President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on February 20, 2002, 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 February 6, 2002 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission Ė Mr. Coleman stated in an effort to recognize loyalty of firefighters that have served in a part-time capacity for greater than two years, those individuals who take the civil service test and achieve a score of 80 or greater will automatically be included in the interview process. We demonstrate that their efforts are appreciated. These individuals have served the city well in a part-time capacity. Testing will be conducted this Saturday for patrol officers as well. We have over 300 applicants who have registered for the test. Additionally, there will be two testing sessions for firefighter positions. There are over 630 applicants for the firefighter positions. We certainly want to thank the people at Maple Knoll Village for making their facilities available for testing.
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works Ė Mr. Wilson said the 2002 street program is currently under design and has the following anticipated schedule: advertise for bids late February, award contract late March, start construction late April, complete construction in August. The Butler County Engineering Office has agreed to participate in repairing and resurfacing Crescentville Road east of SR 747. We are currently working with them regarding preparation of the plans for the full width repair and resurfacing of Crescentville Road. This additional work may delay the actual bid date for the project; however, it is not anticipated to be a significant delay and we would expect the construction completion date would not change.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements Ė Mr. Danbury said there is no change to the CSX grade separation. The shop drawings for the signal and street light poles for the Springfield Pike streetscape upgrade have been received from the manufacturer and are going to be reviewed. The pole delivery is anticipated for June of this year. Construction will be this summer into late fall for completion. Detail plans for Kemper Road Phase II Old Commons Drive have been completed. Coordination of utilities is underway. The right-of-way negotiations should be completed by next month with construction beginning this summer. The project will be closed down in November and December and completed next year. The stage 3 comments for the Sharon Road bike path have been received by ODOT and final tracings will be submitted next month with construction this summer. The Heritage Hill signal project is underway with the poles being in place. The controller should be delivered next week and it should be completed by the end of March.
Finance Committee Ė Mr. Wilson reported that they discussed a request for a proposal on the depository and banking services. We are looking at extending the period from a flat two years to two years with a possible option of a third year. Final paperwork is being finalized and sent to local banks. Weíll be getting back to Council before this happens to review it in its totality and get your blessing.
Planning Commission Ė Mr. Galster stated the first request was for a fascia change at Exxon, 11444 Springfield Pike. BZA possibly had these people into their meeting last night. There was no representation so the motion to remove it from the agenda was approved 6-0. The Great Indoors is going to take half of the blue panel on the Dave & Busterís sign with an approval of 6-0. Springdale Church of the Nazarene was in for final approval of a building addition. That was approved 6-0. We had two plat approvals on Vanarsdale and Springfield Pike that were approved 5-0.
Board of Zoning Appeals Ė Mr. Squires reported that Michael Murdock, 12172 Greencastle requested a variance until June to complete construction of a utility building. Time ran out on his previous variance. The variance request was approved. Kerry Ford requested a change in signage. Ford is going to an oval sign. They had been allowed 138 square feet and wanted to increase that to 165 square feet. They offered to reduce the height of the pole from 41 feet to 35 feet. The variance was denied. Mr. Terry Miller, 546 West Kemper, was a granted a variance some time ago to tear down an existing garage and complete a new garage. To date no construction has begun and the board offered him one year to complete the garage. Lykins came in to appeal a Planning Commission denial of a fascia change at 11444 Springfield Pike. They wanted a wide red band around their canopy. BZA made a motion to affirm Planning Commissionís denial of that. BZA did make a motion to accept an 8 inch red band around the canopy with a red door canopy with diffused lighting from the canopy and a gray color to remain on the building. Wayne Burnett, 346 Cameron Road wanted to construct a 1700 square foot home at 11649 Greenlawn Avenue. The board felt that the lots in that area are not all capable of sustaining a 2000 square foot home. Mr. Burnett showed us a wonderful design of a home he wanted to build on that lot and he got the variance. Vincenzoís Restaurant came before us to replace a sign. Their existing sign is 0 feet from the right-of-way. The original sign was damaged by a truck. To move that sign ten feet from the right-of-way would put it in the middle of their parking lot so he was granted a variance to erect a sign of the same size at that location. Loweís Home Improvement Center asked for a variance to allow seasonal bulk storage on the south side of their building from March 1 to July 30. We got some concessions such as a screening wall and pallet enclosure and we gave them the variance.
