†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

††††††††††† President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on February 2, 2005, 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, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.Ms. Pollitt was absent.

 

††††††††††† COMMUNICATIONS

 

††††††††††† Mr. Knox read part of a letter from the Hamilton County Auditorís office stating that they will be reappraising the properties in Hamilton County.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Knox read a letter addressed to Chief Laage, ďI would like to commend all Springdale police officers for the job well done during the snow emergency we experienced over the Christmas holidays 2004.They put themselves at considerable risk helping a lot of people.We were very fortunate that no officer was seriously injured.We experienced some difficulty ourselves Christmas evening.Our vehicles was westbound on I-275 in the proper lane to exist SR 747 south.We did not see the danger of the glacier of ice and snow that was blocking our lane.Traffic was too dense for us to move left and thus, we became stuck in this mass.A 911 call was made and Springdale police were notified of our predicament.We had no choice but to stay put and hope that all approaching traffic would see our emergency flashing lights.It was a very uneasy time.Soon Officer Fred Romano of our city police responded.I cannot express our sudden feeling of relief when he parked his cruiser behind us.With his flashers operating we felt a lot safer.He tried Triple A Services for us but was informed that they were delayed by about three hours.Thus he called in a private towing service for us.Within a few minutes we were free of this situation and were safely on our way home.When you are able to experience firsthand just how much risk our officers put themselves in, you appreciate more the work that they do for us.It was dangerous out there.Thanks to all of our police officers and particularly thanks to Officer Fred Romano.Well done.From a very grateful Springdale family.Jim and Margaret Squires

 

††††††††††† Mr. Knox read a third letter, ďDear Council Member,After reading the October 6 minutes and attending and commenting at the January 19 Council meeting, itís very obvious that you are opposed to building noise barriers along the Springdale portion of I-275.Attempts were made to dispute the effectiveness of the noise barriers to imply that the construction of these barriers would adversely impact residents not adjacent to the interstate and maintenance of the barriers would be a problem.However, I think the underlying issue is not any of these factors, rather as Mayor Webster likes to refer to the real issue is the canyon effect or Lockland tunnel effect that the construction of noise barriers would project.After spending much time browsing the internet concentrating mainly on federal highway administration and environmental protection agency regarding noise abatement and contacting the Ohio Department of Transportation, I feel comfortable that there is just enough evidence to prove the effectiveness of the noise barriers and that the new technology mitigates any impact the building of noise barriers may have on residents not currently impacted by highway noise, and there are even measure that can be taken to at least partially address the maintenance and repair concerns.Unfortunately, all of this still leaves the underlying issue unresolved.Is there anything that can be done to get around the canyon affect the current noise barriers would project?For the majority of Springdale the answer is no.There is simply not enough land available between the interstate and private residences to do anything other than build the standard slab walls.There is, however, at least one stretch where I believe an alternative exists.For the portion of Springdale that parallels Forest Park there appears to be sufficient room based on Hamilton County Auditor maps between the interstate and private residences to construct an earthen barrier or earthen berm/standard noise barrier combination.It is my opinion that this style noise barrier would meet all the Council concerns, especially aesthetic concerns.It would also protect the Springdale property owners in the Beacon Hill subdivision from additional highway noise the expansion will bring as well as the reflective noise these property owners would be subjected to from the Forest Park walls.I respectfully request that you approach the Ohio Department of Transportation and specifically request a study to determine the feasibility of building an earthen berm or earthen berm/standard noise barrier along the stretch of I-275 that parallels Forest Park.David Traut, 845 Summerfield LaneĒ

 

††††††††† COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE -†††††††† none

 

ORDINANCE NO. 11-2005 ďAMENDING VARIOUS SECTIONS OF CHAPTER 152 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIOĒ

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.

 

Ordinance 11-2005 passed with six affirmative votes.††††

 

ORDINANCE NO. 12-2005 ďDECLARING IMPROVEMENTS TO PARCELS OF REAL PROPERTY LOCATED IN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO BE A PUBLIC PURPOSE UNDER SECTION 5709.40 OF THE OHIO REVISED CODE, EXEMPTING SUCH IMPROVEMENTS FROM REAL PROPERTY TAXATION, AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF A TAX INCENTIVE AGREEMENT, A SERVICE AGREEMENT AND SUCH OTHER DOCUMENTS AS MAY BE NECESSARY, ESTABLISHING A TAX INCREMENT EQUIVALENT FUND AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCYĒ

