORT - Mayor Webster read a letter on the Food for Fines program that the Police Department initiated before Christmas. "Dear Police Chief James Freland: We want to thank you for the donations we received as a result of the people paying their fines in the form of canned goods. It was a very unique way of collecting. It's always good to know that the community supports us. We try very hard to make life a little easier for the less fortunate. Of course, we couldn't do our job without your support. Sincerely, Bonnie Monroe, Director of Tri-County Soul Ministries".
Mayor Webster said we have made a tentative appointment for a new patrol officer to replace Patrolman Brown who retired last fall. We are continuing the search and interview process for the second officer.
Next week we are starting Mayor's Night In. It is scheduled for the fourth Wednesday of every month from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. I do have a conflict in February so the February date will be Thursday, February 19. Anybody who wants to talk about anything is welcome.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR'S REPORT - no report
ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT - Mr. Osborn said at the last Council meeting a question was raised about trying to schedule a presentation on the short term improvements to East Kemper Road. We would like to put that on the agenda for February 18. The engineering staff that made the original presentation will be back to give you details on those projects which we have described as short-term.
We will be opening bids on January 27 for a new pick-up truck for the Public Works Department. I would expect to bring a recommendation to you on February 4 and request legislation on February 18.
Tri-County Soul Ministries is comprised of seventeen churches in and around the Tri-County area, including Glendale, Sharonville, Forest Park and Springdale. For many years it has been housed at the Springdale Church of the Nazarene. Their mission is to provide a food pantry and when possible, clothing to disadvantaged people. Regrettably because of the growth of the Nazarene Church they are going to be losing that space in the very near future and this past week the Mayor and I met with Mrs. Maryann Knueven, a Springdale resident who is involved in this program and is requesting that we give them some assistance in trying to locate a new place from which to operate. If anyone in the audience or anyone who might be viewing this on the television rebroadcast can help in providing 400-800 square feet in a commercial or industrial zoned facility please contact the City and we'll put you in contact with Tri-County Soul Ministries. We will also be making some initiatives on our own to try to find another location for them. This is a very important resource to our community. It's all volunteers. All the money that is collected, all the food that is collected, 100% goes back to providing services to the poor. There is no paid staff. They are all volunteers. They may be forced out of business unless they can find a new premise from which to operate.
Mr. Osborn said earlier Ms. Manis said we are going to hold the West Sharon Road improvement project public information meeting on March 25. That meeting has been rescheduled to Tuesday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Parham said on January 12, I forwarded a memo to your attention relative to an enterprise zone application for XL Connect Solutions Inc. That is a computer technology company headquartered out of Exton, Pennsylvania. They have approximately 50 locations around the country with over 2,400 employees. They are located in a number of sites in the greater Cincinnati area; in particular, Kenwood and Sharonville. XL Connect along with Duke Investments is looking at the construction of a 93,000 square foot office building near Tri-County Parkway. XL Connect would occupy roughly one or two of those floors. They are looking at initially transferring into the City 109 employees. Their start-up payroll is $3.8 million. Over the three year period they would be adding on another 257 employees, increasing the payroll to $12,810,000. With the new enterprise zone laws, if you relocate jobs from a site in the State of Ohio you need a waiver from the Ohio Department of Development. Unfortunately, the waiver was not requested. Therefore, we ask that you table this resolution this evening. The process is generally a 30 day process but we're going to try to assist XL Connect and Duke in speeding up the process as much as we can with the Ohio Department of Development and also Hamilton County Development Company. As Mr. Galster mentioned, Duke did receive final approval from Planning Commission on January 13 and they were hoping to start this project immediately. However, if they begin construction of the building that portion will not qualify under the abatement program. I've also included with your memo a letter from Larry McDonough from the Princeton School District indicating they have no problem with the proposed abatement program. They are asking for 70% over a 7 year period. The maximum under the program is 75% over a ten year period without seeking any approval from the school district.
Mr. Danbury asked if Mr. Parham planned to bring this back on February 18 and Mr. Parham replied perhaps next week we can meet with the Ohio Department of Development and push this along, so we are asking for a date of February 4. Duke is on a very fast pace to try to start turning dirt and getting the facility constructed. Without XL Connect being a part of this project, the building may not even be going up at this time.
