Council was called to order on September 18, 1996 at 7:00 p.m. by President of Council Randy Danbury.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the governmental body and those in attendance. Mr. Danbury asked for a moment of silence in memory of Firefighter Henry Scott who passed away this morning in training exercises. 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.
The minutes of September 4, 1996 were approved with 6 affirmative votes. Mrs. .Boice abstained.
RESOLUTION NO. 26-1996 "COMMENDING THE PRINCETON JUNIOR AND SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL COACHES AND THEIR SUPPORT STAFF FOR THEIR DEDICATION AND PROFESSIONALISM IN PREPARING STUDENT ATHLETES NOT ONLY TO COMPETE SUCCESSFULLY IN ATHLETICS BUT TO BECOME FUTURE LEADERS IN THE COMMUNITY"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Wilson said this was an opportunity to honor Princeton coaches and their support staff. I realize it is a thankless job. I was in your shoes several years ago and realize what it is to be a teacher first and coach second. My parents are both retired educators so I come from a second generation of educators. I want to personally thank you for a job well done. I know that you will continue to do it.
Mrs. McNear said I also would like to thank a lot of people in this room. There are many people sitting before me here who have been teachers for my children and are former and current coaches. I wanted to say thank you very much. It's a labor of love. Obviously they don't pay you a lot of money to do this. You do it because you love children and you love working with kids in sports and you're doing a great job. I'm also married to a former Princeton student/athlete and also participated a little bit myself. Princeton has a fine tradition of student/athletes and you all are to be congratulated for your efforts and your accomplishments over the past years. Thanks very much.
Mr. Vanover stated I come from a little different perspective. I was one of the competitors with Princeton and I know full well the success they have attained. I have different heart strings now that my kids are in the system. My hat goes off because I know what it takes to be a coach and I know the dedication that is there and the time consumption. As Mr. Wilson and Mrs. McNear stated it's one of those thankless jobs that too often we take for granted. I want to thank you all and I'm sure somewhere down the line I'll run into a number of you along the way. Thanks and congratulations.
Mr. Danbury said I would like to thank everybody. I was a student athlete. I played baseball and football at Princeton. I played for Coach Cousey and Mr. Shriner was one of my teachers in seventh grade. I got more out of the coaches from the molding and just knowing what it's like to win and what it takes to win. Mr. Wilson and I were talking and other than my parents I think some of the coaches I had in football and baseball taught me more life. You had to work hard at it. You can't just expect it to fall in your lap. I really appreciate all the guidance I got from everybody.
Mayor Webster said I would like to thank Mr. Wilson for bringing this idea to fruitition this evening. He approached me two or three months ago on this and I'm glad to see that he has pursued this. I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome, the coaches, and express my appreciation for your efforts but also Dr. Peterson who is with us this evening. We certainly appreciate the support he has shown this evening by showing up in support of the coaches and also Mr. Mancuso who is the athletic director at the high school. We certainly appreciate having you folks in attendance along with all the great looking coaches we have here. I can't get over how young these coaches look. I too have an acute appreciation of the effort and time you folks put in. My daughter went through the school system there and enjoyed her involvement in athletics. I told her in the middle of some of her struggles there, Julie, if you survive these four years you'll be prepared for life. I am proud to say she has done very well in life. I think a lot of it is attributed to the trials and experiences she experienced at the high school.
Resolution R26-1996 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster presented the resolutions to the coaches.
Mr. Mancuso said on behalf of the athletic department we certainly appreciate this gesture you have taken, the thought you put into it and the words you said. Oten times, the way you talk is the way coaches feel. A lot of of hard work and a lot of things are said about the coaches. It is nice people like yourselves take the time and effort to recognize the coaches for what they do and the hard work they put in towards your youngsters. I'm sure in the years I've known these people right here that whatever youngsters come through their path, they impact them one way or another, and your children benefit from it. I can guarantee that no matter what, after they spend four years with these coaches, they are better people and better citizens in the community they live in. We are very proud of that and I know these people are. And I know they certainly appreciate what you've done tonight and I thank you very much.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - Ms. Manis said I don't believe the exotic animal ordinance has to go back to Planning so we will have an ordinance for everybody at the next Council meeting.
PUBLIC RELATIONS - Mrs. McNear reported that the second newsletter for this year has been mailed out. It was mailed last week and everyone should have received their copy by now. I want to thank the Administration and department heads for contributing all the articles. Again, an excellent newsletter. There will be another one sent out in November with a deadline of October to have articles sent in.
Mr. Danbury said that is my old phone number on the newsletter.
