President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on January 17, 2007, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Harlow, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. Mr. Galster was absent.
The minutes of January 3, 2007 were approved with six affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works - no report
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements Mr. Danbury reported they are working on constructing the new signals on ramp D by Progress Place and the overhead signage and bridge lighting during the winter. The final asphalt should be done in April and the project should be completed in May. The gas relocation is currently under construction on the Kemper Road Phase 3 project. The bridge widening will start later this month. The design for the improvements at Crescentville and SR 747 is underway now. Construction will begin in the fall of 2009. SR 4 urban paving project on SR 4 from Glensprings to south of Crescentville Road should begin in March and end in July.
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - deferred
Board of Zoning Appeals Mr. Squires stated they had one item on the agenda, a request for an oversize garage at 514 Lafayette Avenue. The garage was not residential in nature and the request was denied.
Board of Health Mrs. Harlow said Springdale will receive $2,183.56 from the Cities Readiness Initiative. It will be used for POD exercises. We also looked at the smoking ban draft rules. It will take a lot of study on the part of administration to determine how it will be enforced and who the enforcers will be. There was discussion about the use of wood fired boilers in Springdale. This would not be applicable for residents to use here. Both the Building Department and Board of Health will be looking into this.
Veterans Memorial Committee - Mr. Wilson announced we will be looking at the Phase I designs and options so we can break ground.
O-K-I Mr. Knox reported there was an election of officers. The Uptown Transportation Study was brought up. There are two parts to it, the first focusing on moving people from the upper areas of Cincinnati, i.e., Clifton, North Avondale, Avondale and Evanston downtown where most of the jobs are located. Part B is to study I-71 to possibly close one of the exits, open two. There are several variables.
Mayors Report Mayor Webster reported we had another successful year with the debris removal program. Two-hundred twenty-five residents received a truck to haul away debris. Mrs. Harlow mentioned the smoking ban that passed in November. The enforcement is being held somewhat in abeyance but I did receive a communication from the Ohio Department of Health today saying that they plan to have the rules adopted before June 7, 2007. Until then businesses and organizations are required to comply with statutes. The major requirements of these statutes include prohibiting smoking in all public places or places of employment; removing all ashtrays and receptacles used for dispensing of smoking materials and posting in a conspicuous place the State approved No Smoking sign. Bill Cunningham on the radio stated that he went to Hooters in Springdale over the weekend and that someone next to him asked for an ashtray, which the server gave the man so he could light up his cigarette. So we know one Springdale business is saying they are not going to enforce this until they have to so Im just making an emotional plea to the businesses that it is the law even though the rules and regulations havent been fully promulgated at this point. Wed appreciate your cooperation in prohibiting smoking.
Mayor Webster continued we have had one call out for snow and ice removal at very minimal expense. Also, an amendment to Mrs. Harlows report on the wood burning boiler, we did ask the Board of Health to recommend that they not be allowed and they did.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administrators Report Mr. Osborn said as part of the 2007 budget we approved the purchase of a new front-end loader for the Public Works Department, specifically a Case 521DXT wheel loader. We intend to purchase this off the State Purchasing Program. We budgeted $90,000. The price is $88,036. However, when we add some after market improvements to the equipment, it will total $93,574 as a result of a price increase since the budget process. We intend to trade a 1981 Ford 340 tractor loader but when the inspector for the company was there watching a demonstration it blew a gasket and dumped all of its oil at his feet. We promised him wed fix it so well find out if we get the trade-in. We request an ordinance authorizing that purchase at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn stated we were given authorization for three vehicles in the Police Department, two of which are 2007 Ford police interceptors, purchased under State contract from Statewide Ford at a unit price of $21,217 each. In addition, we are also requesting the purchase of a four-wheel drive vehicle to be unmarked. It will be a 2006 Ford Explorer and has a cost of $21,302.50 and will be purchased under State contract from 32 Ford Mercury. We request legislation authorizing those purchases at the next meeting.
Mr. Osborn continued for the past six to eight weeks we have been working very diligently to address the issue of wood burning boilers. The Building Department has done a significant amount of research on them and the Board of Health agrees with us that we need to prohibit their use. As a result we would like to bring before you at the next meeting an ordinance that prohibits the use of such boilers in the City.
