President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on March 17, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Galster, Manis, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury. Mrs. McNear was absent.
The minutes of March 3, 1999 were approved with 6 affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS Ė Ms. Manis said I had asked Mr. Schneiderís office to look into changing the code to prohibit parking in a way that obstructs your vision when you come out of your driveway. Iíve given everybody a copy of the report. The wording "it prohibits you from seeing" is too vague and would be constitutionally challenged because of that. We could put in a provision saying you have to park so many feet from the driveway but we all know about the parking problems we have already and it would severely limit our parking. We had a resident who was complaining because a vehicle was parked in front of her house for weeks at a time and she was disappointed that the police werenít citing them. Mr. Schneiderís office said we really donít have to enforce the rules. There is a case in Cleveland where the City of Cleveland put no parking signs on one side of the street but they didnít enforce it. People still parked there. A kid playing in the street got hit by a car and the people sued the city. They actually said that the city had no liability in the situation. There are situations where we may want to enforce it and situations where we may not. Mr. Schneider, you say we have no liability for selective citing.
Mr. Schneider responded we are not aware of any case other than the one that we cited to you.
Ms. Manis said a car that runs shouldnít be parked more than 48 hours without moving. Maybe we want to lengthen that to 72 hours.
Mr. Osborn said I just want to make it clear that it is not a lack of concern on the part of the Police Department. Many, many laws are enforced based upon complaints. We donít enforce every law every time regardless of whether or not there is a complainant. The parking issue is one we respond to under complaint. We do it on a regular basis. There are a few situations that have become chronic. I think the Police Department is doing everything within its power to address the issue.
Ms. Manis said I agree with you. Iím not saying itís anybodyís fault or that thereís a lack of caring.
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Vanover reported the schedule for the 1999 street program is projected as follows. We are looking for a bid opening in mid April, start of construction in mid May with completion by early September.
PUBLIC UTILITIES Ė Ms. Pollitt stated last evening I attended a meeting with Cinergy and a lot of other communities were represented there. The focus of the meeting was customer choice. Cinergy was pointing out to us the future of utility companies in America and where the growth is. Cinergy is moving across the ocean to pursue other avenues of income and theyíre looking at developing exportable platforms for growth.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Ms. Manis said the West Kemper Road storm sewer project, phase II, was awarded to the Fred Nemann Company at a cost of $335,934.00 including alternates 1 and 2. The pre-construction meeting will be scheduled at the end of March. Construction will start about June 14 with a completion date around October 29. We also had the bid opening for the Community Center
expansion on March 9. We have legislation tonight which weíll discuss more when we get to legislation. We also have legislation on the Police Department HVAC improvements, phase II.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION - Mr. Galster said we had final approval of Tri-County Golf Center at 455 E. Tri-County Parkway which is part of the Oak Hills Cemetery property. We received a letter from the applicant requesting that this be tabled until our April meeting. A public hearing continued from the February meeting for Alphabet Soup, a day care center at 11285 Springfield Pike. They had proposed putting a day care center in the middle of the building which left office space on the left and right. We did have people expressing concerns, mainly the tenants in the building but that was a concern between tenants and landlord so the actual conditional use permit was approved with a 6-1 vote. We had a conditional use permit for a car wash at 1333 East Kemper Road. This was also a public meeting and continued until the April meeting. A wall sign for Sylvan Learning Center, 11810 Springfield Pike was discussed. They used to be in the corner of Wimbledon Plaza and have now moved to where the two buildings join. Because of the layout of the building, their frontage isnít enough to put what they are allowed for signage. They already had Sylvan and they wanted to add Learning Center on another tenantís frontage and that was approved 7-0. The next item was directional sign approval for Tri-County Commons, 850 East Kemper Road and that was removed from the agenda with a 7-0 vote. The final item was a building addition for Recker and Boerger and proposed garage for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Again, at the applicantís request, that was tabled until our April meeting.
Ms. Manis asked is this the same man at Blimpieís who brought it before?
Mr. Galster replied no, this was a more upscale car wash. They showed drawings with a coffee café in it. There are concerns about the size of the building because they will be tearing the building down and rebuilding as opposed to the other gentleman.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS - no report
BOARD OF HEALTH Ė Ms. Pollitt said they met March 11. The board reviewed Regulation 1-1999 for raising the vending fees. Itís a housekeeping change. You are allowed to raise the vending fees the amount of the cost of living index. If you do not raise the fees one year you cannot recoup that money later. Regulation 2-1999 amended the hotel and motel standards. This amendment mostly was to clarify the language in the regulation. Both regulations passed with a 5-0 vote. Also, our understanding is that Best Western plans to re-open around April 1. We also hired a part-time nurse and she will be starting in about three weeks.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION Ė Mr. Coleman reported that they met February 12. The retake of the firefightersí physical agility test was scheduled for Saturday, February 20. David Strange and I were there as observers in order to get a better understanding of the nature of the different components of the physical agility test. Iím happy to say that all of the applicants did pass the test. We will continue to review the agility test and make recommendations as appropriate. In addition, the Civil Service Commission began the process of reviewing minutes from the previous commission meetings to identify changes that have been adopted but not incorporated into the rules and regulations. From what we have determined so far, the rules and regulations have not been updated since 1990. The test review period for the patrol officer examination was scheduled and conducted on March 2. Three people came in to review their scores and answer sheets. The administration requested to use the Account Clerk I eligibility list for the violations bureau clerk. We gave authorization to continue with that list for that reason. We conducted interviews this past Saturday with a number of candidates for that position and also for the position of receptionist. We identified candidates and made recommendations in both cases. We have set regular meeting times for the second Friday of each month at 8:15 a.m. in the Municipal Building.