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS - Mr. Vanover said the concrete pavement and repair work is underway and we are anticipating the project will be completed around mid October. On the agenda tonight is Ordinance 71-1996. It is to modify the contract for the project. Extra work is required on two items - extra curb replacement for the amount of $24,216. and an emergency pull off lane on St. Rt. 747 south of the railroad crossing for the amount of $14,255.50. Public Works is recommending approval of the ordinance and I might note even with these additional amounts, due to the favorable bids we received earlier this year, we are still under budget for the 1996 street projects.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - Mr. Wilson said there are three items. 1) The new sidewalk and Crescentville Road curb replacement project is now complete except for the sidewalk work associated with the Glenview subdivision. Mr. Shuler will have some comments on that. 2) Century Boulevard Phase II project is complete. 3) Ray Norrish Drive improvement in the Crossings resurfacing, curb removal replacement and pavement replacement is underway. The City has approved the CG&E relocation plan and road widening should begin soon. We anticipate this project to be completed by mid October.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION - Mr. Galster said Planning Commission met on September 10 in these chambers. Everyone was present. The board elected Mr. Oakum as liaison to the Board of Zoning Appeals. White Castle, who was requesting a revised drive thru at their facility on Rt. 4, was approved with a 7-0 vote. Originally they had proposed a drive thru that actually had a driveway coming in front of their building to where the cars would queue in front of the building. They heeded Planning Commission's recommendations and really the only change you will notice is that the trash/dumpster location is moved. We had a request for approval for the rezoning of a property at 11320 Springfield Pike from OB to PF2 to allow the construction of Sterling House, which is an assisted living residence. This is a piece of property located in front of the Colony. That was approved 7-0. The next item was approval of a revision to the Charing Crossing Estates Phase I landominiums. To put it simply, the plan has changed drastically and it has changed numerous times. We basically told the applicant that based on what he was trying to get us to approve, he needed to go back to square one and go through preliminary approval if, in fact, he wanted to pursue the type project he was proposing at the meeting. The applicant was extrement frustrated with the Commission as far as trying to work with us. I think he was a little bit intimidated and we spent quite a bit of time trying to give him direction on the reason with that being on Route 4, the need to have detailed plans, etc. Hopefully, that will get worked out one way or the other or he will proceed with the approval he had gotten previously. The next item was a preliminary plan approval of the proposed Air-Tite Window Company, 205 North Commerce Way. This is in an area of the PUD where presently we have Pictoria Island. It was determined that this was a major change to the PUD that has been approved and therefore, it will be coming before Council and we'll need to have a public hearing set. As far as the Air-Tite package is concerned, that was approved 7-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS - Mrs. Boice stated BZA met last evening at 7:30. All members were in attendance and we welcomed our new member, Mr. Oakum, the liaison to the Board of Zoning Appeals. We had no old business and our first item under new business was dropped from the agenda because it was realized after some investigation by the Building Department that a variance was not required. The item we dealt with was David Jones, 795 Tivoli Lane, requesting a variance to allow his camping trailer to be parked on a concrete pad adjacent to the driveway for the summer months. We have been having a lot of requests coming in for variances on the Rvs and they are truly troublesome. This happened to have a little different configuration. Mr. Jones' property where he has extended his pad right to the property line to put his RV on borders on the backyard of his neighbor who has a sizable wood fence. We did look at that. When it originally started out Mr. Jones felt he only really needed this four or five months. As the conversation pursued we got into seven and eight months. We did decide that a temporary three year variance was probaby the best way to go for a period from May 1 to September 30. In defense of Mr. Jones I have to say he stores his trailer during the winter. He is not asking for an all year round type of thing. This is something we have tried to stress to the RV owners. If you have an RV, when you purchase you have to consider storage. Various trailers have been parked there off and on since 1976. There was some question whether he might have been grandfathered under that particular law. A temporary variance for a three year period that would allow that trailer from May 1 to September 30 was granted 6-1. Do understand, they are gone for two and three weeks at a time. This has been a matter of concern for the board and I know the Mayor has found that this is a consistent thing coming into the Board of Zoning Appeals and in a very brief conversation with Mayor Webster last night, he has indicated to me that we perhaps need to review this ordinance again and I think that will be coming up in the very near future. There will be representatives from the Board of Zoning Appeals on that review committee because we are the ones who deal with it consistently. Mr. McErlane approached us about the workshop for the Board of Zoning Appeals and I know Planning Commission has already been approached on that. Our committee was also in agreement that we would like to do that on a Saturday. We are hoping to do it in the first two Saturdays, probably the 5th or 12th of January.
BOARD OF HEALTH - no report
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - no report
O-K-I - Mayor Webster said I did not attend the meeting but I knew what was on the agenda. That was the I-71 corridor story. I'm sure you've all seen the papers and some of the comments that are coming forth there. It seems that the public is overwhelming favoring a light rail system instead of continuing to widen I-71. I'm sure we'll hear more about that as we go forward.
MAYOR'S REPORT - Mayor Webster stated our Community Pride program has reached over 200 people availing themselves of the City's vehicles to haul away their debris. We're already getting requests out into October. I'm sure you are all aware of our Police Honor Guard that was created this year. We're really getting some recognition on that. The unit presented the colors at the opening of the Bengals' football season this past Sunday. They also presented the pre-game colors Sunday, September 8 for the Reds/Giants game. You public officials who will be at the Princeton/Sycamore football game this Friday night will take a lot of pride in the fact that you'll see our fellows out there presenting the colors again. I think you will hear more and more about our color guard. I think Princeton only has four home games this year and they've already contacted our fellows on doing the colors on all the home games. We are ready to recycle the paint from the Community Pride Yard Sale/Recycle Day that was held August 10 back into the community. On September 27 and 28 and October 11 and 12 you can come down to the Public Works complex between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and get your paint.
Mr. Galster said I was at the game and from the perspective of being a resident, not because I'm on Council, there was a certain amount of pride that beamed from me. I don't think I stood any taller or sang any louder but I know my grin was a little bit wider. I had written down a couple of names of the officers and understanding this is 100% voluntary, maybe we need to do a resolution to say thanks for their time and efforts.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR'S REPORT - Everyone has received copies of the proposed charter amendments. Mr. Schneider will be reviewing those. If anyone has any comments direct them to Mr. Schneider. During Old Business I will be requesting Council to consider the policy which I passed out copies of two weeks ago on the City's investment policies and requesting Council's approval.
