President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on January 8, 2003 , at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of December 18, 2002 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Knox read a letter addressed to Council stating "As members of the Springdale Senior Center we wish to thank the Springdale Council for providing a lovely Christmas party for us. Itís always a pleasure to have a good meal with good friends, especially at this holiday season. Sincerely, (signed by eight members of the Senior Citizens group)"
Mayor Webster said I received a very gratifying phone call from Mr. Stephen Barnes. John and his wife Delores live at the corner of Rose and Smiley. Mr. Barnes had suffered a heart attack a few years ago. He was out walking January 2 and collapsed and was unconscious. A resident called 911 right away and our life squad responded right away. Everyone at the hospital just canít believe that John is still with us. His son called me and wanted me to express the familyís thanks to the City and to Chief Shroyer and his crew for his father being alive today.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mayor Webster said I would like to acknowledge Springdaleís own Garden Club who made the swags for the doors for our municipal buildings and for the City entry signs.
Mayor Webster said we have a couple of employees who weíd like to acknowledge this evening and it might be nice if we could do that why we still have a full house.
Mr. Osborn said Bill McErlane, our Building Official has been our building official for more than fifteen years now. He clearly is a leader in his profession in this region and that was recently recognized with the designation of Bill as the Building Official of the Year for the Southwest Ohio Building Officials Association. I thought it would be appropriate for Bill to come in and receive recognition from Council and the public on what a great job he does for the City and obviously for the professionalism he displays that has apparently influenced his peers in the professional community. Congratulations, Bill
Mr. Osborn continued the second area we want to bring some recognition to this evening is an award recently received by the Police Department. It is a Pedestrian Safety Award that is subject to being awarded every year. In the past the City of Springdale has received different levels of this award. It has to do with the accident-free record the City may or may not have. This year we received special recognition and Iíd like to turn it over to Chief Laage to explain that to us.
Chief Laage said we received this award from AAA on December 5. I think this is the finest award that we have been involved in. This is not just pedestrian safety. Four years ago AAA of Cincinnati redid their criteria and award system to take it away from just pedestrian safety. The first year it came out I found it very complicated and did not submit. I came back and asked Jeff Witte to begin putting together our presentation for a total traffic safety program that we produce here in the City. Any basic traffic safety program is made up of three components; engineering, education and enforcement. Last year we won a silver award and were one of three departments in the Greater Cincinnati area to receive that award. That was the highest award given out. This past year we received the 2002 Platinum Community Traffic Safety Award. This is the highest award they give out. They had to submit this to the national office for review. There were twelve points that we submitted in twelve different areas of traffic safety.
Chief Laage asked Ali Saleh, our traffic engineer to stand up. I cannot thank him enough for all he has done in the last four or five years Iíve worked with him. Right now we are in the grant process that he has really taken a lead on. I also want thank Don Schvegzda and CDS. I think all of us working together makes that total traffic system so much better than the average community has.
Chief Laage presented the award to Mayor Webster.
Chief Laage introduced Officers Buschmann, Maupin and McKee. Mr. Buschmann and Mr. Maupin will be our community service officers. When these positions became open we had several applicants for all of them but these three had an inside track because of the work they have done in their field in the past few year. Our community service officers will be our contact with the community for some very positive programs. Dave (Buschmann) has been very successful with the senior program. Al (Maupin) has been very successful in the bicycle program and the Food for Fines program. Mr. McKee is the community oriented policing officer. Fifty percent of Officer McKeeís time will be spent entirely in Heritage Hill and Hunters Glen. We started working that area hard a few years ago and cut the details down but we are at a plateau now. We donít feel we can do a better job there unless we spend more time there. He will follow up on every detail in that area and will be working with different city departments and giving referrals.
Christmas Decoration Awards Ė Mayor Webster said the City was decorated beautifully throughout. Mayor Webster read the names of the winners and handed out the awards to those who were present.
ORDINANCE NO. 1-2003 "ANNUAL APPROPRIATION/ESTIMATED RECEIPTS ORDINANCE FOR FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2003"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Ordinance 1-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 2-2003 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH 32 FORD MERCURY FLEET DIVISION TO LEASE/PURCHASE AN F-150 EXTENDED CAB SHORTBED TRUCK AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Knox said this is a lease/purchase and at the end of the lease we will purchase the vehicle for $1.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ordinance 2-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R32-2002 "APPOINTING AS A MEMBER OF THE CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to table Resolution R32-2002. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear said if anyone is interested in being on this board they should contact the City at 346-5700 or contact a Council person.
