President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on October 7, 1998, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Galster, Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of September 16, 1998 were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
Letter from Richard Greenwood, 114 Silverwood Circle
To the Council: I cannot tell you how pleased I am with the work recently performed by R. A. Miller Contracting on Silverwood Circle. All the men who worked on the project were great and very helpful during the removal of the curbs and street surface. What a great job they did. Thank you for selecting their services.
Letter from the Brisben Companies: "The purpose of this letter is to apprise your office that W. O. Brisben Companies, Inc. is the general partner of a multi-family residential development located in your political jurisdiction. The following describes the project and the multi-family funding program of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) that will be utilized for the project and notifies you of your right to submit written comments to OHFA. The project is located at 1235 Chesterdale Road in the City." There are 379 units and they are refunding the outstanding bond issue. They are refinancing and they say we have the right to submit comments to OHFA regarding the projectís impact on the community. "If you intend to submit a statement of disapproval or objection you must submit a written statement that is signed by a majority of the voting members of the legislative body governing your jurisdiction. The written objection must be forwarded separately to the chairman of the OHFA and the agencyís executive director, and be delivered by certified mail, return receipt requested." The letter concludes saying "the written objections must be submitted within 30 days of your receipt of this notice and must be received by OHFA within 45 days of the date of the sponsorís or private developerís notice. OHFA is required to respond to any written statement submitted by you under the terms outlined above." Signed by a vice-president of W. O. Brisben Co. Mr. Knox said we received these on Monday.
Mayor Webster read a letter addressed to the Springdale Fire Department dated October 6, 1998.
"On September 10, 1998 I made a frantic call to 911 for my husband. Fireman Gary Taylor happened to hear the call as he was driving by our neighborhood. He rushed in and began to care for my husband until your paramedic unit arrived. The ER doctors at Mercy Hospital told me it was their prompt action and proper care that saved his life. He is doing fine now after having a defibrillator put in. Today he went with me to your Fire Department to thank all of them. We were given the following names and feel they should be commended for their outstanding work. Medic Unit, Roger Messer; Mark Pelfrey; Engine Company, Captain Ralph Ritchey, Randy Campbell, Jim Skirvin and Gary Taylor. We will be forever grateful. Sincerely, Betty and Burt Long, 273 Carriage Circle Drive."
Mayor Webster said this letter was forwarded to him by Chief Posega with a note that said this gentleman was in full arrest, dead, when we got there. He has apparently walked out of the hospital. This is a very encouraging letter and sort of makes everything we do up here worthwhile.
Mayor Webster read a proclamation on crime prevention.
Officer Witte said since 1984 the Crime Prevention Coalition of America and the National Crime Prevention Council have designated October as crime prevention month. The principal mission of both these organizations is more caring communities. Over the last few years we have heard a lot about a concept called community oriented policing. What is intriguing to crime prevention practitioners is to enable people to prevent crime and build safer, is that we have been promoting the ideals of community oriented policing for decades. While policing is hardly an exact science, the foundation of crime prevention is simple. Informed and involved citizens and businesses are the most powerful tool available to law enforcement. Even the finest police forces are constrained by the limits of budget, manpower, multiple tasks and even simple geography. In order to effectively use our resources we need our citizens and community organizations to act as our eyes and ears. We need citizens to understand their responsibility for their own individual safety and the security of their community. We must also understand the obligation of the police to educate and empower the public to prevent crime. When the police and the public each carry out these roles we have true community oriented policing. It is interesting to note that we are currently in the middle of Fire Prevention Week. Since we were young children we can all remember the important but simple lessons of fire prevention. Itís only logical that just like preventing a fire, it is much easier to prevent a crime than to deal with the consequences of a crime occurring. Much like fire prevention, effective crime prevention can be simple and straightforward, basic steps like keeping doors and windows closed and locked, using outside lights, keeping an eye on our neighborsí homes and calling the police for any suspicious persons or circumstances. When a community actively engages in crime prevention, then the police have truly become proactive in their approach to fighting crime.