ADMINISTRATOR'S REPORT - Mr. Osborn said I would like to bring Council's attention to the report on pending legislation, specifically to our request for a resolution at your next meeting dealing with the 1997 SCIP application. The two projects which we anticipate putting under this program include the Sharon Road rehabilitation which would include resurfacing, the construction of a bike path and the completion of the sidewalk system on Sharon Road. The second project is the CSX railroad bridge and that part of Kemper Road just west of the railroad bridge. This project would include a waterproof membrane on the bridge itself in addition to resurfacing. We do have to have the resolution adopted by Council on October 2 in order to stay apace of the application process. Secondly, I would also direct Council's attention to that same memorandum as it relates to an ordinance that prohibits hunting within the city limits. In 1995 the state changed the hunting regulations and provided for the issuance of an urban deer hunting permit. We believe that our community, while it does have a population of deer, is far too urban to allow this type of hunting activity. We have legislation under preparation which we anticipate to bring before you at your next meeting which would prohibit hunting within the city limits by any means: rifle, shotgun, bow and arrow, etc. We would ask Council's favorable consideration of this ordinance at that time so we can have it in place before the opening of deer season October 6. It has been somewhat delayed because of additional research required in the law director's office related to the confiscation procedure we have requested to be part of that legislation. I'd like to remind the appropriate Council memebers who are serving on the special committee for the city-wide survey that we have a meeting this coming Monday, September 23 at 4:00 p.m. with Dr. Al Tuchfarber from the Center of Policy Research, University of Cincinnati to review to the general parameters of our survey which we will be conducting this fall. If for any reason someone will not be able to attend but still have comments they'd like to introduce, please contact me at your convenience before next Monday.
Finally, I'm sure you've all seen that the flags are flying at half mast throughout the City. It's my great sorrow to have to give you the details of the loss of one of our employees today. Firefighter, Henry Scott, a full-time employee of the City since December 1991 was training with his crew, Crew 1, today at the fire tower when he suffered a massive and fatal heart attack. Although he was surrounded by paramedics who undertook every effort to revive him, their efforts were not successful and he died at Mercy South Hospital. Henry was 36 years old two days ago. He is single. His survivors include his parents, two sisters and a brother. We have been able to bring a crisis intervention team into the Fire Department today and they met for a considerable time with Crew 1 and with the officers and other members of the department. Temporarily we have taken Crew 1 out of the rotation so we will be using Crew 2 and Crew 3 to split the time between them until a more appropriate time to bring Crew 1 back into service. Again, this is a very sad day for the City. Henry was a very likeable, very friendly and truly hard working member of the organization. I happened on his most recent performance evaluation as I was reviewing his file today and wish I had brought it with me tonight because it would have made a very fitting description of his career here with the City but again, I do have the sad duty of advising you of the loss of Firefighter Scott and our condolences go out to his family.
Mr. Parham said Council, I have suppied each of you with a memo I have directed to you this afternoon. If you recall, at the July 17 Council meeting Mrs. Boice and Mrs. McNear brought forth to City Council the situation with Mrs. Karen Kidd, located at 11493 Bernhardt Court relative to Mrs. Kidd receiving direction from one of the City inspectors as to proceeding with a project. After further investigation it was determined that she was not permitted by code to proceed in that direction. At that meeting City Council asked the Administration to go about investigating how we could assist Mrs. Kidd in the restoration of her property and loss of any finances that she was out of pocket for. I have outlined for you an agreement I have been able to reach with Mrs. Kidd as to the restoration of her property and also reimbursement of any out of pocket expenses. The first item is going onto the property with our work forces and providing top soil, fertilization and seeding of the rear lot of her property where she undertook some steps based upon the direction she received. Item 2 is Mrs. Kidd was able to install what is called a ribbon drive into the front part of her property adjacent to her present driveway. The problem with the drive is in obtaining access to the drive. You are not permitted to drive across grass in order to gain access to this particular piece of item. We have agreed to reimburse her for installation of that ribbon drive in the amount of $1600. We will go in with our City forces also and (item 3) widen her apron to the drive that will gain access to this ribbon drive. Item 4 is reimbursement of out of pocket expenses for attorney fees and upon agreeing with item 7 we will not make any reimbursements until after the actual labor has been completed on the property. Mrs. Kidd has agreed to sign a right of entry form to allow our work forces onto the property. She also has agreed to sign a release form that will release the City of any future obligations. I seek Council's concurrence this evening with the recommendations and the direction we plan to go.
Mrs. Boice said congratulations, Mr. Parham, on what you have worked out here. I think it is very equitable. I know Mrs. McNear certainly shares my feeling on this. The City has definitely gone in the right direction. A mistake was made and Mrs. Kidd did suffer these expenses. I think it is real healthy that we have proceeded with this. I certainly agree with it completely. I do have one question. Does this clear up any of the questions or problems that Mrs. Kidd has on the property or are there still other items?
Mr. Parham replied there are some differences on some issues on interpretation as to items she believes she should be reimbursed for that I have determined were not a direct cause of the direction she received. There is some disagreement. She has willingly agreed to what I have ironed here.
Mayor Webster said I would also like to publicly commend Derrick on his negotiating skills here. I think he'd rather take on the FOP again than do another one of these. There has been a lot of give and take. There has been a lot of discussion and a lot of thought gone into this. Mrs. Kidd has certainly made some concessions to get us to this point. I think it's a good agreement. I think it's reasonable but I don't want to put words in Mrs. Kidd's mouth or lead Council to believe that she is totally 100% happy. That is not the case but she is agreeable to this.
