Council was called to order on June 19, 1996 at 7:30 p.m. by President of Council Randy Danbury.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the governmental body and those in attendance. The Invocation was given by Mr. Knox.
Roll call was taken by Mr. Knox. Present were Council members Boice, Galster, Manis, McNear, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
Mr. Danbury thanked Mrs. Boice for taking over at the last meeting.
The minutes of May 15, 1996 were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
The minutes of June 5, 1996 were approved with 6 affirmative votes. Mr. Danbury abstained.
RESOLUTION NO. 19-1996 "COMMENDING RANDALL HORMAN AND FIRE EXPLORER POST NO. 211 FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING DEDICATION AND SERVICE TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mrs. Boice seconded.
Mr. Danbury said congratulations to everybody for a job well done.
Mayor Webster said this has been said many times before because we have had this illustrious group before us before, especially Mr. Horman. The City is extremely proud of Randy and all the explorers. I think they are really gaining a reputation throughout the country as an outstanding explorer post. All you have to do is look at the trophy case. They are filling that up and at the rate they are going, we're probably going to need another case before it is over with. We are happy to have you folks as part of our fire fighting group and thanks to all of you for your efforts. This has to be a labor of love for Randy and he continues to outdo himself every year.
Mrs. Boice said I'm really delighted the Mayor brought up the trophy case. When we had our tour a few weeks ago I did notice the case was full because of all the efforts of all these wonderful young people. Congratulations to all the young men and young lady. Randy, I have talked to you many times privately about this but we all are so consistently pleased with all the effort you put into this and the support I know you have from Chief Posega. Congratulations. It's nice to have you here this evening to hear about your accomplishments.
Resolution R19-1996 passed with 7 affirmative votes. Mayor Webster passed out the resolutions.
RESOLUTION NO. 20-1996 "COMMENDING JOHN YUNGBLUTH FOR HIS OUTSTANDING SERVICE TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded.
Mr. Vanover said this is a pleasure in an adverse situation. Had Mr. Yungbluth not acted when he did, not only notifying the Police Department of the situation, but also obtaining the water sample, it would have been extremely difficult for us to ascertain what had happened in the creek. His quick thinking made it easy for us to identify the agents that were in the creek even though at this point we have been unable to find a guilty party or parties. At least we knew what had come through and can be alert to that situation. The creek was in his backyard so he was watching out for his own backyard so to speak but again he took the time and effort to do something a lot of people wouldn't have. I appreciate that and thanks very much.
Mrs. Boice said I don't think there is anything that ranks higher than citizen involvement in the community. It is so easy to turn our heads and say I don't want to be bothered. I think a strong, healthy community depends on people like Mr. Yungbluth to get involved and help out where they can. I thank you sincerely for that.
Mrs. McNear commented that most people would not have the forethought to take a sample. They may call the police of fire department but wouldn't think to personally get involved taking the sample. I give you a lot of credit for that.
Mayor Webster said I would like to echo what everyone said here. We only have certain resources. We have three part time sanitarians and a full time health commissioner in our Health Department. Our Police Department can't be everything and see everything. We really do have to rely on residents to get involved and step forward. We do have residents do it as we had two chase a bank robber for us earlier in the year. It's refreshing to see residents stepping forward and helping the Health Department, Fire Department, etc. On behalf of the City please accept our gratitude.
Mr. Danbury said everyone said what he was going to say. Many times people don't get involved and we need that. I congratulate you for being the citizen you are.
Resolution R20-1996 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said we have with us this evening the Police Chief who will introduce our newest police officer and then to Chief Posega to introduce the new fire personnel.
Chief Freland said we recently filled our thirty-second and last vacancy in the Police Department. Roger P. Davis was hired on May 26. He is currently in the Butler County Law Enforcement Peace Officers Academy. He graduates in late August, first of September. He is 23 years old, lives in Loveland, graduated from Lakota High School in 1991, and received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Cincinnati in 1995. He's been with us since May and has been in our FTO (Field Training Officer) program and he fits in real well. I think he will have a great career with us.
Chief Posega said if you ever get to the Fire Department at the South Pole stop and say hello. They will know where you are from. Mr. Horman and his troop have a home page on the internet. He has put some information on there with our address and has gotten over 20 responses from around the world.
Chief Posega introduced Jeff Love. We started with around 650 applicants, tested over 400 and went through an agility test with about 50 and a long interview process. When I saw Jeff at the agility test he was off to the side. He looked like he knew what he was about to do. We have a run in the tower which is the last of the six agility tests you do. You run up to the top of the tower and pull a 50 pound hose up, fold it, let it back down and run back out of the tower. We allow 50 seconds for that task to happen. Jeff ripped it off in 32 seconds and set a record for that tower. The old record had been held by another fireman for a long time. His personality and demeanor that day was definitely a plus and his agility results were good. He fared well through the interview process with Mr. Parham, Mr. Osborn, the Assistant Chief and myself so it proves he's one of our top dogs. The first day he went to work he went to school so we don't have the advantage of him yet. He's in a six week course. Chris Hopkins, a part timer in Colerain fared real well on the test. Chris was the last person we interviewed on the last day. I was beginning to wonder if we could find enough qualified candidates until Chris walked in. He already has his 240 hours which he did on his own time with his own money. He completed paramedic class on his own time with his own funding. He did a paramedic class for a year, working a 70 hour week at two fire departments, going to class two nights a week and all the extra time it takes to run ambulance work in the hospital, etc. I'm sure he's going to get his paramedic card as I talked to the people who run the program at Bethesda North. I got an unsolicited phone call from the woman who runs the program when she found out Chris was a candidate giving us the pluses about Jeff. He finished third in the class with a 92 average. Chris has already come on board as a certified firefighter and he should be a paramedic in another week or two so he'll be on the ambulance too. Mike Hoffman has been a part timer with us just over six years. He's been one of our prime inspectors that entire time. He's a self-starter. He and another fellow have done most of the inspections we have completed in the last six years. We do them all hopefully twice a year but lately we've been down to once a year. We turned them all over to him and he and the other fellow got all the work done without any prodding, priming, or chasing from the Assistant Chief or myself. He starts this coming Monday as our Chief Fire Inspector. Mike has degree in fire protection from NKU. He didn't like going to school for four years so he went to UC at the same time and finished a lot quicker. That's the caliber of people we've been able to recruit.
Mayor Webster said I would like to officially welcome all four of these individuals as Springdale City employees. A lot of times we get a little disgusted and frustrated with the Civil Service system because it takes a long, long time to go through 650 applicants. We get some good people but it takes a long time getting those people on board.
Mr. Osborn said I just wanted to point out the grueling selection process these folks have had to go through and they are the cream of the crop. In the Police Department we had over 800 applications for these positions and tested over 600. It was very competitive. In a field that large there are a great number of very qualified people. In the Fire Department we had the same situation. I also want to express our appreciation to the Civil Service Commission for the time and effort they've put into this process. They have one of the greatest responsibilities in our organization, much of it behind the scene out of sight of the public eye administering examinations, handling the paperwork on the application process, organizing an interview prior to finalizing the eligibility list and in the case of the Police Department, coordinating a psychological screening process. There is a great deal of effort these individuals put into the selection process and without their efforts we would certainly not have the quality results we have. I also want to express my appreciation to the Urban League and to a focus group of Springdale residents who helped us review our selection process to make sure it was fair and open. I think the City can be very proud of that process and particularly proud of the individuals who are coming on board with this class.
Ms. Manis said on that Saturday morning when they were testing in the tower I watched some of those tests. I am just amazed at that 32 seconds.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - Ms. Manis said next meeting we would like to bring in our ordinance on adult oriented businesses. It's been in the works for a while and I think we finally got something that will work. If you have any questions on the sign ordinance that was read at the last meeting Mr. Galster will answer those for you. There will be a public hearing in a few weeks.
PUBLIC RELATIONS - Mrs. McNear stated the Building Department and BZA would like a better way to inform the residents when there is a potential variance that would affect adjacent properties to themselves. The Building Department came up with a real estate size sign which would be an erasable board where we can announce the public hearings of when these variances would come before the Board of Zoning Appeals. We would use one sign in a yard unless it was a corner lot and we would need approximately 15 signs which run $60 apiece. We think this would go a long way in helping people stay informed about the variances because we live in a very busy world with people running to scouts, soccer, vacations, etc. I would like to ask the Administration to take care of that detail please.
Mr. Galster asked how long the signs would stay up and Mrs. McNear replied it was not discussed. She said I would think not more than a week or two.
Mrs. Boice said the next door neighbors are notified but somebody on the next block asks why they weren't told. We only have to notify those that are contiguous. I think it's a great idea.