O-K-I - Ms. Manis said the O-K-I executive committee met on March 11. We received this brochure about light rail transit for Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky.
The schedule is that they hope to begin construction in the fall of 2002. Before that, in the winter of 2000 they have to make a decision as to whether to take steps to build this.
There is a public hearing on the eastern corridor on a major investment study on the recommended plan for improving transportation which will be held March 25 at 7:00 p.m. at the O-K-I office downtown.
MAYORíS REPORT Ė Mayor Webster said I would like to remind Council of our employee celebration dinner this coming Saturday at Maple Knoll. Itís always a very nice evening and we try to show our appreciation for a job well done. Those of you who will be there will hear this again but for the viewing audience, we give a resolution to each City employee who had perfect attendance over the past year. We have approximately 106 full-time employees in the City and 30 of those people had perfect attendance for 1998. I doubt if there are many corporations in Springdale or the whole tri-state area that can make that claim. Leading the pack is our illustrious police chief, Chief Laage who has not missed a dayís work in eight years. We have a couple with seven years, a couple with five years, then some fours and threes, etc. Thank you. Itís not easy to do for one year, much less multiple years.
This is the time of year we start hiring people for the summer jobs at the Community Center. We have some openings and are in desperate need of life guards. The ad reads "The City of Springdale is accepting applications for the position of life guards. Candidates must have at least successfully completed a life guard life saving certification course and a WSI certificate is preferred. The pool season is Memorial Day through Labor Day. Rate of compensation starts at $6 per hour. Applications may be obtained at the Springdale Community Center, 11999 Lawnview Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or you may call at 671-6260." If there are any potential life guards out there we are looking for you.
We also have two positions of park patrol officer open. Candidates must be 21 years of age, physically fit, articulate, friendly and possess the ability to diffuse confrontations and resolve disagreements. Sixteen hours of training will be provided. The position involves 10-15 hours a week, May through October. Rate of compensation is $12 an hour. Applications can be obtained by calling 671-6260.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR Ė Mr. Knox said we have our annual letter from the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Liquor Control saying that all liquor licenses, as usual, expire on June 1 and asking us if we have any objection to any of the current holders. I checked with Mr. Osborn and Chief Laage and there are no objections from any source that we know of so we plan to make no report to the state.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Osborn said I Ďd like to begin by reviewing our Y2K compliance effort. Earlier this month I sent Council a summary of our work to date in that area. We are aggressively pursuing our work plan and we should easily achieve our goal of being compliant by July 1, 1999. I would say that while we have not discovered any situation that would have caused a catastrophic interruption of service, we certainly have found items that would have been an interruption of business for us. It would have been transparent to the general public but it would have caused us some headaches. This exercise has been very much worthwhile. Part of the effort to become Y2K compliant also involves informing the public of your efforts, and to that end a second article in the spring newsletter will update the residents on that same information, and later this fall we will have a final article giving residents some advice and suggestions on how to prepare for the situation on an individual basis.
I would also like to mention that we have added a feature item on our web site that focuses on our Y2K effort. It lists the work plan, the update you got in March, etc.
I would like to comment on the Mayorís observations about the vacancies at Recreation Center, particularly the park patrol officer. Anyone who might have interest in a career in law enforcement or in the fire service, I would encourage to take advantage of an opportunity like this. We provide some initial training in public relations and some rudimentary first aid and other training appropriate for this type of position. The experience will go a long way for anyone who may be applying for a position later on in public safety. Itís not the same as being a full-time police officer or firefighter by any
means, but itís a foot in the door and itís something that can at least get the conversation started in an interview.
Mr. Danbury said Iím looking at the memo on the Y2K update. On page 2 it said Cincinnati Waterworks only has a three day water supply.
Mr. Osborn responded Cinergy will be able to provide electrical power without interruption. If Waterworks does not have electrical service, the water supply on hand in the towers will last only three days because there is not an emergency generation system for the pumps that fill those towers. Weíre making contingency plans on how to have a resource available to us through a stockpile of water. I do not want to panic the public because Cinergy is assuring us that they will be able to provide uninterrupted service.