Mr. Danbury said I'm sure we're going to be outlaying some money but I think it was the right thing to do to rectify the situation where one of our employees erroneously did give some false information. It's going to cost us money but it would have cost a whole lot more to the whole neighborhood. I'm glad we can find a somewhat amiable solution to this. Derrick, you did a really good job on this.
Ms. Manis said she may be unhappy but is this the end of it?
Mr. Parham said she has agreed to the agreement that releases the City from any other obligation. I think at that point in time it does end.
Mrs. Boice said at that time when the agreement is signed, then it will be necessary to bring in the ordinance to make payment on this or can this be handled without an ordinance.
Mr. Parham said at this time we are just asking for a motion by Council to agree to what I have outlined here. I don't think we need an ordinance.
Mayor Webster said just to clarify one thing in regard to Ms. Manis' question, does this solve it? This does not prohibit Mrs. Kidd from bringing some legal action against the City, but she is going to sign the agreement that says she releases the City of all claims before we proceed with the work, but I'm sure Mr. Schneider would tell you that you never give away your right to sue the City so she could come back at some later time and do that. If she did we certainly would be the first to introduce this release as evidence.
Mrs. Boice made a motion to accept the terms and conditions outlined by Mr. Parham regarding this issue. Mrs. McNear seconded. It was accepted unanimously by a hand vote.
LAW DIRECTOR'S REPORT - no report
ENGINEER'S REPORT - Mr. Shuler said I have two issues I need to discuss with Council. The first one Mr. Wilson alluded to in his report is our 1996 street and sidewalk program. I passed out a drawing at the beginning of the meeting which will be helpful as I bring you up to date with that project. This drawing represents the sidewalks that were built along St. Rt. 4 and Sharon Road this year as well as the sidewalks that are currently constructed in the Glenview subdivision. The dotted or dashed area at the extreme west side of the subdivision represents the sidewalks that were part of the subdivision plans approved by the County, that being the sidewalk along Rockcrest and the piece along Sharon Road. It was our intention this year as part of our 1996 sidewalk program to build those sidewalks along Rt. 4, Sharon Road and also construct the piece of sidewalk along Rockcrest and then as part of our street program, where we are upgrading Ballinger, there would also be a sidewalk along Ballinger to connect Rockcrest and Sharon Road. We have completed that project except for the Rockcrest sidewalk. As you recall, a couple of months ago there were residents in to talk to Council about reconsidering the Rockcrest sidewalk and since that time I know there have been many conversations regarding that issue but it is my understanding that has not yet been resolved. We are running out of construction time this year in this project bid. We got very good bids. We got a bid of $2.50 square foot for sidewalk. The normal bid is about $3.00. We hate to lose the opportunity to complete our sidewalk system across the City this year as part of that contract and take advantage of those prices. We are proposing that in lieu of putting the sidewalk on Rockcrest this year, we build the section I have highlighted in yellow, which is the very short piece of Rockcrest and then the piece on Sharon Road. The Rockcrest sidewalk was in our sidewalk program this year. It was our intention next year to build this piece of sidewalk on Sharon Road and also an additional piece of sidewalk on Sharon Road to connect those two areas where the Sharon Road sidewalk cuts into the subdivision, then runs along Vista Glen and Rockcrest. At the end of next year we had hoped we would have a sidewalk system across the entire length of Sharon Road and across the frontage of the subdivision. Again, what we would like to do so we could take advantage of the contract we do have in place and the bids we got, would be to go ahead with this piece of Sharon Road sidewalk this year and a short piece of the Rockcrest sidewalk, and look at the rest of Sharon Road next year and then the Rockcrest issue whenever it is agreed upon by Council. I need this evening some concurrence by Council that we can go ahead with the Sharon Road sidewalk this year or not.
Mr. Osborn said I was about to advise Council that there are people in the audience this evening to discuss this issue with Council and perhaps it would be appropriate to defer the dialog on the project until a point following Communications from the Audience. We were advised earlier that there would be folks who had input they wanted to give City Council.
Mrs. Boice said I would hope we could do the discussion right now. This was our original sidewalk program. We have had one resident come in here and object to it and maybe what we will hear later tonight is that we have more who object to it. But this was the original program. I believe there is one resident down there waiting for their sidewalk, bought the property with the understanding they were going to get the sidewalk and I personally, unless I hear something startling this evening which may happen, I really would be in favor of proceeding with the sidewalk system as it was originally designed rather than coming back next year with a piece of cement at that point. As I said, I will hold that thought certainly in abeyance until I hear other opinions.
Mayor Webster said I think it is terribly important that everyone realize we are talking about two different sections of sidewalk. The one under discussion earlier was the one, Mrs. Boice, on Rockcrest, in front of those five lots, two of which are vacant. I have personally called on those other three residents. None of those three people want a sidewalk in front of their house. They point out that they are the only three residents in the entire subdivision who have a sidewalk in front of their house. No one else has given up part of their yard for a sidewalk system. They do not want the sidewalk. At this point we have held that in abeyance. We're not proposing that we proceed with that sidewalk. However, you are right, the part that is highlighted has also been part of the original plan since day one. Had we not held the Rockcrest piece in abeyance this year we wouldn't even be sitting here talking about this part because we would have deferred that to 1997. So all we're doing is saying, we've advertised for bids, we've awarded a contract for x number of square feet of sidewalk, so since we're holding Rockcrest aside let's go ahead with part of the 1997 sidewalk system.
