President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
January 4, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Diehl, Emerson, Hawkins, Knox, Squires, Vanover and Harlow.
The minutes of December 1, 2011 were approved with seven affirmative votes. The minutes of December 21, 2011 were passed with seven affirmative votes. Mr. Hawkins asked on page 9088 under Resolution 27-2011 that face be changed to facts.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
PUBLIC HEARING Gas and Electric Aggregate
Mrs. Harlow opened the public hearing.
Mr. Parham said we had the first public hearing on the electric and natural gas aggregation process at the December 21, 2011 meeting. We have representatives from Eagle Energy, Mr. Don Marshall and two of his cohorts. I will turn it over to Mr. Marshall and then well have the opportunity to open it up for questions.
Mr. Marshall said this is the second public hearing that is required by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) rules in order for the City to become certified as a governmental aggregator for gas and electric service. On December 21st we had a fairly formal presentation. I got a few phone calls and two e-mails so Id like to open it up for questions. The aggregation ordinances were passed in November. Thats the first step to go forward with the aggregation program as authorized by PUCO. This hearing process is required for the City to become certified as a governmental aggregate. The City will select a supplier of natural gas and a supplier for electricity for the residents within the City as well as small businesses. Small businesses are defined as a non-mercantile customer, one who uses less than 900,000 kilowatt hours per year. The typical residential customer uses about 1,000 kw hours a month. A mercantile customer can still join the program but you have to take the initiative and opt into the opt out program. Tri-County Mall would be defined as a mercantile customer and would not be involved in the aggregation process unless they elected to do so, on their own. The purpose of these hearings is to develop a Plan of Operation that will govern how the City conducts its aggregation process and planning and selection of a supplier. After the City is certified by PUCO we will do a supplier search. With me are Jim Macenko and Dick Lonneman. They are the brains of my company; Im the spokesperson. We will issue a Request for Proposal which basically will say to a potential supplier, what is your rate for the residents of Springdale over the next two to three years? There are other details behind that information but our job for the City is to take all of those requests, make a recommendation to the City and the City will make their selection. After the supplier is selected, the residents will then receive a letter from that supplier. The resident will then have twenty-one days to make a decision as to whether to enroll in the program or not. If you do nothing, you will automatically be enrolled in the program. If you do not want to be part of the program, you simply return the postcard or call the selected supplier and indicate that you want to remain with Duke Energy. There is no mandatory requirement that you join the program but you will be in the program unless you take the initiative to exit the program. After the twenty-one day period you will receive a follow up notice from Duke Energy indicating to you that you made a decision to go with supplier X and is that your final decision. So if you have second thoughts, you simply notify Duke Energy that you want to remain their customer. That will cancel the enrollment that you didnt act on the first time so you have two chances to opt out. A Plan of Operation will be on file with the city. It will outline whos allowed to be in the aggregation process, how the rate is determined, what rates are still the responsibility of Duke Energy. Even though the City has elected to do an opt out program for its residents, you are always a customer of Duke Energy. They have the poles, the meters at your home. They read that meter for billing purposes. You still receive a bill from Duke Energy. If you have a service problem, service outage, billing issue, you continue to talk to Duke Energy. That Plan of Operation outlines what the process is for any customer to deal with either Duke Energy or the selected supplier. Part of the process will be to indicate how you opt out of the plan; thats basically, do nothing and youre in the plan. You have to take the initiative to get out of the plan. All these points will be part of the Plan of Operation. It will be here in the City. It is part of the filing we will make to get the City certified as a natural gas aggregator and electricity aggregator. There could be two different suppliers and most likely there will be two different suppliers --- one for gas and one for electricity. Id like to open up for questions. The ultimate goal is to provide lower prices for the residents of the City of Springdale.
Mrs. Harlow asked Mr. Marshall, could you point out that the City of Springdale will not financially benefit one cent from this aggregation to make sure that our residents understand that?
Mr. Marshall replied the City of Springdale is one of the very few communities in Hamilton County in the Duke serving area that has taken the initiative to offer lower rates for its residents. There is no financial gain for the City whatsoever. Unfortunately, weve had several communities tell us, that if there is a program out there that can be done by the resident on their own, a governmental agency should not be involved. As a philosophical matter, thats my individual philosophy as well, but the law is written so that a community, in order to benefit the entire community, the community has to become involved. Their involvement is simply become certified so that they can select a supplier and offer a lower economic choice to their residents. Other than that, the City has retained my company. We are going to assist the City in the process so they can continue to do the fine job they are doing administering to the Citys needs and well take care of the aggregation process for them.