Ms. Pollitt said at the meeting I attended last night they talked about the Y2K situation and they are way ahead of their curve. When they did their merger with PSI, they were forced to look at a lot of their information technology systems and they updated at that time. They are very comfortable with where they are.
Mr. Osborn replied we got the same message from them at a briefing where all utilities in Hamilton County met here in late February and made presentations to public officials. Cinergy was clearly confident that they would be able to provide uninterrupted electrical service.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT - no report
ENGINEERíS REPORT Ė Mr. Shuler said we are following up on the question asked at the last Council meeting concerning the overhead signage on St. Rt. 4 between I-275 and Crescentville. However, we donít have a final answer on that yet because that is limited access right-of-way and anything we might want to do to improve signage there has to be passed by ODOT. Mr. Shuler said we donít believe it is mismarked. On the original plans we had an additional information sign on those plans that said something to the extent of "right lane ends at Crescentville Road". ODOT chose not to include that sign when they approved the project.
Ms. Manis asked can ODOT still deny us the opportunity to put the sign there?
Mr. Shuler replied Iím not sure itís a case of denying the signage. Itís a project that they were responsible for building and as we have seen in other cases, they have cut out costs, and later on we end up paying the price for it as we see on St. Rt. 747 when they resurfaced it and took out all the full-depth repair that we had on the project and now the road is falling apart. Probably if we say we want to put the sign in at our cost they will probably say fine.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Jim OíDonnell, 12018 Crossings Drive, said at the intersection of Crescentville and Rt. 4,there is a sign and at the upper right hand side it says Crescentville to the right and Ray Norrish to the left. Thatís insufficient. You really need a sign on both of the extender arms as you come off of the expressway that says Ray Norrish, left. The other day I was traveling on Kemper coming from Sharonville and of course, I had to stop at the signal at the Commons. I notice four cars came out, turned to the right and when we got to Tri-County they all turned into the mall. A lot of cars do that. Would it not be feasible between everyone involved to put a bridge over the railroad tracks between the parking ramp and the parking area of Wal-Mart? Those people could go back and forth without coming out onto Kemper and it would improve traffic.
While at a function I told someone my goal was to get the lights in Springdale synchronized. This person said the lights are synchronized to turn red as each battalion of traffic approaches that intersection from the preceding intersection. He told how that was done in another town. The reason was that the businesses felt, even though the people would be irritated, they would be looking around and would note the shops.
Mr. OíDonnell said if you do synchronize some of the lights why donít you put that on the extender arms to tell us that. You could synchronize the lights, in my opinion, to show that if you travel at 28 mph, you can go through all upcoming signals in our town.
Why are the signals at Glen Crossing and the off ramp of eastbound I-275 not working in tandem? If you are coming northbound, you come up to Glensprings and you stop. Then itís green and you proceed up 150 yards and then you stop dead in your tracks again. Why is that? No matter what direction you are going, you are stopped at both signals. They should work together. Get the traffic through this town. If you have a pattern for lights and no one is triggering it, let the thing run through.
Thatís the problem we have at Lawnview and Cloverdale. One car comes through there and stops the traffic in both directions. This leaves us to believe you are here to improve traffic pollution and throw more monoxide into the air. Last time I was here I mentioned Crescentville and the oddities of traffic flow on that street, and the gentleman sitting in the last chair said at that meeting, yes, the loops are in place but we havenít connected them. He said we are going to wait for modifications to these streets. Well, if I know anything about modifications, weíre looking at five to seven years. Could they not be hooked up now to alleviate some of this traffic on Crescentville Road at Northwest Boulevard and Circle Freeway/Xetron/theater exits. The light at Northwest Boulevard, at the moment should be on a flasher.
Mayor Webster said I would like to address the bridge over the railroad between the two shopping complexes. We contracted with CDS to do an extensive traffic survey and we did some long term planning. We looked at several options along Kemper Road. Thatís one that was given a great deal of consideration. The bottom line is to put a bridge up there you need a ramp going up and a ramp coming down. When you factor all of that in, we have eaten into the parking lots of both of those shopping centers. We even looked at an at-grade crossing. Thatís not feasible because thatís where the railroad stores cars. Weíre very much aware of the need for that. If we can figure out a way to do that we certainly would consider it. We spend a great deal of money on traffic control in this City and at no time is consideration given to try slow traffic down or create pollution. Itís quite the contrary. You might take exception to this statement but I think we do a tremendous job on moving traffic. When you go down Colerain Avenue and other major areas during the Christmas holidays and go past Tri-County, itís the difference between night and day. I think Wayne and his staff are to be commended for the job they have done for us in moving traffic. Now we donít move everybody through every intersection as fast as they like to be moved. You have raised some good points and I think Wayne could probably address why certain signals are not synchronized with other ones. Wayne, would you want to address those on Crescentville Road?
