President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on March 16, 2005, 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 Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Wilson and McNear.  Mr. Danbury and Mr. Vanover were absent.

 

            The minutes of March 2, 2005 were approved with five affirmative votes.

 

            Mr. Osborn said I would like to invite the Fire Chief to the podium.  We had to go without an assistant chief for many years because of budget restrictions.  That put a severe burden on the entire Fire Department, especially the Chief and his captains. 

 

            Chief Shroyer said the promotion to Assistant Chief left a vacancy in the captains’ ranks.  Terry Bretz is the newly appointed captain.  He has been in the position for about a month.   Terry has been in the fire service for about fifteen years and has been with us twelve years.  He came to us as a firefighter and through his own initiative put himself through paramedic school.  We appreciate Terry and congratulations on your appointment.

 

            Chief Shroyer stated Frank Sutton has a wealth of experience.  He has been in the fire service thirty years.  He has been a paramedic over twenty years.  He has been assistant chief since January.  Frank is a wealth of knowledge and I think the right person for the position.  Thank you for your commitment to the department.

 

            Mr. Osborn said the fire service is one of our core responsibilities.  I’m very proud of the Fire Department and we have a good cadre of leadership. 

 

            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 Cloverdale area of construction is complete for the 2004 program.  The work on the new sidewalks from SR 4 to Cameron Road is completed.  The fire hydrant relocation will be completed in early April.  The Lawnview Avenue construction will start in early April 2005 with an anticipated completion date of early May.  The 2005 street program consists of new curbing and resurfacing in the Observatory Drive area plus work on Van Arsdale and the cul de sacs off Glensprings.  The ordinance authorizing design on this project will be before Council tonight. 

 

Mayor Webster said I was not aware we were going to do the cul de sacs off Glensprings in the 2005 program.  I thought that was 2006.

 

Mr. Shuler responded we are not bidding any work other than the reconstruction of the streets; however, we will be, as we do every year, inspecting all the streets.  These were mentioned earlier to look at, but we are not anticipating doing any work there unless there are repairs necessary. 

 

Mr. Osborn stated we did not budget to do anything other than the Observatory area.  We deliberately removed those cul de sacs from the proposed 2005 program in order to try to stay within budget limitations.

 

Public Utilities                                                              -                       no report

 

Capital Improvements - Mr. Wilson said for the SR 747 CSX grade separation  the water main along SR 747 is completed and the branch to the Crossings at the Park development is active.  Water for fire protection is provided for this development. The only other work will be the sheet pile installation located to the west of the temporary roadway to allow for the excavation and construction of the new railroad bridge.   The installation of the tie backs that help support the sheet pile wall is taking longer than anticipated and is approximately four to six weeks behind schedule. 

 

Finance Committee                                                    -                       no report

 

Planning Commission            - Mr. Galster reported we had a driveway that had four driveway connections to the street at  11475 Walnut Street.  This gentleman has what we consider a normal driveway that comes out on what I considered to be a regular road but is a private alleyway that he owns.  It comes out on Walnut and on Church plus he added a circular driveway in the front of his house for medical reasons.  The City is looking into whether that private alley should become part of the regular street thoroughfare plans.  That was tabled.  Temple Baptist Church and College requested approval of a proposed library at 11985 Kenn Road.  The Church needs the library to retain their accreditation and also because it is on the third floor and that’s too much weight.   That was approved 6-0 with conditions such as moving boats, campers, tow trucks,  etc. that are not part of the Church’s daily operation or needs.  Pier 1 Imports requested approval of two additional signs.  There was a request for SR 747 exposure with signage for the retail establishments that face to the north.  That is basically off-site signage and it was denied 6-0.  The next item was the approval of a variance from the strict application, replanting and penalty at 330 Glensprings Drive, Super 8 Motel.  Four-hundred fifty one inches of trees were cut down.   There was an agreement that he needs to come up with a plan with the City Planner to plant as many trees as that sight will hold.  Anything he is short he will make up with a contribution to the Urban Forestry Fund at a rate of $100 per caliper inch which he will be able to make in five monthly installments.  The penalty phase will be held in abeyance until we see how he performs on this request, then he will be back before Planning Commission to decide what happens with the penalty portion of this issue.  That was approved 6-0.  Approval of a conditional use permit for Union Savings Bank, 11333 Princeton Pike for a drive-thru was approved 6-0.  A preliminary development plan approval for the proposed dental office at 311 West Kemper Road was tabled 6-0.  The preliminary development plan approval for the Pregnancy Care Center on West Kemper Road was also tabled.  The exterior building change at Bob Evans was approved.  Exterior renovation at Value City Furniture Store, 94 West Kemper Road was approved 6-0. 