Mr. Danbury said so we are just switching priorities right now.
Mr. Shuler continued I am passing another drawing around that will be helpful in following the discussion in the report I have for you. The reason I didn't pass this out earlier was because I was concerned about confusion because this also deals with Glenview Subdivision. This is a subdivision the City inherited from the County. The plans for this subdivision were approved by the County and then were built. We agreed as part of the annexation we would accept the project as it was prepared and approved by the County. We have had some drainage issues that have been raised in that area as well. Upon our investigation of those drainage issues and as part of our review of the public infrastructure as it's been constructed in anticipation of acceptance by the City, we have determined that there is an area of concern. It's a safety issue and that is the drainage on Rockcrest just east of the intersection of Fallstone and Rockcrest. The streets, all of Rockcrest and a portion of Fallstone, drain to those inlets at the low point. The storm sewer system is designed to handle a ten year storm which is common to the County. It's the same as our regulation. The problem arises when we have a storm that exceeds that capacity. The way the project was designed and approved by the County and built, is that when that storm sewer system reaches its capacity, the water will then start building up in the street. The overflow point is the swell between lots 64 and 65 on Rockcrest, which is just east of those inlets. The water builds up to a depth where it will flow over the curb. The right of way grading then requires about another six inches of elevation of water before it will break over and flow down the the overflow swell. What this means is that in the worst case, when we have one of these high intensity, short duration storms, we possibly could have approximately two feet of water on Rockcrest at that low point before the emergency overflow would come into play. If this project had been submitted to the City we would at that time certainly would have required a modification to that system, not that the combination of storm sewer and overflow is inconsistent but just the way it was handled. We are proposing to Council to rebuild that section of street that I have highlighted in yellow. This would move the low point from its current location just east of Fallstone to a point that is on that property line between lots 64 and 65 where the overflow occurs. This would allow, when we have that same situation where the storm sewer cannot handle the water and it builds up, it would reach the top of curb and would then break over into our overflow channel. At the same time we have been negotiating and working with Zaring to regrade that channel so that the overflow would be acceptable from the top of curb, not have to build up that additional six inches of depth of water to cross the right of way before it would run into the overflow channel. This would reduce the amount of standing water on the street in worst case storms from approximately 24 inches of water depth at the existing low point catch basins to approximately six inches of depth where the new catch basins would be located. It would require the removal of the curb in the area that I have highlighted except for the one piece on the radius of Fallstone and Rockcrest in the southwest corner, applying asphalt to bring the street up to the new elevation, and building those new sets of inlets. The reason we are bringing this to you this evening is that that street has not received its final course of asphalt yet. If we are going to do this it would be much more economical to do it now and it would certainly give a much better appearance to the subdivision if we could correct this safety concern before they put the final surface on the street. If we do this now, when they put the final surface on the street you won't have any joints. It will be the same surface through the entire length. It would also address a couple of concerns on the two adjacent property owners, lot 64 and lot 85. Both called the City with concern about the high water in the street last year and the one property owner at lot 85, their driveway is just to the west of those inlets so whenever we do have that standing water they have a difficult time getting in and out of their driveway. Those inlets at that low point would be raised approximately sixteen inches. From that sixteen inch maximum correction, it would be zero at the perimeter where we are tying into the existing street system. We have met with our summer street contractor to give us a specific cost to do this. We are estimating that the work will be in the range of $20,000. The reason we wanted to discuss it with you this evening rather than wait until next year's program is simply to take advantage of the opportunity to complete this before the final surface is applied to the street and to correct a safety concern we have in that area.
Mr. Osborn said we have discussed this with Mr. Galene, the owner of lot 64 and Mr. Galene has executed a right of entry in the anticipation that we would be authorized to do this project. The work would involve the work out in the street as described by the City Engineer and also the regrading of the channel on the rear of his property and he has conceded that both would benefit his property. The owners of lot 85, Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes have been before Council previously. Unfortunately, Mr. Rhodes is out of town for a few weeks but we are in communication with Mrs. Rhodes. She has been very open and very cooperative in the discussion of this project and we would hope to be able to secure a right of entry with the Rhodes as well. We can demonstrate to them that by raising the elevation of the street we also reduce the gradient of their driveway. In effect, we give them a better driveway slope than they have presently. We believe this is a win-win for the property owners from whom we need the rights of entry and we're trying to keep this on a fast track, and as a result have secured the one document pending any determination whether we should proceed by City Council.
Mrs. Boice said I don't think there is any question at all that we have to proceed, heading into the winter and the heavy rains and freezes. My only question is, is Zaring bearing any responsibility for this at all? Where do they stand on this?
Mr. Osborn said the project was built according to the plans approved by the County Engineer. We cannot say that Zaring failed to build the street system inconsistent with County standards. As Mr. Shuler indicated, this subdivision plan was approved under the County standards rather than under Springdale and we inherited the approved plans the County issued. It's hard to put liability for this back on Zaring when, in fact, they were building the project consistent with approved plans. We are negotiating with Zaring in a good faith effort to get some assistance for the grading work we are talking about doing along the channel between lots 64 and 65, and they have agreed to some cost involvement in that grading. Mr. Shuler is making his best effort to cause them to accept all that cost. They have put some money into this discussion already and we're hoping we'll be able to encourage that number to go up a little bit.
Mrs. Boice asked if Springdale had not annexed that subdivision, would not the County be liable then.