Officer Joe Pierce said Iíd like to mention that the Ohio Crime Prevention Association, which was founded in 1977, is the countryís largest state crime prevention association with over 850 active members. The OCPAís primary purpose is to encourage law enforcement, citizen, business and community involvement in reducing crime and criminal opportunity. In 1992 the Ohio Crime Prevention Association began the crime prevention specialists program to elevate professional standards and individual performance. The CPS designation is based upon a memberís professional training background as well as the successful completion of a three hour written examination on security and crime prevention. There are currently over 200 certified prevention specialists in Ohio representing about ľ of OCPAís active membership. Springdale police officers Jeff Witte and I were both awarded the CPS designation in 1995 and were among the first 80 certified crime prevention specialists state-wide. We rely a great deal on the resources we receive from the Ohio Crime Prevention Association and benefit greatly by being members. We get a lot of printed material from them and a lot of training resources as well.
Ms. Manis asked what do you do locally for residents if they have questions or concerns?
Officer Pierce said one of the most underused programs we have is that we will do crime prevention surveys for both residents and businesses in Springdale. If a resident feels that they need to have some information on what the safety potential of their home is, either Jeff or I will go out and do a walk through the personís home with a checklist of what we feel are very important areas, such as lighting, locks, landscaping, general safety and crime prevention issues for the home. We will them provide them with a list of improvements we feel could be made, problem areas that need to be addressed and also strong points that they have so that they know they are doing something right. I recommend that the people pass that information on to their homeownerís insurance company to let them know that they are taking steps to make their home less of a risk. We also do quite a bit of training and education for businesses for things such as fraud and theft. We provide programs that deal with the youth. We frequently have youths come into the station for tours and we provide them with literature on crime prevention safety tips that relate directly to young people in the community. Itís much easier for us to deal with things beforehand and to give people the necessary tools to try to reduce the crimes in their neighborhood than it is to have to go back and deal with the aftermath of criminal activity.
Ms. Manis asked how many home surveys do you do a month?
Officer Pierce replied not many. Any time a burglary is committed we try to follow up on that by giving the people who were burglarized the opportunity to have a crime prevention survey, not to suggest that they are locking the door after the horse has escaped but just to point out that even the most secure home on the block can always stand to have someone look at it from a different perspective than the people who live there, and make some tips and suggestions for those people.
Ms. Manis said it is a great service that probably isnít used very much. Spread the word to all your neighbors.
Mr. Vanover said these two officers have spent numerous hours in Heritage Hill and we have seen a lot of improvements including an improved sense of community. I applaud past efforts and I know weíll have more in the future. Chief Laage, I am still hearing very positive comments on the letter about our situation in Beacon Hills. They appreciate the timing and effort to get that out.
Ms. Manis stated the police presence has been very much noticed in the mornings when the kids are going to the busses.
Mr. Osborn said on the Brisben property we are doing analysis of statistics related to police activities and they are very disturbing. This is a refinancing so even if this application is denied, essentially all that happens is that the financing in place just continues, but I thought it would be good to go on record to the agency that manages the funding, that we have some concerns about the way this property is being administered. We believe that given the level of activities on this property that require police presence, that it would be certainly justifiable for private security to be hired by the company. This facility is a subsidized housing program but that does not mean that there cannot be screening of the people who live in that housing. The only criteria I am aware of is that they have to meet certain income criteria. I would think that a property owner would have the ability to tell an applicant if they have less than a good background that they are not desirable as tenants. I would imagine there is a significant waiting list for subsidized housing so thatís the tact weíre going to take. I talked to the gentleman today who is the multi-family bond manager who is directly responsible for handling this renewal and I told him we were going to be undertaking this. Heís asked me to get back to him within the next two weeks because they do have a subcommittee meeting coming up in the next two weeks but we have thirty days to respond. I think we would like to come into the next Council meeting with a recommended response that needs Councilís support and signature.
Ms. Manis said I just hope the response is strong enough. It canít be not strong enough in my opinion.
Mr. Osborn said I think the statistics bear that out. There is an alarming increase in crimes. In Part 1 crimes which are serious offenses in 1994 there were 20; in 1995 there were 29; in 1996 there were 17 and in 1997 there 95. Thus far, in 1998 we have had 128. In 1996 there were vacancies as the property was rehabilitated but 1994 showed only 20 and 1995 29. It has increased 6 fold already in 1998. For all crimes we had 447 details to the site in 1997, and year to date 1998 we have had 718 details. So not only have the more serious crimes gone up but the routine requests for police services have increased significantly as well.
Ms. Manis asked werenít our police officers providing off duty service over there at one point?