Mr. Vanover said Mr. Galster and I made eye contact at the same time. Was it not a stipulation of the PUD that there would not be any outside storage?
Mr. Schneider said they have a right to request a variance from any ordinance.
Mr. Vanover asked wouldnít that have to come back to Planning Commission?
Mr. Schneider replied yes. If there was substantial change it would come back to Council.
Mr. Galster said Iím not sure thatís a PUD.
Mr. Schneider stated if itís not a PUD, then itís property for the zoning process.
Mr. Galster said some of the concerns Planning Commission has on outside storage is appearance. Some of the things retailers want to put out create hazards with pedestrian traffic mixing in with the automobiles.
Mr. Squires said we did address the issue of safety. We got ample concessions on that. We were pretty strong on the roadway back there.
Ms. Pollitt said they have 35 feet back there and they are asking for 12 feet for storage. The pallet enclosure they are building will be a permanent enclosure made out of the same material the building is made out of. When you are traveling eastbound on Tri-County Parkway, you will not be able to see that section of the back of the store. What they would be doing would be an improvement over what is there. They have pallets broken down and lying all over the place.
Mr. Wilson said the variance is for three months. I would caution that when you make concessions like this, that you be careful that you are not setting a precedent. Christmas will be here before we know it and other retail chains will ask for the same concession, citing this variance that you have granted. Yes, it will be an improvement but if that was unsightly we should be citing them for that. That should not be a criteria for wanting to approve this. Being on BZA in the past, we try to work with our residents and business owners as best we can, but we still have to be cognizant of setting a precedent that is going to come back and bite us at a later date. I donít remember us ever approving a variance of this type for that period of time. I think we gave them 2-4 weeks, then they came back again. Iím not trying to second guess or criticize what youíve done, but I want to caution you that you have to consider that when you do a variance of this type. It may come back to haunt you with other retailers.
Mr. Squires responded that is true, but not everybody is in the unique situation that Loweís is. Iím not so sure that we really set a precedent.
Mayor Webster said my concern is that Loweís comes into the city and presents a plan to Planning Commission. Planning Commission expresses concerns about outdoor storage and they were assured that would not be a problem. Did Mr. Okum express any concern about that? They get approval of Planning Commission, then they get an operation and come back to a new board. Now they get the approval, and Iím sure they had to say they didnít need it or they wouldnít have gotten the approval of Planning Commission for starters. Thatís concerning, that they make an end run to get what they wanted.
Mr. Squires said I donít remember any negative debate on that. We just got concessions on that.
Ms. Pollitt said Mr. McErlane didnít have any history on that for us. He did say when Loweís first opened they wanted to do some container sales in front of the store and the City firmly forbid that. That was the only input we had from the staff.
Mr. Vanover said I know weíve had issues brought up in Planning on the landscape that is out there now versus what we were promised. Cart storage has been a problem. That was in the criteria for the approval of the plan. Weíll let the Building Department and legal team work this out but like Mr. Webster, Iím concerned that theyíre trying to find a second avenue.
Mr. Galster asked do we expect them to be back next year with a similar request? Ms. Pollitt replied yes. Mr. Galster said so they are trying to accomplish a yearly five-month variance.
Ms. Pollitt said the gentleman from Loweís was the general manager and he stated that the garden center that they have at this store is the smallest of any of the garden centers in this area. He said it is about one-third of the size of a standard Loweís garden center. They canít keep the stock in the garden center. He did anticipate that they would like to come back every year for that variance.