Mayor Webster said thats an excellent point to clarify. Some of our senior citizens were concerned about that, that the City was going to make money and thats why were pushing this. Were pushing it to try to save money for everybody. For example, the City co-opted with another eight communities about eighteen months ago for our municipal usage. Weve saved about forty percent of our electric costs over the last eighteen months. Are we going to get eighteen percent off your electric bill? I dont know. We wont know until the bids are open. The important thing to realize is that once we go out for bids and we know what Dukes rate is, if the bids we receive are higher than what Duke is going to offer the service for, were not going to do it. We all live in the City. I dont think any of us want to pass an ordinance that will raise our utility bills. As I see it, its a win-win for everybody involved.
Mr. Marshall said recently there was an article in the paper about Duke Energys rates coming down effective January 1st, something like seventeen percent. When you receive your Duke Energy bill, the very top portion shows distribution charges, delivery charges. Those are Duke Energy costs to deliver the power from the selected supplier through the transmission grid through Duke Energys distribution system to your home. Those costs dont change. No matter what you do, youll always pay Duke Energy delivery charges. They are actually delivering the power to your home. If we are lucky enough to find a low cost supplier, youll see a part down here (on the bill) that talks about generation and that is the physical generation from the power plant outside of Dukes serving area most likely. That company will generate the power and put it in the transmission grid. The transmission grid delivers it to Duke and Duke delivers it to your home just as they do today. The newspaper article I saw said the rates are coming down seventeen percent. Thats only if you are a customer of Duke Energy like most of you probably are today. The price to compare is the price on your bill you want to compare to make sure that the selected supplier is cheaper than the price to compare with Duke Energy. The price to compare over last year was a little over 9 cents. In order to save money you have to have a source of supply less than 9 cents. The eighteen percent the Mayor was talking about, thats how they were able to enjoy those huge savings. They were able to find a source of supply less than 9 cents. As of January 1st, the 9 cents is going down to 6 cents. Thats why people will see a reduction in their bills. If you are already a shopper buying power from somebody else you will not realize that savings as you are already buying power at a cheaper rate.
Mr. Knox said it might be good to point out where you gentlemen are going to receive your recompense.
Mr. Marshall responded if the City decides to go with a supplier, and as the Mayor pointed out, the very first step in the process is getting the ordinance passed and then becoming certified. The certification process takes a minimum of thirty days. Once you are certified, you are ready to go forward with a selected supplier if economics dictate that decision. Theres nothing to say that when we come back at the end of January with a recommendation, that the City has to act on that recommendation. It could be higher than Duke Energy and obviously we wouldnt recommend that scenario. If we couldnt find anybody cheaper than Duke, then wed sit back and wait for economics to work and drive the cost of electricity down. Then wed come back to the City through the same routine. Then the City will be ready to go forward immediately. If the City selects a supplier that we recommend and they feel comfortable with, we will be paid a commission from that supplier. It will be included in the rates in the charges.
Mrs. Harlow asked would you also address the fact that we could have or will have two separate aggregations, one for gas and one for electric and theres a possibility that we may not have them both at the same time?
Mr. Marshall said because there were two separate issues on the ballot, we will issue two RFPs, one to gas suppliers and one to electric suppliers. Generally speaking, they are different companies. The City will be certified as a government aggregator for both electric and natural gas. The economics may dictate that they want to go forward with electricity and not natural gas; or natural gas and not electricity. Their goal is to save money for the citizens of Springdale. The programs are identical in that you get a letter from each supplier about your opportunity to opt out of the program if you so desire. There is one significant difference between gas and electricity. Utilities in Ohio include in your rates an excise tax of 4 ¾ percent. Thats imbedded in your electric charges and your natural gas charges. If the City selects an alternative supplier for natural gas, the excise tax goes to zero but you will pay Hamilton County sales tax of 6 ½ percent so there is a lot of confusion. When they solicit your home, most gas suppliers do not tell you that you have to add Hamilton County sales tax. The letter you receive from the supplier the City selects will make sure its crystal clear what the total price is so you can make a legitimate apples to apples comparison so you know your savings will be excellent. If we do both programs all at the same time, you may receive two different letters, one for gas and one for electricity. Theyre pretty clearly identified. Sometimes people do get confused. Sometimes someone thinks they dealt with the issue and the next day they get another letter from the other supplier. Well try to manage that as best we can. Part of our assistance to the City is to be responsive to your needs. If you have a question you can certainly call our office. We will try to make this as transparent as possible.
