President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on
September 16, 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 September 2, 2009 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - Mr. Galster said the only item we had was a request from Cricket for a wireless communication tower conditional use permit for 11970 Kenn Road. They were at the August meeting as well. There has been additional discussion concerning the height. They claim they need the tower to provide indoor cell phone coverage. There is a lot of debate as to whether the FCC regulations require that we permit cell towers for normal use walking down the street or in your car, or does it require that we send a signal strong enough to get it in your basement. We are still trying to determine what is the maximum height they need to provide the services they want. This item was tabled until October.
Board of Zoning Appeals Mr. Danbury reported a variance was granted for a garage conversion into living space at 853 Tivoli Lane. A variance was granted for a produce stand at 11093 Springfield Pike to be open year round. The stands can be no larger than 20 feet by 30 feet for two vendors. If the operator wants to add more vendors he would have to come back to us. It passed with a 4-2 vote.
Mr. Squires asked was there any discussion as to what effect this would have on the Farmers Market?
Mr. Danbury replied that was brought up but thats not our consideration. We have to be totally objective.
Mr. Squires said that area is zoned business. Mr. Danbury stated yes, it is general business.
Mayor Webster said we are a free market society. However, I have grave concerns about the whole process here. As I told both Council members on that commission, Id like to see us have a thorough review of exactly how that got before BZA last evening. I dont think it was the right place for it to be. I think it should have been directed to Planning Commission. The Board has given them a variance so we have told this proprietor that you dont have to build a structure. You can operate out of a tent in perpetuity. With all the money that people have spent, not only the City, but Maple Knoll, Baldwin Grove and up and down the Pike, its a beautiful setting. But now the first thing you are going to see when you come into the City from the south is Daisy Mae Market. I dont think its the right business at the right place. Having said that, maybe theres nothing we can do to stop it since its zoned GB, but maybe thats something we need to take a look at. Were going to do what we can to make sure all the is were dotted and ts were crossed before this comes to fruition.
Mr. Galster said the additional concern is that we allow a tent structure instead of concrete mortar construction. Right now it happens to be for a produce stand but because the variance continues on, if the produce market moves out we could have a tent that is used for a flea market. My concern is that any other general business could operate out of a tent if this particular use stops in five years, ten years, thirty years.
Mr. Vanover asked was there any move on the applicants part for parking lot improvement or are they just going to pull onto the gravel?
Mr. Danbury replied it had been a restaurant. It is not going to be a place where you have to have police out there directing traffic. He said there may be twelve people an hour. If parking is an issue we can revoke the license if it is a nuisance.
Mr. Vanover said there is a certain upkeep we would like to see. If they are not spending the money for brick and mortar, its not the entrance I would like to see.
Mrs. McNear said we do allow tents in the City from time to time on a limited basis and were letting this organization do it every day. I just wonder what message that sends when we have businesses that have been in town for years and years who have made a commitment to brick and mortar to be part of our community and we only allow them to do it occasionally, yet this organization can do it all the time.
Mr. Galster said not having been privy to the plans and presentation that was put before BZA, Vincenzos was a pretty small restaurant to begin with, very small parking area. I dont know where the tents are going to be located as far as laying out for parking and deliveries. You cant have this going through gravel and dirt.
Mr. Danbury said we can only discuss and vote on things brought to us from the City building. We cant look at whether its in competition with anybody. This is General Business. We allow a business to be in there. If the Building Department should have sent it to Planning Commission first, I dont know. We have to consider whats in front of us. We cant look at parking because thats not necessarily BZA. It is to a point.
Mr. Galster responded you do consider parking. If the parking numbers arent met they have to get a variance to allow for less parking than the use would require. I dont know if a proper review is able to be done if we dont know what the impervious surface area is, where the tents are located, or if a loading dock is contained within the site for us to be able to figure out what parking is available to know whether it meets the parking requirements of the City. I understand you are not acting on a parking variance because one wasnt before you, but at the same time, if there is a change to the use, which of course there is, there needs to be some kind of evaluation of whether the parking needs of that business are met. Im hearing from you that it wasnt requested as a variance so it must have been okay.