Mr. Osborn said I would think the problem would exist in perpetuity. Again, it's not inconsistent with County standards. We believe, however, that two feet plus of water standing in the public right of way is something we don't typically accept here in Springdale so we want to cure that. I don't think we have any recourse to go back against the County because there is nothing in the County code that would prohibit them from designing a street like this.
Mr. Danbury asked how much time do you think it will take for us to put something together to fix this?
Mr. Shuler replied since we are coordinating with our street contractor, I would guess we are probably looking at a week of construction time to get the street back in place. We'll have some right of way grading to do behind the curb. The driveway will be rebuilt at the same time the curb goes in. They were out there today just to check if there are any other utility problems. There are a couple of boxes that need to be raised to grade but it's very similar to all the other work we are doing currently in the City as far as concrete curb removal and replacement, street repair and resurfacing so we have all the items within our existing contract to accomplish this. It's just a matter of looking at the project and how many units of each of those need to be done to accomplish this. As soon as we get the right of entries, we'll get into the contractor's schedule. He is currently working in the City. He will be starting his grinding operations this week on streets. He will have his asphalt machines in here. This will probably happen sometime in the next three weeks and it will probably be about a week of construction time. Again, the developer, Zaring, anticipated putting the final surface on this street this fall because they would like to get the project finished and have it accepted by the City before winter and we get into the snow plowing season.
Mr. Danbury asked if it is presently set up for a 100 year rain.
Mr. Shuler replied the storm sewer system in a residential subdivision is designed to handle a ten year storm which is common even in our subdivision regulations. The issue is what happens to the water, where does it go, what does it affect when we exceed that capacity which is something we always look at. The major storm routing difference between the City's and County's is that the County requires a major storm routing to handle a 50 year storm and the City requires a 100 year storm. It's going to go down this channel regardless because that is the overflow point.
Mr. Vanover said for your information, Mr. Shuler had apprised me tonight prior to the meeting because I'm Public Works chairperson. As he had stated we have a contractor in the area. The final topping of asphalt is set to go on and rather than have a final product in and then cut it up and add some maintenance problems with joints, we are offering our preliminary recommendation that we proceed with this.
Mr. Shuler said we will need to obtain the exact costs associated with this from the contractor. As long as we feel those are acceptable we would request an ordinance at the next meeting which would be a contract modification similar to the one that is on the agenda this evening for this extra work.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Roxanne Grote, 449 Vista Glen said I am here tonight representing twelve other homeowners in the subdivision who feel very strongly about this issue. Unfortunately, tonight is "Meet the Teacher" night at Glendale so I was the one who volunteered to give that up and come here and present this to you. We have a petition we signed and I will read it to you and afterwards explain how it came about. It states "Whereas we, the following residents of Glenview Subdivision, were not informed of plans to install a sidewalk through the former construction entrance connecting Sharon Road to Vista Glen until Monday, September 16, 1996, and whereas we were previously informed that said construction entrance would be completely sealed off from Sharon Road and the existing fence extended across that entrance, and whereas our properties immediately surround said construction entrance and would be most affected by any project developed there, we hereby request that any further progress on installing a sidewalk through said entrance be immediately suspended until such plans are made available for our review and any concerns we may have about said project are addressed."
Mrs. Grote said this came about in the conversation I had with Mayor Webster on Monday. A couple of us got together and were saying whatever happened to the sidewalk on Rockcrest. Unfortunately, we decided we weren't being kept very well informed by our Homeowners Association board members. So I called City Hall and during that conversation I became aware of this other plan for the sidewalk along Sharon Road and down through the construction entrance to Vista Glen. I said all the time I've lived here the only sidewalk that was ever mentioned was the one along Vista Glen continuing out to Rockcrest. We even had a homeowners' meeting in June which I believe Mr. Osborn was at and they mentioned that the City wanted to go ahead with the sidewalks. The only sidewalk that was ever mentioned was along Rockcrest. We saw a plan for lights in the homeowners' association. There was never a plan for sidewalks presented to any of us. When we got together I asked my neighbors if I was the only one who didn't know about this. All thirteen homeowners said they had never heard of this before Monday when I called them. What all of us had been told by our Zaring representatives when we purchased our properties was that that construction entrance was going to be sealed off, built up for a sound barrier and the fence that is currently there would be extended completely across it. We have been waiting for the day that that gravel pit was gone and we would have our sound barrier up. Now we find out there is a sidewalk planned to go through there which means all the noise from Sharon Road is still going to come right down into our houses. The other concern that a lot of neighbors had is the common area there. Several neighbors were getting together with a proposal for our homeowners' association to make that a green area like a park. We were hoping that our children could play there. Now we have a serious safety concern with letting our children play there when there is a sidewalk that goes directly up to Sharon Road. We're hoping you'll give us some time to see if we can come up with an alternative sidewalk. Time was extremely short. We found out a sidewalk was going to be at our front doors and we only had two days to do something about it. I contacted the neighbors who are immediately affected and along with the petition I have for you, I put a plot of our subdivision indicating which are the homeowners who signed this. As you can see, we are the ones right around the entrance. The pink areas are lots that aren't sold yet so there is no one there. We found out this has been in place since 1992 and our homeowners' association board knew about this and we asked why we didn't know about it. When we tried to contact some members they weren't available. One, Mr. Huddleston, who is here, said he didn't think it was a concern and didn't really want to pursue it. Obviously, we were very concerned about that and found out we have a problem with what our expectations of our homeowners' association board is and what obviously what they think our expectations are. We thought they were supposed to keep us informed and consult us on what we thought about issues. Obviously, they decided if they don't think it's an issue they aren't going to consult us. We're asking you to give us time to review this and plan what we can do about it. Most of the homeowners are just dead opposed to any opening there at all. However, if we could come up with some alternate plan or something that would make it more sound barrier, maybe you could convince us of it. Right now, there are thirteen homeowners who are saying we don't want it period. Thank you for your time.
