President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on March 18, 2009, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mrs. McNear gave the invocation.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Diehl, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and Harlow.
The minutes of March 4, 2009 with a correction to the spelling of Vietnam were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission Mr. Vanover stated Mayor Webster and Mrs. Harlow were at the meeting and requested a reclassification of an administrative position from a level 10 administrative assistant to a Level 11 technical service administrator. The commission agreed with the results. Civil Service discussed results of an ongoing neighboring communities survey regarding testing procedures for classified Civil Service positions. They hope to conclude this process next month and use this information to refine and formalize our own procedure.
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission Mr. Galster said Hooters asked for an extension to bring the building back to the original condition of brick and stone since they had just painted after the windstorm. We gave them a three year time frame to bring it back because of the cost to restore it. A Zoning Code text amendment that is on the agenda tonight was approved 7-0 by Planning Commission.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health Mr. Squires stated the Health Department had issues with the kitchen and pool which had been closed but the hotel itself was not closed by the Health Department. The Board will hold a rabies clinic on September 26 providing rabies vaccines and also doing microchip implanting for a small fee.
Mr. Squires said there has been a change in the amount of flu vaccine allotted to the local Health Departments this year and the nurse expects to receive only 100 doses from the State. Those on Medicare and certain supplemental insurances will be able to get their vaccines from Maxim at no cost. Because the Health Department has to buy the rest of the vaccine the Board decided to charge $20 per adult. Childrens vaccine and TB testing will be continued at no charge.
Mayor Webster said if you just have Medicare only, Maxim will bill Medicare. If you have a supplement with Medicare, Maxim only bills certain ones. Hopefully they can get more of the insurance companies to sign up.
Mr. Squires said those that are billed for the shots will be given a receipt and may submit to their insurance companies themselves.
Veterans Memorial Committee Mr. Wilson said they expect to have the dedication ceremony on May 24, 2009.
O-K-I - no report
Mayors Report Mayor Webster reported the City has had a request from a couple of residents to allow golf carts on public streets. The carts are licensed and have all the safety equipment and they claim they are totally legal. The Police Department and Legal Department are working on that. We have found a ruling some time ago that the Ohio Attorney General said that local jurisdictions couldnt prohibit these assuming they meet a certain criteria.
Mr. Galster said I believe they cant be on a street with a speed posted more than 35 mph.
Mayor Webster responded we think its 25 mph but were working on it.
Mr. Wilson said I dont know of any golf course that goes 25 mph. Thats slowing traffic a lot. You can get homeowners insurance but that doesnt include property damage.
Mr. Galster stated my understanding is they are just like the under 50 mopeds. They dont require a license to be on City streets.
Mayor Webster said this research isnt finished. Our request to the Legal Department is can we limit golf carts to streets with speed limits of 25 mph or less. Can we chose to not permit them on public streets without violating anybodys rights or any State code? The answer from the Law Department was since the City may choose to establish local regulations, you are free to set the speed restrictions to whatever Council wishes. As for not permitting them on public streets, thats been more complicated. An Ohio Attorney General opinion from 2008 states that a golf cart may not lawfully be operated on public streets unless its satisfies all statutory requirements applicable to motor vehicles. It must be registered, have license plates, meet the operating, safety and equipment requirements and have insurance coverage. So if they meet all of those we cant prohibit them. We can prohibit them on streets with certain speed limits.
Mayor Webster said I would like Mr. Parham to give an update on the stimulus package. Also, in the Tri-County Press there is question that the Springdale Police Department has requested $150,000 federal stimulus money to expand its surveillance camera system throughout the City. This is totally not true. There is some sensitivity to terrorist attacks and Homeland Security had identified certain malls throughout the country as soft targets so they made some money available to put cameras at strategic places. We applied for and were granted funds for that. It is partially complete. This request was to finish entrances at Tri County and that intersection. It is not to put cameras throughout the City.
Mr. Parham stated the process is an ever moving one and there are dollars coming from everywhere. We received correspondence from the Director of Department of Community Development Hamilton County who has been informed that the County will receive about $900,000 for Community Development Block Grant projects. Priorities must be given to projects that will be under contract within 120 days of award of the funds. The projects must involve jobs and labor as opposed to projects that involve simple acquisitions. They expect to award a maximum of $100,000 to any one project and as little as $25,000 could be considered. Last year we were successful in receiving funds through the normal Community Block Grant Program. We are now looking to see if there are other projects that would meet this particular requirement. If you have ideas we are open to hearing those. Many communities are throwing a lot of things at these programs to acquire some of these dollars. I dont have a deadline as the County is awaiting more direction from the federal government. At the last meeting Mr. Osborn indicated that he had passed out a list of projects that total $1.8 billion. Of that $31 million could be awarded through OKI and the State of Ohio. We were informed earlier this week that our Northland Boulevard project has been selected as one at a cost of $950,000. In addition, we have been successful in the Police Department to receive funding for a JAG grant. That program will receive $24,838. Throughout the years we have been one of the communities that have constantly provided statistics to the FBI for serious crimes. There are fifteen communities including Springdale who will share $2.9 million. You cannot spend the money on anything that is already in the budget so we decided to purchase a new police cruiser. We had not planned to purchase one in 2010.