Mr. Osborn said we recently had a situation involving one of our personnel that has since resolved itself but during the discussion we looked at the idea of some sort of pool of donated sick leave that an employee could draw on if they had a catastrophic illness and were forced to use up all of their sick leave. Its done in other businesses and jurisdictions. Mr. Parham worked with the Law Directors office and we put it out to the department directors and the final draft is under review by the department directors right now. Assuming we are all in agreement when the review period is over, we would like to request a first reading of an ordinance at your next meeting authorizing the policy that would allow for sick leave donation.
Mr. Danbury asked would that violate any of the agreements we have with the unions?
Mr. Osborn replied no.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda said yesterday there was a preconstruction meeting held at ODOTs office for the I-275 reconstruction project. There will be a partnering meeting held February 6, anticipated to be at the Sharonville Convention Center. At that time different stakeholders will present their concerns and issues with the project. Construction will start in March this year with final completion being in 2010.
Mr. Osborn asked do people have to register in advance to be on the agenda or just walk in? Mr. Shvegzda replied that information will be coming out as soon as they set it all up.
Mr. Knox read a letter from the Board of Elections: Thank you for continuing to work with the Hamilton County Board of Elections as we move through the current period of transition from the punch card system to the new digital imaging electronic voting equipment. Many of our local jurisdictions provide public polling locations for the elections and we appreciate your willingness to accommodate our delivery, storage and pickup needs. We also want to let you know that, along with the new voting system, we are incurring significantly higher costs per election. This information is vital to you and your elected officials as you plan future ballot issues. If you are contemplating any levy issues please contact Jerry Collier at 632-7049 regarding the new cost of placing issues on the ballot. If we can be of any service please dont hesitate to call. John Williams, Director and Pamela Swafford, Deputy Director
Mr. Knox stated the next is an e-mail addressed to City Council: I contacted Randy Danbury on November 28th about the wood boiler article that was printed in The Enquirer. I read the minutes of the Council meeting when the issue was discussed. For information on this subject please go to theenquirer.com and type in wood boilers. The article is still there as of today. The boilers are situated on the ground so that the smoke from them hovers close to the ground. A fireplace is on the roof and the smoke goes higher into the air. People in the article complained that the smoke permeates their neighborhoods and even seeps into their homes. Wood smoke can cause cancer. I think this is an important issue that needs to be addressed before people start buying them and installing them in their yards in Springdale. Thank you. Shirley Sharkey
Mr. Knox said the next is a letter addressed to Council members: I want to thank you so much for the kind resolution and the handsome glass-etched clock, all part of the November 15th Council recognition of Springdale bi-centennial volunteers. Working on Springdales bicentennial was a wonderful experience. So seldom do we celebrate accomplishments, and Springdales bicentennial was a tremendous celebration of 200 years of progress through good times and, Im sure, a fair number of tough times as well. The bicentennial celebration itself and a special note of the celebration including the former mayors and council persons was a testament to the Citys fine tradition of appreciating where we are as built upon where we have been. I want to especially thank Mayor Webster, Cecil Osborn and Greg Karle for their exemplary leadership in visioning, planning and carrying out the bicentennial celebration. The entire committee was a joy to work with and I was honored to serve a small part in the celebration. If my background and experience may again prove a service to the City of Springdale, I would welcome the opportunity to work again with you. Please do not hesitate to contact me. Best wishes. Alan Bayoksi
Mr. Knox said the last letter is from Time Warner and simply informing people who have Time Warner Cable that they have received notification that Americas Store, digital cable channel 131 service will no longer broadcast as of February 3, 2007.
Mr. Vanover asked were the voting machines that we used what were going to get? My recommendation is either bigger markers or smaller blocks.
Mrs. McNear asked Mrs. Webster if she had any information about that.
Mrs. Webster (in the audience) replied yes. Its not really a machine; you just color the blocks.