 

Board of Zoning Appeals – Mr. Squires said we had an administrative appeal of a landscaping driveway plan at Staples that Planning Commission had denied.  That was tabled until the next meeting.  Temple Baptist Church is requesting a library on the property.  The zoning in that area is Residential Single Household.  The Building Department recommended that the variance be granted and the text of the Code be changed to address this situation. 

           

Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt said there was an update on the Springdale Offering Services Committee.   The Children’s Health Fair will be held April 13 at the Sharonville Convention Center.    

 

Veteran’s Memorial Committee                                  -                       no report

 

O-K-I   - Mr. Knox reported I was unable to attend the OKI meeting because I was attending a meeting of the Convention Facility Authority where we toured the new convention center.  They are on budget and from what we saw it looks like an outstanding facility that the people of Hamilton County can be proud of, except on the face of it, it will say Cincinnati, not Hamilton County.

 

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster read a proclamation proclaiming March as “Donate Life Month”.  The proclamation encourages individuals to become part of the organ donor program.

 

Mayor Webster said we have been in contact with Mr. Chabot’s office and also Mr. Raussen’s office to see what help we could get to either not have walls or to restrict where the walls are placed.  I really don’t have an update on that process except I know that Chabot’s office has contacted ODOT.  ODOT is talking to FHA regarding this issue.  The status is that we would try to get the State to resurvey the 590 residents.  As of today Mr. Parham has talked to ODOT and they are still awaiting word from the feds as to whether they will let them resurvey the 590 residents.  We are going forward with the assumption that they will be allowed to do that; therefore, in our City newsletter we have an article on the front page.  We are urging those 590 residents to please respond and we have asked ODOT to clean up the survey so that it will say yes or no to sound walls.  Vegetation will not be an option.  We are stressing the importance of them responding to that.  We reminded people that Springdale residents, as a whole, stated that the sound walls were not to be constructed when the question first arose in 1994.  Eleven years later the response of 109 residents potentially could change the appearance of Springdale along I-275.  So, in addition to encouraging the impacted residents to complete the ODOT survey, City Council is interested in your response to the City-wide survey. 

 

Mayor Webster said the SOS group has identified its first project.  They will be helping two young men living here in Springdale who need work done on the inside of their house.  We have applied to the State for incorporation papers.  When that is finalized we will be submitting a request for a 501(c)3 non-profit organization tax status.  At that point we will be able to accept donations. 

 

Ms. Pollitt said there will be no City funds involved in this.  The money will be from donations from local churches and organizations. 

 

Mayor Webster said the City will stay involved.  Cammie Mitrione has been the driving force to this point.  We probably will use the City Health Department to field questions that people have and try to give them directions on where they can go to seek help.  Long term,  we would like to see the City stay involved to get it up and running, and then turn it over to the private sector.

 

Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mr. Knox said we have our annual letter from the Ohio Commerce Division of Liquor Control which is to notify us that all liquor licenses to sell alcohol in Springdale expire June 1, 2005.  I have checked with Chief Laage and he said the one questionable situation we had has been resolved.  Those folks no longer have a liquor license and he has no problem with any of the liquor licenses in the City being renewed.

 

Mr. Knox reported for the fourth year in a row we received a letter from the Government Finance Officers Association stating that thanks to the work of Mr. Williams, we have received the Award of Excellence for his Comprehensive Financial Report.  When the award arrives we’ll bring it in at that time.     

 

Administrator’s Report – We did an engineering project on Beaver Run Creek.  We had severe erosion, undercutting of the banks, wearing away of the channel bed itself.  We took a newer approach to dealing with these issues.  We used greener types of engineering concepts.  The project outcome is very successful and is being used by the Watershed Council as an example of BMPs (Best Measurement Practices).  The project was nominated to the AECE Ohio which is the Ohio Chapter for the National Association for Consulting Engineers.  The project received the 2005 Engineering Excellence Award and that award goes to CDS who did the design work and to the City.

 

Mr. Osborn continued, you may remember, we had some gabion baskets collapse.  The wall fell over in a section of the creek.  We applied for emergency funding through FEMA and the Ohio Public Works Commission, but unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in those applications.  We do have to move forward with this project as quickly as possible.  It is unbudgeted and we estimate that the project will cost about $50,000.  There is nothing behind this wall except private property. 