Mayor Webster said in your letter of December 8, 1997 you indicated that this issue was scheduled to go before the County Commissioners on January 7. Did that happen?
Mr. Parham replied that did happen but because the waiver was not granted that legislation will need to be voided.
Ms. Manis asked Mr. Osborn if letters will be mailed out to residents affected by the West Sharon Road project. Mr. Osborn replied yes.
LAW DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Mr. Schneider said regarding the MARS Music matter, the action by the Planning Commission was a final action and a determinative vote of 4-3 is in effect a denial. When it comes before Council it will take 5 votes of Council to approve that matter. That has been reported to Mr. McErlane so he is aware of that.
Civil Service Commission had the hearing as reported earlier by Mr. Coleman. That was prosecuted successfully by the Law Director's office, Mr. Berniger, and the Administrator's decision of a three day suspension of Officer Schulz was upheld for failure of good behavior.
Mr. Schneider requested an executive session to be held on land acquisition.
Mr. Schneider stated our law firm, Wood and Lamping, is sponsoring a Books For Kids program in cooperation with Kroger. If you have slightly used children's books we are collecting them and distributing them to schools for supplemental reading at home as well as part of school programs. Hopefully we can get some boxes into various buildings in the City to try to get some support from some of our clients.
ENGINEER'S REPORT - no report
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Robert Coleman, 689 Yorkhaven Road, asked what do we need to do as residents of Springdale to convince Council to move forward with the expansion of the Rec Center? There is a significant need for the expansion of the Rec Center. I personally have already visited some of the other sites. Those facilities are very nice and very well put together but there is no doubt in my mind that Springdale couldn't at least match those facilities or bring the facility up to the point that we would not lose residents to other communities as a result of those more attractive facilities. The need is there because of the use factor. We need to do something and we need to get moving fast.
Mr. Danbury said Ms. Manis' committee is going to look at other facilities and put together a wish list. Mr. Osborn is finalizing the figures from 1997, finding out our revenue sources. We know we are going to have to work on some of the capital improvements such as sidewalks, road work, maintenance. Then Council will hopefully be able to get together with this report and have a town hall meeting. I know the people in the audience tonight came here for this issue. I want people to give us their input. Some want a larger gym. Some may want something else that we don't offer. I can't speak for everybody but I think this is a top priority for everyone. If we do it I would like to come to a decision soon but I personally want to make a right decision, not a quick one. We have to set our budgets for this fall.
Mr. Vanover said we have a wish list now that is in the range of $4.5 million. We will have to float money because we can't pay for this out of our pocket. Is the City willing to take on a debt? What do the citizens want? Everybody in the construction business knows it's cheaper to build new than it is to rehab and remodel. We have other services to look at also so we are all going to have to think long and hard. I would love to see it come to fruition as soon as we can get it. I would rather us be prudent and a little tardy than be hasty and waste money and make mistakes.
Mr. Coleman responded I would concur with that. What kind of time frame might we estimate for a decision of yes, it's doable or no, it's not?
Mayor Webster said let me go back to your question about what the community needs to do to convince Council that the need is there. In private conversations with various Council members I've discovered no Council member that doesn't appreciate the need. I guarantee you from an Administration standpoint that we certainly see the need and we are just as anxious to solve it just as much as you coaches and parents. I don't think there is any convincing that needs to be done.
Mayor Webster continued that I have talked to several people who don't use the Community Center for any reason at all and they want to see us add to the Community Center. They recognize and appreciate the value that that community center adds to this community, the value it adds to their homes, etc. We've talked the $4.5 million figure since early last summer. We do want to be prudent and make sure we make the right decisions. I think we will find the money to do it. The absolute only reservation I've heard from anybody is that they don't want to mortgage the City's future. They don't want to go into debt for 20 or 30 years. I personally share that feeling. I think we want to have a center that rivals Sharonville's or Evendale's but at the same time, at the end of 5-7 years, we want to come out of this debt free. I personally think that can be done but we do need to identify all of our needs and lay those out and prioritize them. That's not to say we're going to wait 5-7 years to build a community center.