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS - Mr. Vanover said the 1996 street improvement program contract has been awarded and the pre-construction meeting has been held. Work is scheduled to begin in mid to late July. The contractor awarded the contract is the same one doing the work on St. Rt. 747 resurfacing and the Ray Norrish widening. They intend to accomplish the street program and Ray Norrish Drive under the same schedule during July, August and September of this year.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - Mr. Wilson reported on the new sidewalk and Crescentville Road curb replacement. Work is now behind schedule because of the excessive amount of rain. The Crescentville Road driveway work is complete as well as the sidewalk work by the Vineyard Church on Crescentville Road and the new sidewalk on Vanarsdale. The sidewalk work on Sharon Road is about 50% complete and cannot proceed until we get drier weather and the right of way can be graded. The work on St. Rt. 4 is underway but being halted because of rain. Century Boulevard Phase II pre-construction meeting has been held and construction will begin the week of June 10 . We anticipate the project to be completed by the end of July. Ray Norrish improvement and Crossings resurfacing pre-construction meeting has been held. Work is anticipated to begin in late July. Since this contract is with the L. P. Cavett Company who is also doing the St. Rt. 747 repair and resurfacing, they want to complete that work first and then move immediately on to this project.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - Ms. Manis reported we have the budget which we are going to discuss later. We also have the ordinance about depositories which we've changed a little and we'll discuss that when we get to it also.
PLANNING COMMISSION - Mr. Galster reported they met June 11. WalMart requested approval for use of the front sidewalk for outside storage of merchandise through October. This was denied 7-0. Home Quarters requested approval of outside storage of pallets as well as the display on their front sidewalks. That was tabled until the next meeting by a vote of 7-0. We had concept plan discussion of a proposed Q Lube at 805 Kemper Commons Circle and that was for discussion only. Kiwanis Club and Hooters Restaurant requested approval to hold an anniversary party July 28, 1996 in the parking lot of Hooters and Remingtons. Through discussion it was tabled with a 7-0 vote with the desire to look at using a site such as ShowCase parking lot. White Castle requested approval of a proposed drive through window. After a lot of discussion that was tabled 7-0 hoping some of the discussion would be taken into account and that could be modified. IDI requested site plan approval for their Distribution Building B at the Northwest Business Center. That was basically a building very similar to the one next to ShowCase right now. That was approved 7-0. AT&T Wireless requested approval of a proposed telecommunications tower at 805 Kemper Commons Circle. There was a lot of discussion and that was tabled until our next meeting 7-0. North American Properties requested approval of Home Place Expansion at Tri County Commons, formerly the Marshall building). That was approved 7-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS - Mrs. Boice reported they met last evening with all members in attendance. William Swingle, 893 Yorkhaven Road requested a variance allowing the construction of a 4'x8' storage building against the house. This would be used primarily for pool equipment, no chemicals, no hazardous material. Granted 7-0. Karen M. Kidd, 11493 Bernhart Court requested a variance allowing the extension of a driveway into the backyard. There had been problems with that and we did solicit advice from our legal department. That variance was granted 6-1. I was the one who voted no. It is rare that I go against the advice of our legal department but I just could not join in in this incidence. Lloyd and Kathy McKinney at 12182 Benadir Road requested a variance to allow them to park their travel trailer on an improved extension. That was denied 6-1. George and Barbara Ware, 681 Yorkhaven requested a variance to allow them to screen in and put a roof on their existing deck. That was granted 6-0. Mr. Mitchell, who lives across the street, removed himself from that item. Jeanette Sturgill, 11986 Navonna Court, requested a variance to allow the construction of a 10'x12' wood shed 4'6" from her property line. That variance was granted 7-0. She had already been under construction as she was replacing one that had been there.
BOARD OF HEALTH - Mr. Vanover said they met last Thursday. The creek sample report for fecal coliform was: Rt. 4/Northland, 550; Rt. 4 and Glensprings, 840; Ross Park, 830; Neuss Avenue, 1020; and Chamberlain Park, 420. These are wet samples which is why they are high. The Health Commissioner has started a semi-annual testing of the water for various items other than fecal coliform. He's testing for biochemical oxygen demand, gross organic chemical scan, herbicides, ammonia, oil and grease totals, phosphate totals, nitrogen totals and total suspended solids. With this being the first test we're just trying to lay the groundwork to get a feel for what is in the creek water at this time. On nuisance animal control we have set cages and trapped 15 squirrels, 18 raccoons, 3 opossums and 8 groundhogs. At one location we captured 5 raccoons and 7 squirrels from another residence. Along those lines I have been asked to bring to Council a request that we get a written policy dealing with the nuisance animal control so there is uniformity throughout when people call in, what the definition of property damage is. The board sends their thanks for allowing them to review the Exotic Animal Ordinance. They had a few recommended changes: remove piranhas, pot-bellied pigs, reptiles over 8 feet long because of enforcement; add wolves along with wolf-dog hybrids; and change "or" to "and" everywhere in the ordinance that it says wild, exotic, or potentially dangerous.
Mr. Galster said he has talked to a resident who has been charting the creek sample numbers but he still doesn't know what is good, bad, stay out of the creek, etc. Is there a way to put a good, bad, fair instead of the numbers?
Mr. Vanover said the City and State will issue a warning at 1,000. There is a complete ban at the 2,000 range. Only Neuss Avenue was at a warning level. Rt. 4 and Glensprings and Ross Park were close but below the 1,000 threshold. Now that we have over a year of monitoring we might be able to apply those figures to our scheme. I'll take that back to the Health Commissioner.
Mayor Webster said in response to the policy regarding animal removal the board has spent a considerable amount of time talking about that. I brought it up at Council two meetings ago and I came away with a pretty clear direction of what we want to do. I think you all gave some pretty general constraints, try to stay within our budget number. I had to miss the last Board of Health meeting but I don't think we need Council to give us guidance to go by. I think you've given us the parameters we need so I'll take that back to the board next time.
Mrs. Boice asked what prompted the length of the snake. Why are they wanting to eliminate that?
Mr. Vanover replied it's an enforcement nightmare. Their concern is what makes the difference between an 8 foot snake and a 9 foot snake.
Mrs. Boice replied if it's a boa constrictor, a great deal.
Mayor Webster stated evidently the ordinance that got distributed to the Board of Health does not have the latest changes in them. If we can beg your indulgence for another month, let us make sure we get the proper ordinance to the Board of Health once again and see if these same comments apply.
Mr. Danbury said I want to do this in the right fashion but I would like to get it on the books as soon as possible.
Mr. Knox said I have a copy that was faxed on 5/30. If this is the latest copy I will make copies.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - no report
O-K-I no report
MAYOR'S REPORT - Mayor Webster said I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the City to extend our condolences to the family of Charlie Neville. Charlie passed away Friday, a week ago, and I would like to extend our sympathies to his wife, Katherine and his children, grandchildren, etc. Charlie goes back a long way with the City. He was one of the original members of the Charter Revision Committee and helped draft that document in 1963. He also served on the Charter and I had the pleasure of serving with him from 1972 to 1977. He was mid eighties on his passing but he remained very active. As you recall, just last year Mayor Pitman appointed him to his Leaf Collection Task Force representing the Springdale senior citizens. Also, Charlie Neville was a member of the Springdale/Forest Park Lions Club and he had perfect attendance in that organization for 35 consecutive years. He was an absolutely solid citizen and he will be sorely missed by all of us. We will be forever grateful for his contribution to the City. Along those same lines, unfortunately, we had a drowning occur in the City this past Friday at about 8:45 p.m. at 425 Maple Circle Drive at the Crossings. I would like to extend the City's sympathies to the family of Kena Howard, a 5 year old young lady. Although she didn't reside in the City she was visiting friends there. It's very tragic and it's something we hope never happens but unfortunately it does. I think we just have to take the opportunity to try to find some glimmer of hope and pass along some tips to youngsters and parents to apply to swimming and lessons, etc. Please don't allow your children to swim alone, make sure you use the buddy system, never dive into shallow water, know how deep the water is where you're swimming, and never swim in stormy weather and always, always obey lifeguard and pool rules. We have a little coloring book that we give out to Springdale beginner swimmers. Tomorrow we will be going around to some of the apartment complexes and condominium associations and dropping off 15 or 20 of these at those pools. Hopefully, they can make those available to the residents. Please, please, please be careful. Finally, on our Community Pride program, we have had 97 requests for trucks up to this point. We've had 866 scheduled inspections, 68 referrals or complaints, 53 violation letters being sent out. Examples of violations are: garbage cans not concealed from view of the street; paint trim on garage doors and windows; campers, boats and RVs parked in the driveway and unlicensed; tall weeds and grass. I don't think we've given out too many citations for grass although I hope it's going to dry out and we'll be able to do that; gutters and downspouts in need of repair; and we also had a few inoperable cars. So far, Oxford and Beacon Hills have been completed. Ledro has been completed. We've started work in the Cloverdale area, on Lawnview Avenue, Cameron Road, Springdale Knolls, Glensprings, Ashmore.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Mr. Knox said last Tuesday, June 11, I attended the StarOhio shareholders meeting hosted by J. Kenneth Blackwell, our state treasurer. At that meeting there was coverage of Senate Bill 81, which has been the subject of editorials in various papers. It may cause the City of Springdale to do some things. If we can wait until we receive the bill itself then we will make a statement on it. We should have that within a month. It has to do with investing of funds in the City.
ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT - Mr. Osborn stated the Spirit of Springdale Festival is scheduled for Wednesday, July 3 and Thursday, July 4 from 5 p.m. to midnight. The parade is scheduled for July 4. It will form at Tri View Office Towers at 5 p.m. and depart at 6 p.m. The route is Boggs Lane to Northland Boulevard, right on Northland to Kemper Road, left on Kemper Road to Lawnview Avenue and then Lawnview to the Recreation Center. We expect to have about 25 vendors at the event. That's about average for the past four years. For musical entertainment we have The Chosen playing Wednesday evening, 6-8 p.m.; The Modulators scheduled 8-11:30 p.m. On Thursday Davona and the Demos will perform 7:30-11:30 p.m. The fireworks are scheduled for 10 p.m. on Thursday, July 4 and the rain date is Friday, July 5 at 10 p.m. We will have face painting and caricature artists available on Wednesday evening and on Thursday we will have the strolling Raising Cane Jugglers and a strolling magician. We will have rides provided by Happy H Attractions. We will be running the shuttle bus services as we have in the past and everything seems to be falling in place. We have confirmed that our grand marshall of the parade will be Senator Janet Howard. Several of you have confirmed to be in the parade and if anyone has not confirmed and plans to be in the parade please let us know in the near future. It looks like a great event again this year and we encourage everyone to come out. The second item I have pertains to some proposed charter amendments. On June 3 I attended a Charter Revision Commission meeting and presented six various charter amendments to the commission either generated by the Administration or Council over time, and tendered to the commission by the Law Director's office. As Mr. Schneider could not be there I presented those on behalf of the Law Director. We received approval for all six amendments at the meeting on a conceptual level and we intend to have the legislative form of these amendments in the hands of the Charter Commission by June 20 and their next meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 24 at 6 p.m. I plan to be in attendance at that meeting as well. It is our intention that if the final legislation on these amendments is approved we would bring them before City Council for a first reading on July 2 and second reading on July 17. With the thirty day requirement for maturation for the legislation we would still be able to submit to the Election Commission by August 20. The six proposed amendments we took before Charter include one dealing with open purchase orders. Right now our charter limits an open purchase order to no more than $1,000. It cannot exist for more than 90 days and it cannot run beyond the end of a fiscal year. We are proposing that the City's charter be amended to reflect Section 5705.41 of the Ohio Revised Code which allows for open purchase orders to not exceed $5,000, not last for more than three months or not run beyond the end of the fiscal year. Essentially, we want to tie it to a state code and as that state code changes, our limit would also change automatically. Right now we have a limit that is not realistic. Quite frequently the $1,000 limit causes us to issue multiple open purchase orders over a three month period because they just don't last the three months. The second item deals with the minimum purchase that can be made without the auspices of a purchase order. There is no language in the City's charter or in any other legislative enactments that we can find that regulates that limit. However, since I came here in 1974 and certainly prior to that date, as long as anyone can remember, we have required that a purchase order be issued for any expense in excess of $25. Obviously, over the last thirty years the costs of things have changed and we'd like to amend that number. As a reference we would point to Section 5705.41.D.2 of the ORC which allows some subdivisions of the state, counties as an example, to make purchases without the auspices of a purchase order up to a $750 limit. That limit is established every year by resolution by Council. We're hoping to have the charter amended so that at the beginning of each year we can come before City Council and ask you to establish a limit we may make purchases without purchase orders. We don't have a given figure at this point but we have done an analysis. It is interesting to note that by the time the purchase order goes through the whole process, it costs us over $4 for each purchase order. By limiting purchase orders of $200 and below we could eliminate over half our purchase orders. We think there are some real efficiencies we can accomplish. The amendment to the charter will not necessarily peg what the limit will be. That will be established by you if this charter amendment is accepted. The next item deals with the reference in the charter to the Safety Director. The City has never established that position. Given the way the City's organization has grown with the creation of a City Administrator's position that language has become archaic and unnecessary. The Chief Executive Officer remains the Mayor and all departments report directly to the Mayor. The City Administrator has executive oversight of those departments as a result of his/her appointment by the Mayor. As a result we don't feel it is necessary to have language in the charter relative to a Safety Director and it's our recommendation that that be deleted. A fourth item deals with the Recreation Commission. Presently the language makes the board a department of the executive branch of the government and authorizes that board to expend public funds. Since the Recreation Department was created and we established the positions of Recreation Director and Assistant Director, etc. that board has not functioned as an administrative board in the sense that it has approved expenses and set budgets, etc. It has been more of an advisory body. As a result we are proposing an amendment to the section that defines its functions as follows. "The Parks and Recreation Commission shall be an advisory board for the Mayor in the establishment and execution of public recreation and development. A quorum shall be three. It shall adopt its own rules and procedures." All that language regarding quorum and procedures within the board is the same as it now exists. We've simply changed its role from being an executive body to being an advisory body. Those four were generated by the Administration. There are two that have been generated through the Law Director by City Council. First is to permit a waiver of a full reading of an ordinance at either the first, second or both of the readings. Right now under our charter there has to be at least one full reading of a piece of legislation. It can only be waived the second time. Given the fact that some of our legislation can be exceptionally long we have taken to the habit of attaching those documents as exhibits and reading a cover legislation which doesn't really accomplish a true reading of the legislation. Rather than subvert the process in that manner we're suggesting that instead of taking major pieces of legislation and making them attachments, we actually make them the ordinance but read them by title only, and perhaps even prepare a summary of those documents for public distribution and certainly make a full text of the ordinance available to the public. We are proposing to allow Council at its discretion, by 2/3 vote to waive the full reading of legislation at both the first and second reading. The second deals with the Council executive session process. Our charter was written well before the period when the state law was established concerning executive session. This proposal would provide language that would allow City Council to call an executive session. Right now, as you know, the President has to go through a preamble talking about the committee of the whole because that's the language in our charter. It really doesn't relate to executive sessions so we'd like to modernize the charter as it relates to executive session. We would like to add one area that would be subject to executive session and one that would be exempt from that requirement. We would like to add economic development as a basis for executive session. We do that now through our legislation. Council has decided by its own rules that that is going to happen. We'd like to put that in the charter in case that is ever challenged. We'd also like to have the City charter permit non-public participation of its Council members at training sessions, retreats, strategic planning process, etc. Right now if we wanted to gather and go through a strategic planning process we couldn't do it without having a series of public meetings. You all would not be able to function in a training session or planning session, much like other jurisdictions are allowed to do because of the current language. We'd like to have an exception in here that would allow Council to participate in what are considered non-public meetings that would not be doing City business but doing either training or strategic planning. Those are the six amendments that have been proposed to Charter and we hope the legislation will meet with their approval and that you'll see this legislation at your next meeting on July 2.
Mr. Vanover said just for edification Forest Fair is not having fireworks so if you are planning to see ours you'd better get there early. We'll probably have an overflow crowd.
Mr. Wilson said relative to the Spirit of Springdale, we have had problems with the busses in the past where they were not picking up passengers or stopping only at designated places, then moving down and picking up passengers in-between and not picking up others and some individuals not being allowed on busses because they were not in the right neighborhood or whatever. I mentioned this to Mr. Parham the first time it happened and I mentioned it again last year. Have we taken care of this?
Mr. Osborn replied I have not discussed that with him but I will follow up with him to make sure he has accommodated that. He is overseeing the busses again this year.
Mr. Wilson said I will talk with him also because that is a subject the three of us had talked about in the past. I thought at our Charter Revision meeting we asked if Mr. Schneider would be in attendance at the next meeting.
Mr. Schneider responded Amy Gasser will be present. I'm on vacation next week.
Mr. Wilson said we just want to have legal counsel there. We want to make certain that we can, in fact, do some of the things we will be talking about and what the verbiage should be so we understand it.
Mr. Schneider said we intend to have a draft of the verbiage there as Mr. Osborn pointed out. We are working to get that to the Charter Commission as soon as we can. We may not have it in complete form by June 20 but we anticipate by the time of the meeting to have what we consider an acceptable legal draft of each element. I've been working with Amy Gasser and she is quite aware of exactly what we are trying to do and we've worked on the wording together.
LAW DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Mr. Schneider reported he will be on vacation next week. If anything comes up I'm sure Amy Gasser, Marty Kenworthy or Bob Malay can take of it.