 

††††††††††††††† Mr. Danbury made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Vanover seconded.The motion passed with six affirmative votes.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Osborn stated Tri-County Mall is on the market and it appears that it is being purchased by a group that also has an interest in making a major investment in the mall after it is acquired.We had some extensive discussion with the potential buyer and we believe they are making a legitimate effort at acquiring the mall and are serious about re-inventing the mall, bringing it into a more modern appearance and layout. In order to help that renovation along, weíve agreed to a TIF (tax increment financing) district for that portion of the mall that would actually see redevelopment occur.We believe that will be along the western elevation of the mall as it faces SR 747 and at the corner of the mall currently occupied by Pennyís.The City needed to start moving on this because the tentative closing date for the acquisition is February 7.The idea is that while we can create the TIF we donít actually have to launch the service agreement and other elements that cause things to happen.We have proposed that the City negotiate a tax incentive agreement with the school district and then create the TIF district.This way the documentation that is being put together for the closing on the property can reflect that tax increment financing district because the documents have to be executed by financial institutions, etc., so rather than try to do it again a month or two after they buy the property, weíve tried to work it out so it only has to be discussed once with all the parties involved with the purchase.We went to the school district a month ago with a proposal on a tax incentive agreement for 100% over thirty years for that portion that I described to you.Itís probably 20% of the mall. They were in agreement.We have identified certain public improvements that we would like to do related to this project.They involve street related improvements that would benefit the TIF area, public park and ride, public signage, landscaping, etc.The ordinance before you this evening would create that TIF.

 

††††††††††† Ordinance 12-2005 passed with six affirmative votes. ††

 

 

ORDINANCE NO. 13-2005 ďAUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE WITH DONALD E. SHIPPS AND CAROLE M. SHIPPS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 11530-11544 SPRINGFIELD PIKE, SPRINGDALE, OHIO45246, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCYĒ

 

Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.

 

Mayor Webster said this contract would complete the acquisition of all the property located in the quadrant from Kemper Road south to Grandin and from Walnut to SR 4.We havenít actually pulled the trigger on one of the other properties yet but this will allow us to acquire all the properties.Hopefully, the next thing we bring before you would be a contract for clean up on the dry cleaners and some demolition contracts.

 

Ordinance 13-2005 passed with six affirmative votes.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

Mayor Webster said I had not seen the letter from Mr. Traut.Is there any desire to consider putting a limited wall up?At the last Council meeting there was no direction given to Administration to pursue this at all.Iím not sure what the status with the State is at this point.

 

Mr. Galster responded from my recollection from all the conversations we had with ODOT was that the earthen berm was not an option.It was either the wall, trees, or nothing.Given the fact that Forest Park is now going to have a wall on one side of the interstate, which is in direct contradiction to what ODOT says is the proper way of utilizing these walls, I think we should initiate some contact.It seems they are proposing to do something that is against their standards.I think some contact should be made to see if we can get some clarification.

 

Mr. Squires said I donít want to ignore this.I would like Council to explore every possible way we can to serve and satisfy this condition.

 

Mr. Wilson said they told us it was all or none.Then they do half.Maybe we can ask for an earthen berm to protect those houses on that side.They made a concession to Forest Park to do just their side without knowing whether we were going to do our side.Maybe they are willing to make a concession here and do an earthen berm.

 

Mrs. McNear said I would imagine Forest Park didnít consider what we were doing because we sure didnít consider them when we made our decision.I donít think berms are an option.†† If they can give us a berm with trees on it thatís fine but I certainly donít want to see those walls on the expressway.

 

Mr. Osborn said I donít think the State made any exceptions to their plans or policies related to putting them up on one side or the other.They offered them to both jurisdictions.Weíre the ones who chose not to put them up.They couldnít withdraw their offer to Forest Park.When we started getting these letters in a month ago I called ODOT and asked if it was possible to reconsider what we told them.They said the door is shut but they would give us a couple of weeks.That was up to the last meeting.At the last meeting there was no sentiment on the part of Council to do anything.They called me the following Friday and specifically asked me if we were going to make any changes to our position.I replied based on what I heard Wednesday night we are not moving off our initial position.I would be very surprised if there would be any outside funding for any type of berm.This has been an ongoing project.I donít know, even if we offered to pay for it, that we could get it into this project.

 

Mayor Webster asked are we of the opinion that if the only option is a wall opposite the Forest Park wall we do not want that?We would consider an earthen berm on the opposite side of the Forest Park wall.