Wes Nichols, 558 Observatory Drive, spoke from a coach's standpoint. He explained about a problem he had with practices at Springdale Elementary. The need for more space and gym time is big time. You wouldn't believe how many times I've heard kids ask if there is open gym time and be told no. They go outside by the trees, smoke cigarettes, etc. It's a need to keep our kids on the right track.
A bigger community center starts the kids out at an earlier age. A Springdale team played an Evendale team in a tournament. The Springdale team scored 4 points and the Evendale team scored 40 because their kids start in the first and second grade because they have the room to do it. I understand it takes fourteen months to put it up so the longer you wait the longer it's going to be pushed back.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Osborn and I were going over some of the figures earlier. We spent over $700,000 on the Rec Center last year alone. Over the last ten years we have spent $1 million improving the center. It's forefront on my mind. I just want to make the right decision.
Mr. Galster said I understand that the City has not been in debt for a long time, if ever. I also know that we have money in the budget in the year 2000 for major Rec Center expansion. I'm not opposed to going into a little bit of debt because I think the need is genuine. I think it's critical. We've had our Community Center staff in here laying out their perception of the needs of this community and if we're not going to respond to them where does that leave us? If Bob Sears of Public Works tells us we have to have this and that in order to properly function, I think in general we respond a lot quicker than we have on this particular project. I think the reason for the committee is to come up with a preliminary plan of what we want. Maybe we need to spend some money in 1998 to have an engineer look at designing what we want. Maybe we need to look at two or three different plans. I think in 1999 we should be able to break ground and the building should be open in the year 2000. I don't think it takes a year to figure out what we need for this community. I think the Community Center staff already knows it. Would I vote to go into debt to build this community center? Yes I would. I know some other things would suffer. We had a strategic planning session and what was the most important issue in this city - community pride and community involvement. To me that's what the community center is. Instead of having additional specialized officers for teen groups, I'd rather get them involved in programs ahead of time. I don't want to put on the police officers to handle the kids after they become a problem. I want to have them involved at the Community Center and save a couple of them from becoming a problem. I think our seniors would have all kinds of opportunities. And I would go into debt for that.
Mr. Vanover responded I take exception with the scenario. There's a world of difference in a $15,000 piece of equipment and a $4.5 million or more project. There's no doubt that there is a need there. I've seen other community facilities. I've been in one that is nice but you can tell it's a remodel. We're not in competition with the other cities but we've always taken pride in having a first rate project. If we are going to spend the money we need to spend it wisely. I think our Community Center staff know what we need but there are other facets of our community who can bring in in-sight that they may not have considered or there may be something out there that we haven't considered yet. It's not something we just jump into and start writing checks.
Jim Young, 12041 Kenn Road, said since I work out at the Rec a lot, I've had quite a few conversations with Jim Burton over the years. This is not a process that you folks have gotten in the last few weeks. This has been on the books quite a while. I agree with a lot of what you are saying, Mr. Vanover, but the people who are best to give you what the City needs are the staff. They are more knowledgeable than anybody up here. There is a plan and from what I've seen it's a good one. It's not going to match Sharonville or Evendale, but Sprindale is not either of those communities. We have our own needs and they have been addressed. I don't see the need for this committee Ms. Manis has. This should be the number one priority. You can't continue to say we're going to look at it.
Ms. Manis said I agree with everything you said. That plan was developed before any of the other centers were open. As Mr. Vanover said, it costs a lot more to remodel than to build. I think after they saw what happened at Sharonville it was their idea to relook the plan and see if we can get more for our money. The figure is probably still the same and the plan will probably not change that much. How much can you get? You know you need gyms and clubrooms. You're going to build a box and put these things in it. It's not that major a design process and hopefully this committee won't take any longer than a few months. I would break ground tomorrow if it were up to me. It's up to each of these Council members to decide what their priorities are. We all know we have these major projects coming up. Some tough decisions are going to be made. Do we want to spend so many million widening Kemper Road or is this your priority? Or if we do them both do we go in debt? I don't have a problem with that either. I think each of you out there have to talk to your Council people and let them know how you feel and tell your friends to do the same thing.
