††††††††††† President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on March 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, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.(Mr. Danbury left at 7:30 p.m.)

 

††††††††††† The minutes of February 16, 2005 were approved with seven affirmative votes.

††††††††††† COMMUNICATIONS†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† none

 

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

 

††††††††††† ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

ORDINANCE NO. 14-2005 ďAUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MARKETING DEVELOPMENTS, INC. FOR DEVELOPMENT CONSULTING SERVICES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCYĒ

 

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

 

Mr. Tulloch said the project, Tri County Retail District Revitalization Project is a research and planning effort that will cost approximately $240,000 over a period of seven months.It will result in astrategic plan for the aggregate retail district that includes not only Tri-County but the 4.5 million square feet of retail in this area.Mr. Ichelbaum has pointed out in the past that while the Tri-County retail district is fundamentally sound, there is competition from neighboring areas such as Cincinnati Mills, Kenwood, Rockwood I and II and West Chester.The impact could cause Tri-County to go into decline and we want to prevent that.Acquisition of Tri-County Mall by Thor Enterprises is an excellent impetus for the overall revitalization project.

 

Mr. Stan Ichelbaum, President of Marketing Developments, said there should not be a feeling of crisis in Tri-County, and Springdale should be given credit for being an opportunistic community that took advantage of the great expansion of retail in the suburbs very early and became a forefront in the community.Now you are the point where there is a need to figure out how to structure that future planning to make sure it is competitive.We are trying to make sure that Springdale/Tri-County area is as contemporary a retail site as can be.We must prove the validity of trade area to the mall versus the competitive sites.Springdale must contemporize the area with signage and everything else.We want to make it user friendly for consumers, the community, the owners and tenants so that they see it as a place to invest future dollars, and we must make the brokerage community friendly to recommending Springdale as the most vital site servicing northern Cincinnati and the region.The goal is to be as proactive as possible rather than reactive.We must make sure that all expenses act as a catalyst in getting the private sector to spend more money and making this area the priority choice for consumption, businesses, etc.We will try to figure out how user friendly this environment can be with cost efficient improvements to the area.We will be looking at what possibilities and enhancements can be done that can create higher taxation and newness to the area.We are going to create a basis for research so that the City can be prepared for any opportunity or crisis of dislocation to Springdale and defend itself as aggressively as possible.

 

Mr. Wilson said you mention in the budget a strategic plan to convert to powerpoint.Can you be more specific in how you plan to do this?

 

Mr. Ichelbaum replied we will be putting together a whole presentation for everybody in written form and then it has to be embellished because it is a presentation for brokerages that has to be exciting.

 

Ordinance 14-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 15-2005 ďADOPTING CHAPTER 99 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE REGULATING SPOT BLIGHTĒ

 

First reading.

 

Ms. Pollitt stated when I first heard about this ordinance I was a little concerned.I did research on the internet and Altoona, Pennsylvania has had a blight ordinance since 1979, and many other communities also have a blight ordinance. Quite often the committee who is charged with enforcement is appointed.I was glad to know that here it would come before Council and the elected officials would be accountable to our residents.The community needs to keep maintenance codes in effect.We need something in place that will allow us to move on blighted property when people are not being responsible for their property.If itís a hardship case I think Council will be compassionate enough to work with the residents.If itís not a hardship case, then weíll have in place what we need in place to make sure that property is taken care of.This ordinance is for the good of the majority of people in Springdale.If a property is going to hurt property values we need to do something about it.We need to stay on top of the residential areas as well as commercial.

 

Mayor Webster said I think itís something that is long overdue.Cincinnati has an ordinance very similar to this.Itís a very powerful ordinance and we wrestled with it for two years before we even brought it to Council. Itís not something that I take lightly. But, I can take you to places in the city, one that I know for a fact that there have been four or five homeowners who sold their property because of a vacant house in the neighborhood.The property owner stays just ahead of the Building Department and the property is sitting there deteriorating.Itís hurting values of every home in a two block area.There are enough safeguards.The homeowner would have his day in court.I very strongly support this.