RESOLUTION R1-2003"AUTHORIZING THE INVESTMENT OF MUNICIPAL FUNDS"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Resolution R1-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R2-2003"REQUESTING ADVANCE PAYMENT FROM THE COUNTY AUDITOR"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Resolution R2-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn said the General Fund year end balance came in $479,449 better than indicated in the budget I presented to you at the Council meeting on December 18. This is principally a result of under spending. The General Fund balance is now $2,695,226 versus $2,215,777. On the revenue side we were under our projected numbers but when we did the revised estimates for the budget presentation in December, we had revenues of $13,819,000. The revenues came in at $13,856.000. So of the $480,000 increase in the General Fund balance only $36,000 was revenue.
Mr. Osborn said the second item I have deals with the NPDES Phase II permit process. The Clean Water Act of 1972 staged the implementation of requirements for municipalities different from the schedule they had for the private sector. For the public sector any jurisdictions greater than 100,000 in population had to comply in the first phase. They delayed the second phase until 2003. We have a deadline to file for a Phase II permit under NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) a program of the federal EPA. The City has been working with other jurisdictions throughout the past year evaluating the alternatives that are before us for getting in compliance with the Phase II regulations. Initially we felt that the approach that would make the most sense would be a county-wide effort that would take one permit application and cover all jurisdictions. During the course of this process issues and concerns voiced by other jurisdictions caused a greater and greater focus to be put on flood control, which detracted from the ability to develop a clean and independent type of program without it being contaminated with this other issue. Although eventually the oversight committee as well as the executive committee came back to the conclusion that we just need to do the water quality stuff right now, when you read the material I have handed out you will see where itís still a stated goal of the proposed utility to ultimately expand into storm water management; that is flood control. We were concerned about that point from the very beginning and while there are certain provisions in this language that you will be reading that limits our commitment at the present time should we adopt the necessary resolution, when you look outside that resolution and see what they want to do in the future it causes us some concern. They have indicated that they are encouraging all municipal jurisdictions to join the county-wide consortium and they are asking for a two-year commitment. If you want to get out at the end of the two years you have to have given them a one-year notice and file a permit with the Ohio EPA. Itís not clear to me how you could do that without some jeopardy. Youíd have to redo what is already being done. Youíd be paying into the Countyís program for two years, then go back and recreate that whole process yourself. Our inclination at this point is to recommend that we not participate because we have looked at some alternatives. We have been working with the City of Forest Park and talking to a consultant, and we believe we can do the work that is required for the permit process at a cost that is no greater than what the County would allocate to each jurisdiction as a fee, and weíd be able to do that without creating another county-wide utility that will grow into another bureaucracy. We would like Council to look at this material and be prepared to discuss it at our next Council meeting. I was going to ask David Butsch to attend because he has been representing Springdale on the Technical Committee over the past year. This is not an easy decision to make. My inclination in situations like this is to work on a regional level but given the circumstances in this case I am reluctant to make that recommendation. Council, once you read that material, please donít hesitate to call.
Mayor Webster said I whole-heartedly support everything Mr. Osborn has related to you this evening. Itís not a decision that was made lightly on our part. I think, in all fairness, we need to share with you the fact that we are probably going to come under a lot of criticism from other jurisdictions, Hamilton County Municipal League, Hamilton County Commissioners or maybe the press, but I stand by our recommendation. I think Cecil summed it up at the very end where he says it will eventually lead to a utility tax being levied on our citizens without a vote of the general public. I donít want any part of that. I think we have spent a lot of time and money trying to manage our storm water over the years. I think we have been a leader in that field. I canít say all the other communities in Hamilton County had done likewise. Had they done that we wouldnít be looking at this agreement here today. We stand by our recommendation and we hope you folks will read the recommendation. We welcome your input and if you think we are wrong, let us know.
Mr. Osborn said if there is going to be an affirmative response, the County Commissioners have requested that by the end of January.
Mr. Wilson said it appears that the other jurisdictions who either are not doing as good a job or donít have the funding are hoping the whole will support the individuals with our expertise and our dollars.
Mayor Webster replied Iím not so sure they are calling on our expertise. I think they would like our dollars to be in the pot.
Mr. Knox stated tomorrow afternoon I will be called upon to vote on something on the OKI Council that touches on this. I wholly support everything that the Mayor and Mr. Osborn have said and will vote in accordance unless the Council directs me otherwise before tomorrow.