Mr. Danbury said this project has been discussed for a long time but it was never discussed in Council before where people are willing to sit down and have a committee. I think a decision will be made sometime this year as to what we are going to do, whether we do it in phases or not. You mention that this is the number one priority and our staff at the Rec Center recommended it. If our total emphasis for our tax dollars was for the Rec Center I wouldn't have a problem with it but we have other departments that we have to take care of as well. We are looking at $4.5 million. I don't look at what it will cost but at what expense. If we go in debt and chances are we will, for how long? I'd like to find out from the report Mr. Osborn is going to be producing some of the projects we have. I personally will be prioritizing it.
Mr. Young said I agree with what you are saying but the thing you have to realize is, the people in Springdale don't perceive it as something that hasn't been talked about up here. These folks up here are looking for a date. Don't keep saying it's going to happen, take the money and nothing happens. I think if you polled the residents they would say it has to be done.
Mr. Danbury responded as far as I can remember nothing has been delayed that long. This building here took ten years to plan and discuss.
Mr. Osborn said this report from the Rec staff came out in July. We factored that into the five year budget we developed in September. We laid out as many of the long term capital projects that could be identified by all departments and put them in some order. It was my recommendation to put the community center in the year 1999 for design and the year 2000 for construction and in 1998 go through a process of pre-planning, doing the type of exercise that has been discussed here tonight. I think there has been a game plan put in place. Tonight we are hearing that you want us to accelerate that game plan. As the Mayor indicated, nobody said we're not going to do this. In fairness to Council there has been some conceptual planning as to the time frame in which this was projected to occur. That is subject to change. At the December Council meeting Council asked me to put together a budget reflecting changes in project estimates, etc. that have occurred since September, and a number of things have happened since September in terms of project costs such as the maintenance facility and highway projects. We are just now closing out the 1997 books. I wanted to have actual numbers from 1997 to factor into a spread sheet which I can then present to Council that will give them an idea of where we are in terms of current resources and projected resources as compared to that laundry list of projects that has been identified by Council and various departments over the next five years. We may have to go into debt for a few years. I don't think this is going to come down to an either/or. There may be projects we have to postpone for a year or two and we may have to do some short term financing but I don't think we have to choose to do improvements to the Rec Center or improvements to Kemper Road. In 1998 we had not budgeted any money for design but we had talked about having some sort of pre-planning exercise in 1998. That's not to say that can't be done in the first half of 1998 and then move into design in the fall of 1998 and try to accelerate the process. Again, I wouldn't want Council to take criticism unfairly. They got the presentation in July. We worked it into the five year budget in September and I am the one who put it in the year 2000 based upon what I saw the numbers to be.
Ms. Manis stated I think it is some our fault. Mr. Galster and I talked about who we should talk to and what we should do next after the Rec Center staff was in here. We had no idea how to speed it up. Even when it was in Finance Committee I said to Mr. Osborn there is no engineering in here but I'll be happy if we can at least get some design down on paper. All the time in my mind I'm thinking I'll push the engineering cost through later in the year and see what happens. I still think that can be done. Capital Improvements gets a plan and comes in and asks for an ordinance to do the engineering on this project. Then Council has to fish or cut bait. We appreciate you all coming up here and expressing your opinion.
Lynn Rinck, part-time employee at the Rec Center, said I know people are frustrated. Mr. Webster mentioned 5-7 years. We don't have 5-7 years. We need it now.
Mayor Webster said I too thank you all for coming and for your input but if we're going to quote Mr. Webster let's make sure we quote Mr. Webster right. I was talking from the financial end. I think I ended my comments by saying I'm not talking about 5-7 years to build the center. I'm talking about short term financing. I would not be opposed to the City going into short term debt with notes, roll them for 7 years but at the end of that time frame, hopefully we'd be able to come out of this with no long term debt. I personally would oppose any project in this City where we have to sell 30 year bonds to pay for it. If we can break ground in 1999 that's fine. We just need a few more months here to get some things together.
Ms. Rinck said when we presented this in July one of the Council members suggested we wait until after the election and that was really wrong. The seniors are interested in expanding and I think Springdale is in a turn-over phase. There are more young families and you need to do more for the children.
Mr. Danbury said for the record, I was the person who suggested waiting until after the election. I said that because I think the people sitting up here should see the entire project through. I don't think it's good continuity when someone starts it and then someone else takes your seat. I'm also the one who said I wanted public discussion on it.