Mayor Webster said that will help our budget in 2011 forward.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director Mrs. McNear reported the tax filing deadline is April 15, 2009. The Ohio Ethics Financials for elected officials is also April 15
Administrators Report Mr. Parham stated that we were informed that the SR 4/Glensprings continuous lane project bid opening was held on March 4. Barrett Paving was the low bidder and the project came in 17% less than what the State estimated. We had to deposit $83,004 into an account. We should have a savings of approximately $14,000. They have indicated our savings may not be the total 17% but it should be close. In a previous meeting Mr. Osborn spoke about FEMA reimbursement. We received two checks for reimbursement of our expenses for the September 14 storm. We received a check for $140,887 for debris removal under Category A, and then another for $5,290 for Category C (street sign and road damage) and G (property damage). We are required to deposit those funds into a grant account and they can only be used to reimburse our expenses in the areas in which they were generated. We do expect to receive another $6,000 to $7,000.
Mayor Webster said the really good thing about this is that it was not accounted for in our budget.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda said the signal installation is underway at the SR 4 and Crescentville intersection. By mid April the rest of the work should be underway. Barrett Paving was the low bidder for the SR 4 continuous northbound lane north of Glensprings project. Construction is underway in the area of GE Park along East Crescentville Road with a completion date of September 30, 2009. The Veterans Memorial fountain flow issues correction has begun. The memorial stone and story stone engraving will commence as soon as the proof of the revised wording is received and approved. The formal dedication will be held Memorial Day weekend. The SR 4 southbound lane addition at I-275 have been submitted to ODOT for permit review. We will receive $86,303 in MRF funds and anticipate receiving OPWC funding for $258,908. The SR 4 ODOT paving Sharon Road to Cameron Road was deferred and will not become active until at least 2012. The SR 747 ODOT paving project Kemper Road to I-275 eastbound off-ramp is anticipated to begin August 2009. The Northland Boulevard repair and resurfacing was selected by OKI for stimulus funding in the amount of $950,000.
Mrs. McNear said I received a letter from the State Fire Marshalls office and they have granted us a 2008 training grant application so we will be receiving $350.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
PRESENTATION Healthy Women, Healthy Lives - Pat Bachus
Ms. Bachus, Good Samaritan Hospital spoke about Healthy Women, Healthy Lives, a program to focus on people who are most at risk and Tri-Healths commitment to service the community. We will be holding a clinic at The Healing Center at The Vineyeard Church on June 13, 2009 and will be doing health screenings such as cardiovascular, cholesterol, mammograms, and osteoporosis. We have Hispanic interpreters on site.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 5-2009 AMENDING THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, TO AMEND SECTION OF CHAPTER 153 .533 OF THE SPRINGDALE ZONING CODE
Mr. Schneider said on the Exhibit A, on III A, the amendment is April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2010. The next line should be March 31, 2010 and the bottom line is the same. On B that is March 31, 2009 also.
Mrs. McNear read the ordinance.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to amend Ordinance 5-2009 to add the dates March 31, 2010 and April 1, 2009. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Galster and I were just having a discussion that the dates inserted here are different from the ones recommended by Planning Commission. To be consistent we should use the dates that Planning Commission recommended to Council so that it will take effect thirty days from today.
Mr. Galster said the dates should be beginning April 17, 2009 and ending April 16, 2010. The other dates would be April 16, 2010.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to withdraw the original motion to add dates and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to amend with the revised corrected dates of 4/17/2009 to 4/16/2010. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said the whole purpose of this is to try to give our businesses some relief to the Zoning Code so they can display banners and signs. They would be restricted to advertising their product and specials. They can not be used for now hiring or now leasing, space available, etc. The way it is worded it would be up to the individual business owner to make application to the Building Department. This will allow a sign for thirty days and could be renewed eleven times. If they are in a center with multiple tenants, it will be first come first served. If a tenant comes in for renewal and someone in the center is waiting, the one that is waiting would get priority.
Mr. Galster said there is a separate code that covers now hiring signs. They are not affected by this change.
Ordinance 5-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 6-2009 ESTABLISHING THE POSITION IN THE CLASSIFIED SERVICE OF TECHNICAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATOR, ESTABLISHING COMPENSATION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Wilson asked did we have this position once before?
Mr. Parham replied years ago we had an Information Systems person.
Mr. Wilson asked was that the same pay grade?
