President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on February 15, 2006, 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, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. 

 

            The minutes of January 18, 2006 were approved with five affirmative votes.  Ms. Pollitt and Mr. Squires abstained.  The minutes of February 1, 2006 were approved with six affirmative votes.  Mr. Squires abstained.

 

            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  - Mr. Wilson said the city-wide concrete repair completion has been extended until the spring of 2006.

                                                                                           

Public Utilities                                                                        -           no report

                                                                                           

Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury said the railroad track switch has been delayed.  We were moving this to early March.  The steel work is up, but there have been some issues why we can’t continue at this point.  The official current completion date is still set for September.  The Streetscape Phase II contractors are in the process of completing work on the west side to allow these lights to be turned on.  I was driving by here last night and it was pitch black.  The completion is scheduled for late May this year.  The SR 4 improvements at Crescentville will have a first submittal to ODOT later this month.  Kemper Road Phase III final approval of bridge plans was received from CSX.  The project should be awarded April 5th and construction will start this spring.  The Fire Department HVAC will be rebid in March.  The SR 747 pavement replacement at I-275 construction will start late July.

 

Mayor Webster said we are extremely unhappy with the performance of the contractor on the SR 4 streetscape project.  We’re not driving this project.  The State is paying 75% of this and they are managing the project.  They were not supposed to turn the lights off on the east side until the west side is functioning.   I think there is one light on the east side between here and Kemper Road that is working.  We have expressed our concern.  Mr. Osborn has had Mr. Butsch get in touch with the State and express our dissatisfaction but there isn’t a whole lot we can do about it. 

 

Mrs. McNear said the lights on the west side of I-275 are out also.  Is that related?

 

Mr. Osborn replied only if they hit a service line.  I noticed that as well and reported it to Mr. Butsch.  It wouldn’t normally be directly connected to our project unless somehow the contractor unintentionally got into a power supply running to those lines.

 

Mr. Osborn stated when we did the first phase of this project we did it under a program called Local Public Agency which means the local public agency assumes responsibility for bidding and managing the project.  Between the first and second phases the Federal Highway Administration changed its policy on what types of projects can be absorbed by an LPA.  As a result this project has to stay in the hands of the State and we have been very unhappy with their progress all along.  The project should not be taking this long and we should never have had a black street out there.  It’s just totally unacceptable.  I did have Mr. Butsch write a letter to the State of Ohio expressing our concerns.


            Mr. Squires asked even though the grade separation project is three months behind, do they still intend to finish in September?

 

            Mr. Shvegzda stated as soon as we get the next progress meeting with ODOT we will get an update as to the final completion date. 

 

            Mr. Osborn said, in full disclosure, we should tell you that we recently learned that the State has called in the bonding company on the contractor.  Until the bonding company and the contractor work out who’s going to do what and who’s going to pay for what, everything is at a dead stop.  It can’t help but hurt the completion date of the project.

           

Finance Committee                                                  -                       no report

           

Planning Commission          - Mr. Galster said Mallard Lakes was requesting a new sign at a new height along I-275.  They were concerned that when ODOT builds the wall that there sign wouldn’t be visible.  We granted approval to allow them raise the sign to twenty-eight feet.  The Tri-County Mall make-over was given a 7-0 go-ahead vote with some items still to be worked out.

                                               

Board of Zoning Appeals                                         -                       no report

           

Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt said we just had our normal reports.  Ms. Messer, the nurse is retiring and interviews are being held for a new nurse.  They are hoping to have the new nurse hired before Ms. Messer retires so that she can shadow her.  There have been some sewage problems at Wimbledon and they are being resolved. 