Mr. Shuler said Iíll try but Iím not sure I know the exact situation right there myself. I do know that we have improved signalization as private development has occurred at some of those locations. We were also not requiring those developments to do all the interconnect work but simply to do the improvements at their intersection. Then we were going to interconnect all the signals along there for better operation and coordinate those with the Crescentville/Rt. 4 intersection, which is really the one that has to drive that whole system. I think we have heard these comments in the past. Iím not sure why some people seem to hit all red lights and others green. I got off the interstate this evening and drove down here. I went through both of those signals on green, did not stop. I guess I was lucky this evening. I can assure you that everything we have done over the years is to move traffic more efficiently in the City. I think that is proven by the fact that we are probably handling 50% more traffic than we were as little as five years ago and our level of service at all the major intersection has not dropped. We still get comments, especially around the Christmas season at how well people feel traffic moves in and around the City. I certainly would be glad to look at any specific intersection. We do know that these are very sophisticated systems and from time to time we do lose a loop thatís not working, and we really donít know that until someone reports it. Then we can field check them. That is happening on a regular basis and weíll continue to do that as questions come in about specific intersections. Itís a system that cannot be set for 20 mph or 30 mph, etc., because we have not programmed the system to only operate in one sequence consistently. The system monitors the amount of traffic. It changes the signalization, timing and phasing on a regular basis. It runs on different cycle lengths depending on both the time of day and volume of traffic so it would
constantly change the speed you would need to travel to hit all the lights if that were the case. The other problem is that we basically have three major corridors: Rt. 4, S.R. 747 and Kemper Road. Obviously, you cannot coordinate all three of those to move at optimum efficiency in all directions at all times. We have chosen the major intersections and made those the controlling intersections and based the intersections east and west or north and south to coordinate the best we can with the major intersections.
ORDINANCE NO. 11-1999 "APPROVING THE REVISED PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF PROPERTY COMMONLY KNOWN AS NORTHWEST BUSINESS CENTER (PICTORIA ISLAND)
Jim OíDonnell said I said my piece last time and Iím sure itís going to get approved. If a building was going to be erected six or seven floors tall would never be approved if it only had one fire exit. What you are doing is putting 2,000 cars minimum every day into a T-shaped development where there is only one road out. My point is if you donít allow for a second exit road, Iím afraid weíre going to have big problems in the future. They did point out the last time I was here, emergency routes in from the warehouse area or Avon, but what if they pile snow there, or put a van in front of the fire lane. They can do with their property as they like. If they get in through this secondary road on Rt. 4 and they have to get out on Northwest Boulevard and there is a problem, can the fire engine or ambulance go up over the sidewalk and get around stalled traffic and get back into the street. I think if you approve it with only one road out someone will sue us. If someone would say this is a blatant disregard of public safety, the City would have to defend you. I think you need a second exit road.
Ms. Manis made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ms. Pollitt asked Mr. Shuler and Mr. Schneider to address Mr. OíDonnellís concerns.
Mr. Shuler said my opinion is that we certainly have ingress off of Rt. 4. We have both an ingress and egress at Crescentville Road. However, if we got into an emergency situation, Iím sure the Rt. 4 access point could be used for emergency vehicles for both ingress and egress. We also have ties to the Showcase Cinemas lot off the street so even though the normal exiting traffic will be Northwest Boulevard to Crescentville Road, I think in an emergency situation we do have other alternatives.
Mr. Schneider said that is the concern we want to address, not the legalisms of whether the City will be liable. How do we put necessary protectors in? I think Mr. Shuler has answered that. Iím not sure there would be any liability on the part of the City in that regard. The issue is we should try to make sure there is reasonable access and it appears that there is.
Mr. Vanover asked if we would commandeer the Showcase access point for an emergency exit point, we could only proceed north onto Rt. 4 because we have an island barrier between the north and south traffic. We could get access to hospitals through the back ways but that could create a little bit of a bugaboo.
Mr. Shuler said in an emergency situation traffic wonít flow as smoothly as it normally would but there are alternatives to dealing with emergency situations.
Mr. Wilson said I think in situations where the emergency people view it as a problem to get out, they can clear air care and have a helicopter come out.
Mr. Osborn said I am repeating the same comments from the last meeting but unfortunately, itís because itís the same question we addressed last meeting. This issue has been looked at by our public safety departments in terms of access. There were comments made by them and we have responded to those. One is to provide an emergency access point to the east which we have done, a gated access point accessible only to emergency vehicles. It provides access to S.R. 747. I donít think there is any substance to the concerns raised by Mr. OíDonnell and I donít know how else to respond.