Mr. Galster replied they are obviously successful in their garden center and I would like to see them expand their garden department if thatís their desire. Thatís what we want them to do when they come in with a new building, build the proper square footage to keep all of that stuff under one roof.
Board of Health Ė Ms. Pollitt reported that they had the Ohio Department of Health pool and spa survey, pool samples, 2000 and 2001 rabies summary. Lincoln Heights will be getting a new family dental center. Jane Messer reported that our part-time nurse has resigned and is officially retiring. One of the things I wanted to bring to Councilís attention again for information is our nuisance animal control Januaryís bill was $2,410. Iíve asked David Winfough to get with Mayor Webster and Cecil and take a look at this and see if they canít hammer out some ideas on how we can serve our residents but not pay that kind of money. That is almost a quarter of their budget and David said he would do so.
O-K-I Ė Mr. Knox said they have added some items to the transportation improvement program. There will be a widening of SR 747 from two lanes to five lanes between Smith and Tylersville Road, which is approximately 4.5 miles north of I-275 on SR 747, and at the same time they are going to replace a bridge 1.1 mile north of Point Union Road, which is in the same immediate area. This will happen in 2003 and 2004, which are the same dates as the underpass being put in. Mr. Osborn has been in close contact with the Butler County Engineering Office to get as much information and to work with those folks as much as we can. Mr. Osborn in the future will bring you up-to-date on those things which will have a bearing on traffic going north on SR 747. The second item is one of the meetings they are holding to explain the I-75 project will be February 28 at the Lockland Elementary School to try and explain to the people of Lockland and Reading why they are proposing to close that entrance and exit to I-75 at that point. There are quite a few people upset with that. There may be people in this area that are upset with it.
Mr. Squires asked is O-K-I well aware of the fact that ODOT is making this grade construction at the same time?
Mr. Osborn replied yes, they are. These are not two projects in isolation. There are projects blanketing our region. We have been in close contact with Fairfield and Butler County. The proximity of the project on SR 747 and the grade separation was not as significant as some of the other projects. Fairfield and Springdale have postponed our SR 4 work past the construction period for the grade separation. Otherwise we were going to have Springfield Pike and SR 747 under construction at the same time.
Mayorís Report Ė Mayor Webster said I received this note from Chief Laage. "For your information we had a bank robbery earlier today, Provident Bank on East Kemper Road. The bank employee obtained a license number and our patrol officers were there very quickly, aired a description of the vehicle and it was spotted by two Evendale police officers on southbound I-75. The vehicle was stopped by Evendale and Cincinnati PD just south of Paddock. One suspect was arrested, total recovery. The same bank was also held up on Thursday, 2/13 at 15:67. That suspect also was apprehended; this one in Fairfield after a description was aired and after a short pursuit. This suspect also has a past bank robbery conviction. One of the problems with this rash of bank robberies is that it is front page news when a bank gets robbed, but when a robber is apprehended itís on page 14. That needs front page coverage the same as the robbery does.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Ė Mr. Knox said I attended a meeting called by Commissioner Dowlin yesterday concerning the proposed expansion of the Cincinnati Convention Center. On the dais were Mayor Luken of Cincinnati, Mayor Lovitt of Sharonville, Commissioner Dowlin, and eventually, Commissioner Portune. Mr. Luken said we are one region and everybody ought to support this and that every other county in the country did it as a county. They want to raise the tax to 16.5% on hotel and motel attendance. Mayor Lovitt, representing what they call the northern corridor of hotels and motels said that just because it is good for Cincinnati, it wasnít really good for the entire region, particularly since the occupancy rates for downtown and northern Kentucky are only between 40 and 60%. If there is any expansion that goes on, those folks will get it. Besides that, the tax will go into effect almost immediately if the state legislature approves it but the construction will be four years away. So for four years they will be taxing our