ENGINEER'S REPORT - Mr. Shvegsda said I have an update on the ODOT projects. The St. Rt. 4/I-275 ramp improvement project is expected to be completed by mid July. The St. Rt. 747 repair and resurfacing project began this past Monday with full depth repair. It is expected to be completed by the end of July. The preliminary submittal to ODOT on the Kemper Road signals which include the McGillard and Lawnview Avenue signals is expected the middle of July with the final submittal to ODOT in October of this year with construction in the summer of next year. The preliminary plan for St. Rt. 747 CSX grade separation will be submitted to ODOT at the end of this month. The public information meeting will be the following month with the completion of the environmental document by the end of this year.
Letter to Mr. Rick Turner and Mr. Jack King who are members of the Springdale Maintenance Department. "When I read this story last month in the Tri County Press about your efforts in St. Mary's Cemetery a lot of memories flashed through my mind. I lived across Springfield Pike from the cemetery from 1949 through 1962 and have seen many changes occur. For once I am glad to see those changes be positive. There was a story circulated by the older Springdale residents in the early 50s that the plot on the northeast corner was the home of Old Man Dewhonkey. It was said that he often roamed the streets of Springdale. I never did see him but I didn't take the chance by invading his turf after dark. I have seen several efforts to maintain this cemetery but the current condition is the best ever. Congratulations and thank you for a fine effort. Paul Kattleman, Mayor, City of Sharonville.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Kattleman grew up across the street from the cemetery so he knows of what he speaks about the condition of the cemetery. I have seen him since he wrote the letter and he extended to me the same thanks.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 44-1996 "CONFIRMING THE DESIGNATIONS OF DEPOSITORIES BY THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL, INCLUDING PNC BANK,, OHIO, N.A., CINCINNATI, OHIO, THE FIFTH THIRD BANK, CINCINNATI, OHIO AND THE PROVIDENT BANK, AS DEPOSITORIES FOR THE ACTIVE AND INTERIM DEPOSITS AND STAROHIO AS A DEPOSITORY FOR INTERIM DEPOSITS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO; DECLARING ALL PUBLIC MONIES COLLECTED OR TO BE COLLECTED DURING THE PERIOD OF DESIGNATION TO BE ACTIVE OR INTERIM DEPOSITS; AND ESTIMATING THE PROBABLE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MONIES SUBJECT TO DEPOSIT THEREIN AT ANY TIME DURING SAID PERIOD AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded.
Ms. Manis asked Mr. Knox to explain about the increase from $1 million to $2 million dollars.
Mr. Knox said we added up the obligations the City Council had voted in capital improvements and other things and it came to quite a bit more than the $1.5 million than had previously been in the ordinance. To protect ourselves, to be in a position to have that money available to pay, we are requesting that the monies be increased to $2 million rather than $1.5. The odds of that being used are very small but we need the ability to do that. We will invest the money as we have in the past and keep the minimum amount of money at the lower interest rate and the maximum at the higher, but just to be able to pay our bills of which we will have obligations, we need the $2 million figure.
Ordinance 44-1996 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 45-1996 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH ROZZI'S FAMOUS FIREWORKS, INC. TO PROVIDE A FIREWORKS DISPLAY DURING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE'S FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Galster asked if the name of the festival was still Spirit of Springdale and is it Rozzi's responsibility to provide the music to coincide with the fireworks. I think last year there was concern about getting more patriotic songs during the fireworks display.
Mr. Osborn replied the festival is still the Spirit of Springdale and the music will be coordinated with Rozzi's but I'm not sure they have the responsibility of providing it. Playing more patriotic songs has been discussed.
Ordinance 45-1996 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 46-1996 "VACATING APPROXIMATELY 0.5283 ACRES LOCATED ON CENTURY BOULEVARD AND CENTURY CIRCLE WEST, WITH TITLE VESTING TO ANCHOR DEVELOPMENTS, LTD., MR. D REALTY CO. AND INVESTORS 8, INC., AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS NECESSARY FOR THE VACATION"
ORDINANCE NO. 47-1996 "ENACTING AND ADOPTING THE 1995 S-5 SUPPLEMENT TO THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO"
Mayor Webster asked does this include all ordinances through December 31, 1995? This is something I had always asked for in prior years, to try to arrange the renumbering to take place at a distinct period like the end of the year. It makes it a lot easier in the future if you're trying to look something up to know that that book includes everything through the year rather than cut it off at the end of September, etc. I request that we have it through the end of the year.
Mr. Schneider replied there is a cut-off date. I'm not positive of the date but I think it's December 31. If it's not, we'll certainly have it for the 1996 one.
Council took a break at 8:55 p.m. and resumed at 9:07 p.m.
Mayor Webster reminded everybody that the deadline for the next edition of the Springdale newsletter is July 22.
Mr. Danbury said he would like to schedule two public hearings and get legislation in here. Both would be held August 7. One is concerning cellular telephone communications. The other is a change to the zoning for areas for automotive uses. Due to the fact that we have to have thirty days the soonest we could have it would be our August 7 meeting.
Ms. Manis asked if we are still in litigation with them and will that affect that.
Mr. Schneider replied we are still in litigation. They have filed an appeal. The City has taken the position we will defend. We are not changing anything other than to advise them the only change will have to go through the Planning Commission if Planning Commission is agreeable with a modification they have proposed. I understand Planning Commission has chosen to seek an independent expert to assess what the expert for Cellular One has indicated and once that is accomplished, perhaps we can resolve that issue but I don't think it should preclude us from taking whatever action we think is best from the City's standpoint.
Mr. Osborn said in my distribution of the revised version of the Cellular Communications ordinance I referred to Mr. Huddleston as the chairman of Planning Commission. He is the secretary.
Mayor Webster said we have had at least two requests from ice cream vendors to obtain a license to operate in this City. A couple of them have been run out of the City because they don't have a license. We'd like to do that as long as they obtain an inspection from the Health Department and get a permit there which would cost them $50. According to the way the ordinance governing that stands right now they also have to post a $1,000 bond. Most of these small operators cannot do that. We've asked Mr. Schneider to see what amendments would have to be made to that ordinance and if that can be done with a minor amendment, we'd like to bring that in with an emergency measure at the next meeting.
Ms. Manis said I think it's a good idea we license them. When school was still in session they sat outside Heritage Hill School when school got out. I thought that was terrible as kids would run across the street to get to the ice cream truck. I know the trucks are on their schedule but if anybody sees them doing something you don't like, call the City and let us know.
Mr. Galster said as a parent, if it's possible I'd like to regulate the hours of operation. If they come just before supper time the kids are running out there to get ice cream.
Mayor Webster responded right now they would have to be off the street at 7 p.m. which is totally ridiculous.
Mr. Danbury said people eat at different times so you're never going to meet everyone's schedule.
Mr. Galster said there are a series of flags on the light posts on Rt. 4. It seems to me a lot of them are quite faded, not ripped and torn but extremely faded. We have a problem with them wrapping around poles. When we order new ones maybe we can get them weighted and attach them to the poles in two spots like we do the spring time banners. Some of them have been wrapped around for three days and they are not going to come undone. There are a couple that are hanging by a thread. Unfortunately, we don't have enough time to get that together before July 4 but I think it's something we should address in an expedient manner.
Mr. Osborn said I left myself a voice mail message about the one hanging by a thread. They do unwrap. The pole used to support those flags is a customized thing we have done. We'd have to develop a second attachment to hold them at the bottom. We may try weighting them later but I think the greater concern right now is those in a deteriorated condition, either faded or pulled loose because of the weather. With all the rain and storms we've had a couple that have been pulled loose from the attachment.
Mr. Galster stated given the tour we went on through our Maintenance Department, I think they may be able to even design a pole at an angle up and let the flag wave. It's less likely to get wrapped around. I like to see the flag waving myself but I know when it comes straight out it's more likely to wrap around.
Mr. Knox reported he had recently signed a purchase order for new flags. Help may be on the way.
Mr. Osborn said we distributed draft copies of the budget to Council over the weekend and I hope everyone has had a chance to look them over. I propose to briefly summarize the budget letter and then go through the budget page by page and answer any questions and bring some highlights to your attention that might not otherwise be apparent. I think it is important to point out at the beginning that we are undertaking a very aggressive capital improvements program for 1997 and also proposing on the operating side a modest increase in safety personnel. The general fund is projected to increase by 10.84% over estimated expenditures for 1996. A major factor in that is the significant transfer from the general fund to capital improvements to support that program. In 1996 we're scheduled to transfer just under $1.2 million and in 1997 we're proposing to transfer just over $1.6 million which is an increase in capital improvements of over 38%. This is possible because we have had some pretty good revenue years the last two years. The year end 1994 we saw an increase in the year end balance of the general fund of just over $800,000 and in 1995 we saw another increase of just over $1 million. Beginning January 1 the balance available in the general fund was $2.6 million. We have a healthy balance in the general fund and what we are proposing to do is draw down on that balance to accomplish some major capital projects. In terms of revenue assumptions we've assumed that earnings tax revenues will increase 3% over 1996 collections and we have projected that overall revenues in the general fund will increase 6.7% over 1996. When you look at the fact that projected 1996 is actually 5% below true collections in 1995 I think you can appreciate that these are rather conservative numbers. A number of examples throughout the revenue make that apparent; everything from the increased revenue we've seen for the EMS billing is not reflected in the 1996 revenues. Currently we still base that on the old billing process where we just bill for the non-paramedic runs. The income on the inheritance tax is projected on the conservative side. We've already met the budget for 1996 so we certainly should exceed that. The 1996 revenues are conservative and we based the 1997 revenues off those numbers so I think it's safe to say those 1997 numbers are also conservative.