Ordinance 11-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 13-1999 "ENACTING CHAPTER 121 OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE TO PROVIDE REGULATIONS FOR THE LOCATION OF RACKS AND THE BOXES FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF PUBLICATIONS IN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE" (first reading)
Mr. Osborn said Iím sure you have all seen the growing number of publication racks that are appearing in the public right of way. This does not have any impact on publications racks on private property, just those in the public right of way. Because of their growing number and lack of any control over how they were being chained to utility poles or where they were placed in relation to sight distance, we began looking at this issue. We formed a committee made up of the Superintendent of Public Works, Police Chief, Building Official and City Planner. The City Planner was asked to do an analysis of the issue and search for similar situations in other jurisdictions that have been successfully addressed. The primary pattern we have chosen to follow is one taken by Coral Gables, Florida. They have attempted to regulate this area with a great deal of success. Their ordinance was initially challenged but was successfully defended through the court system. We have five publishers using seventeen different racks in thirteen different locations. The specific locations and identities of those racks are contained within the report. There are pictures demonstrating each and every circumstance. What has been proposed by the City Planner is to develop a series of corrals or containment areas in high pedestrian areas that would provide an opportunity for the publishers to display their material, and at the same time control the location and manner in which these devices were installed. The report, as well as the regulations, was distributed to Planning Commission and Council back in January. In early February a copy of our report and regulations in draft form were sent to all of the various vendors that are currently displaying material in the public right of way. We asked that comments be returned to the City by March 9. As of today we have received two responses, and I might say with a great deal of relief, that both of them are very positive. We received a letter from the gentleman who has responsibility for the real estate books that you see in these boxes and another phone call from the gentleman who has responsibility for the job opportunity pamphlet that you see and some others. They both commend the City for the approach we are taking and say they are eager to participate and comply with the ordinance and as soon as we are operational, they are interested in becoming involved in the process. The only responses we have received from the vendors have both been very positive. Just to give the public an idea of what we are talking about, the approach we are going to take is to have a corral which would consist of a concrete pad, typically in the vicinity of a bus stop, on the side of the sidewalk away from the street where we have sufficient right of way, principally in commercial areas. The corral would be a 3í x 8í enclosure with the fencing three feet high. There is a picture of the type of enclosure we are proposing. Itís an ornamental, wrought iron looking steel material. This 3í x 8í area would contain a number of boxes which would be attached to the corral in a uniform and consistent manner. We hope to accomplish an outlet for the dissemination of public information, and at the same time, do it in a manner that is safe and more aesthetically pleasing to the community. Just to follow up on the corrals themselves, we have an estimated cost for the materials for the ornamental fencing of $920 a unit, and we have a cost of constructing the concrete pad at $350 a unit, or $1,270 per unit. With eight locations that comes out to $10,160. All of these devices are not uniform. We may make some a little bigger and some a little smaller. Our motivating reasons for getting into this are two-fold. One is clearly public safety. These racks have been placed in areas that present a sight distance issue or theyíre in locations that make it difficult for people to get off busses, or they are blocking the sidewalk. Weíre trying to bring these devices into a more controlled environment where we will, in fact, enhance their accessibility to the general public. Again, I would appreciate any comments or questions you all might have between now and the next Council meeting. At this point the response we have gotten back from the vendors has been unanimously supportive.
Ms. Manis said this includes Enquirer racks and Post racks like at the corner of Chesterdale and Castro.
Mr. Osborn replied yes, if you look at the map at the back of your report, that is the one area that has a residential character where the racks will be placed. Thatís a key location for the Post and Enquirer and I think itís a vital service to our residents who
live in that subdivision who may not get daily delivery of the paper. We want to do the same thing in that area by creating a corral to help improve both the safety and appearance of the racks.
Ms. Manis said the amount of boxes allowed will be based on the number of applicants. If only two applicants apply will they get one at every spot?
Mr. Osborn responded it will depend on where they want to put them. Right now we have five different vendors who display racks in the City and we could allow each one of those five to put a rack at each location we are proposing, and we could accommodate them very easily. At this point I donít see a space issue being a concern. If these types of publications continue to proliferate then we will have to look at the expandability of these. But going in I think we will have more than sufficient capacity to support the vendors we now see in town.
Ms. Pollitt said I noticed there is a $5 application fee. Is this similar to what the City in Florida has done?
Mr. Osborn responded we do not in any way want to make this an onerous type of regulation. We have done everything we can to make the process as painless and least interfering in the operation of the print media. We have not made any effort to cover our costs; we have simply put an application fee on there to handle the processing of the specific application. You may notice that there are regulations in there as well about the maintenance and care of the boxes. These boxes have to be maintained to a certain standard. The plastic covering that you see through to see the publications inside cannot be clouded; the boxes cannot be rusted or the paint peeling, etc. If for any reason we identify boxes that are in that condition, we will have that applicantís records on file so that we can give them official notice that they have to make repairs. If they fail to make repairs within the thirty day period, then we have the ability to confiscate the box and charge $30 or $35 a month for storage. Similarly, if they do not maintain the materials in the box, such as if the box is empty for an extended period of time or if it has out-of-date material for an extended period of time, we can use the information from the application to provide them with notice that we are going to confiscate the box unless they start maintaining it.