business residents here and it will make a bad situation even worse for the hotels and motels in this area. 52.4% of the hotel tax comes from the northern corridor. Mayor Lovitt was happy to point out that the Sharonville Convention Center was paid for totally by local dollars and it is running in the black. It does not have to be subsidized like the Cincinnati Convention Center that has not been running in the black for quite some time. Commissioner Dowlin pointed out that they still owe $4 million on the 1987 expansion and they are only asking for $350 million to expand this. Cincinnati was only taxing their hotels and motels at 1.75%. Last week they went up to the limit that the rest of us generally are at. Sharonville did form a visitorís bureau last week, which has a bearing in the law. Money that comes from these things goes to the visitor bureaus so they might finally get some representation in that. Mr. Portune came in and accused the people opposing this of balkanizing the discussion. Then he said that they ran the numbers last night and the northern hotels would only end up paying 24.8% of the grand total. Then they said they would like to have it passed and up to the people in Columbus by this morning which would have given us 36 hours to look at this and make comments on it. Several questions were not answered; for instance, if the authority of the Convention Center goes from the City to the Visitorís Bureau and it starts running in the red, who pays the money? They never answered that question. There is supposed to be a committee being formed to look into this. Many of the people from the hotels and motels are going to be on the committee. Mr. Brehm from Forest Park and I have both volunteered to be members of it. I donít know if they sent this to Columbus or not this morning. I hope they havenít because it affects us and it affects businesses in the City and I personally think a long look should be taken at this before they make any such maneuver. Itís a negative impact on our hotels and motels, Sharonvilleís, Blue Ashís, and to put it mildly, I donít think itís fair.
Mayor Webster said I would like to thank Ed for attending that meeting. I was out of town and couldnít make it. I think Cecil and Beth had both planned on attending but something else came up. Cecil, Beth and I did attend the first meeting a couple of weeks ago. One of our hotels was represented along with most of the hotel/motel operators in Sharonville. This is going to be a death knell to the hotel industry in northern Hamilton County. Even if the Convention Center is a huge success and it draws people in, and if for some reason you decide to stay north of the city, why would you by-pass the Marriott and all the hotels/motels north of I-275 and come into the beltway communities in Hamilton County and pay 16% when you only pay 8% up there. I donít deny that there might be a need to expand the downtown convention center. Iím very envious of Sharonville. They have a beautiful facility over there. Itís very functional and theyíre doing a good job of running it. They felt they could afford it and they bought it. I would love to see us have a convention center, but letís face it, we canít afford it. The City of Cincinnati wants something they canít afford and now theyíre reaching their tentacles out to the suburbs to take us down the drain with those people. Thatís exactly the way I look at it. They are running at 48% occupancy in downtown Cincinnati and they canít see that the same thing is going to happen to them. Why would you stay downtown when you can walk across the river into northern Kentucky and pay 8.5%? Northern Kentucky is going to pay absolutely nothing on this new convention center.
Itís illegal for them to spend money across state lines so they get the benefit and they pay nothing. I wholeheartedly support Mr. Lovitt for his efforts and I commend him for doing that. Wherever possible we want to join in our objections. It certainly wouldnít hurt the cause if any of us get the opportunity to talk to Mr. Coates or any of the other state representatives and let them know our concerns about this ill advised piece of legislation that is being recommended to them.
Mr. Danbury said at one time Sharonville had more hotel spaces than the entire City of Cincinnati. Why would someone want to pay more for a hotel when they can just go up to Union Center Boulevard and go to some of the new places for less?
Mr. Knox stated several hoteliers certainly brought that point up.
Mr. Danbury asked what was the comment from Mr. Portune?
Mr. Knox replied that he didnít want any emotional issues brought into this.
Mayor Webster said no facts.
Mr. Danbury asked why wasnít Mr. Neyer in attendance?