Mr. Danbury asked Mrs. Grote if she could explain where the park they wanted to have would be and Mrs. Grote pointed it out on the plat.
Mr. Osborn said Mrs. Grote is correct. We did discuss the Rockcrest sidewalk at the association meeting in June and the primary reason for that focus was the issue of the modification to several driveways that would have to be made in order to install the sidewalk. I believe we also discussed at that time the intention to build a sidewalk on Ballinger and the long term intention of building a sidewalk across the entire frontage of the subdivision on Sharon Road. We did not have a drawing showing the loop coming back in off of Sharon or the other loop coming back and off Sharon at Vista Glen. As was pointed out by Mrs. Grote those plans have been in place since 1992. The other question I would put to Mrs. Grote is, are you suggesting that you have a preference to see the installation of the sidewalk on Rockcrest?
Mrs. Grote replied if I were to decide it I would say yes; however, I understand those homeowners' rights to object to it just like we're objecting to the sidewalk at the construction entrance.
Mr. Danbury said as has been alluded to earlier, this was in our plans and this is just basically putting our priorities in a different mode, moving one project back and moving this up. I live over that way and travel down there. I can tell you it is a safety concern. It is a major problem. I have a small son in a stroller. There is absolutely no way I would let my son play in a "park" that close to that traffic. We have a major plan to connect all of Springdale with some type of bike trail or sidewalk system. We want it more accessible for foot traffic. As Mr. Shuler alluded to earlier we got very good rates on this. I'd like to see what Council would like to do but I personally would like to put it in.
Mrs. Grote said we don't object to you extending the sidewalk along Sharon Road. The only part we object to is cutting it into the subdivision right there where there is supposed to be a sound barrier.
There is a sidewalk coming out by Ashleigh Court. That's going straight out to where Cameron dead ends. There is a sidewalk going to Sharon Road and it doesn't seem that it poses a problem. Eventually I would think the residents would want some type of entrance off of there. But again, I feel it would be advantageous for the Council or Administration to continue on with this sidewalk system as it is. If there is a problem we can readdress it. This is just a small section and we can revisit this. Due to the fact that it was in the planning stages, and of public interest and safety to put a sidewalk system in there, and because it is very cost affordable, I personally would like to continue on with this and we can readdress this last portion right here. I would say do this right here as it is set up. If you have a sidewalk that just dead ends you're still going to have foot traffic. You will have people going over there.
Mrs. Grote said we were promised a fence and the area built up like a sound barrier. There wouldn't be anybody cutting through there. It's not a problem at the other end. That land is much higher and that sidewalk angles very steeply and there are trees planted all along there. They don't have any problem with sound down there. We are closer to the same level of the street and we have a much bigger problem but we are also a little offended that dollars and cents would take priority over our concerns about our children's safety of a sidewalk going out to Sharon Road where we would like them to play.
Mr. Danbury replied I'm saying safety is a factor as well. I can guarantee you that it's a lot safer having a sidewalk on Sharon Road.
Mrs. Grote said we don't oppose the sidewalk on Sharon Road. We don't want one right there. We feel there was an implied contract with our builder to put a sound barrier there. This may have been in place since 1992 but we just were aware of it Monday afternoon. We felt we have not been consulted. We feel our promise by Zaring has been broken. When I looked at my house and was considering buying that lot, I looked at that gravel road and trailer and asked if that would be an entrance and they assured me it was not. They said that will be built up and a fence put up there. I did not want to be close to an entrance. I wanted to be insulated in the middle of the development. That was the reason I purchased my property. The other people who signed that petition feel strongly the same way.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Danbury, you expressed most of the concerns I had. We feel very strongly that there has to be a sidewalk along Sharon Road to interconnect into the City wide system. I think it is a matter of safety. If we don't put the entrance there, that says if you live on Fallstone, you don't get into the sidewalk system on Sharon Road unless you go west to Ballinger or you continue in your subdivision taking the long way around and finally picking it up back at the main entrance to the subdivision. The issue of sound barriers, etc. is an issue between you and your builder. If you have been promised something you need to take that up with those folks. We have never been shown a set of plans that calls for that to be closed off and a barrier put up there. Every plan that Zaring has shared with the City shows exactly what we are proposing to go ahead and build here this year and that is the sidewalk coming in there. There would be a break in the split rail fence to accommodate the sidewalk. If you want to tear that up and put a sound barrier in there and make that a park that's an issue with you and Zaring or you and the Homeowners' Association. I think we want to go ahead and try to put this other piece of the City wide network in place and we'd like to proceed this year with it.
Mrs. Grote asked why can't it be suspended until we have a chance to see if we can come up with an alternate plan.
Mr. Danbury said we're basically at the end of the construction season. I've never even heard about this plan until tonight.
Mayor Webster responded we could walk away and say we are through with the sidewalk in Glenview Subdivision for 1996. That gives us six months here to thrash it around and try to come to some conclusion, then go out and rebid the whole project next year if that is the desire of Council. That is not the Administration's recommendation.