Mr. Osborn said regarding the Sharkeys e-mail, I responded the same day it was received and gave them an outline as to what our plans were, the fact that we had legislation drafted and it was going to be sent to the Board of Health for review and that we anticipated it would be brought before Council shortly after that. I offered to keep them up to date as we progress.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Connie Reed, Glendale, said I feel a great deal of irony after hearing all the construction talk and then knowing that you are going to receive a safety award because Im here tonight to complain about Springfield Pike in front of Maple Knoll. I moved to Glendale about fifteen months ago specifically to recover from breast cancer. I wanted to be closer to my medical treatment in Kenwood, and quite honestly, I love that within two miles of Glendale and Springdale I can get everything taken care of. I have nothing but respect for the mission to take care of the sick and elderly but I dont feel that should absolve you from some responsibility and accountability for your community of drivers. I complain at various times to the police and had a wonderful introduction to the Building Department a few weeks ago. I was traveling south on Springfield Pike at the red light at Maple Knoll and one of the construction workers walked out in front of the green traffic and stopped traffic. I could see in my rear view mirror an elderly man with his blinker on looking left a Maple Knoll and not seeing me. I didnt know who to be angrier about, the gentleman or the guy behind me. I rolled down my window and I said that really wasnt a wise decision. You dont own this road. Instead of saying Im sorry, we have a deadline, he laughed me off. I called the police and was told it wasnt their concern; it was the Building Departments concern and how else could they pull a truck out. I called the Building Department and talked to a very nice lady. The next day a very nice inspector, Randy, called me back and apologized for any inconvenience and safety issues, which leads me to a greater complaint, at-risk drivers. Surely, you realize you have a community of at-risk drivers. Something must be done to process, screen and remove at-risk drivers. If I were here complaining about an apartment community of twenty-one year olds who drive after drinking four beers and blowing a .08 on a breathalyzer, you would be all over it. If I were here complaining about an apartment complex of illegal immigrants who drive impaired, youd be all over it. Maple Knoll is a wonderful institution but you just put even more independent living across the street. Thats a community of potentially at-risk. I have called them and shared my concerns to which they reply that they cant take their keys away. Surely you can use your influence with Maple Knoll in getting at-risk drivers off the street.
Mr. Danbury said this isnt just isolated to people in Springdale. I dont think Springfield Pike is one of our heavier areas for traffic situations. As far as people who may be impaired, thats something a city cant do. Thats more of a state basis. Some states want to retest people at certain ages but AARP fights it.
Mayor Webster said the State of Ohio is the official licensing agency for drivers licenses. You dont have a Springdale license. Wed almost have to implore our legislators to pass something that would make mandatory testing above a certain age, but youre still going to have people on prescription medicines, etc. still driving.
Ms Reed said I feel even more frustrated now because I feel you have the power and wisdom of a governing entity to say to one of your significant partners, lets work together to help.
Chief Laage said I talked to you on the phone about a year ago. Officer Dave Buschman is our Community Service Officer and is very active with elderly persons programs. I have talked to him about stressing that issue. It is becoming a bigger problem all the time. People are living longer. Lieutenant Wells, in his presentation, will tell you how we deal with this. It is a serious issue, depriving the elderly of their ability to get around, their movement when you request to have a drivers license taken away from a senior citizen. Last year we arrested over 100 people driving under the influence, whether it was drugs, alcohol, prescription drugs or illegal prescription drugs. It really doesnt matter to us. The issue is the driving. We do have a very significant elderly population here in Springdale but I can honestly say I havent noticed a higher increase in accidents in that area. We get family members who beg us to do something and once were notified, well try.
Mr. Vanover said youve made an effort and you have a legitimate concern. I suggest you use your passion with the State legislature. Theyre the ones who will make that decision.
County Commissioner Pat DeWine said it is an honor to represent you on the County Commission. I just wanted to stop buy and see whats going on, to see part of your meeting. We have a new Board of Commissioners and we certainly have our challenges in Hamilton County government. I also think we have some great opportunities. My focus has been to try to control the growth of spending taxes in the County, trying to do a better job managing our resources, and public safety.
Mr. Danbury said the outlying communities took a hit when they imposed a higher sales tax on hotels and motels. Does the City realize what they did?