The City has for the last two years been very aggressive in its growth of public safety departments. In 1995 the two vacant positions in the Police Department were re-authorized. In 1996 we have created two additional full-time firefighter positions and re-staffed the City's fire inspector position. In 1997 we would like to recommend an additional police officer. That 33rd police officer would allow us to add a juvenile officer investigator. We have four authorized slots for investigators in our department but because of the fact that we've been working with 30 instead of 32 people, we've only been using three investigators. We'll be able to keep the same number of personnel on the street and replace that fourth investigator and have that individual focus on juvenile issues. During the Finance Committee meeting we discussed this topic in some detail and the Finance Committee requested some additional justification on the additional police officer and the use of that individual as a juvenile officer. I would like to distribute to you a memorandum that Jim Freland prepared at my request trying to express why we feel it's appropriate to add this individual as a juvenile officer. Just looking at his first page under purpose, I think there are a lot of resources out there right now that focus on our young people; the school system quite clearly, juvenile court, and child protective services. We constantly have cases involving juveniles. That number is growing. We have problems involving the abuse of juveniles. We would like to have an individual who is trained and focuses on these issues and can coordinate perhaps even an intervention program where we can take these at risk juveniles and turn them around before they become hardened criminals. I think if you talk to police officers on the street, they can tell you if there are going to be problems with a kid in a few years. You can almost predict the kids who are not going to come back to the right side of the road. We'd like to have a juvenile officer who could focus on these types of issues. The chief has expressed why we want to do that. Nationally juvenile crime is on the increase. In the state of Ohio it's on the increase and in the City of Springdale it's on the increase. The next question raised at the Finance Committee meeting was why could we not create this position but do it within the existing 32 person authorization. Chief Freland's response to that is that we've been running without the full complement of 32 people for quite some time. Even if we were to bring the complement to 32, which we have just done, all we would be doing is trying re-implement some of the programs we have had to dismantle. He points out that in order to run at 30 personnel we had to remove one officer from investigations. We had to eliminate a full-time crime prevention officer position and we had to eliminate and reassign the canine unit. We also incurred some additional overtime and additional administrative personnel working in the field. We believe that by trying to do this with the 32 people we'd still have to be in a position where we could not accomplish all the tasks the department is faced with. Finally, there was a question as to whether or not the juvenile officer could also be assigned to patrol the parks in lieu of the park patrol which we just recently introduced. Chief Freland's response was he feels that would be inappropriate because the individual would be limited to working the park, particularly during the time that juvenile crime is at its peak during the summer and the individual should have more latitude to move about freely and not be tied to a beat within the parks. He points out also that it is less cost effective to do it that way. The process we have put in place appears to him to be more cost effective because these individuals are not paid at a police officer's rate and they do have immediate communication with the Police Department. In response to the questions raised at the Finance Committee meeting that is the response from the department and we again, would encourage Council to consider the addition of that thirty-third police officer.
Mr. Danbury said I think the juvenile officer is a great officer but do you think we might be able to have a juvenile team where we can have a DARE officer and the park patrol working together.
Mr. Osborn responded I'm sure they will. Just as Chief Freland indicates in his first page, this individual will be responsible for creating a partnership with the school system, juvenile court and the Child Protective Services. And certainly that same approach would be with our own internal resources, the DARE program and park patrol.
Mr. Osborn continued as we've mentioned in the past, the City has instituted the park patrol program in 1996. That is about 1,000 hours a year in 1996 and 1997. Also in 1996 we have re-introduced a seasonal code enforcement inspector. Prior to our full time property maintenance code officer we had used a part-time person. We're getting back to that practice because there is a peak during the summer for code enforcement activities in the Building Department. We are also recommending the addition of a part-time nurse in the Health Department as part of the 1997 budget.
We have been putting more time and money into the street repair program. In 1995 we had originally budgeted $200,000. Council ultimately authorized $400,000. During that same period in the spring of 1995 when we did the 1996 budget, we budgeted $450,000 for 1996. Continuing with this trend we are proposing that the 1997 street program be budgeted at $500,000. This money may be broken out into special projects as Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee get more detailed plans before them. We would like to have the $500,000 defined in the budget for Public Works. The East Crescentville Road project is a proposal initiated by Butler County to widen East Crescentville Road to five lanes from St. Rt. 747 to I-75. When approached the City of Sharonville and the City of Springdale indicated we would be willing to consider the project if it were done in a way to mitigate the impact of this expansion on the residential development on our side of Crescentville Road. Butler County has agreed to that. The project as Council has seen, involves a 24 foot service road adjacent to our residents, a 15 foot landscape buffer and then the five lane Crescentville Road expansion. The engineering costs for this project are estimated at $300,000 and Springdale's share based upon a front footage formula, is 37.5%. The construction cost is pegged at $3,775,000. The engineering will be accomplished in 1997, right of way acquisition is planned for 1998 and construction will be in 1999 and 2000. We've received very positive reaction from both the Hamilton County engineer and the Butler County engineer. We do expect that full cost of construction will be funded through the municipal road fund and the SCIP program.
We discussed the Public Works/Park Maintenance Facility on Northland Boulevard. Those of you who toured the building a month or so ago saw that we have tried to maximize the use of that site to the greatest extent, yet we are faced with a situation where we need additional storage capacity. We would like to propose to Council an expansion of that facility. We have budgeted for property acquisition in 1996 and some improvements in 1997. The Kemper Road repair and overlay, Phase I would be a repair and overlay of Kemper Road from Tri County Parkway east to and including the railroad bridge. This project is part of the bigger effort we have placed before the County for funding for two years now and have been unsuccessful. This part of Kemper Road needs to be resurfaced in 1997. We completed the engineering for this work in 1994 on a grant from the County and the Phase I construction we are proposing for 1997 has an estimated budget of $170,000. The Kemper Road bike lane project is familiar to Council. We had that as part of our 1996 budget but we were unsuccessful in our funding application. We have rolled that project over to the 1997 budget. Again, we're showing $60,000 for engineering and $500,000 for construction with Springdale's share being $100,000 under the ISTEA enhancement program formula. We are keeping this item in the budget also because even if we fail again to attract funding, there is a great deal of sentiment on the part of the Administration that we'd like to approach Council with some type of project that would eliminate those deep ditches on Kemper Road because they are truly a safety issue, not to mention a maintenance problem for the residents who live along there. The project remains before the state for funding in 1996 and we should know by Fall whether we will be successful. The environmental document on the CSX St. Rt. 747 grade separation was started in 1994. We shall complete that environmental document in 1996 and we will begin detailed plan preparation in 1997. Those plans should be completed by year end 1999 and we will acquire right of way in 2000 and 20001. Sometime around mid 2001 we anticipate construction will begin and it should be completed in 2003. The estimated engineering cost for this project which will be born 100% by the City is $585,000. Year to date and previous years combined we have spent just under $60,000 on engineering and we have budgeted $75,000 for 1996 and 1997 for the continuing engineering on this project. The estimated construction cost and right of way for this project is $9.6 million, and again, it is our expectation we will receive full construction funding from the Federal Highway Administration and the State of Ohio and at least 80% coverage on right of way acquisition through the Federal Highway Administration.
Those of you who have attended meetings in the club rooms at the Community Center are aware that the HVAC package units in those rooms are very noisy and they have operational deficiencies that are numerous. You cannot turn them off because they cannot be reset. The computer loses its setting if you turn them off. It's getting to be a real headache for us. We are proposing to replace those units with roof mounted HVAC equipment as part of the 1997 budget at a cost of $183,000. We have budgeted $100,000 each year in 1996 and 1997 for the acquisition and demolition of blighted property. The last item under Capital Projects involves the leveraging of local capital improvement funds. The spreadsheet identifying those projects and in fact, all projects the City has accomplished over the last eight years is found on page 21A. Two of those projects that have gone to construction in 1996 include the St. Rt. 4/I-275 ramp improvement project and the St. Rt. 747 resurfacing project which Mr. Shvegsda reported on this evening and which should start this coming week. On those two projects combined the City has spent just over $79,000 for engineering and in doing so has attracted $1,096,000 in construction funding from the Ohio Department of Transportation. It's been a good trade off in investing in engineering for those projects.