Mr. Knox said that I have no answer to that question. There was no mention to me of Mr. Neyer being there. Commissioner Dowlin called this and Mr. Portune was not on the list of people at first but he did attend.
Mr. Danbury said it would just appear that someone who is going to make a decision should hear the input of the people who are affected the most. It was definitely his place to be there.
Mr. Wilson said when there is a convention at the Convention Center like the National Baptist Convention, they are locking in on the hotels downtown. We donít get that overflow. If there is any overflow, northern Kentucky gets it. There are very few events being held downtown that we get any overflow, the Jazz Festival, certain football and baseball games. Clearly thereís no real benefit for us, especially when you can go across the interstate and get even newer hotels than ours closer to Kingís Island, in some instances just as accessible to the interstate and pay half. I agree, weíre killing ourselves and thereís no benefit.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Neyer has already announced heís not seeking re-election. Heís a lame duck member so why doesnít he excuse himself from voting if heís going to excuse himself from data gathering.
Mr. Danbury said it appears that we are opposed to this. Can we have a resolution? Would that have any bearing on the voting?
Mr. Knox replied I believe I have the consensus of Council and the Administration very clearly and if they get back and ask me to serve on the committee, I will pass that on. The feelings Iíve heard expressed are exactly the same as mine. We would just be hurting our own businesses.
Mr. Danbury said a resolution is just a piece of paper but as long as they had it there just to condemn this. It might get somebodyís attention.
Mr. Knox stated why donít we wait and make sure Mr. Portune didnít get that to Columbus already this morning.
Mr. Vanover said why donít we just issue copies to our state legislators.
Mr. Knox said I have another reason for calling Mr. Coates so Iíll pass on our thoughts to Mr. Coates immediately.
Mrs. McNear asked are you still asking for the resolution regardless? I think we should do it.
Mr. Wilson asked if we canít do a resolution, can we at least do a strong letter and have that ready tomorrow? A resolution is next month. That may be too late. If thatís not in order, a strong letter saying all members of Council including the Administration, disagree with this and we want to make our elected officials at the state level aware of this and maybe even copy Todd Portune and tell him we are adamantly against this.
Mayor Webster said let us check the status. That was Mr. Portune talking and I understand Mr. Dowlin said that is impossible, that we canít do it. They would have had to have acted at their meeting this morning on a 2-1 vote. I canít imagine that they are going to get a bill through both houses before we have our next Council meeting. Weíll make contact with the Ohio Municipal League to see if anything is in the works up there.
Mr. Danbury said I donít appreciate Mr. Portune shoving this down our throat when itís a four or five year away program and he tells us we have 36 hours to okay it. Thatís not being a very good politician. I think itís a project that he sees in a good way and he wants to get it passed before anybody realizes the ramifications. It would devastate the City of Sharonville. They put a lot of time and money into that convention center and for someone to just say we need to have it done now is inexcusable.
Mr. Knox said Mr. Portuneís reason was that the legislature was going to go out of session but Commissioner Dowlin contacted State Senator Finan and found out they are going to be in session six days in March, six in April and six in May. The reason to hurry is really not there. I donít think Mr. Portune wanted to believe that but I think we have some time so the resolution might have a good impact also.
Administratorís Report Ė Mr. Osborn said we would like to request legislation at the next Council meeting to purchase two defibrillators. The net cost with trade-in is $35,182. We get a reimbursement grant of $5,400, making our final cost of two units $29,782. These are units that have been in use since the Cityís paramedics program started several years ago. There is newer technology out there and we want to start replacing these units.