Mr. Parham responded at that time that position was a total Information Systems position. This position over the years, as our computer system as evolved, where we started up with PCs on individual desktops and the system began to grow into a LAN system she began to acquire knowledge. She still maintains other administrative assistant type duties but she also has to take on a number of other responsibilities, telecommunication systems.
Mayor Webster said the position you are referring to we had at the old building. I think we merged that with the Assistant City Administrators position.
Mr. Vanover said it talks about essential functions, i.e.,CAT 5 cables. CAT 5 is a couple of generations back. Have we looked at E6?
Mr. Parham answered we also have NextStep Networking that provides the more intense IT functions for us. Im sure they keep us up to speed with whatever those needs are. The job description was designed a couple of years back and she probably did not catch those things.
Mrs. Harlow stated I was at the Civil Service Commission meeting to support the upgrade of this position. The position is nothing similar to an administrative assistant. It is not to upgrade the person, but to upgrade the position. My argument for supporting this was if you have to replace the employee that is doing this job and you wanted to hire an administrative assistant, which is what the job description calls for, you would not be able to interview people who have the IT experience or the IT background. Its not part of the job qualifications. At that point in time the job description would have to be upgraded if you wanted to get someone qualified for the position.
Ordinance 6-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO.7-2009 AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF DOCUMENTS TO EFFECTUATE AMENDMENTS TO CERTAIN FINANCING DOCUMENTS FOR THE PICTORIA PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Brenda Wehmer said the ordinance has been read and as it states in its body, some amendments to the existing transaction documents are necessary to reflect these changes and interest rates and fees. There were maximum caps in the original document. Given current market conditions and financial institution requirements they are requesting that certain of these fees go up so we need to provide for the ability to have those fees at those levels in the original transaction documents which is effectuated by the amendments to those documents. This ordinance is then approving those amendments.
Mr. Schneider stated there is no impact upon the part of the City as a result of these changes.
Ms. Wehmer said currently the bonds are paid from the TIF revenues and special assessments that you have assigned to the Trustees so the money flows into the City and directly goes to the Trustee under the original trust agreement and cooperative agreement. No other funds of the City are responsible for these bonds or these fee increases. They are only allowed to take these fees out of the existing pledged revenues which are the service payments and the special assessments particular to that property, the Pictoria property. There is no additional pledge made by the City and no additional claim from the Port Authority or the bond holders to any other revenues of the City in response to this. It is the letter of credit fees rather than the trustee fees that are going up at this time.
Mr. Wilson said I see where it says US Bank has requested it but I assume we have no choice.
Ms. Wehmer replied that was the question that I asked of the Port Authoritys bond counsel when he called and said we need to do this. I said we need to do this because US Bank is asking and he said because we have no choice. They will not extend the letter of credit and no other bank is ready, willing and able at this time to replace that letter of credit in the same amount under the same terms. If there was another bank ready, willing and able to provide it, they would be requesting the same fees at the increased levels.
Mr. Diehl asked how long is the letter of credit for?
Ms. Wehmer replied letter of credit extensions are for a year. The initial letter of credit was for just over a year because of the timing of closing, payments of interest and principal. It is typical in these types of transactions that the letter of credit is only for a year at a time and subject to renewal every year. There are a couple more months left on the actual letter of credit at this time but they have to give notice of extensions so far in advance that we need to take care of this at this point to prevent an actual drawdown on the existing letter of credit for failure to provide a replacement letter of credit.
Mr. Diehl asked so you could be back here again next year.
Ms. Wehmer responded we certainly hope not but anything is possible.
Mr. Diehl asked how long are the bonds for all together?
Ms. Wehmer replied the bonds were for the remainder of the life of the TIF which I believe at the time we closed was around twenty-three years.
Mr. Galster said if for some reason one of the other parties doesnt sign off on these same changes, then the letter of credit is called.
Ms. Wehmer replied the letter of credit would be drawn down and then they would go into default mode and the developer would be on the hook to reimburse the letter of credit bank if a drawdown was made at a substantial penalty cost to the developer. It is my understanding that the Port Authority has already taken action approving these changes and MEPT has already provided the Port Authority their consent to these changes.
Mr. Galster said so this change or any future change, whether anybody signs or doesnt sign it, will not change the position of the City of Springdale.
Ordinance 7-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said the funding from Macys to transport Heritage Hill school children to the Springdale Reds game is not available this year. I have been talking with Officer Bemmes about this. Also, Gapper will be in attendance here in Springdale for the opening day parade.
Mayor Webster said we are looking for a corporate sponsor who might want to step in and provide sixty to eighty tickets for the kids.
NEW BUSINESS - none
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss possible economic development issues. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:28 a.m. and resumed at 9:07 p.m.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED - none
Council adjourned at 9:09 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council