Mayor Webster replied most off duty details are initiated by the owner. The Colony approached our Police Department to see if anyone would want to work additional hours. I donít think that Brisben has done that. I think that is the only thing we hope to get out of this. I donít think we are going to change the way they do business or the way they screen their tenants, but hopefully we can bring some pressure on them to make them belly up for some of the costs to try to help clean this mess up. I see the daily police logs. I had not seen that 718 number for year to date details but that doesnít shock me because every day I see two, three, four entries dealing with Hunters Glen.
Ms. Manis said I donít know if we have any control over the appearance of the driveway either with run down, junk cars in the parking lot. The whole appearance of the place has deteriorated.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Richard Knorr, corner of Greenlawn and Kemper, said I just came up here to thank you all. The working being done on West Kemper is beautiful and the cooperation has been outstanding. We ran into a few problems but they went through our City Administrator and Mr. Osborn straightened it out in a day or two.
Mayor Webster said weíre going to have the kickoff for Phase II next Wednesday and weíd love to have you come up and tell the people in Phase II how great things went on Phase I. They should be able to look down there and see it.
Mr. Knorr responded itís a little dusty during the summertime but itís beautiful after itís done. Mr. Butsch came in a couple of times on trees that werenít marked and his crew eliminated the trees, no problem at all.
Mr. Osborn stated the residents have been very cooperative during this project as well. It has been a very disruptive event for everybody but we were fortunate that we got a good contractor. Our Public Works Department did a good job working with the residents up front before the project started so everyone knew what was coming and what to expect. We had very few problems to overcome and when they did we sat down with the people and worked it out.
ORDINANCE 59-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE THE SPECIAL COUNTY ARSON TASKFORCE MUTUAL CONTRACT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to amend and read with the emergency clause and Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt Ms. Pollitt seconded. Ordinance 59-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE 61-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MORTON SALT FOR THE PURCHASE OF HIGHWAY DE-ICING ROCK SALT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said we had the bid opening for the purchase on September 18 and the numbers are exceptionally good. In fact they represent a reduction of $4.76 a ton from last yearís price. Thatís a savings of $12,000 when we fill up the dome we are building right now. We recommend that Council adopt the ordinance.
Ordinance 61-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Ms. Pollitt said I would like to comment on the Springdale Fire Department Open House that was held October 3. I attended the Open House. The safety tips and demonstrations that were offered our residents were excellent. I also spoke with some of the employees of the department and I would like to commend the Fire Department for the quality of employee that they have. I also spoke with some part-timers and was very pleased with the level of commitment the part-time employees have. But during my conversations one thread of comment kept coming back; that we need a substation on the eastern side of town. I was informed that our response time over there is 6 to 6 Ĺ minutes. The outside range is 8-10 minutes. Any time we have a call we have to send two units out; one on Crescentville, one on Kemper. With Target coming I believe that will add traffic congestion to the area. I understand that there is some future projected road construction going on in Union Township. I feel like this time response is unacceptable and I would like to challenge City Council and the City Administrators to honor the dedication that those employees are offering us and to start working on doing something about a substation in the Heritage Hill area. I think the Heritage Hill residents deserve the same response time that we are getting here in our area.
Mayor Webster said that is on the five year capital improvements budget. One year we are proposing to buy the land and then the next year we are proposing to build the substation. We have done some preliminary work trying to survey the area to see where the best place would be to locate that. I share your concern. Iíd like to see us get it in high gear also and itís really a matter of funding. We will be talking about funding a great deal in the next few months with the five year plan. We have a Finance Committee meeting next Thursday night to talk about this yearís budget, the new community center, etc. If Council wants to raise the priority level on that project then the timing cannot be more perfect than right now. There are a lot of first steps but maybe we should let our Planning Commission know that this is where we want to go, so as developers come in we can keep a keen eye out for 1 Ĺ to 2 acres.
Ms. Manis said I stopped in also. It was a bad rainy day and there werenít as many people as in past years. They had the new trailer outside. As far as the substation, if we have a problem there is that Sharonville substation right on the corner. Weíve had lots of personal discussions about using it, maybe staffing it, but there doesnít seem to be a lot of cooperation from Sharonville. It would benefit their residents also. We do have the mutual aid agreement and they will come to Heritage Hill. A number of things could come up that wonít make this happen as soon as we would like but I think we have to look at other options besides just building one.