 

Mr. Vanover said we donít want to become landlords or owners but we definitely need this tool.

 

Mr. Squires said I think this is overdue.The building codes are there but have not been working that effectively.Council is not in the business of taking somebodyís property.There are numerous steps before it ever gets to us.

 

Mr. Galster stated the Planning Partnership involves a lot of jurisdictions in Hamilton County who are afraid of doing property maintenance codes because of backlash.You may have one upset resident but ten are thrilled that you are enforcing the codes.†† There is room for compassion built into the ordinance.You see good communities that have maintained their housing stock and bad communities.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 16-2005 ďAUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH STATEWIDE FORD FOR THE PURCHASE OF THREE 2005 FORD INTERCEPTOR POLICE CRUISERS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCYĒ

 

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

 

Mr. Parham said in 2001 we purchased our police cruisers.Then we began to face our financial challenges. ††In 2004, we had not purchased any new cruisers for a three-year period.We entered into a lease-to-purchase agreement to pay out over 2004/2005/2006 for three new police cruisers.Since the passing of the 2004 tax rate issue we have taken on a little more revenue and should be in a position to purchase cruisers.We are looking to keep them three to four years.The cars would only be used on two shifts, thus preserving their life.This is part of our 2005 budget.We budgeted $25,000 per vehicle and the cost is $21,217 per vehicle.

 

Mayor Webster said we asked Derrick to get the price for a lease.The cost was about the same either way.

 

Ordinance 16-2005 passed with six affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R3-2005 ďSUPPORTING THE APPLICATION OF SPRINGDALE SENIOR LIMITED PARTNERSHIP FOR TAX CREDITS FROM THE OHIO HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY TO HELP FINANCE BALDWIN GROVEĒ

 

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

 

Mayor Webster asked, if the tax credit is not granted, would it jeopardize the project?

 

Mr. Patch, CMHA, replied it would delay it.Our goal is to utilize the ownership equity low income housing tax credits to help provide for the construction. We are trying to raise an additional $4 million in financing.

 

Mayor Webster said you are looking at a late spring groundbreaking.We were told that the groundbreaking would be in the spring of 2004 and it didnít happen.Will it be late spring without the tax break delayed?

 

Mr. Patch responded it will be a late spring groundbreaking regardless.That would include site development work also.That will take us into fall with occupancy in mid to late 2006.

 

Mayor Webster said we have a sizeable investment in a project with nothing happening.It has been a good year plus what we had anticipated.

 

Mr. Patch stated we had problems with the architecture. and Springdale is more favorable for the tax credit in 2005.

 

Mayor Webster asked what does a non-profit organization do with tax credits?

 

Mr. Patch answered the tax credits are sold to limited partner investors.They are then sold to individual investors who pay 86 cents on a dollar to receive $100 in tax credits over the next year.It drives the equity to allow us to leverage federal funds for the project.Itís a mixed finance and income project and a $16 million deal.

 

Mrs. McNear asked can you get other financing to develop the project?

 

Mr. Patch said we have our own constraints.The federal funds††††††† development cap is far less than what the cost of this project is going to be.If we did a total federal funds deal, we would be limited to tax credit totally a public housing project.We want a mixed housing project; middle and low income residents.

 

Mr. Wilson said you are not beginning construction until tax credits are in place.I though I saw diagrams of the building.Why are we waiting for the architects?Are the architects going to make changes?

 

Mr. Patch replied the architects have not worked on this project in two years.††The construction drawings are ready for permts.If we are unsuccessful in getting 9% federal tax credit, we will fall back on tax exempt bonds and accept the 4% Hamilton County tax credits and proceed forward.

 

Ms. Pollitt asked when will you know when you have been granted the tax credits?

 

Mr. Patch answered mid June.There is no incentive to invest in low income housing because we lost all of our tax advantages with the exception of low income housing tax credits.Itís the only vehicle that developers can use to bring in low income housing.

 

††††††††††† Resolution R3-2005 passed with six affirmative votes.