                                                                                           

Veteran’s Memorial Committee                              -                       no report

 

O-K-I – Mr. Knox said they voted on the Boone County transportation plan.  That doesn’t directly affect us but for those who travel across the I-471 bridge, if you want to get to the levy, you get off immediately and go around dead man’s curve and are immediately in a residential area.  They are going to do something about that.  Secondly, they looked at the OKI Regional Transportation Plan and made many changes.  They are going to make it stricter on diesel engines.  They also approved twenty-six items, none of which are in Hamilton County.   Also, there is an issue about a bridge across the Little Miami River.  They are sending that back to ICC.  I don’t think they are going to have that bridge going across there when it goes back through ICC. 

 

Mr. Danbury asked where is the bridge across the Little Miami supposed to be?

 

Mr. Knox replied they expected to have it as an extension of Western Row. 

 

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster said I have a brief note from a resident who lives in Oxford Hills, Barbara Martin, 670 Coxbury Circle:  “Thank you so much for purchasing the two houses in Oxford Hills that were so run down.  They have been eyesores for so long.  I appreciate the role the City has accepted in keeping our neighborhoods in good condition. “

 

Mayor Webster reported we have only spent $30,625 on snow and ice removal.  We’re well under budget.

 

Mayor Webster said I got a letter from a member of the school board telling me the school board voted to redraw the elementary school district lines.  As a result, the children in Glenview Subdivision will be assigned to Springdale in the new school year.   This is a beef I’ve had with the school system for many years and I’d like to express my appreciation to the board members, especially the three Springdale residents.  If the child is already enrolled in Glenview and you want them to continue through the rest of their elementary days, they will be allowed to do that.  New children coming into the school district will be assigned to the proper school.

 

Mr. Vanover asked is Heritage Hill still on the schedule for the fall?

 

Mayor Webster said as far as I know, everything is on schedule and the day after school is out they start razing the old building.

 

Mrs. McNear said initially they were going to use the old Springdale School for other children as their new schools were being built but they have scrapped that plan and will raze the old school.  She also said the project manager for Springdale School is the project manager for Heritage Hill and said they planned to start the new school in October.

                                                                                           

Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mr. Knox said the tax forms for the City of Springdale were mailed on February 10.  I received mine yesterday and I hope everyone has received theirs.  If you have not received them by Friday I would suggest you call the Tax Department for a second mailing

                                   

Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn said a press release put out by Jim Petro reported the City of Springdale was recently awarded a $40,000 piece of equipment that does fingerprint scanning and converts the fingerprints to digital.  We’ve been part of a testing process for the first phase of this type of equipment and what we are receiving is actually an upgrade.  We are one of the first forty communities in Ohio to get this.  We were part of the pilot project for the initial equipment and we have done some other technical equipment testing for the State.  This new system besides digitally scanning and recording fingerprints, will also scan and record palm prints.  The Police Chief estimates that this additional ability to scan palm prints will increase our number of hits off of AFIS by at least twenty percent.  I want to send my congratulations to Chief Laage and the Police Department for staying close to this new technology and keeping us at the forefront.

 

Mr. Osborn reported we have a very big cadre of people who are certified on CPR.  We are presently in a recertification process that also includes AEDs.  We have trained forty-eight employees and have forty-fifty still signed up.  These are all volunteers.  Following the completion of the training we will install the AED devices in all Springdale public buildings and prepare to use them in case of emergency.  The devices are highly automated and make all the decisions.   The operator doesn’t have to make the decision to give a charge or not because the machine detects that.

                                   

Law Director’s Report                                                      -               no report

Engineer’s Report                                                            -               no report

 

            COMMUNICATIONS

 