Mr. Osborn continued for the last two years I've asked the department directors to write a mission statement and in following years added goals and objectives for their departments relative to the budget year that was being considered. You will find those goals and objectives as a preamble to each department's part of the budget. I want to take this opportunity to also say we will be approaching City Council with a proposal that, for the 1998 budget, we modify our budget cycle. When I came here in 1974 the City had been taking the County worksheet and treating that as its budget. Mayor Webster was the Clerk of Council/Finance Director at that time and he inquired whether or not we could work together to develop a more sophisticated budget and we developed a line item budget much like the one you see here but we held to the same schedule the City had been observing prior to 1974. We would get this budget to City Council under the Charter by the first of June and then have it adopted by Council before July 20. In reality we believe what is intended by the Charter is that the City comply with the state requirement that a tax budget be submitted to the County Budget Commission for their review of our projected revenues. We get a certificate from the Budget Commission each year once they have reviewed that budget saying we have properly estimated our revenues. We're not going to be spending more money than we reasonably can expect to receive. The City had been providing that report to the County in July and then relying on that as its appropriation ordinance. We introduced a line item budget that is far more sophisticated and complex. We would like to move the budget cycle so that we still do that tax budget in the spring as required by Charter and state law but take the detailed line item budget and begin that process in September and hopefully conclude it in November. Right now by submitting the budget to Council by June 1, we are projecting a budget eighteen months in advance. We are relying on three months actual experience in the year to predict both expenses for that year and revenue for that year. If we could move the detailed line item budget to the fall we would have eight months true experience in terms of revenue collections and expenses and we could give you much more accurate information. This is the practice in virtually every other city I know of. We are the only city I know that does its budget the way we do. This doesn't have to be decided this evening but we would like to introduce the process. It will help us orient these goals and objectives towards being an integral part of the budget. Right now the department directors present these goals and objectives in the spring for the following year. They won't even begin that budget year for another six months. By then there isn't that same momentum. You've lost contact with those goals and objectives. We'd like to compress that time frame and go right from a budget into the accomplishment of those goals and objectives in that budget year. Ms. Manis asked what happens after we put them in the budget. In my correspondence with the department directors I advised them that the outcome of their goals and objectives will become part of their annual reports. In January 1997 we will be showing you the results of these goals and objectives for 1996. We have made the normal changes to personal service costs to reflect changes in step and grade, longevity changes and a 3.5% pay increase for all full time personnel and part-time fire fighters.
Mr. Danbury said I think that is a good suggestion. You have a more realistic idea of what your needs are. We may put something in here now and it may not apply and we would have to change it. Are you shooting for the first meeting in November?
Mr. Osborn responded it is about a three month process. I am hoping we could wait until after the close of business in August to begin detailed work and conclude it before the end of December. Some communities have an interim budget and have until March to adopt a final budget but I don't think we want to do that.
Mr. Osborn then began a review of the line item budget.
Mr. Osborn said we have budgeted for an additional police officer in 1997.
Mr. Danbury asked about the $500 decrease in the DARE program.
Mr. Osborn said that is not a true fact. If you look at Crime Prevention and the DARE Program you will notice there was nothing in the budget for DARE in 1995. I have forced a number in the budget for 1996. As a result we will probably be spending the same amount of money. In 1995 we spent $1600 on DARE and crime prevention. I'm showing $2500 being totally expensed but I'm not sure it will be. On page 3, these are the capital purchases for the Police Department. It includes the normal purchase and rotation of police vehicles. We are proposing to replace four patrol vehicles and one investigator's vehicle. That number is estimated to be $97,700. In order to conserve line item numbers, smaller items within a department are all being lumped under miscellaneous capital improvements. In past years we may have assigned account numbers to each of those items but we were consuming too many account numbers so we are going to put them under miscellaneous but detailing them in the notes.
Mr. Danbury asked about the $2,600 for a radar unit and Mr. Osborn replied it's a replacement item and I'm not sure if that is radar or laser. Page 4 deals with traffic signals. We are meeting right now with Wagner Smith and Tech Associates to bring before you a more comprehensive contract for the maintenance of our traffic signals. It's almost going to be a turnkey operation, much like our HVAC maintenance program we have now. We should be coming to you in the next month or two.
Mr. Osborn said we had indicated to you that we would be able to bring these additional fire fighters on in 1996 and include the fire inspector with relatively no change in our expenses and we have accomplished that in our projected costs. 1996 is just a little less than 1% below budget for personal services. I think we will be able to accomplish that manpower change without an impact on the budget.
We are adding a part-time health nurse in 1997.
The budget for the Recreation Department includes staffing for Parks maintenance personnel as well as seasonal personnel. We have discussed a five year program of upgrading play equipment in all the major parks in the City initially budgeted at $10,000. Chamberlain Park was the first park which we are doing this year and we've concluded $10,000 is not sufficient to do what the City wants to accomplish. We have doubled that amount. We will expend more money than originally anticipated for the work in Chamberlain as well. We are budgeting $20,000 for 1997 and we anticipate we will replace the play equipment in either Ross Park or Beacon Hill Park. We are replacing the bleachers at the center. The wooden seat and footboards have been changed to aluminum. We're now in a four year process of replacing all the frames for the bleachers as well because the aluminum is much lighter to move around and far more maintenance free. On page 14 there is a $13,000 contribution for Maple Knoll for the operation of the Senior Center and $4,500 for City-sponsored senior citizens bus trips. I would hope we can have Mr. Bayoski in again this year and would encourage Council to review with him how other cities are faring in terms of their contributions towards the center. I think we can document pretty well as to where the clientele originate for the center, their home jurisdiction, Forest Park, Springdale, Glendale, etc. The Center keeps good records and has solicited contributions from all those communities. I believe Springdale has done its share in supporting that facility. We should encourage Maple Knoll to be more aggressive with some of the other jurisdictions in having them pay their fair share. I think it's a real genuine resource, not just to Springdale but to the entire service area. The numbers Mr. Bayoski can show you will verify that residents from other jurisdictions make liberal use of the Senior Center.
Ms. Manis asked about the numbers on the batting cage.
Mr. Osborn said at the Finance Committee meeting there were questions raised regarding the batting cage and I asked Mr. Burton to put together some information. The batting cage is a 75'x12' concrete pad enclosed by a 12' fence. It will be accessed by a key card. The proposed location is just off the path beyond the scoreboard on Field 4. It is anticipated that resident youth and adult teams would be able to reserve times in the batting cage at no cost. Individual residents may do so for a nominal fee on those hours not already scheduled by teams. The equipment will be able to serve baseballs and softballs. The speeds range from 15 to 55 mph. If a coach would prefer to pitch to his team, the cage has a pitcher protection screen. The cage will be beneficial in bad weather because of the inability to get onto the fields. There has been a decline in softball participation, particularly in adults. Many of the big softball complexes around the County have also seen dramatic drops in participation. Our youth sign-ups have been fairly constant. Mr. Burton has tracked it since 1991 and it has been respectively 906, 976, 997, 984, and 908. This is a recommendation from the Recreation Commission.
Mr. Danbury asked about teams with non-residents using the cages.
Mr. Osborn replied the coach brings the team. A citizen who would like to use the cage would have to pay and schedule prior to use.
Mr. Danbury said you may have a team show up but 8 of them may live outside Springdale.
Mr. Osborn replied we have seen a decline in our adult softball teams. Council may prefer to recommend to Recreation Commission that this be reviewed as this is how it is proposed right now. It's certainly open to discussion. It has been discussed by staff and Recreation Commission and this is how they envision it. If Council would prefer a modification of that I'm sure it can discussed by Recreation Commission.
Mr. Danbury said I don't think that's our charge right now. Looking at the issue of having a batting cage, I would support it. We can adjust the policy at any time. I know it could be a problem.
Mayor Webster said this has the support of the Rec Commission. Because of the decline in adults we have had to pull in other communities. Springdale teams with non-residents still qualify for time in the batting cage free. Residents who want to pay the fee will be scheduled secondary to the teams. If we ever get back to the point where we don't have to have outsiders on the teams, then it would be purely Springdale. If we're going to bring the non-residents into the leagues, then if the team wants to practice I don't think we can pick and choose which players can use it.
Mr. Danbury replied I am supporting it but local peoples' tax dollars are going to construct it but I have to pay if I don't belong to a local team yet someone who lives in Sharonville can use it for free if they have a team here. We can address this later.
Mr. Wilson said I am in favor of the batting cage but I have concern about the resident not on a team having to pay. Maybe this should be brought up with Parks and Recreation. Since Mr. Danbury brought it up I am in support. If I as an individual want to use the batting cage I can accept being secondary. But secondary and paying. I have a problem with that.
Mayor Webster said it is a nominal fee, $1, or $2.