Mr. DeWine replied the Convention Center has been built. Downtown seems to be more active but I dont know if the Convention Center is the reason for that. I dont know how the hotels have fared since the change. There is a tendency for special interests to come to the government to raise taxes for an issue.
Mr. Knox said the occupancy rate in Cincinnati is up marginally and the occupancy in the northern belt is up five to six percent, so instead of us contributing 52% of the total taxes, were up to 55%.
PRESENTATION - POLICE DEPARTMENT - Chief Laage
Chief Laage said thank you for the Food for Fines program. It is a very valuable community program. This is the eleventh and most successful season. Wal-Mart donated $1,000 for our Shop with a Cop program.
Lieutenant Tom Wells stated I am here to tell you about the AAA Safety Award. The Springdale Police Department and several other police departments in the region participated in this program in which AAA sponsors traffic safety awards in silver, gold and platinum categories. They measure those on the ability of the police department to reduce crashes, not only in enforcement but also education and engineering. This is the sixth year we have participated in the program. We have placed every year, three of those platinum, and we have the best traffic safety record in the County. Two-hundred ninety-four people had their bicycles inspected and registered in our bike safety program. Safety Town is another program. There were no fatal injuries through 2005. We had a five-year low 1344 crashes.
Lieutenant Wells said speed and cell phone use are issues. Statistically we have not had a rise in accidents involving the elderly but it is an issue that is difficult to deal with. There is a form we can fill out and send to the State if we feel there is a reason a person should not be driving. A lot of our programs focus on young people because the younger you can get people committed to good habits, the better effect we will have when they get older.
Chief Laage said we had three assessors come in and examine our policies, static displays, complaints and call-ins in order for us to become accredited. We came out very good and we believe we have achieved accreditation. We will be going to the conference in March and become accredited. There are numerous benefits and makes us a better police department. It puts the rules up front.
Mr. Vanover said there is a not a finer force out there. I have one concern. The new traffic sign on Marwood and Castro, as you head east on Castro into that intersection, on the western side there is maybe a cars length between the corner and first parking spot. If a car on the western side comes to the sign there is no where for the car on the east side to go because of the parked cars. Id appreciate it if you could check that out.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 2-2007 AMENDING THE ZONING MAP OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE TO CHANGE 2.173 ACRES OF PROPERTY WITH 455 OF FRONTAGE ON WEST SHARON ROAD AND APPROXIMATELY 727 WEST OF SPRINGFIELD PIKE FROM THE PRESENT ZONING OF RSH-L (RESIDENTIAL SINGLE HOUSEHOLD LOW DENSITY) TO RSH-L/T (RESIDENTIAL SINGLE HOUSEHOLD LOW INTENSITY TRANSITIONAL OVERLAY DISTRICT
ORDINANCE NO. 3-2007 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXPEND FUNDS FOR THE RELOCATION OF TRI-CITY CLEANERS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mrs. Harlow seconded.
Mr. Osborn said when we acquired the property in question from the landlord we also inherited two leases held by tenants in the building. In order to negotiate the termination of those leases we were able to relocate Tri-City Cleaners to the new town center, and as part of that we were obliged to help with the relocation costs.
Ordinance No. 3-2007 passed with six affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R4-2007 COMMENDING DAVID STRANGE FOR HIS DEDICATION AND SERVICE TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Danbury and Mayor Webster thanked Mr. Strange for his service to the City.
Resolution R4-2007 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear opened nominations to appoint someone as a member of the Planning Commission.
Mr. Squires nominated Bob Diehl who is presently serving on the Recreation Board, SOS and works with STAFF.
Mr. Diehl was appointed by acclamation.
RESOLUTION R5-2007 APPOINTING ROBERT DIEHL A MEMBER OF THE PLANNING COMMISSION
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Resolution R5-2007 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss personnel issues and potential litigation. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:40 p.m. and reconvened at 9:33 p.m.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 2 - February 7
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Front end loader - February 7
3 Police Department vehicles - February 7
Wood burning boilers - February 7
Sick leave donation policy - February 7
Contract renewal CDS - February 7
Council adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council
City of Springdale Council
January 17 2007