            Ms. Pollitt stated that she had received a letter from Mrs. Marge Boice, 236 Harter Avenue.  She wrote me a three-page letter and I am just going to bring out excerpts from the letter.  Mrs. Boice was very upset in regards to a piece of property on Harter Avenue and the maintenance of that property.  I did take this to the Administration and they cited the home owner for some violations.  Those violations should be taken care of in short order.  I did respond to Mrs. Boice.  She is a person who spends a great deal of money on her property through maintenance, yard work, tree removal, tree trimming.  It was a rather upsetting letter for me to receive and I do thank Administration for taking care of that right away.  I want to address the members of our community.  We pull into our driveway or garage and run into our house, do what we need to do.  Do we ever really step back and take a look at our property from the curb?  That’s what I’m going to ask you to do?  See what your property looks like in the eyes of your neighbor, or maybe people coming up and down your street.  If you have peeling paint, please take care of that as soon as the weather permits.  If you have your garbage cans out in front, please think about how that looks to your neighbors.  They don’t want to have to see your garbage cans every time they pull into the driveway or pass down the street.  If you have a gutter hanging down that’s not proper home maintenance.  It causes hardships for your neighbors because they get upset with you.  The houses that Mr. Webster read about cost the City money in resources and personnel to go out and deal with those situations.  We can all conserve our tax dollars by taking care of our own little piece of real estate.  If you have something in the curb that needs to be picked up, go out there and pick it up.  If you have shrubs that need to be dealt with or whatever. . .   I am just asking you all to take time to look at your house and if something needs to be done, save your tax dollars for snow removal or road repair.  Don’t use it on personnel to come out and issue a violation. Take time to do that yourself.  I really respect Mrs. Boice and have my entire thirty-four years I’ve lived in Springdale, not only as a neighbor but as a Councilperson.  I don’t want to see her upset with the City over property maintenance violations. 

 

 

            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE             -               none

 

ORDINANCE NO. 11-2006  “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH CDS ASSOCIATES, INC., TO PROCEED WITH ENGINEERING AND DESIGN SERVICES  FOR THE S.R. 747 PAVEMENT REPLACEMENT PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Ms. Pollitt asked which traffic light does this go back to going south on SR 747? 

 

Mr. Shvegzda replied this goes as far back as the eastbound off ramp.

 

Ordinance 11-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 12-2006  “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A TEMPORARY WORK AND USE AUTHORIZATION AGREEMENT FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK ON JOHN MORRELL & CO. PROPERTY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.

 

Mr. Osborn said this is one of the two ordinances that I had to put on the agenda at the last minute because negotiations had just been completed and we didn’t want to delay it for another two weeks.  This one is with John Morrell Company and it is a temporary work easement on the John Morrell property but following construction, the area we’ve disturbed will be restored and all the improvements will be made within the public right-of-way.  This is a typical agreement where the adjoining property is giving us a work easement at the cost of $1. 

 

Ordinance 12-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 13-2006  “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH INTERNATIONAL TRUCK & ENGINE CORP. FOR THE PURCHASE OF A 2006 INTERNATIONAL MODEL 7400 SFA 4X2 DUMP TRUCK CAB AND CHASSIS FOR USE BY THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn said we are replacing a fourteen-year old dump truck.  The budget allows $98,000.  With this purchase we will be purchasing the truck body and chassis.  Typically we buy the truck body and chassis separately from the dump body and plow blade because we can better control the quality of those two elements by going to aftermarket type companies.  The thing that requires the most maintenance on a dump truck after it gets some years on it is the dump bed.  It becomes rusty and we have to cut out rust and re-weld steel into the dump bed.  The last truck we bought had a stainless steel bed.  That’s what we are going to do with this trade.  We will be getting a trade-in of $3,500 for the old truck making our net cost for the body and chassis $52,347.

 

Ordinance 13-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO.  14 -2006 “VACATING A PORTION OF EAST ALLEY AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS NECESSARY FOR SAID VACATION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY (HICKORY ESTATES, LLC)”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn said the key word here is revised vacation plat.  When we had this ordinance before us in October the vacation plat attached at that time assumed that the split and divvying up of the property would occur in a certain manner.  When the plat was reviewed by the County Recorder’s Office, they disagreed how the split should occur.  It’s really a technical issue.  Half of the property is reverting to one owner and half to a neighboring owner.