Mr. Osborn said on page 15 is the swimming pool. You may notice on capital improvements in the pool area we are going over budget by $4,000 in 1996 because of the lighting project. We are trying to salvage the light stanchions but replace the fixtures. Two factors have caused that. We have run into additional cost on the fixtures and we had not included the cost of consultation in terms of engineering to select the proper equipment, etc. The 1997 cost is a little higher than typical because we are going to be doing joint repair where the stainless steel gutter meets the concrete deck of the pool. There is a very narrow joint there now and we see some minor bulging in the pool. The pool consultant is recommending that we cut out that joint and put in a deeper and wider joint and recaulk it. The cost you see there is to bring in some equipment to do the saw cutting. We'll be doing the recaulking. We want to head off any more serious problem with the water getting between the deck plate and gutter plate.
Mr. Osborn continued the Building Department added a seasonal code enforcement officer. I might point out that Mr. McErlane has taken the initiative to point out and justify some of his capital costs by noting how they relate to his goals. He is recommending $6,500 for a software consultant to help design software; $3,000 for data entry personnel on a temporary basis to develop a comprehensive data base related to a piece of property. We'll be able to track the history of variances, building permits issued against that property, etc. It has to be done by hand right now. Under Board of Zoning Appeals for 1997 Mr. McErlane had budgeted $920 for signs for variances. This expenditure will help meet goal number 4. Goal number 4 is about providing better information to residents about zoning changes. The waste collection costs for the City are distributed over several funds. In response to Mr. Galster, Mr. Osborn said the Recycling Days was a grant and we had to account for it separately. The line item you see there is in our Other Special Revenue Fund. The Recycling Days for 1996 will be under the $207,925 in the general fund in 1996.
Mayor Webster said we are still trying to secure funding for that.
Mr. Osborn said because the personal services for the Street Maintenance Department are scattered over several funds I've summarized those costs for you at the bottom of the page. Typically we project our revenues for the 61 and 62 funds and lay off as much personal service cost to those two funds as we can and whatever is left over we show in the General Fund at the top of this page under line item 660052100. As a result you can see there is significant fluctuation in that number. I've put together this summary regarding Urban Forestry. You will note that we have peaked out in the period of 1993-1994, 1995. We have projected a decline in those funds, primarily because we are not going to be seeing the outside funding we saw in 93 to 95. We have been very aggressive and very successful in attracting those outside funds. ODNR has let us know we've done a great job; now they are trying to get somebody else up to our level. I think it will be much harder for us to qualify for that outside funding. In the last ten years the City has spent almost $400,000 on urban forestry. This does not include manpower and equipment. This is just tree planting under contract or the cost of trees planted by our own personnel. The replacement of pick up truck number 5 at $30,450 and dump truck number 2 at $64,000 have been laid off to Capital Improvements in past years. Beginning this year I have tried to retain within the General Fund any costs for a vehicle that is under $100,000. If we get into an ambulance or fire truck I've kept it in the Capital Improvements budget but something like a dump truck I've pulled it into the respective department because it truly better reflects that department's cost of operating.
Page 21A is that summary spreadsheet I mentioned earlier under the budget cover letter. The next chart you see here reviews the outside funding the City has obtained during that period and the source of that funding.
Mr. Osborn continued the Administrative Office has a line item for a magistrate at $15,000 for 1996 and 1997. Mayor Webster said the mayor's salary was included.
Mrs. Boice asked about the Administrator's vehicle. Mr. Osborn replied that was replaced three years ago. It was treated as capital cost. We are not replacing anything this year. The Finance Office plans a city-wide network server and an upgrade of the payroll system. This will allow us to do more electronic budgetary accounting. We hope to convert our payroll to almost total electronic reporting. The clerk in Street Maintenance can dial into the server and enter information for the Street Maintenance Department. It can be reviewed by the clerk in the Finance Office. If there are any issues she can bring it to the attention of Mr. Parham or myself. We can approve it or cause it to be changed. The clerk treats that as data entered and it generates the check when they run payroll. It will save a lot of manual data entry we do now. We are very hopeful of getting that project on line in 1997. We would also like to go to more electronically based P.O. system. I think the server and going to an electronic system will be a very efficient and time-conserving addition to the department. Starting in 1996 we are assigning half of the Finance Officer/Tax Commissioner's salary to the Finance Office. In previous years the entire cost of the Finance Officer has been assigned to the Tax Department but because that individual has responsibility for both departments we are splitting the cost of that individual to more truly reflect the operating cost for the department.
On the Council page there is $18,000 budgeted for three newsletters a year. The first newsletter produced using our new source came in at $6,000. $2,000 should be adequate to cover district Council meeting notices. The cost of mailing those notices ranges between $250 and $460 depending on the district. While we break up our districts by registered voters and try to keep them pretty uniform, some districts have a great deal more housing units because of apartments, etc. but typically those facilities don't have a high number of registered voters.
Mr. Galster said we have expenditures in 1995 for zoning code. Is that where, if we obtained proposals for updating the zoning code, it would fall?
Mr. Osborn responded we have introduced another line item for Planning. It will be under Planning. That Zoning Code line item is really more for codification. If you look at the line right above it that's where we pay for our annual codification. Periodically we will buy additional copies of the zoning code which is truly part of our codification but we treat it as a stand alone document. That expense represents buying extra copies of the zoning code.
Mr. Osborn said we haven't projected any expenses for Charter. They typically don't spend any money but other previous Councils said we ought to have something in there for them so we put a minimal amount in there. Another line item is for a City Planner. We have been using a planning firm to assist Planning Commission in the review of PUDs, Rt. 4 corridor sites, transition districts just to confirm they're in compliance with those regulations. Also Planning Commission has used a planner to look at special issues such as cellular communications. Those expenses have been coming out of Other Contractual Services line item. While I moved $20,000 up to the Planner line item I reduced Other Contractual Services by $20,000. I can't tell you for sure we'll spend that much money. I just put it at that number. That is where I was looking at the potential zoning code rewrite. We have $20,000 under Other Contractual Services and the proposal we received is $23,000. I think that's close enough for right now. We may not accomplish it all in 1996. We may see that expense spill over into 1997 as well.
In the Tax Department under Capital Improvements we are proposing to purchase a 4 channel Dictaphone telephone recording system for the purpose of recording the communications between our tax clerks and their customers. From time to time questions come up as to what was said and as to the demeanor of the clerk. If we do receive a complaint like that we'd like to be able to look back and audit how the customer was treated by our clerk. We would like to monitor calls.
Mrs. Boice said that will be a godsend for the Tax Review Board. There is no expense projected in 1997.
On page 27 this reflects the addition of a part time custodian at this building and the elimination of a contract for custodial services. We've added those expenses for the custodian under the personal services line item. Page 28 is the total for the General Fund. It also calls out the transfer of other funds that are in part or totally supported by transfers from the general funds. The transfer to the Capital Improvements fund has increased significantly in order to address the program we have outlined for 1997. In terms of the Health Insurance Fund we spent $400,000 in 1995. In 1996 we took a dividend off our fund balance. We built up a fund balance and while we could let that grow perpetually, I think it is appropriate to give the General Fund a little break by keeping that balance to $250,000. In 1996 instead of budgeting $400,000 we budgeted $350,000 and we're eating into our reserve. In 1997 we are showing a transfer of $450,000 to the Health Insurance Trust Fund.
On the next page you see a beginning and ending balance for 1996-1997. The following page shows a distribution of expenses by department for the General Fund. This doesn't give you a true picture of how much the City expends for some departments. In Public Works we have another $500,000 laid off in the 61 and 62 funds. There is $500,000 in the street repair program. Trash collections are laid off into several funds.
Mayor Webster said the budget summary tells a lot. Based on conservative revenue estimates Mr. Osborn reviewed with you, we notoriously will turn back in unused appropriations of $200,000 to $300,000 a year. We're looking at two years worth of that kind of activity and we're still only depleting the General Fund by $2 million. I don't think for a minute that that's going to happen. I don't believe we are going to be $2 million less in the General Fund by the end of 1997 versus what we started with in 1996. I think the conservative revenues and the over-statement of expenses both historically are things that will bring this $664,000 more in line with the $2,600,000 we started this year with.
The Adult Sports fund is a new fund the auditors requested we establish to account for expenses for our adult sports leagues. This is a self-contained fund.
Mr. Osborn said the Street Construction Repair Fund is generated by state distribution of gasoline tax, vehicle registration revenue. Under state law 92.5% of the revenue must be assigned to the Street Construction, Repair and Maintenance Fund and 7.5% to the State Highway Improvement Fund. The money put in that second fund can only be expended on state highways. In 1997 we are laying off just over $500,000 of personal services from the General Fund for the Street Maintenance Department.
The Other Special Revenue Fund was created by Council last year to account for all those odds and ends grants the City gets. We have to keep them separate from the General Fund and we have to account for them so the auditor requested we create this fund. The only item we are showing as an expense in 1997 is the continuation of the COPSFAST grant we acquired last year. There may be some others coming along but until there is we have chosen not to reflect that in the budget.