Ms. Pollitt stated there can be five companies that want to put out news racks. Have they been consistent all along? Has it always been the same five or has it varied?
Mr. Osborn replied the Post and Enquirer have been consistent. The others have just popped up in the last year or two. I canít tell you that we have any real history with them.
Ms. Pollitt asked is this going to fall under Public Works? Mr. Osborn replied it will fall under a business regulation. I brought the Public Works Director in because the public right of way is his domain and we had issues to deal with in terms of right of way and construction, and he will be the person who administers the program.
Mr. Galster asked this is a three-sided structure or four-sided with a door?
Mr. Osborn replied it is a three-sided structure.
Mr. Danbury said the number of applicants we are looking at is what we have today. We may have twenty applicants going for an area where we only have five boxes. Mr. Schneider, if we have a space set up for five boxes, is this a first come, first serve basis and can we deny someone access to these?
Mr. Schneider replied we are keeping a record of applications. If we take them in an orderly fashion I think we can have limitations on the use. Thatís what we are establishing.
Mr. Danbury said someone may find out there is competition coming in for their same type of publication and they could lock up every box for two years, and we can stand on that.
Mr. Schneider said we have the right to expand too. We are not absolutely limited in our capacity. Weíre not out to restrict competition. Weíre not out to restrict what publications are available to the public. Our intent is merely to regulate in an orderly fashion for public safety reasons.
Mr. Danbury said coming off the I-275 exit I see a lot of signs that say "need work", "lose weight", etc. Is there any way we can regulate them?
Mr. Osborn replied they are not related to this and they are illegal signs and we do take them down and try to pursue the people, but those are very transient people and itís a difficult area to enforce. We do our best to keep those signs removed from the right of way. Going back to the corrals, there is a finite limit to how many we can accommodate. I think under any circumstances that has to be recognized. Weíre putting these boxes in places we believe are going to be safer for the public, both in terms of accessing the boxes, avoiding creating a sight distance issue for vehicular traffic, etc. We will expand as necessary to accommodate future growth in the area of these types of publications. There is truly a finite limit and we do have a legal right to say we canít do this because it would constitute a threat to public safety. We canít expand this particular corral one more time because weíre out of right of way, sight distance, or whatever. There are limits to what we can do. At this point, given the volume we are faced with, we are going to be able to accommodate it. If it increases a magnitude of five or six over the next ten years we will be looking at a limited space situation.
Ms. Pollitt said we are looking at a total cost of $10,000 for this. Could it be done in a way so as not be so expensive?
Mr. Osborn replied we could be very utilitarian about it and probably cut that cost by a third. Keep in mind that we are putting these in highly visible areas. We have put a lot of money into our bus shelters. This is part of a streetscape. Itís the image that the City creates. I think that this is a reasonable cost to accomplish both the safety and aesthetic solution. These devices are very eye catching by intention and distracting when youíre driving down the street. They will be collected into a single area and when we do that we donít want it to be bare bones, some type of wire fence, etc. I think weíd be penny wise and pound foolish to put up some sort of structure that would be less than attractive. It would certainly serve the purpose of collecting these in one area, but the savings that we would incur would diminish the return we are getting for the effort.
ORDINANCE 14-1999 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING WORK NECESSARY FOR THE SPRINGDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT HVAC RENOVATION PROJECT, PHASE II, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this is a two year project and this is Phase II of that project to rehabilitate the HVAC system at the Springdale Police Headquarters, a structure that was constructed in 1973 and occupied in 1974. Last year the City spent approximately $157,000 on the first phase of this renovation and at that time we replaced the AC condensing unit and the unit heaters in the garage. We also installed a new ventilation system for the fingerprint lab and made modifications to the duct work to improve return air and supply air circulation in more remote parts of the building. This year under Phase II we are budgeting $275,000 and the work plan includes replacing the boilers and the hot water pumps. This is a hot water system. Weíre also going to be replacing the air handler unit. It was actually installed in the building before the building was finished. Itís very old, inefficient and worn out. We will also be making some duct work modifications at the central point of distribution. Finally, we will be replacing the heating and ventilation unit in the firing range. Taken together this will constitute a total renovation of the HVAC system for the building. It is significantly important to accomplish. That building has had problems with properly heating and cooling parts of the building to the point that itís a discomfort to the employees and I think this work is critical. This ordinance before you will authorize our Engineerís office to undertake the professional services to prepare the necessary specifications and plans.
Ms. Manis said obviously the new system will be much more efficient. Do we have a percentage of how much more efficient the building will be?