Ms. Pollitt said I think we do need to put it on the front burner. We moved the Community Center expansion project forward and that is for recreation. This is for safety. The Sharonville substation is not manned full-time. We are getting a new pumper so this would be the perfect time to be thinking about opening a substation and moving some of our equipment around and I would just challenge you to do this. Take it to the Finance Committee and ask them to look at. There might be a way we could lease some space from a company in that area until we could purchase land. I would like to see something over there within the next year.
Mr. Osborn stated we are not getting a new pumper. We are replacing a 25 year old aerial. I donít know that we will retain two aerials as that equipment is awfully expensive to maintain. There is a very high safety standard for that apparatus. Secondly, I donít think we would build a substation that is capable of housing an aerial. Also, I am not aware of any contact we have had with Sharonville regarding some sort of arrangement to use their existing substation so I think it would be inappropriate to say they have been uncooperative.
Mayor Webster said I received a note from Mr. Knoxís office telling me that our contracts with the magistrate, prosecutor and public defender all expire as of December 1. I have talked with Messers. Gaines and Flessa and they will continue with the same rates. I have not made contact with Mr. Garry but I will do that. I would like to request that we continue those three contracts.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Health October 8, 7:00 p.m.
Planning Commission October 13, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Zoning Appeals October 20, 7:00 p.m.
Halloween trick or trick October 31, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Mayorís Night In January 27, 1999
Mayor Webster said I suspended those during the summer months and made no public announcement since. I said we would do it in the fall. I had two people show up last Wednesday at Mr. Wilsonís meeting for Mayorís Night In. The next official night will be January 27, 1999. I am here Monday through Thursday nights. If anyone needs to see me, just call me at home or stop up and bang on the door.
Mr. Galster said the Community Center is having a Halloween party early Saturday afternoon. Mayor Webster said that is from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. They have changed the format and it is a carnival format.
Mr. Parham said the open house at the Fire Department was part of fire prevention week. As part of our recruitment process this Saturday beginning at 9:00 a.m. we are having an open house for individuals to come out and converse with the firefighters, try on the gear, examine the equipment, etc. On the following Saturday, October 17 we will be holding the pre-test academy at the Urban League of Greater Cincinnati located at 3458 Reading Road. That will begin at 1:00 p.m. I will be in attendance with one of the captains of the Fire Department and the testing agency in order to prepare individuals for the test that is scheduled for Thursday, October 22. Individuals who have submitted their applications have been receiving a timeline of activities that are part of this process and they have also received a card indicating their testing date and time.
Mr. Parham continued next Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. we will be having another meeting with the people of Kemper Road, Phase II. CDS and Mr. Butch were here for Phase I and they will be here again. There will be layouts of each plot and they will show everybody the plans.
Mayor Webster said that kicked the project off and I think it went a long way in contributing to the success we had with that project. We will be even better prepared now because we have something we can show them.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Knorr mentioned to him that the mail truck is digging ruts as it comes up to the mailboxes.
Mayor Webster said the new mail boxes are due in next week so Iím sure those will be relocated from where they are now and be closer to the roadway.
Mr. Osborn said Council asked us some time ago to look into the issue of distribution of advertising materials for a number of reasons. One was litter that is generated by material blowing around loose. A second was dumping of gross quantities of this material into sanitary sewers or storm sewers and the final issue was distributors going onto peopleís property late at night, hanging things on the front door, etc. We looked into trying to regulate this in the same manner we do solicitation but the more we got into it, the quicker it became clear that we really couldnít treat it in the same manner because of the freedom of speech issue. The primary concern is that if we are to regulate people distributing advertising material, we, in fact, have to regulate anyone going door-to-door distributing material, which would include people running for political office, homeownerís association distributing material about an upcoming meeting, all those very benign things I donít think you intended us to get into here. As an alternative, we are proposing to cut back the scale of the regulation we were looking at and instead just set a time limit on when materials can be distributed door-to-door in the community. We initially set the time of prohibition from 9:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. The legislation with this text will be coming before you at your next meeting. I just wanted to bring this to your attention in case there were any comments or observations you wanted to share with the Administration before we brought the legislation back to you.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Newsracks still open
Distribution of advertising materials next meeting
Application by the Building Department for certification
to approve and inspect Use Group E Structures next meeting
Parking lot expansion at Community Center next meeting
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
Three ordinances to re-employee the magistrate, prosecutor and public defender first reading
Council adjourned at 7:58 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council