Beth Chavies, 11760 Lawnview Avenue, said in my job in project management I handle jobs that are in the $100,000's range so I have empathy for the amount of coordination, details, etc. that go into this type of planning. While it would be wonderful if it was as simple as building a box and sticking something inside of it. You're clearly not in a position to give a date that you will break ground. Is it unreasonable to ask for a date that you could give them a date? Not only do you need to have the end result, you have milestones that lead up to that. Perhaps that would ease some of the frustration on everybody's part.
Mr. Danbury said I have a problem with the date because what is the cost, what are we going to spend, how big is it going to be?
Ms. Chavies said obviously budget is an issue. Typically in the business I am in you give me a dollar amount to work with and then I will figure out what I am going to do with it. In this scenario I think the dates are as important as the amount of money that is going to be spent. If you don't set dates sometimes things don't happen as quickly as they could. What would be the horror in setting a date to break ground and then missing that date maybe?
Mr. Danbury said no one is against this. I just want to make sure we do everything.
Ms. Manis said the committee will meet and at Council on February 18 we will have a time line as far as when we would like to see the committee meetings end and when we'd like to have design projects to Council for the town meeting. It's impossible to give you a ground breaking date right now.
Mr. Osborn said we initiate our annual budget process in October. We initiate our five year budget with staff in late August/early September. Obviously we as a staff will want to know when we start that process what Council's position is on this matter. I think you could look at that as a firewall. If we drag this issue past that point it's really going to complicate our budget process for 1999.
Mayor Webster said I would suggest at the next meeting you approve a contract with CDS to start some initial design work. I would think they could give us some ballpark numbers to at least start the design phase. Cost is a factor but you have to have basic design work done before you can get your arms around the cost of the project. I think some of that could be concurrent with the site visits and committee meetings.
Mr. Shvegzda said they could do the preliminary design work as long as there are enough parameters established that we could do an accurate estimate of some of the actual construction cost.
Ms. Manis asked Mr. Shvegzda if he would like to be part of the committee and he replied yes.
Mr. Osborn said I just want to make it clear as I understand it that we are not talking about design plans/construction drawings. We are talking about a concept design that will be sophisticated enough to be able to identify costs and incorporate conceptually the uses we want to incorporate into the structure. I think the Mayor's point about starting now is valid because this is a rehab, not a new construction. We do need to do additional research into existing utilities and what it would cost to relocate utilities. Our objective is to have a completed concept plan with a valid cost estimate for the facility by June 3.
Mayor Webster said until we can get a formal town hall meeting I urge anyone to feel free to come to the next meeting and the next one and the next one. We welcome your input and your opinions.
Mrs. McNear said if you can't make the meetings call us at home or at the City building. My first job was at the Rec Center when it first opened. When we saw the presentation this past summer it looked the same except the paint was chipping. We definitely need to upgrade that building.
Mr. Danbury said it is a community center, not necessarily a rec center. I would like to get an idea for things other than just sports. I know there is a need for more meeting rooms. We need to involve everybody.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Ms. Manis said every year we try to get a marching band for our July 4 festival. I mentioned to Gary Thompson at the Community Center that I am putting together a band and am looking for volunteers. There's no skill level or age requirement.
Mr. Osborn said this question came up a year or two ago by a resident who had some interest in the same topic so I'll try to find his name and put you in contact with him.
Ms. Pollitt said the Volunteer Firefighters' Dependent Fund meeting was held this past Monday. Our charter requires that we meet once a year. The committee consists of Robert Posega; Dan Shroyer; Ken Brenner, retired part-time firefighter; Mr. Wilson and me. Our next meeting will be 1/2 hour before the first Council meeting in 1999.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Underground fences in the front yard
Ordinance accepting Commons Drive - February 4
Resolution authorizing the enterprise zone - February 4
Ordinance for the pickup truck - February 18
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT MEETING
Contract with CDS on design work for the community center
Mr. Galster made a motion for Council as a whole to go into a committee as a whole to discuss possible land acquisition and Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed 7-0.
Council went into executive session at 8:50 p.m. and reconvened at 9:21 p.m.
ORDINANCE NO. 7-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF PROPERTY FROM SAMMIE AND ELEANOR BURNS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
This was a first reading.
Council adjourned at 9:25 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council