Mr. Osborn replied I donít have that. I think it will have to be a product of the design. Weíll report back to you what we expect the cost savings to be when we get ready to go out to bid. I think there will be some significant savings because of the massive antiquated equipment we are replacing. They were highly inefficient.
Ordinance 14-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said we have some new items on the agenda and I apologize to you for not getting them to you earlier but I spoke with Mr. Osborn earlier and he said we had some bid openings last week for the Community Center expansion and the next five items deal with that. Due to the fact that many of the bids have to be acted on immediately because our next meeting will be in three weeks, it seems prudent to deal with it tonight.
Mayor Webster said the bids came in at $1 million less than what we anticipated. Especially when we factor in the lower bids we got on the parking facilities last fall, the project is coming in substantially less than what the Engineerís estimate was and less than the numbers we heard when we talked about this back in the spring. Iím very happy with that and hope Council sees fit to pass it this evening so we can get on with it.
Mr. Osborn stated we did open the bids on March 9 and our original time line called for taking at least this week and possibly longer to review the bids. On a project this large and complex, with five prime bid areas it is a very complex process. The fortunate thing for us is, first, we got extremely competitive bids and, as the Mayor as indicated, saw those low bids come in well below the budgeted figure and project cost estimate. Given the fact that the bids are reviewed and all the issues relevant to checking accuracy have been resolved because we got the report in today, I asked the Law Directorís office to prepare legislation on the hope that maybe Council would want to consider these this evening and advance the project by three weeks. We have kept this project on a fast pace all through the process to date.
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the architectural team that brought this project in with these numbers. If you think back to when we started the actual detail plan preparation, there has been an incredible amount of work done between that date and when we opened bids. These ladies and gentlemen have worked weekends and late hours to get these specs ready and it certainly has paid off for us. Virtually every bidder has confirmed that because we were coming into the market so early in the year we were getting very good rates. Had we delayed in getting specifications out another month or two, I really think we would not be seeing these types of numbers. There are two alternates as well as the primary bids, and Iíd like to address those. On the general prime bid there was a deduct of $1,500 if we elected to take the window treatments out of the contract and do them ourselves. We donít feel that that is justifiable. We were thinking maybe that was something we might get stuck for pretty heavily but this is well within the budget we saw for the window treatment and we would not recommend taking alternate 1 as a deduct. The electrical alternate, E-1, is the inclusion of the lightning suppression system for the building. We bid this as an alternate because this is another area, where in past experience, there have been dramatic swings in cost. We were concerned if we included the lightning suppression in this part of the base bid, it might be an area that created a cost center that we had no control over. So we split it out and the $27,825 option for E-1 is well below the number they anticipated for lightning suppression so we are recommending that E-1 be added to the electrical prime bid. With those recommendations in place the total cost for the five prime bids will be $6,193,318. The Mayor mentioned the parking lot work that we began last fall to get a jump on the project, and that has a current cost of $291,077 so adding these two together, the proposed ordinances you see before you this evening and the existing obligation we have for our contract for the parking lot would bring the contract price for building to $6,484,395. The budget number we were working against in the original final cost estimate was $7.5 million so we are clearly $1 million below the number we have been working against. We are going to have to finance this project and this million dollars would be the last million dollars we would pay back on any debt, so frankly, we are saving a great deal more than a $1 million. We are saving the million dollars and the
interest on $1 million over the terms of the financing. As we proceed through the various vendors we can give you additional information.
ORDINANCE NO. 15-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH RPC MECHANICAL, INC. FOR THE HVAC REPLACEMENT WORK FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Osborn said of all the vendors we are proposing to enter into contracts with, RPC is one that, in the past has been somewhat problematic but not to the point that we can recommend removing them or passing them over as the next low bid would be almost $40,000 higher. The types of issues we have had in the past have not been so much to the quality of work as to the administrative relationship between the vendor and the City and the architectural team trying to work out issues. While we know going in that this is probably not the best situation from the administration side of the project, we donít have any concerns about the quality of the work. We recognize that given the cost spread between this number and the next lower bid, any additional overhead we might incur dealing with this contractor is going to be far less than what it would cost to go to the second low bid.
Ms. Pollitt said they were the only bidder with negative comments on the side. Is there anything we can do up front before awarding the contract?
Mr. Osborn replied I donít know that we can cause a dramatic change in the way they do business. I would hope that our past experiences have just been aberrations but Iím not prepared to say that. We are in a situation in this case where we will have a full time project administrator on the scene and that will dramatically improve our ability to resolve issues with the contractor.
Ordinance 15-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 16-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH EAGLE ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS, INC., FOR THE ELECTRICAL WORK FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Vanover asked on the lightning protection, is that a lightning arrester system or lightning suppression?
Mr. Kirlin said I need to clarify that but I believe it is an arrester.
Mr. Danbury said there is almost $250,000 difference between one bidder and another.