Mr. Dick Huddleston, 467 Vista Glen, said I have been a Glenview Homeowner board member for about 2 1/2 years now. For the first two years and four and one half months that has been a somewhat token board as the board was controlled by Zaring. I think it's important for myself as a board member to recognize the support of the staff from Bob Sears to Cecil Osborn to the engineering staff. As far as our board being an official homeowner board that just took place in the last 30-45 days when a sufficient number of home properties were closed on wherein the homeowners now take over the board properly in terms of homeowner ownership and control of that board. If Mrs. Grote feels she has been wronged I apologize for that in terms of the board not giving her the proper input or communication but I do have to say it has been a struggle for me and my one fellow board member who served for that period of time in communicating with Zaring and again, that's where the City has stepped in and informed us of many of these agreements that were made prior to the annexation which most of us in ownership had no knowledge of. If you talk about implied contracts, I think we all know where that gets us. In reality that doesn't do much for you. I'm going to take off my Glenview board member hat for just a moment and speak as a resident. I have been involved in public planning for more than twenty years. I have a problem as a resident with the parochialism that sometimes exists when people come in and are going to pull up the drawbridge. I think that's what the issue is here tonight. I commend the City for their efforts with the bike path and sidewalk construction and I think it should go forward tonight just as you all have indicated you'd like to do. I think it is something that has been committed for two or three years. To me it's a non-issue. It's been on paper and I have one neighbor on Vista Glen, right in the middle of our subdivision, who rides the bus daily. He has specifically asked me to make sure that that does happen. Public safety is always a concern. This is not something you will drive a Sherman tank through. If the Zaring people do a proper job affirming and mounding as they should some of the sound and public safety issues will go away. I would encourage you, as a resident, not as a board member, to go forward as you have indicated and complete what has already been an obligation of the City for a couple of years.
Ms. Manis said it's rough to get hit with all this at one time. You are trying to think of both angles but I do get irritated when we, as a City, say we know what is best for you and you live there. But, then again, I do want to see the Sharon Road sidewalk. I think instead of saying we're going to do it this way, the way we planned; there are some things that can be done to make it less impactful. Like Mr. Huddleston said, if you do the proper mounding and put lots of trees there, you can make it look small and nice and less intrusive. I would like to see it come about but I think there is room to work there too. I know they want to get it done but there is a lot of construction to do besides that little spot. If that was put off until the end and there could be some talk about it, I don't think that would hurt personally.
Mr. Osborn said I just want to clarify that if the City does proceed and build the sidewalk we would not have any involvement in building berming, landscaping or the fence. That would still remain an obligation of Zaring.
Mr. Galster said I understand the little connector section that you are opposed to. For the time being, until the complete Sharon Road sidewalk is done, I think that little connection portion is very important. It allows complete sidewalk access. Granted it's meandering but it allows complete access all the way from Ballinger to Route 4. I don't know what's up Sharon Road to the west but that basically covers the whole front of Sharon. So that little piece that you are objecting to can be addressed later possibly when the new section of the west end of Sharon Road is tied into the existing section that is on Sharon Road, possibly removing that. I would need to look into that a little bit further at time. Until that piece is built there is no continuous flow. I think that piece needs to stay there to allow that continuous flow of foot traffic down Sharon Road.
Mrs. Grote asked aren't there plans to connect that sidewalk on Sharon Road all the way across Sharon Road in front of our development.
Mr. Galster replied yes, and once that happens I would not be opposed at eliminating the tie in back to the Vista Glen sidewalk area once that sidewalk is in front of Sharon Road. But until then I think that tie in allows the flow of traffic all the way down to Sharon Road and should stay in.
Mr. Danbury said Council, we have to make a decision. Do we want to put it on the back burner until next year or do we want to take advantage of the quote that we have? I personally feel as though it is necessary for safety reasons to continue on with this program. I think we should be able to readdress this issue in the future once the entire thing is connected we could eliminate something. But I don't think it's going to be as big a problem as most people think.
Mr. Vanover said I too echo that feeling. Even though Mrs. Grote and her neighbors were just apprised of it, this is the 1992 site plan right here and it clearly shows the sidewalk in. It sounds as though there may be some infighting and we don't want to become part of that. There are also questions between Zaring and the homeowners. I do think the safety issues for the sidewalk are pretty predominant and the economical issue is not the primary issue but one we have to address.
Mrs. Boice said I would be in favor of going forward. When we talk about a play area there, I agree. I was talking with Mrs. McNear about mounting and shrubbing. I think this is fully and totally Zaring's responsibility. As far as creating a play area there, I would be very concerned about that without some type of protection. I think to interrupt the sidewalk system for this particular little piece would be a mistake. You've lost your connector right there. I would be in favor of proceeding.
Mr. Galster made a motion to proceed with the sidewalk with the understanding that that small little cross over piece can be addressed at a later date. I would make a motion to give Mr. Shuler the go ahead to proceed with the sidewalk, to be put in now but the little spur part to be possibly bought up by the residents at a later time, once the continuation of that sidewalk is all down Sharon Road.
Mrs. Boice seconded.
Mrs. McNear said I live on the curve of our street and there is a sidewalk in front of my house. I wish people would use it. People always use the shortcut and that's right through my yard. People are going to go through whether there is a sidewalk or not and I think we should go through with this for safety reasons. People are going to cut through there anyway and I'd rather they go on the sidewalk than through somebody's property.
The motion to continue on but reevaluate in the future for any concerns we may have passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council