Mr. Osborn continued regarding our highway project Iíd like to add some information on the East Kemper Road project. You may recall that that is a $1.1 million job that will improve the traffic flow on East Kemper Road with this particular phase, which is primarily centered around the Century Boulevard intersection. We had applied for 40% OPWC funding and 20% MRF funding. We received a letter this past week that the State of Ohio has awarded $440,568 for the project which is the 40% we requested. This means we will automatically get the $220,224 municipal road fund money because these are linked applications. We will not be able to enter into a contract until after July 1 because that is the funding cycle for that program. We also learned that the Police Department was successful in obtaining a DARE grant for the 2001/2002 school year. Officer Jeff Witte has been successful at least the last four or five years in getting that grant. We apply for 50% of one officer during the school year. That amount would be $17,305. They try to distribute the money the best they can but nobody ever gets all they ask for. We did receive $13,489. Congratulations to the Police Department and a special thanks to Officer Witte. I just want to add one or two things about the bank robbery the Mayor referred to. I was discussing that topic with the Chief this morning and he pointed out to me that in the past four years every bank robbery in Springdale has resulted in an arrest. There was one robbery where there were two or three more suspects but we made at least one arrest in that case. Mike is pretty proud of the fact that if you rob a bank in Springdale chances are you are going to get arrested. Our department would extend thanks to the neighboring departments who respond rapidly and effectively in reacting to the information our people collect and put out on the air almost immediately.
Mr. Osborn said we had the creek walk last Saturday. Mr. Vanover and Mrs. McNear joined eight or nine other folks including Dave Butsch, Don Shvegzda and me. We were accompanied by Bruce Koehler, an environmentalist from O-K-I; Dr. Mike Miller, environmentalist from the University of Cincinnati; and two consultants. I had approached Bruce about applying for a green fields grant under the Clean Ohio program. The application deadline is April 30. This is going to be the easiest year to get money because as the bureaucracy gets more complex, the rules are going to get more stringent, plus there are fewer projects competing this year. We control that area of the creek as it goes through Chamberlain Park. The funding under the green fields program is a 75/25% shared expense. Weíd like to make an application for some bank stabilization and channel improvement, widening the channel, slowing the water down so it doesnít rush through so quickly. We would propose taking our local match from the local forestry program. That money comes from developers. Iím estimating a local share of about $50,000. We have a meeting tomorrow with O-K-I and our staff to talk about specifics on the application. The one consultant we have invited back to talk to us is BHE. BHE has a gentleman who specializes in this field. CDS will also be present. The idea is to put together a grant application by April 30 and hopefully see some bank improvement along Beaver Run through our park. I want to thank our two Council people for coming along.
Mr. Osborn said Mr. Knox reported on the most recent O-K-I meeting regarding the proposal to close the exit and entrance ramps at Cooper and at Davis in the Lockland/Reading area. These are very old interchanges and they are certainly under designed. The project Iím involved with, the North-South Transportation Taskforce, came up with the brilliant idea of just closing them down so today I introduced a motion to change the options. The options were to close them down or widen Galbraith, Anthony Wayne and Cooper as an alternate route to get to Benson. Thatís not going to work so I introduced an amendment to the plan today that would make the choices do nothing, or provide the Benson Street area in the Reading/Lockland/Lincoln Heights area with a modern interchange. After extensive discussion it was approved unanimously. I think thatís good news for our area. We depend on the vitality of our surrounding communities and Wyoming, Lockland and Reading have been good neighbors to us and Iím happy it went that way.
Mr. Osborn asked for an executive session to discuss real estate matters.
Mr. Vanover said one of the eye opening issues we found in the creek walk was the handy work of MSD. Have we gotten any resolution to any of those issues yet?
Mr. Osborn replied no, but Dave Butsch is pursing it.
Mr. Knox said Mr. Doan, Director of O-K-I will be happy to hear that. He figured the odds would be 600 to 1 against him at that meeting.
Law Directorís Report - no report
Engineerís Report Ė Mr. Shuler thanked Council for the flowers and get well cards following surgery.
COMMUNITY CENTER ARCHITECTURAL AWARD - Jim Burton
Mr. Osborn said this is an initiative on the part of Mr. Burton to obtain some recognition for the City and he was successful.