Mr. Osborn said we have had some contact from a few of the vendors, not necessarily this one, about money left on the table. I think any time you get into a project of this size and have the competitive bidding that you have, if one particular vendor does get marketedly below second low bid, they get nervous. A couple of low bidders have talked to us about that and we have made it a point to check their bids for accuracy and discuss any concerns with them that they may have missed something. In the two cases where we had to have that conversation we satisfied the vendors that they did not miss anything. Their numbers are what they intended and they are going to get the profit out of it that they expected to get.
Ordinance 16-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 17-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE GEILER
COMPANY, FOR THE PLUMBING WORK FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said we have had opportunity to do business with the Geiler Company in the past and have been very satisfied. This is the same company that did all the plumbing at the Sharonville Community Center. We think they will be a good contractor.
Ordinance 17-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 18-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MARDIS & MEEHAN CONSTRUCTION, INC. FOR THE GENERAL CONSTRUCTION WORK FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Osborn said the contractor has a very good track record with our architects. They built the second government building at the Florence complex and proved to be a very good general contractor. This is also the company that served as the general contractor on the most recent fire station built by the City of Sharonville. Again, that also happened to be a CDS project and they were very pleased with the contractor. I think we are lucky to get someone with such a known track record in such a key position for us.
Ordinance 18-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 19-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH DALMATION FIRE, INC., FOR THE FIRE PROTECTION WORK FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked what kind of fire protection and Mr. Osborn replied a sprinkler system.
Ordinance 19-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said Iíd like to thank everyone involved in this process, Mr. Shuler, Mr. Kirlin, the Administration and Mr. Burton and his staff.
RESOLUTION R5-1999 "APPOINTING AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TAX REVIEW"
Ms. Pollitt nominated Rose Coonce. She has been a twenty-five year resident of Springdale. Sheís been active in the school, sports, scouts. She currently holds a bachelorís degree in accounting. She works for the Princeton public school system and I believe that she would be an asset to the Tax Review Board.
Ms. Manis nominated Scott Peavley. Scott has lived here for a while. Heís been a Fire Department volunteer in Glendale before they moved here. I think he would be excellent for the position also.
The vote was a 3-3 tie. Mr. Danbury said we have not been able to come to a consensus and we will revisit this issue again at our next meeting. There may be other applicants and I donít want to deny anybody an opportunity for this.
RESOLUTION R6-1999 "COMMENDING RICHARD MACKE FOR HIS SERVICE TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ms. Pollitt said I would like to congratulate Mr. Macke on a job well done. I came into the position of serving on that board green. I had never served on a board like that before and Mr. Macke was very helpful, very informative and I do appreciate that. I enjoyed working with him very much.
Mr. Danbury said I would like to commend him not only for his service but for serving on a board like this. I think this and BZA are two of the hardest boards because you have to deal with your neighbors and friends, and you have to be able to look them in the eye and say no.
Resolution 6-1999 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said I have one item. Itís the request for legal opinion from Mr. Schneider. I think every Council person has the right to discuss items with Mr. Schneider but due to the fact that he does not give out free advice, a lot of the issues before him have been discussed at some point. The same thing goes for our residents. Mr. Schneider is on the clock every time someone calls him. I canít say they canít do that but I would prefer that they donít. We may have the answers here. I encourage everyone to go through Administration or me or ask somebody.
Ms. Manis asked what about the swim team money? I contacted Mr. Burton for his opinion and he said he had written some letters and thought they would be in our mail but I didnít see any.
Mr. Osborn said he didnít address any correspondence to Council. It was addressed to me and the Mayor. My feelings are consistent with Mr. Burtonís. The degree to which they have asked for assistance probably exceeds what we could reasonably consider. Also, the fact that they are seeking other sources of income because of the festival being canceled this year could apply equally to a number of other organizations within the City. We donít feel we have an obligation to make those folks whole as a result of the festival being canceled this year. There is a reasonable question as to whether the subsidy weíre providing them is appropriate but it would be an incremental change, in our opinion, as opposed to a dramatic change as they requested.
Ms. Manis said I think they had actually requested the money before they had met with the Rec Center staff and they discussed other options of getting money, fund raisers, lock-in, swimathon, etc. We got the letter in-between so I donít think they would be asking for that much money. If they donít make out well in their fund raising or sponsorships, we may want to consider increasing them somewhat based on the need for the paid coaches.
Ms. Manis said the Springdale Youth Boosters opening day parade will be April 17 and anybody who is interested in participating can let me know. I think we are also planning to do the groundbreaking for the Community Center on that day.
Mayor Webster said that will be the official ground breaking for the Community Center expansion. We should have a good crowd of coaches and youngsters.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mayorís Night In - March 24, 6:00 p.m.
Board of Health - April 8, 7:00 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Newsracks - April 7, second reading
FOP labor contract - April 7
Resolution appointing to tax review board April 7
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Council adjourned at 9:10 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council