Mr. Diehl said you mentioned in your presentation that if I wanted to stay with Duke I could. Why would I?
Mr. Marshall replied one time we were making a presentation and one of the trustees was not as positive as I thought he should have been. It turned out his father came to America from Italy and his first job was with CG&E. So he felt obligated to remain a customer no matter what. You may work for Duke.
Mr. Diehl said lets say the program starts July 1 and I didnt opt out so Im in. On September 1st I want to get out. Can I get out any time or do I have to wait a year?
Mr. Marshall said we have had a number of calls from various suppliers wanting to know where the communities are that passed the ordinances. We have told them if you are interested we will send you the RFP when it comes out but keep in mind, we (my company) will insist that there be no switching fees. What does that mean in relation to your question? Some companies, particularly if you are solicited at home, in the fine print there will be a switching fee usually between $25 and $100 for a residential customer. We want that switching fee to be zero. If you want to leave the program at any time, you can do that without the fear of paying any additional penalty. When you receive your letter from the supplier, attached to the letter in real fine print, will be a page of Terms and Conditions you probably cant read and probably dont want to read, but in there it will say if there is a switching fee or not. Trust me, our goal is to have no switching fees. Duke has no switching fees so you can come and go. If you are a customer of another supplier today, you wont receive the letter for the opt out program. Companies are not allowed to solicit customers that are already taking service from another supplier. But you may hear from a neighbor that the City has an aggregation program and the rate is X. Before you elect to join the aggregation program, make sure you know if there are any penalties associated with the current supplier you may have.
Mr. Ralph Sinks, Glensprings, asked when is the starting time and how much time do I have to wait to start and then if I am dissatisfied, when may I appeal to dissolve the aggregation agreement?
Mr. Marshall said the time line we are trying to operate under is our goal is to have the RFP out in a week or two. The suppliers have about two weeks to respond. We hope to come to the City with a recommendation by February 1. If that happens the next step is for the City to request a customer list of all the residents from Duke who are eligible to participate. Thats about another week. The customer list will be provided to the selected supplier. They take a week to make sure they are satisfied that the customer list is accurate. They will then send out a letter to you. You will have 21 days to make a decision and then an additional seven days from Duke to make a decision about whether you want to be in the program or not. So were looking at around March 15 for the program to be up and running. That means your April bill will be at the lower rate. If you want to opt out at any point you may do so.
Mr. Sinks asked are you speaking about an individual owner or an individual property? Lets suppose I sell my home and Im in the aggregate system. What obligation or what important decision must be made by the buyer?
Mr. Marshall said lets say you buy another home in Springdale. The program will follow you as a customer no matter where you reside in Springdale. The person who buys your home will have to take the initiative to opt in. He wont be solicited. The supplier does not know when people move. When you move youll receive a final bill from Duke with a drop notice for your home that you sold. The new person can join the program but they have to take the initiative.
Mr. Sinks stated that is something that needs to be clarified to the citizens of this community.
Mrs. Harlow said that is something we would be putting on our website. People coming into the community often check the website for services available to them as new residents and Im sure well have information on our website that will detail that. There are a couple of us up here, Mr. Sikes, who have been with Duke Retail. When it first came out I was really confused about it because we were getting communications and postcards from different suppliers. Not knowing what to do I didnt do anything for quite some time. Then I decided I could get a cheaper rate with Duke Retail. I signed up and I never noticed any difference in anything at all. My bill was from Duke. Services I may have needed would have been through Duke. When I called them to let them know that the City was going to do their own aggregation and I wanted to opt out of Duke Retail so I could be part of the Citys program, I didnt have a penalty. It was no problem. Like he said, its a very transparent program. You get your bill from Duke. You pay Duke. You call Duke for your service. Its just the supplier of the energy that is different.
Mayor Webster said you were laying out the timeframe for this to be implemented. Do we not have to wait for the certification before we start that process?
Mr. Marshall replied the plan is to start the RFP process toward the latter stages of your certification processes. They will not respond directly to the City until you are certified which is a week or two after the RFP, but it will be clear to the suppliers that all the communities we represent be included in the RFP. Springdale is in the middle of the certification process but you should assume that they will be certified by X date. Well assure that you get certified.
Mayor Webster asked so you think we can have this on the April billings?
Mr. Marshall replied thats our goal if everything runs smoothly.