Mr. Burton said we come before you this evening to share this recognition of the City with the City. I see a lot of familiar faces and supportive faces here. It was a team effort and thatís why I asked our entire full-time staff to be here this evening if they could. Ten years ago when we expanded the Community Center by 3000 square feet and added the equipped exercise area and racquetball courts, we submitted to the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association for consideration. Annually they have a cadre of awards at their annual convention for facilities and programs, and hand out awards accordingly. At that time, working with Mr. Partridge and Mr. Shuler, that was a category of $250,000 and up, and we won at that time as well. This year we put together a package, Mr. Karle and Ms. Casselman worked very hard on that, and we submitted to the Ohio Parks and Recreation Association, the facility. It fell in the category of $6 million and higher. I can tell you there were some unhappy people in Westerville and Vandelia, but we, along with the City of Dayton riverscapes program, were chosen as outstanding to receive that award. Sharon, Greg and I attended the conference last weekend and received this on Sunday night. Wayne and his people, Jim Schaeper, Jim Warner, Phil Partridge and we lived together for about eighteen months. I would like to recognize all these people and say thank you very much. Weíre just getting started. I would like to share some points and things that you may not be aware of. Hopefully we are being good stewards of what you presented us with and will continue to do so. Our membership last year is up 71% over the previous year. Our revenue was up 96%. More importantly, the items we talked about when we started this facility, diversification in what we offered, getting senior citizens involved, teen issues, were very high on the priority. Iím happy to report that our senior memberships have increased by 93%. We had almost 50,000 entries in the fitness room. Over 1300 children were cared for in the child care facility. Currently we have thirteen programs going on in the studio. We have a couple dozen programs overall throughout the rest of the facility. There were about 3000 recorded entries in the computer room. We had seven teen events last year that drew over 800 young people. I hope youíll find that weíve been good stewards so far. Again, I thank you for your support, Council, the Administration and staff.
Mayor Webster said Iím not sure what I can add to what Jim has said here but I would also like to express my thanks to all the parties involved, especially to Jim and his staff. We gave those people some pretty deplorable working conditions for twenty-four months. The fire certainly compounded that. We appreciated your efforts there.
Mr. Danbury said this award is not only CDS and the staff, but a lot of input was by Jim and his staff. Going around the community, you donít know how proud everybody is of that. Iíve gotten a lot of good comments from seniors and from people who would never even consider going up there. Everybody loves what everybody is doing down there.
Mr. Vanover said if there ever was an answer to the statement "if they build it they will come", this is it. It never ceases to amaze me. Matt and I were talking that the typical resolution drop has not dropped. My hats off to Debbie, who volunteered to be the early bird. We have a lot to be proud of.
Mr. Osborn stated we havenít touched very much on the significance of the award Jim presented us with this evening, but it is very significant. He mentioned we were in a category of $6 million or more, and or more is the key language. We were up against some very big projects. I think it was the result, not only of a great facility that we put together, but the presentation that they put together for the judges of the award contest. When Jim says there are some other jurisdictions who are not happy, itís because they spent quite a bit more money than we did and you only get one shot at this. Jim has every right to be proud of what his staff has done over the past few years getting this place to where it is today, and also the diversity of the programming. All of sudden everybody is congregating at the Community Center. Itís working very well. I donít want to overlook another member of the team and thatís Mr. Parham. I guarantee you, itís better to be on his side than the other side when it comes to negotiating contract disputes. Heís represented us very well. Weíre enjoying the facility and Derrick is faced with binding arbitration and other contract issues.
Mr. Squires said I would just like to add as a member who uses the facility, mainly the fitness center, I am totally amazed by the number of people who are in there and I canít say enough about you, Matt. Youíre the most professional person.
Mr. Galster said I have heard nothing but good things and I am personally proud of the facility.
Mrs. McNear said I think it is nice to hear the people who were totally against the expansion of the recreation center come up and say how beautiful it is and how happy they are that we have it. I think that says a lot when you have someone so dead set against it now proud that we have it in our city.