Mr. Danbury said the last line from Staffs comments is there are no aspects regarding this property that should make it unsuited for allowable use allowed in a General Business District.
Mr. Galster replied that is talking about use, not about specifics to parking, etc. You didnt act on a variance because there was no variance request before you because there was probably no parking analysis done.
Mayor Webster stated parking is just a prime example of why it should have been sent to Planning Commission. The fact that some vendor or businessman says I cant wait, if you dont give me what I want tonight then Im going to another City, then the response ought to be dont let the door hit you on the way out. Thats exactly the way I feel about it. We shouldnt act in haste on these things. It should have gone to Planning. Planning has the ability to give them a conditional use permit. They could have done it for a year and see how it works out. If it works out, then they could renew it for another year or give them a permanent conditional use. But BZA cant do that. Once you act its forever. Im going to have Derrick do a thorough review and find out exactly how it got to you last night. At the same time, I want the Law Department to review what happened to see if theres not some way we can overturn this.
Mr. Diehl said Mr. Galster, the pad is still there. This business will operate on a 20 foot by 30 foot area every day. The truck will roll up to the pad, unload rolling tables, put them on the pad, and at night they go back on the truck.
Mr. Galster said so they will set up every day and take down every night. So this tent and all its supporting tables, etc. will be on the pad itself. The existing restaurant pad is the only space they will be using. My other concern is that we have an applicant before BZA who doesnt have a signed lease. Im not sure if there is a request from the owner to allow the applicant to request a variance.
Mr. Diehl replied he had that. Mr. Danbury said it was all contingent on getting a variance.
Mr. Wilson stated the only concern I have is how did he know to go to BZA in the first place? If he went to the Building Department to get started, then the Building Department should have instructed him as to where to go. Before we shoot it down I think we need to find out how did it get to BZA first, what papers did they have that allowed them to bypass Planning? I think we need to make our corrections based on what happened and what we need to do.
Mr. Parham said everything goes through the Building Department in order to get on the agenda for Board of Zoning Appeals as well as Planning Commission. In having my discussion with the staff this afternoon, the corridor plan goes as far south as Baldwin Grove. Everything south of Baldwin Grove is General Business. The ability to sell a product under General Business is how it qualifies. If you have a product that you are attempting to sell that qualifies under General Business, and you make application to the Building Department and you want some relief of the restrictions and regulations, it goes to the Board of Zoning Appeals. The relief was the variance. The variance was to be able to operate this business without a building or structure. The Board of Zoning Appeals had the ability to say no, we will not allow you to operate in a tent or truck without four walls and a building. Based on the information they heard last night they made the decision to permit that. So the Building Department examined the information and delivered it to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Board of Health Mr. Squires stated the first case of West Nile Virus was reported in August. The license fees for food service operations were given to the Board. They are lower than Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Norwood and Sharonville. The Health Department is receiving PHER (Public Health Emergency Resource) funding for H1N1 planning. The Ohio Department of Health will provide pandemic supplies at no cost to the states. Jarods Law that went into effect for school inspections has been repealed by the State. The Boulevard has been fined $1,000 for smoking violations and they have appealed. A rabies clinic will be held September 26 and the seasonal flu clinic is scheduled for September 24.
Mr. Diehl stated we had the Health Commissioner in several months ago to give us an update on the flu. I wonder if she could come back for a current update.
Veterans Memorial Committee Mr. Wilson said they decided to have the next memorial service on Veterans Day, November 11, 2010. The Parks and Recreation Department was asked to prepare an agenda for review. The next item was the story stones to honor minorities and women who served honorably in the military. We will prepare a packet and present it to the engraver. The third item was to honor military personnel who died while on active duty but not in combat. Our committee will meet on items 1 and 2 when they are ready to be discussed and then we will decide on item 3. A check for $500 was donated by the All State Insurance Company which will be used for the story stones for the minorities and women. Some of the committee members met today at the memorial to discuss a site for those who died on active duty but not in combat.