 

Mr. Osborn stated we did learn that the City and all of Hamilton County qualified for the FEMA snow removal assistance fund.  We have submitted all the paperwork for reimbursement and have applied for about $27,000 in reimbursement.   We have spent $76,460 in snow removal for this winter and we will get $27,000 back.

 

Mr. Osborn said the two ordinances regarding parking of trucks in residential districts are both under review.  We anticipate having that back before City Council on April 6. 

 

Mr. Osborn said a Crime Watch meeting will occur on March 24 at the Police Department for the Oxford Hill/Beacon Hill area.  The flier that was received at the homes today had an alert attached about a robbery that occurred in the area.  Before the flier hit the homes an arrest was made in the robbery.  It was through our department’s efforts of gathering identifying information, putting that together with other departments who had similar information, that they came up with enough information to put out a bulletin.  An alert police officer saw the vehicle driving in a residential area, pulled him over and found enough evidence to make an arrest.   That one is solved but it does not diminish the importance of Crime Watch.  It underscores it because of the residents who were canvassed provided information that contributed to the outcome.  We encourage those residents in the Oxford Hill/Beacon Hill area to attend the crime watch meeting. 

 

Law Director’s Report                                                 -                       no report         

Engineer’s Report                                                       -                       no report

 

            COMMUNICATIONS                                                   -                       none

 

            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE

 

            Montez Legrand from Life Center Organ Donor Network said I want to thank Council for informing the City of Springdale about the awareness of tissue donations.

 

            Mayor Webster presented the proclamation to Ms. Legrand.

 

            ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

ORDINANCE NO. 15-2005 “ADOPTING CHAPTER 99 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE REGULATING SPOT BLIGHT”

 

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

 

Mayor Webster said this is a last resort measure.  It’s an ordinance that we have been considering for over a year.  We got the boilerplate ordinance from the City of Cincinnati.  They’ve had this on their books for some time.  It’s one we would hope we would never have to use but it’s something we have in trying to fight neighborhood blight, and vacated and abandoned properties.  We have gone out of our way to make sure that no one’s rights are trampled on, that everyone will be given due process before the action is even referred to Council.  This ordinance lays out a procedure that Council would have to go through and, once again, the homeowner would be given due process before any action would be taken.  We appreciate your support of this ordinance.

 

Mr. Osborn stated as we were drafting this ordinance one of the things we changed was instead of saying “City Manager”, was to say “Mayor or his designee”.  The title under Section 99.11 says “Acquisition And Blight Elimination by the City Administrator.”  On my draft we had eliminated “by the City Administrator”.  I would recommend that we do it here.  Throughout the rest of the document we have eliminated reference to any position and refer to it as the Mayor or his designee.

 

Mr. Squires made a motion to amend and Mr. Wilson seconded.  The motion passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Ms. Pollitt said you talked about an abandoned house or a house that’s not being lived in.  Is there a timeframe for that? 

 

Mr. Osborn responded if it’s vacant and it’s being maintained there wouldn’t be any cause.  But, if it’s vacant and not being maintained, we would take the necessary steps to try to cause the debilitated areas to be corrected through the normal process of notices and citations.  It would only come to this measure after exhausting all other efforts and not receiving compliance.  This is not something we relish or look forward to doing.  We need it as a tool to deal with highly problematic properties. 

 

Ms. Pollitt said there is a property in District Three that is vacant and has a notice on the door.  I was wondering if the City knew anything about it.

 

Mr. Osborn replied if you talk to me after the meeting I’ll find out what property you are talking about.

 

Ordinance 15-2005 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 17-2005  “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH CDS ASSOCIATES, INC., FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES NECESSARY FOR THE 2005 STREET PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

        Ordinance 17-2005 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

OLD BUSINESS

 

            Mrs. McNear said we do have the annual filing to the Ohio Ethics Commission due mid April. 

 

            NEW BUSINESS                                                                    -           none

           

            MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

           

SYB opening day                                                                    -           April 16

Board of Zoning Appeals                                                         -           April 19

Planning Partnership annual meeting                         -           April 11

District 3 Crime Prevention                                                    -           April 5

 

Summer operating schedule – no meetings the first week in July and August.

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE                        -           none

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT

 

Parking of commercial vehicles in residential area                -           April 6

 

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED                  -           none

 

Council adjourned at 8:02 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Edward  F. Knox

                                                                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2005