 

Ordinance 14-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 15-2006  AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A LICENSE AND INDEMNITY AGREEMENT FOR CONSTRUCTION WORK ON LOWE’S PROPERTY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn stated this is not a typical easement agreement.  It is related to the East Kemper Road Phase III project but the work being performed here would not require a license agreement but for the fact that Cincinnati WaterWorks had not yet concluded its drafting of a permanent easement agreement to support their new water main that will be coming up Tri-County Parkway.  We also have some work to do.  Rather than delay the project and all right-of-way being in place when we open bids, we are proposing to take a license agreement from Lowe’s and the part that is even more atypical, is that they are asking for indemnification.  Because of a change in State law, there are many new restrictions on how a city can indemnify an agreement.  In this agreement it reads so that the City or the contractor can indemnify the property owner.  We are going to write the specifications requiring that the contractor indemnify the Lowe’s folks.  Beyond that, it is pretty much accomplishing the same thing we’d normally do.  It’s just a little more complicated than a typical agreement.

 

Ordinance 15-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R3-2006  APPROVING THE PAYMENT OF $10,000.00 TO THE CINCINNATI USA PARTNERSHIP FOR THE YEAR 2006”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn said this is probably the seventeenth year of our commitment.

 

Resolution R3-2006 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

            Mr. Danbury said I’d like to thank everyone who came to our Neighborhood Watch Program last week.  I encourage everyone to learn what you can do to prevent a crime or help solve a crime.

 

            NEW BUSINESS

 

            Mr. Osborn said I do want to touch on this one e-mail that I distributed to Council.  I feel I have an obligation to do it because I made the commitment to the resident.    Marge Burks communicated with us raising the issue of property evaluation and raising the question of whether the City could look into or do something about what she considers to be excessively high evaluations, at least in her residential area.  She asked me to pass this issue on to you all.  In talking to the Mayor and Mr. Knox, our Finance Director, there is no direct way that we know of, where we can influence this process.  One thought raised by a member of Council was to have a seminar presented by the Auditor’s Office.  I’m not sure that’s the issue Mrs. Burks is looking for because she has indicated that she has been through the process many times.

 

            Mr. Knox stated I did not reply to Mrs. Burks’ e-mail myself but I was not happy with the appraisal of my house either and I protested it to no avail.  It strikes me as possible that this is another way of raising taxes, raise the appraisal and the County will get more taxes.

 

            Mr. Galster said I wasn’t happy with my appraisal either but I submitted my documentation and they reduced it $30,000.  I was happy to see that final result.  It was five or six years ago that they started getting more aggressive in the appraisals of the properties.  It’s not a fun process but it’s a matter of getting documentation together. 

 

            Mayor Webster said I totally agree with everything Mr. Galster said.  Mr. Knox, every six years they have to do a physical appraisal of properties and every three years is a statistical analysis of sales in the area.  Those two things have been in place for many, many years so I don’t think there is anything going on about raising taxes.  They want to make sure that the records reflect the true value of the real estate.  There is an appeal process that Mr. Galster took advantage of.  I got an e-mail from Mrs. Burks and I guess they have been in contact with someone in the Auditor’s Office and I guess they are going to look at the numbers again for those who made the appeal.  I don’t mind having a hearing to help those folks but we don’t have any evidence to try to persuade the Auditor to re-evaluate that particular subdivision.  I’m not sure everyone in that subdivision had their taxes raised.  Some may have had a decrease.

 

            Mr. Danbury said I’d just like to remind everyone that when we did the grade separation, the right-of-way along SR 747 jumped up $400,000 from what we had originally budgeted. 

 

            Mr. Osborn said we were going off the best estimate without actually doing an appraisal, but when the property was appraised our estimates were low.   In the meantime, the County changed the tax status of GEEAA.  As a result there was a major jump in the value of that property.

 

            MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

            Board of Zoning Appeals                                         -           February 21

           

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE     -           none

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT

 

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED

 

Zoning Code amendments

Appointing Mr. Mitchell’s position  to Tax Review Board      March1, 2006

 

Council adjourned at 8:06 p.m.


 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Edward  F. Knox

                                                                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2006