Mrs. McNear asked can you go over past due accounts and the ability to be part of the aggregation process.
Mr. Marshall said one of the requirements of being part of the program is that you need to have your bill with Duke paid. If youre thirty days in arrears with Duke, your name will not appear on the customer list. If you find out the Citys doing the program and you didnt get a notice, call the City or us and well help you through that process. If youre not taking power from someone else there must be an issue between you and Duke Energy. Everything is controlled by Duke Energy. You can only be enrolled on your meter reading date for example. The same is true for opting out.
Mr. Hawkins asked what is the estimated length of the agreement or contract with the suppliers. I know you cant say for sure but what are you looking at?
Mr. Marshall replied there are two contracts, one with the City. We would suggest three to five years with the supplier. Then theres one with the residents which is basically Terms and Conditions and that is a maximum of three years. You have to be given the opportunity to get out of the program regardless of switching fees. You have to be able to opt out every third year. From January 2012 through May 2013 the rates you see today will be in effect for Duke Energy. In June 2013 there will be another auction and they will be buying two-thirds of the load from the marketplace which generally means the prices may go down. In May 2014 there is another auction and experts say they expect an increase. The terms for the residents we would prefer would be two years to two and one-half years until we see what happens in the market.
Mr. Hawkins said once those time frames are up will you discuss what that process is going to look like in terms of, are there things we have to go back and do again? Does the City have to recertify things?
Mr. Marshall said once you are certified there is a requirement that you be recertified every two years but you dont need to go through the public hearing process, the election process. Thats behind you. You do have to be aware of your certification date. Well take that responsibility to make sure that you are informed. Well do whatever is necessary to make sure you continue to be certified. The reason I said your contract may be five years is lets say were successful in getting a supplier for two years. The third year comes along and they offer us a very attractive price. All they would need to do as long as the City agrees, is send you a letter extending their offer and your rate is going to be X, which is the same as or lower than the current rate. You will not have to do anything at that point.
Mr. Parham said you referenced the RFP. I assume you are referencing the opportunity were exploring to join with other municipalities. We are in the process of exploring partnering with seven other communities in an effort to obtain lower rates. If you think about it, the more units you bring to the party, it has the potential of lowering your costs. So were exploring that possibility. This whole program is about finding lower energy costs for the residents. As the Mayor pointed out, the City is already going through a process where we partnered with a cooperative. Weve lowered our costs. This is an opportunity we are trying to explore for the residents so we are looking at whatever means necessary to help you lower your costs as well. We want to make the program as attractive as possible for those suppliers to want to be a part of this process.
Mr. Vanover said if were one of seven now, if that expands then obviously the more that come in, the bigger the piece of pie that these generators can corner. Do you see more movement from communities coming into the aggregation process over the next three to five years?
Mr. Marshall responded a month ago I would have said yes, but because of Dukes new rates and they have come down substantially. The fortunate part is they had to go to the market place to get lower costs, in my opinion. They couldnt control their own costs and had to go out this year and buy a third of their power in the market place. If you take that theory over the course of the next three years, ultimately 100 percent of the power is going to be bought from the market place. The opportunity for real savings for residents may decline over time so theres not the initiative that existed three years ago. You were seeing nine cent power that you could buy very reasonably at six cents. If you use 1,000 kw hours per month thats $30 a month savings. Now Dukes price to compare is going to be around six cents. The incentive for communities to go forward is mitigated by the fact that Dukes rates are coming down. My belief is you ought to give your residents flexibility so theyre not held captive. You go to any grocery store, gas station, department store, you have a choice. You ought to have that same choice with utilities. In my opinion you are doing the right thing by giving your residents a choice.
Mrs. Harlow said is it possible because of some competition in the market place and aggregates that have formed, that had some impact on Dukes lower rate?
Mr. Marshall replied no not that issue specifically. DERS (Duke Energy Retail) is nothing but a marketing arm for Duke. They take it out of one pocket and put it in another. We represent eight communities but we have a significant commercial and industrial base as well. DERS arbitrarily offered everybody fifteen percent off Dukes price to compare. I said to Duke, why dont you just reduce your rates fifteen percent. They said we cant do that. PUCO wont allow it. Ive been in this business a long time and theres nothing more than a regulator saying a company has reduced their rates by X.
Mrs. Harlow closed Communications from the Audience.
Mr. Parham said the next step is a document that the City would need to sign off on to proceed in the process. Please describe what the document is so we can determine if legislation or a motion of Council to authorize the Administration to sign that document as needed.