 

Mrs. McNear replied it was pretty clear to me at the last meeting that no one was interested in concrete walls.

 

Mr. Galster stated my position has not changed as to putting up walls throughout the City.I didnít know Forest Parkís position at the time we voted.I would possibly reconsider it in a limited area.

 

Mr. Wilson said we have to consider the residents 500 to 1000 feet away.If we put up the walls and they have increased noise we canít take down the barriers.

 

Mr. Danbury said that is my point as well but with Forest Park putting up the wall, thatís all going to bounce our way.

 

Mr. Osborn said I donít think weíre going to get any data from ODOT on the consequence of putting a wall up on one side.When the ODOT officials were here the same question was asked and we were advised there is no quantitative analysis of this new technology.If the wall in Forest Park is constructed at the top of the slope, you have that whole hillside to absorb the sound and the wall will not have very much impact on our side of the road.If itís at the bottom of the hill, thatís a different story.

 

Mayor Webster said weíll do whatever you want us to do but you have to realize weíll be lucky to get them to even talk to us.Weíre not going to get any more data on resonating sound, how many blocks away itís going to be heard.Do you want a wall parallel to Forest Parkís wall?

 

Mr. Galster made a motion to ask for a concrete wall on I-275 opposing Forest Park if the wall is built at roadway level.Mr. Danbury seconded.The motion passed 5-1.Mrs. McNear voted no.If the Forest Park wall is built on the hill, Springdale will not put up a wall.

 

††††††††††† NEW BUSINESS

 

††††††††††† Mr. Osborn reported we have joined the First Suburbs Consortium in Hamilton County.Itís a group of urban communities that have banded together to try to influence State legislative actions that would benefit existing and mature communities as opposed to favoring the green field, growth edge type community where a lot of money is now put.As part of their efforts to develop a legislative agenda, they had discussion with Greater Ohio, whichis a similar organization.Greater Ohio has circulated an agenda for legislative action and there are things, that on the surface, you could not argue with, but their position is trying to conserve resources, trying to reconstruct or rehabilitate and maintain existing infrastructure and housing stock, etc.There are eleven different bullet points with dialog underneath them.The topics are such things as adopt a fix it first policytowards Ohio highways, to provide State historic tax credits for rehabilitation of older homes and commercial structures, grant longer tax exemptions for rehabilitation versus new construction, etc.†† The First Suburbs Consortium has asked the representatives to come back to the legislative bodies and try to get a sense of direction from them as to whether we endorse these.That would give the First Suburbs a basis in working with the people at Greater Ohio to try to move this agenda forward. Weíre soliciting comments from staff on these items.†† Perhaps we can have a discussion on February 16.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Knox stated all City tax forms will be mailed by February 18.The Federal Emergency Management Association called a meeting of communities that were affected by the snow storms and have made us an offer that says we can be reimbursed up to 75 percent of all the cost we incurred during a 48 hour period.Those costs include overtime, use of equipment, materials used, damage to the equipment.Without looking at the usage of the vehicles we were at $24,000, which means we would be reimbursed $16,000.Usage of equipment will drive that figure up quite substantially.We must have a designated agent and the agent must be appointed by Council either by resolution or letter from the Mayor.Mr. Butsch will be the designee.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Knox said I attended Mayorís Court this afternoon and was extremely impressed by the young lady who acts as translator for the court.Quite a few people who attend court speak English as a second language.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Squires said there is a house at the corner of Harter and Lawnview with a sign in the yard that has a sign in the yard that reads ďApartment for rent.ĒI would like to have someone from the Building Department investigate this.

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster said when you approved the TIF ordinance you also approved a landmark sign designating Springdale Tri-County.We envision this to be a pretty sophisticated sign with a cost most likely exceeding $1 million.I think we will be inundated with requests for flashing message boards.We are sending Jeff Tulloch to a national sign convention.Part of the agenda is sessions on how to get through Planning and Zoning Commissions.Therefore, I would like to suggest that Council consider sending Mr. Galster, since he is a member of Planning Commission and has some knowledge in the sign arena.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Squires said Ms. Pollitt and I serve on Board of Zoning Appeals.Signage is a very difficult issue for us.The more we have a resource person that I can consult with the better we will be able to deal with it on BZA.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Osborn said the Mayorís estimate is conservative.The sign will cost $1.5 million to $2 million.The signs can be looked at from an economic standpoint.There is a lot of time you can sell for advertising.We need to consider what our objectives are with the sign.The first objective is to promote the commercial district in the Tri-County area.We need to know more about operation, maintenance, ownership because it will be a major capital investment.It will be a joint venture with Tri-County Mall.We have to establish ownership rights, how weíre going to share time, whoís going to operate the sign, whoís going to manage it.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Galster said there are probably seven major manufacturers of this video display board that we are looking at and this conference happens to have all seven of them at one place.We want to make sure that anything we would erect or approve will be a pleasure to look at as opposed to something that is so blinding and intrusive that we are creating too much visual noise in the city.