O-K-I - no report
Mayors Report - no report
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administrators Report Mr. Parham stated we applied for Community Development Block grant dollars to institute the home improvement program. We were successful in receiving $20,000 for years 2009, 2010 and 2011. The program is based upon the Community Development Departments fiscal year which is March to March. We received authorization after forwarding our plan to the Community Development Program. We received authorization in May. We actually began to roll out our information with the June newsletter and some announcements from here. So, September 1 is when the program really began to take off. As of September 1 we had fourteen applications. Twelve had been approved, one had been denied and one pending. We are also committed to $10,308 for the approved projects. The grant is limited to $1,000 and must be used for the exterior of the home. After the work is done you submit your receipts to the City for reimbursement, and we apply back to the Community Block Grant Program who reimburses us. The program has enabled a number of low income families and individuals to have improvements to their homes that may not have been able to afford otherwise.
Mr. Galster said I thought SOS was floating that money.
Mr. Parham responded the City has to reimburse the individual up front, then we get our money back from the County. For those individuals who cannot perhaps find the dollars somewhere else, SOS is a last resource.
Mayor Webster said the only time SOS would come into play is if someone was approved for the grant but didnt have the money to do the work. Then SOS would front the money and once the City was reimbursed that money would go back to SOS.
Mrs. Harlow said the Hamilton County Home Improvement loan had been available for awhile. It went away and now it is back. Its a wonderful tool for people who want to improve their homes. You do have to qualify based on your own credit scores. You have to get a building permit and have the work inspected.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda said the signal is working at the SR 4/Crescentville Road intersection. Theyve begun the grinding and resurfacing. The current completion date is September 30. The new signal poles have been installed for the SR 4 pavement widening and I-275 ramp pavement widening. Work is underway on the Crescentville Road improvements at I-275. The new completion date is October 6. ODOT paving of SR 747 from Kemper Road to I-275 eastbound now has a construction completion date of October 15. Construction for the SR 4 southbound lane addition at I-275 is scheduled to start in April 2010. Construction on the Northland Boulevard repair and repaving is scheduled to begin April 2010 also.
Mrs. McNear asked will they be grinding at SR4 and Crescentville this evening?
Mr. Shvegzda replied thats what the schedule says.
Mrs. McNear stated last night I was driving through there at 8:30 p.m. heading north on SR 4 to turn left onto Ray Norrish Drive and I sat through ten cycles of the light.
Mr. Shvegzda said Ill contact the project engineer in the morning or I will stop by there on the way out tonight
Mayor Webster said I cant believe this company has ever done a road project before. When they activated the new signals they didnt bother to put a new stop bar in on the first day. You still have the old stop bar there. You have the light and the lane off to your left behind you. They are dealing with peoples lives and peoples property and its like theyve never done a street. Last night, as Mrs. McNear said, ten cycles of a light and no police officer. They have trucks going back and forth across the intersection with a flagman at 8:30 p.m. Its a good way to get someone killed. I called the Police and asked them to dispatch an officer up there. The contractor should be providing an off-duty police officer to direct traffic. Everything they do is wrong. They have done nothing right and theres no way that project is going to be done in another two and a half weeks.
Mr. Galster said, for clarification, SR 4 northbound at Crescentville Road, the left turn lane onto Ray Norrish Drive, that signal head is going to be moved to some other location.
Mayor Webster stated it has been moved.
Mr. Shvegzda responded we have had so many issues with the contractor in not performing in a timely manner, if nothing else. That instance with the left turn signal head, we had to call them and repeatedly point out that that was in the contract. That was their requirement to provide that when the existing pavement markings were still in place. It seems like everything is double effort with them. We will try to get in touch with the ODOT project engineer to raise those same issues.
Mr. Galster said whenever we did these last signal pole replacements we went with black heads. Is there any reason why these poles have yellow heads instead of black?