Mr. Marshall stated the document is outlined by the PUCO. It is a document that is filed with the Commission to have the City certified. The document includes notice that these hearings were held, the ordinance that was passed in November, Plan of Operation, statement about who will handle customer complaints if there are any, and we will share that responsibility. This is all related to the regulatory agency so if the regulatory agency has a question, they want to know who to contact at the City. We will share that responsibility. Finally, there is a document in there that is a draft right now, that will be a draft of the opt out letter as well as the Terms and Conditions. Its kind of a placeholder because until a supplier is selected and we know what their Terms and Conditions are, and what their rate is obviously, we cant fulfill that obligation of the filing process. But there is a draft document in there. When the time comes, ten days before the twenty-one day notice, we have to file with the Commission the final document that will be provided by the supplier. Its pretty well structured by the PUCO. Theres nothing in there that should be a concern to the City. Our goal is to get you certified and get you going.
Mr. Parham said the document we are signing is our application to move forward with this process.
Mr. Marshall said well put the document together. The only thing we need from you is to have someone sign it.
Mr. Parham said, Mr. Forbes, the question is whether or not we need legislation, a motion of Council to authorize me to sign the application to move forward.
Mr. Forbes said some legislation may be necessary. I was just looking to see if I had in my file but I dont, the legislation that Council already took action on to place that issue on the ballot. I need to look at that but I think there may be language in there, in the event that that passed. That may have already provided some authorization. Maybe Ill take a look at it and let you know. You dont have to sit here and wait for me.
Mrs. Harlow said I need to close the public hearing which we will do now. I thank you all for your attendance and questions. Well give Mr. Forbes an opportunity to look over that. Would it be all right if we put that on hold and come back to it? Mr. Forbes said yes.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 1-2012
ANNUAL APPROPRIATION / ESTIMATED RECEIPTS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2012
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Hawkins seconded.
Ordinance 1-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 2-2012
AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 29-2011 AND ORDINANCE NO. 49-2011 TO PROVIDE FOR WAGE INCREASES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Knox seconded.
Mr. Parham said in Ordinance 2-2012 the only adjustment is on Exhibit C, part-time fleet mechanic. Two weeks ago when we adopted the wage increase ordinance, we omitted the part-time mechanic and since we have an employee working in that capacity, we need the authority to pay that employee. We apologize for missing that. That was a part of the wage ordinance that was added with Ordinance 29-2011. The December 21st ordinance captured Ordinance 19-2011.
Ordinance 2-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said Id like to take this opportunity to thank Council for passing the budget. There was a lot of work put into that by Mr. Parham and the staff. Also thanks to the Finance Committee and thanks to you for adopting that. The two most notable things are the fact that we have provided in this budget for a 2 ½ percent salary increase to all non-union employees. We are also opening the Community Center starting with the first Sunday in February from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. In this budget we also instituted a summer street program of some significance. We were spending about $632,000 a year. We werent able to restore it to quite that level but we have $400,000 this year. It will certainly help take care of some of the potholes and repaving that need to be done. Id like to tell you the worst is over but as was pointed out at the budget hearing, we still have some obstacles to overcome but I think we are certainly better off this year than we have been for the last three or four years so lets hope we go up from here.
AUTHORIZING THE INVESTMENT OF MUNICIPAL FUNDS
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mrs. Emerson seconded.
Mrs. McNear said every other week we call the banks that have been approved for us to make deposits. For the most part the rates are very low as they are for most things. Several of the banks dont even bother to quote anymore. We do have the majority of our investments in Huntington Bank. We can only invest up to $5 million. If we have excess we move it to another bank. For this week the interest rate for the investments was .35 percent for just shy of $5 million. We have another $150,000 at .2 percent. Three banks gave no quote at all. StarOhio, who we havent used in quite awhile has an interest rate of .03.
Resolution R1-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
REQUESTING ADVANCE PAYMENT FROM HAMILTON COUNTY AUDITOR
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Knox seconded.
Resolution R2-2012 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mrs. Harlow said I believe Mr. Forbes is ready to talk to us about what our next steps would be.
Mr. Forbes said upon review of the legislation that Council already acted on to place the issues on the ballot, it does say upon approval at the election, that the City shall develop a plan of operation and governance. Thats the plan they were discussing but then it does imply that after the public hearings, that plan has to be adopted by Council so I think it would be appropriate for Council to take some action but I think it can be done by a simple motion. So when that Plan of Governance is ready, whenever that is, it would just be a matter of Council adopting that by motion and authorizing the next step.