 

††††††††††† Council had no objection to Mr. Galster going to the convention.

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster said I would like to introducea spot blight ordinance.We will attempt to get you a copy before the next meeting and have it on the agenda in March.It is a very powerful ordinance and is not to be taken lightly.Blighted premises because of their age, dilapidation, deterioration, lack of maintenance or repair or any combination thereof constitute a serious fire hazard, health hazard, a substantial and unreasonable interference with the reasonable and lawful use and enjoyment of other premises within the neighborhood or a factor seriously depreciating property values in the neighborhood.We all know in certain areas of the City we have vacant property.Vacant houses do not increase the value.It is an eyesore in communities and with the passage of this ordinance, it would give Council the authority, with proper notification, to hold a public hearing and exercise the right to take the personís property.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Squires asked, to take a personís property, does that mean put it up for auction?

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster replied Iím not sure.Iím sure weíd probably have to have an appraisal but if we canít get it through negotiations we can go to court and take it.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Osborn stated if we have a housing unit that is standing alone and deteriorating while all the other houses around it are being well maintained, and we canít get the property owner to make the necessary repairs on a timely basis, we would have the ability to file a motion before you ordering that party to appear before you, who would serve as a hearing body to determine if the City should proceed with condemnation proceedings against that property owner.If the owner cannot convince you that you shouldnít and you decide to go forward, thereís still a court process.Other types of condemnation are associated with a public improvement or urban renewal area or some other justification to get into the area of imminent domain.This provides that vehicle.The Administration would make a recommendation to you and then you would decide if the Administration made a case.We would acquire the property through condemnation and then have the option of selling it with certain stipulations of improvements to be made by the purchaser or make improvements ourselves and put it on the market.

†††††††††††

††††††††††† Mr. Vanover said this would not be properties with a one-time offense.This would be property that we have been after and after, and in most cases we have been ignored through other processes.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Squires said wouldnít this body be acting as a quasi-judicial body?

 

††††††††††† Mr. Schneider responded you are making a determination of a blight or nuisance in the community.There are guidelines for determining that and you have responsibility under the ordinance to eliminate the blighted condition.There must be efforts made short of the acquisition.You have to give notice, make personal delivery, make direct action short of acquisition with the City to eliminate the blight, including but not limited to clearing the premises of the debris, demolition of blighted structures, or barricading of such blighted structures.†† So the City has responsibility to bring evidence forth that these actions were taken.They failed to make the premises acceptable to the community, and therefore, itís in such a deteriorated condition it calls for elimination of blight.Thatís when the procedural appropriation of property kicks in.Fair market value will be paid to the property owner.You are not the judge.You are determining that the condition of the community is such as to call for this action.

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster said these are not one-time violations.These are people that year after year after year have stayed one step ahead of the Building Department, or have vacated the property.Thatís the case more often than not, and we have to deal with banks and try to track down the financial institution that holds the title to it.In the meantime, the entire neighborhood is depreciating because of this one eyesore.Other individuals still own the property but they are only going to do what the City makes them do and make no attempt to improve the property and make it comparable to the property next door.Itís a bad situation.In several cases we have exhausted all the means we have at our disposal.We can bring in pictures of properties at the next Council meeting that really have no outstanding building violations, but theyíre not a property you would want to live next door to.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Galster asked is there a section that just said if itís vacant, thereís reason.If someone is an absentee owner but the house is kept in repair, this does not qualify, does it?

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster replied no.

 

††††††††††† MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

††††††††††† Board of Zoning Appeals†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† February 15

††††††††††† Planning Commission††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† February 8

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE††††††††††† ††††††††††† - ††††††††† none

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT†††††† -†††††††††† none

 


RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED††††† -†††††††††† none

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

 

Council adjourned at 8:17 p.m.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† EdwardF. Knox

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2005