On page 33 is Drug Law Enforcement program. It's the proceeds of mandatory fines and confiscations ordered by the court in drug related crime activities. The resources are distributed back to the Police Departments involved in the particular case. It's hard to predict how much money we will get or how much we will spend. We may respend this money a couple of times during the year. It is hard to predict revenue and expenditures on this fund. On page 34 the Law Enforcement Fund is the same except these relate to confiscations and fines related to non-drug related crimes. DUI funds are funds that have been required by the state to be set aside. These can be spend on enforcement activities related to drug and alcohol investigations.
Mr. Osborn stated the Insurance Trust Fund is one of the City's major funds. We have a significant reserve in this fund. There is a reserve of $1.75 million in the Insurance Trust Fund. The projected interest for 1997 is $100,000. Insurance premiums are projected at $126,000. Generally the interest off the fund pretty much covers our premium for our insurance.
Page 38 begins capital improvements. On page 39 there are two items that did not make it into the footnotes. We anticipate a review petition to construct street lighting in the Glenview Subdivision. We have worked with the homeowners and CG&E. We will enter into a contract with CG&E once we have the documentation from the Homeowners' Association indicating that more than 50% of the homeowners want the street lighting installed. The estimated cost is $20,000. We will bill the individual homeowners. They can pay directly or have it assessed on their property taxes over a one year period. We have budgeted that as an expense in 1996 and anticipate we will recover those costs in 1997/1998. There is a line item for a community sign and landscaping at the corner of Springfield Pike and Lawnview Avenue. Think about what the City does on a regular basis. We really need to promote it better. We have a nice landscaped area on Rt. 4 and Lawnview. We are proposing to build a recessed area into the hill facing the corner at a 45 degree angle so people coming into the intersection will be able to see the sign. The sign would be internally lit and attractively landscaped. We will use the sign to promote public hearings, special meetings, Rec Center activities, etc. I think it would really open up this complex to the public more if we could get that information out. We want to do it first class.
Ms. Manis asked if we had done the street lights with others.
Mr. Osborn replied they are typically built when the sub-division goes in. The developer passes the cost on to the homeowners. We have never retrofitted them into a subdivision. All other residents of the City have paid for their street lights with the acquisition of their homes. When these folks bought their homes there were no street lights. The developer did not have to pass that cost on so they got their properties for a little less. The assessment is approximately $200. We have discussed this with the board and at a general community meeting. So far it has been received very well by everyone involved but we are insisting we get a petition from the Homeowners' Association showing that 51% of the property owners want this to happen.
Mr. Osborn said their was a question at Finance Committee as to location of bus shelters. We are proposing to add one at St. Rt. 4 at Maple Knoll. We would like to add one at St. Rt. 4 southbound at Walgreen's. That's a very active point for bus riders. You see them sitting on the retaining wall all the time and finally we would like to add one at Kemper Commons Drive across from WalMart. A layover is going to be constructed there for the bus and we would like to put a shelter at that location also. That was the conclusion of the Capital Improvements budget and the next page shows you a summary of the beginning and ending balances for this fund. I didn't quite bankrupt the fund but we came close.
Every year we receive an amount from the County on a quarterly basis that is factored on the amount of recycling accomplished by the City. It has been running at about $10,000 for the two years it's been in existence. We have taken all of our recycling expenses out of the General Fund and put them in this fund where we have to account for that $10,000. In order to fund the difference we make a transfer from the General Fund to the Residential Recycling Fund to cover that difference. The next fund is one the state legislators felt we really need. We have it and are accumulating money under it. The reality is our immobilization is to take to the license plates off the car and take the driver's license away. It doesn't cost us anything but the state has determined that the court must levy a fine for immobilization and we are accumulating that money.
We have not been successful for grants for which we applied in 1996 for Urban Forestry, the arboretum and tree trimming. We don't anticipate any funding in 1997. The Northwest Business Center TIF reflects only the cost of financing the $2,000,000 note we issued in 1994 and rolled in 1995. We will roll it again in 1996. We have current year interest at 4.15%, projected 5% in 1996-1997. This reflects only our cost for the note and when we do issue bonds in 1997 we will absorb this cost in revenue generated by the bond sale. Unclaimed Funds speaks for itself. When we have a check that gets returned because the party has moved on or we can't find somebody to return their deposit we will put that money in this fund and it remains for five years. What is not claimed is transferred to the General Fund. OBBS surcharge is tacked on to building permits. We do anticipate modifications to fees to reflect county rate changes.
1996 receipts are projected at $9.1 million. The actual 1995 was almost $9.6 million and the actual 1994 was $9.4 million. We have a very conservative 1996 projection. We have based our increase off that very conservative number. The pie charts in the back take all revenues, regardless of fund and identifies them by the type of revenue. It demonstrates that the income tax is the life blood of this City. Even with the transfer shown as a revenue source, which is an artificial number, that money is actually accounted for elsewhere in the budget as a revenue but we keep it in there because it's easier to show it and talk about it. If that were not in there our income tax would be almost two-thirds of our revenue source. I want to point out at this time that there is a bill in the State legislature which by its intent, would prohibit jurisdictions from taxing non-residents. If this were to pass we would not be able to pass a sufficient property tax levy to support the operation of this City. We would have to severely cut back the services we provide. And that's not just true of Springdale. It is true of most urban cities. The only cities that would benefit from this change are bedroom communities. I hope this isn't going to happen. Certainly the central cities like Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus would just be catastrophically impacted. Hopefully, this will not come about but the legislature is seriously considering a piece of legislation that would limit our ability to levy income tax on non-residents. We have corresponded with our state representatives and state senators expressing our grave concern about it. Fortunately, they are out of session right now so we are not going to be damaged too quickly. It's my understanding that it is still going to be pressed in the next session of the legislature and I would encourage Council to gear up a resolution to our representatives stating our opposition. Going on to the next page, it shows our expenses. Again, General Government includes the transfer number. I keep wanting to break that in half. When you see the presentation on July 2 that will be broken out between General Government and Transfers on that expense side. Eliminating that, you can appreciate by this pie chart how much of our resources we expend on a given area of service like law enforcement, fire fighting, etc. The next page shows our revenues and expenditures charted for past years. While you can see we have estimated revenues to fall below expenditures for 1996 and 1997; in fact, in 1994 and 1995 we have a history where those revenues actually exceeded expenditures and I really do expect revenues to exceed expenditures in 1996. I'm less willing to say that about 1997 because of the capital projects outlined for 1997. The number two source of income, property tax, pales in comparison to the income we receive from our earnings tax. If we were to see our earnings tax curtailed as suggested by the state we would not be able to continue as the city we are now. The final page is just a general interpretation of general fund revenues as we have predicted them. As you can, 1994 and 1995 were a growth and our estimated 1996 is substantially below the previous two years. We have requested the hearing be held on July 2. We will have a presentation for you at that time. It will not be this detailed but it will be more graphic in terms of presentation on the audio visual system.
Mr. Danbury said I like the mission statements. This is the first time I have seen this and it gives us a good idea where they are coming from.
Mr. Galster said it was my first time receiving it. When I got it in the mail and felt the weight I knew it was the budget and I was petrified. After I got into it it was very easy to follow, very easy to understand. All the questions I had, if I just realized in the beginning to look at the bottom of the sheet, it would be answered. It was extremely easy to use.
Mayor Webster said I participated in this budgetary process for 24 years. The primary thing the Finance Office has to do is come up with the revenues and we rely very heavily on them to do that and that's what I did for 24 years. Having moved over to the other side of the aisleway I certainly get a much better appreciation of the time and effort that goes in here. It goes all the way back to March and April when Mr. Osborn is telling department heads to start thinking about this and giving him numbers. I've heard him make requests in staff meetings. There are a lot of things that go in here before you see this document. I always thought Mr. Osborn was the ultimate professional and I really have an even better appreciation of his work product after witnessing the many hours I've seen him working on this. I'd also be remiss if I didn't say publicly a comment on the job his administrative assistant, Martha Brillhart did. She really outdid herself on the charts and graphs this year. I know she too put many, many hours in on this and I would like to publicly thank Cecil, the department directors and Mr. Knox's office and Martha for putting this together for us.
Mr. Knox said I would also like to compliment Mr. Osborn on his work on House Bill 598, the one that is trying to change the tax structure. He has written letters and contacted people and done quite a bit in that area. He is very conversant with what's going on. I would like to ask Council to support what he suggested. If we don't stop it it's going to be a real disaster for us.
Ms. Manis said I'm sure there will be a split recommendation coming out of Finance Committee. I think it's a very good budget and there's lots of expenses we have and things we have to do capital improvement-wise. I'm not going to support it with the extra employees and the batting cages and other fat items that I think are not needed. I think we have a lot of expenses coming and we do need to watch. We were very fiscally conservative over the last couple of years and our revenues have increased and our expenditures have decreased. We have to spend some money now but I think we have to watch where we spend it.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Council adjourned at 11:00 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council