Ms. Pollitt stated I would like to bring up the animal nuisance program for review again. It is Councilís policy as to what it would like to do with this. Last yearís budget line exceeded $18,250. Itís a very good line item but it did exceed the budget. At Board of Health we discussed it and decided to bring it back to Council. We revised the program last year to state that the City will visit a residentís home twice to remove animals. If itís a squirrel the resident is advised that the third time they have to pay. The City will always respond and remove animals that present a health hazard, i.e., skunks, raccoons, bats and feral cats, but we have had a tremendous amount of calls to remove great quantities of squirrels. We spent $6, 990 this past year removing squirrels from peopleís homes. If we see we have a repeat on houses or if the trapper notices that there is a problem at the dwelling, he makes a referral to the Building Department and the Building Department will advise the homeowner on what he/she needs to do to stop the animals from gaining entry into their homes. We serviced 46 residential homes with only one repeat. I think that educational process is working. I wanted to bring this to your attention to see if Council has any direction for the Board of Health.
Mr. Danbury said I donít have a problem with the program. I think education is a key factor but if we donít deal with a lot of these nuisance animals, they arenít going away.
Mayor Webster said the recommendation from the Board is that we discontinue responding to squirrel calls. We have checked with the City trapper and he will hold his price of $40 an animal for the next year. We canít find any other cities who respond to squirrel calls. Our whole program is unique. If I had a squirrel in my house I would want someone to come and remove it, but Iím not sure that the City should foot the bill for that.
Mr. Danbury asked do we still lend out the have-a-heart traps? The answer was no.
Mr. Osborn said that may depend on where the squirrels are in the structure. They may be between walls.
Mr. Galster said the number for squirrels was 141. How many households was that?
Ms. Pollitt replied I donít have that number but we had 17 squirrels in one residence. The $18, 825 divided by the 46 residences came out to $380 a residence we are paying for that.
Mr. Vanover said I would be cautious about the have-a-heart traps. In my line of business I have seen the damage first hand. Thereís something in the insulation of wiring that they just dearly love. It can be a severe problem and could even put a structure at risk. We are tightening our belts in other areas and it may be time to make this call.
Mr. Osborn asked is the $40 for each squirrel? Ms. Pollitt replied yes. Mr. Osborn said when we trapped 17 squirrels, then we paid $680 plus $50 for the trap.
Mr. Galster said since I have lived in my home I had to call for the trapper. Before I owned the house, my parents did and I went over there one day to help my dad get out what he thought was a squirrel in the attic. I stuck my head in the hole and there was mother raccoon protecting her babies. Iím thinking if weíre not going to furnish this service and all of a sudden a resident is going after a squirrel and they find a raccoon, it could be a whole different ball game. I personally think that limiting the number of calls, maybe when we have an extreme infestation, like seventeen squirrels, we need to say this is the maximum amount of money we can spend to trap squirrels, have the resident fix the problem and continue combating that problem themselves. I donít want to equate it to the leaf program but to me, getting a squirrel out of my attic is more important than picking up my leaves at my curb. Iíd like to see us continue it.
Mrs. McNear said weíll address this at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn said you may recall from the budget presentation that part of the street program this year will involve the resurfacing of East Crescentville Road in a joint program with Butler County and Sharonville. I would like to request an ordinance at our next meeting authorizing an agreement with Butler County as the lead agency and authorizing under that agreement for the vendor to bill the City separately for its pro-rated share.
Mrs. McNear stated Mr. Squires asked before the meeting if we could adjust our meeting time for the next meeting from 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Princeton City Schools is having a meeting at the Community Center at 6:00 p.m. and this would allow all of the Council members to attend this meeting.
Mrs. McNear said Iíve seen a lot of street lights that are out. I know CG&E takes care of that. There is one at the corner of Ray Norrish and SR 4. Itís always going off and on. There are also some on SR 4 by Applebeeís that are out and some on SR 747 in front of the Hobby Lobby area.
Mayor Webster stated I just saw in the police report where there were ten or twelve reported outages. I think we are on top of it put weíll check these out.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Health - January 9
Spring sports sign ups - January 11 & 14
Board of Zoning Appeals - January 21
Applications being accepted for summer work at the Recreation Department
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Resolution R32-2002 - January 15
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Agreement with Butler County acting as lead agency for
Crescentville Road resurfacing - January 15
Resolution for CJ Nichols - January 15
Council adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council