Mr. Shvegzda replied we havent established a City-wide policy on those colors even though we know it here. In this case, Fairfields the lead agency. They looked to the north and east on Crescentville and they are all yellow heads. They didnt send up any shop drawings and thats why they are the color they are.
Mr. Vanover said kudos to the contractor at Crescentville and SR 747. Its wonderful to have those concrete barriers gone.
Mr. Parham stated the staff had a discussion on changing the color of the signal heads. When he requested a costs estimate, it was approximately $10,000 to replace them.
Mrs. McNear read a letter to Mayor Webster dated September 3, 2009: As a resident of Crossings at the Park for almost three years, I moved here because of the assisted living phase of construction. With the housing market decline Phase 2 of construction ceased and the sale of condos in Phase 1 declined. Thus I want to enter my support for a property tax abatement of 100 percent for Crossings at the Park. Buyers tend to not purchase in Phase 1 without assurance that Phase 2 will be built. If Phase 2 were begun it would stimulate interest in Phase 1. Both phases would benefit the City of Springdale. Phase 2 would employ persons who would pay taxes and perhaps even consider moving to the City if they lived elsewhere. The abatement would be accomplished with little effect on the City. Without the units being sold or built you get no tax and no people to live here and influence the economy. There would be no loss to schools since there would be no children involved attending the schools. With the assurance of the abatement construction could begin. The workers would begin to pay taxes and the local economy would benefit. Everyone would benefit, especially the residents now living at Crossings at the Park. The senior community is a definite asset to the City of Springdale and should continue to be. Thank you for your consideration. Lester and Ida Schmerr, 315 Bern Lane
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mrs. Matheny said the Taste of Springdale will be held October 11. It will be tied in with the Business Expo and a tailgate party. There will be several food vendors and several businesses present.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO.23-2009 AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALES PARTICIPATION IN THE MIAMI VALLEY RISK MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION (MVRMA) WORKERS COMPENSATION GROUP RATING PLAN FOR 2010 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ordinance 23-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 24-2009 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH TEC ENGINEERING, INC., TO PERFORM DESIGN TASKS ASSOCIATED WITH THE SPRINGDALE TRAFFIC SIGNAL UPGRADE PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Parham stated this is the design engineering work that we are hopefully contracting with TEC Engineering. We were awarded a grant for $836,000 through the CM/AQ program for a complete upgrade of our traffic signals. There are twenty-nine intersections that will be upgraded with signal controllers, plus we will upgrade with LED signal heads at thirteen intersections. The point, zoom and tilt or PTZ cameras, at a number of intersections and will be a part of this project. It is 80/20 funding and our share comes out to $209,165. We budgeted $60,000 for 2009, $50,000 for 2010, and an additional $10,000 in 2011 for the design and engineering services. As you see in the proposal, TEC believes they can have the work complete by July 2010.
Mr. Galster asked is the design engineering in addition to our twenty percent share?
Mr. Parham replied it is in addition to the twenty percent.
Ordinance 24-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION NO. R16 -2009 AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION FOR LOCAL TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FUNDS AND/OR STATE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM (SCIP) FUNDS, AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ALL CONTRACTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster asked what kind of turn around will we get for an answer on this?
Mr. Shvegzda replied usually they will rate and rank these so that we should know by early November. If we are successful the money would become available in July 2010.
Mayor Webster stated this is a project we did not have on the radar at all. We discovered that Merchant Street really needs some attention. Repairing one section and doing an in-depth reconstruction on others is about $400,000. Its really important that we get some help with this.
Mr. Parham said part of this program is to illustrate how this improvement will help with economic development and other activities. We have enlisted the help of our economic development director, Mr. Tulloch and he is going to a number of business owners and tenants in that area to solicit support from them. They have provided letters of support for this particular project. This is a part of the community that we really need to focus on. It is the area where we are going to lose a portion of the General Electric jobs at the end of this year. In an effort to help recruit new business to that area, we really want to make sure we keep the infrastructure in good condition.