Mr. Parham said I need authorization just to begin to complete the application so we can file it and begin the process of filing that with the State of Ohio. If we dont do something tonight the next time we will have an opportunity will be January 18 and as I mentioned to Mr. Marshall as he was leaving, that may be our only recourse. That didnt set well because they are trying to move pretty quickly with the RFP for all the communities. If you recall, as he spoke, he indicated we would be part of the process although it indicates the City of Springdale, Amberley Village and Columbia Township are going to be part of the overall RFP and, at some date once our certification is achieved, that supplier is to allow us to enjoy those same rates.
Mrs. Harlow said we need a motion and a vote on moving forward with the plan that was outlined in our public hearings.
Mr. Parham added and simply authorizing the Administration to sign off on the application.
Mrs. Harlow said we will entertain a motion from the floor authorizing Administration authorization to move forward and execute these plans.
Mr. Vanover made a motion that we affirm the move to allow Mr. Parham and the City to sign on to the process to continue on toward certification with the caveat that its a process and were really not enacting the aggregation; were just moving to get that certification to take it to the next process.
Mr. Squires seconded.
Mrs. McNear said I was going to ask Mr. Forbes I dont think that was exactly what we were going for. Could you in a couple of minutes give us a motion?
Mr. Forbes said I think what Mr. Parham needs is a motion from Council authorizing the Administration to execute any documents necessary to take the steps to file any necessary application with the State Public Utility Commission of Ohio.
Mr. Knox said I make a motion that we use the terminology that was just used.
Mrs. Harlow said lets do this. Would you consider removing your motion from the floor? Mr. Vanover removed his motion.
Mrs. Harlow asked Mr. Squires to consider removing his second. Mr. Squires removed the second.
Mrs. Harlow said now, could we make a motion to proceed forward with the necessary documents to allow Administration to file the necessary papers with the State.
Mr. Knox said my motion was not seconded so if we had a second I think we could vote on it. Mr. Vanover seconded.
The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Knox said at the last meeting I asked Mr. Parham if we could remove the word Club from one portion of the budget because of the fact that the Springdale Senior Citizens Club does not receive any money from the City. Thats a two sided coin. Not only did it not reflect what was really happening, as I was campaigning, there were several people who said they thought the Community Center was run for the sole benefit of the senior citizens and I would like to assure them thats not the case. I did not accept what they said and tried to straighten them out.
Mr. Parham said we have removed that word, Club. I did have occasion to speak with Mr. Karle and he indicated that that was a typographical error that they included as part of their notes for the budget process.
Mrs. McNear said, Council, you have in your packet a request for a new liquor license. We are not going to act on that this evening. The reason for that is the process is when there is a new liquor license there is an investigation done by the Police Department. The Police Department did reject this due to the fact that there were a lot of typographical errors, a lot of white out. It was not in order and there wasnt enough information to actually run the background check so they did reject this and send it back to the State. Given that, the State did reject it. However, you do hold in your hands this liquor license request. Obviously these must have passed in the mail so we are asking for additional information and will act on this at the next meeting, which in my seventeen years may be the first time that we ask that a hearing be held in the county seat.
Mayor Webster said I was going to request that Council not act on this this evening. There is a lot of information missing on exactly what they plan to do with this site. The address is the old Rhodes Furniture building which is 60,000 square feet. Are you going to have a club, a buffet, a bar, grill, a restaurant? If you are going to do one of those things to take advantage of a liquor permit, then you are going to be limited. You can only use like 5,000 square feet of that 60,000 square foot building because theres only parking to accommodate 5,000 square feet. We need more information from the owner of the building on exactly what he plans on doing with this. Just signing off on a liquor permit without full knowledge of what kind of business is going in there would be a big mistake.
Mr. Thamann said Administration has been in negotiations with both the police and fire unions. The only thing on the table was a wage re-opener for 2012. Since the Council adopted the wage increase for all non-union full-time employees, that offer has been extended to the patrol officers, supervisors and full-time firefighters, and all three unions have agreed to accept the 2 ½ percent wage increase for 2012. Therefore, well be requesting legislation at the next Council meeting, January 18th amending the current agreements to include new pay tables for 2012.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - January 10
Board of Health - January 12
Board of Zoning Appeals - January 17
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Mutual aid - January 18
Storage of Landscaping and Building Material - January 18
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Wage ordinances (3) - January 18
Council adjourned at 8:12 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council