†††††††††††

OLD BUSINESS

 

Mr. Parham made a request to extend the FOP fact finding process until May 11, 2005.

 

Mr. Galster made a motion to grant the request and Ms. Pollitt seconded.The motion passed with six affirmative votes.

 

Mayor Webster said we distributed a copy of the e-mails between Jim Raussen and Steve Chabot and the City.There are some interesting comments about someone inquiring about legal action to be sure the City gets the noise barriers. We have been in touch with ODOT and FHA.We asked ODOT to go back to the 590 asked residents and re-poll.ODOT indicates that they would do it but they need a sign-off from the FHA.We have a community newsletter at the printer right now.We would like to have an article in it explaining to all the residents the status of the walls and direct special attention to the 590 residents being requested to respond to ODOTís new questionnaire.††We also are tying to get ODOT to take berms and vegetation off the question.The option is a wall or no wall.††There were 162 responses.One hundred-nine said they want the wall.Those 109 people will dictate to the City that we have walls.I donít think that is representative of our City.We need to hear from the residents.††† We have also found federal regulations that if the residents say they want the walls and the local government doesnít want the wall, the feds will walk away from the entire project and I donít think we want that.

 

††††††††††† NEW BUSINESS

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster reported that Council has a draft of the parking regulation.Previously we had said that we wanted Council to recommend this to Planning Commission tonight and for a legal ad to be run.We are still logging data.We had Al Winkle take some pictures of vehicles and we are not entirely comfortable recommending the ordinance as you have seen it in the past.We think some more work needs to be done on it.The urgency of passing the ordinance has been relieved since we have gotten the wrecker off the street.The safety issue has been resolved and we want to take more time to make sure the ordinance is right.Mr. McErlane recommended doing away with weight restriction on the trucks.

 

††††††††††† After discussion about the size of trucks, Mr. Wilson stated we need to further define commercial vehicles versus passenger vehicles.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Parham said Mr. Knox had reported at a previous meeting that the City would be eligible for reimbursement for expenses during the December 23, 2004 snow storm.Mr. Butsch met with FEMA representatives last week and was told we would be receiving a check for $26,500.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Parham said that from time to time MSD runs cameras through the sanitary sewers checking for blockages.Recently they identified a collapse on Clearfield Lane.They are now planning to make repairs to the sewers to prevent basement backups.To date no backups have been reported.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Parham continued, the 2005 Street Program has been put together for the Public Works Committee.There will be a complete overlay and curb repair in the Observatory Drive area at a cost of $645,000.In addition, another $117,000 is scheduled for other city-wide repairs, only if necessary.We would request legislation for the engineering work at the next meeting.

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster stated they we will finish the Lawnview Avenue project left over from 2004.

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster reported there has been dwindling attendance on the swim team.They need 120 kids to be competitive.Last year there were 74 and this year 65 have signed up.They are asking to be allowed to recruit from other areas for the swim team.I suggested that we offer to let the Glendale community join our swimming pool.They would welcome that.We are proposing a family membership of $200 per year or individual membership at $50 per year.†† Attendance is down at our pool and there would be no increase in maintenance fees.It would be an opportunity for Glendale residents to see our activities and possibly combine teams.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Squires made a motion to allow Glendale residents to join the pool this year and Ms. Pollitt seconded.

 

††††††††††† Ms. Pollitt said it is important to keep the children on the swim team competitive.

 

††††††††††† Mayor Webster said the Commission agreed to hold off until June 1 to see how many kids sign up, then recruit if necessary.

 

††††††††††† The motion passed with six affirmative votes.

†††††††††††

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

 

††††††††††† Board of Health†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† March 10, 2005

††††††††††† Planning Commission††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† March 8, 2005

††††††††††† Board of Zoning Appeals†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† March 15, 2005

 

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

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT

 

Parking regulation†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† open

 

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED

 

Engineering for street program†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† -†††††††††† March 16, 2005

 

Council adjourned at 8:30 p.m.

 

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

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2005