Mr. Shvegzda reported we did get letters back from five of the businesses along Merchant Street. They will be included with the application.
Mr. Wilson asked at what point in dollars do we say its a no go if we dont get that dollar figure?
Mr. Parham replied it goes to whether or not we believe it is important enough to us to be able to do whatever it takes to recruit business into this community, and in particular, into our office district. We know we are going to lose about 2400 jobs by the end of 2011 which is real income that we will lose. Think back to the Town Center where we purchased a number of properties in that area and we spent x number of dollars. We sold it for a far less amount but we understood that in order to get the improvements that we now see there, we had to make some commitments and investments. Right now, this is another one of those decisions we have to make. We have to determine if we dont get the OPWC funding whether it is important enough to invest that $400,000 to assist in retaining or bringing in like kind type of jobs to bring that revenue back.
Mr. Wilson asked will that be on our 2010 budget?
Mr. Parham replied yes. Right now, we are thinking positive and think we may have to expend $117,000 in order to keep those jobs.
Mayor Webster said by the time we hear back from this request we should be far enough along in the budget process to give you a list of items of what we could take out of the budget to offset that if we have to come up with all the money.
Mr. Diehl asked is there any federal money available?
Mr. Shvegzda replied probably not. This project does not fit into any of the categories we have seen to date. We are continuing to look at other special funding as it comes out.
Mayor Webster said we are getting $950,000 in federal funding for Northland Boulevard.
Resolution R16-2009 passed with seven affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mrs. McNear said there is a request for a C1/C2 liquor license for Walgreens. There were no objections.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Parham and I would like to present you with a situation that has come up regarding some funding coming from ODOT and OKI and ask about the possibility of having a resolution in support of this. Wed also like to solicit Mr. Schneiders input to see if any other communities have asked for a resolution in support of this.
Mr. Parham said we received correspondence from Kim Lapinski who used to be with Madeira but is now Executive Director of Warren County Regional Planning Commission, who had attended a meeting of OKI and at that meeting it was made clear that ODOT has taken a position that they are looking to redirect some of the dollars from what they define as the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organizations). These are federal funds that come to the State of Ohio and are then distributed through various programs to the local jurisdictions. The signal upgrade is a project that was funded by one of those programs. Other things they are looking to reduce are the Surface Transportation Program (STP), Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CM/AQ) funds and the Transportation Enhancement (TE) funds. The sense she received from attending that meeting is that ODOT is moving in a different direction to redirect dollars from OKI. We have benefited tremendously in funds from OKI. With the grade separation, a couple of times when we thought we were going to be short in dollars we were able to go back to OKI and they were generous enough to award us additional funding to help with that project. There is some sense that ODOT is looking to redirect these programs to assist with a program in the northern part of the state. If you start moving in that direction for this particular project, then youll begin to siphon away other dollars from our region over time. The Mayor and I talked about having a resolution opposing this position on ODOT and being supportive of the funds continuing to come through OKI to support the jurisdictions in this region.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Schneider, have any other communities you represent requested that?
Mr. Schneider replied no.
Mr. Danbury asked do you know what kind of money they are looking at and what criteria they use to evaluate?
Mr. Parham replied they indicated in this memo that it could mean a loss of over $13 million.
Mayor Webster asked is Council in favor of a resolution opposing this? Council responded yes.
Mrs. McNear said there is going to be a 50 mile bike ride for fallen officers and some of the officers in our Police Department will participate. The ride will be October 10. If you care to donate I have an envelope ready.
Board of Zoning Appeals - October 20
Board of Health - October 8
Planning Commission - October 13
Fire Department Open House - October 3
Mrs. McNear said I attended the School Board Meeting this week. We had four schools with an excellent rating and several of the schools jumped two levels this year. Springdale Elementary improved five percent which was the highest of any of the schools in the district.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT- none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution opposing ODOT position on funds - October 7
Council adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council