Mr. Burton said I canít emphasize enough the support from all of you up here and I sincerely mean that, and working with Wayne, Jim and Phil has made a lot of it work the way it has, and obviously the staff. With the additional facilities we can be more flexible with what we now call the auxiliary gym.
Mr. Knox read a letter from Time-Warner Cable: "Time Warner Cable is pleased to announce the introduction of I-Control, the ultimate movie rental experience. Digital cable customers can now order movies when they want when they want them on demand. I-Control provides a library of films and special programs that start at your convenience. You can start, pause and rewind without a VCR. I-Control brings the ultimate movie rental experience right to your home. There are currently 100 movie titles and we continue to add new titles to our library."
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Joe Gratton, junior at Princeton High School, said I have come here today to talk to you about a program that I would like to join during the summer. Thank you for allowing me to come and speak to you briefly about myself and my goals of attending the United States Military Academy and the opportunity I have for participating in "The Future World Leaders Summit" with the presidential scholar program this summer. Ever since I was in elementary school in Springdale, I have dreamed about becoming a military officer and having the military become my life-long career. Over the last three years I have worked very hard academically in the honors program at Princeton in hopes of being accepted to West Point. I have also participated in athletics at Princeton for three years, earning my varsity letter in cross-country and shot-put discus this fall and winter. After three years in Princeton Navy ROTC Program I was honored to be selected commanding officer in my junior year. Being executive officer in PASA (Princeton Against Substance Abuse) helped me this past fall be elected vice-president of the Student Congress for the Coalition of a Drug Free Cincinnati. The coalition, started by Congressman Rob Portman in 1995, has become a national model for community substance abuse prevention and education for school age children and adults. With the opportunity of being selected to participate in the presidential classroom I will acquire first-hand knowledge of our political process and learn invaluable leadership skills. The presidential classroom is an educational organization that brings together high school students from across the country for a week of seminars, discussions, and meetings with the nationís most influential leaders. Iíll be the first student from Princeton to attend the presidential classroom program and I need my communityís support to accomplish this goal. I will represent our community with dignity and honor and make my community proud that you supported me. The support I am referring to is financial support. I am trying to raise funds to pay for tuition and airfare to Washington DC. Thank you very much.
Mr. Vanover said Joe is a former baseball player of mine. I feel like a proud father. When you see the kids come through you kind of take them on as your own. He has been quite a pleasant result. Heís a fine young man. He has officially made application to West Point. We have a prime example of some of Springdaleís finest youth right here in front of us. If anyone can or will, you can contact me or Joe.
Mr. Galster asked what amount are you asking for?
Mr. Gratton replied itís $1100 for tuition and weíre estimating about $500 to Washington DC.
ORDINANCE NO. 10-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE WITH GEORGE R. MASON FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 366 CHERRY STREET, SPRINGDALE, OHIO 45246, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Ordinance 10-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 11-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE WITH ROGERICK AND LINDA JOHNSON FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 364 PLUM STREET AND THE VACANT PARCEL DIRECTLY BEHIND THEIR HOME ON WALNUT STREET, SPRINGDALE, OHIO 45246, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 11-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mrs. McNear said we have a liquor license change of name for the Sunoco at SR 747. There were no objections.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Boy Scout Troop 164 Spaghetti Dinner - March 2
Springdale Youth Boosters Horse Races - February 23
Mayorís Night In - February 27
Employee Recognition Dinner - March 16
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into an executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss possible real estate acquisition. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:28 p.m. and resumed at 9:17 p.m.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
TIF Bond for Phase II Pictoria Island - pending
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution on hotel tax issue - March 6
Purchase defibrillators - March 6
Mayor Webster asked can we delay the resolution on the hotel tax if we find out there is something else in the works.? Council agreed.
Council adjourned at 9:19 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council