President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on October 6, 2004, 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, and McNear.  Mr. Wilson was away on City business and arrived during the public hearing on noise barriers on I-275. 

 

            The minutes of September 15, 2004 were approved with six affirmative votes.  Mrs. McNear said on page 7956 in the first full paragraph, “walls” should be changed to “rules”.

 

            COMMUNICATIONS

 

            Mr. Knox stated we have four communications:

 

            Letter to Mayor Webster:  “Although not a Springdale resident I always read the Valley Courier and noted your Council’s discussion of sound barriers along the I-275 corridor.  Your concerns about bouncing noise around are valid.  Prior to moving to Glendale we lived in Montgomery for sixteen years and were there through the expansion of I-71 and the installation of the sound walls.  We lived about one-half mile east of I-71 as the crow flies.  Prior to the wall installation we had some background noise at our home, but only in our back yard.  After the wall went up at the intersection of Cross County and I-71 shielding no homes there, but the walls went up anyway, there was a noticeable increase in sound bounced our direction.  In fact, that was one of our motivations for moving.  Installation of sound walls along I-275 could have the unintended consequence of bouncing more noise into the residential areas achieving only marginally less noise in the business areas, and everyone looking at the aesthetics’ blight of the ugly walls.  Rachel Schmidt of Glendale

 

            Letter to Council:  “We are not able to be in attendance tonight but we want to let you know that we do not want the noise walls constructed along I-275.  The walls would reduce the noise only four decibels for the homes near the wall, but increase the sound for the homes further away.   Additionally, the walls trap pollutants from the traffic on days when the air is not moving causing increased health hazards to people traveling the interstate.  Thank you for your consideration.  Douglas and Elizabeth Webb”

 

            Portions of letter to Mr. Vanover:  “I noticed in the minutes of the Springdale City Council meeting minutes from July 21st that Time Warner has told you “effectively July 1st, 2004 we will be making cable cards available to those consumers who have a compatible digital television set or other device that complies with the FCC’s rules on plug and play.  Under the FCC rules we have prepared the attached form 1205 for your information.  This form establishes the maximum permitted rate for the cable card for $2.02.  At this time we plan to charge $1.75 for the cable cards.”  I have contacted Time Warner several times and each time I’ve been told a different story, all of which results in me not being able to get a cable card for my new TV that is equipped for the cable card.  They say they are testing them or something which really makes no sense considering that other Time Warner branches in North Carolina and other states do have the cards available.  I feel I am being forced to rent a box that I do not need just so Time Warner can make more money from me.  I was wondering once Time Warner gets their act together and has the cards available if they will credit me the difference in the cost of the cable card and the cable box for the time I had to rent the box.  Terrell E. Gale “  Mr. Knox said two pages of federal regulations were attached.

 

            Mr. Knox said since we have no jurisdiction in this area we will request the person to contact ICRC who is our advocate in mattes of this sort.  I would let the rest of the people know if you have any problems of this sort, please contact ICRC.  They are experts in the area and can be helpful from the very beginning.

 

            Letter to Mr. Osborn from Time Warner Cable:  “The Federal Communication Commissions Regulations for Cable Equipment Installation Rates permit us to adjust rates annually based on calculations set by the FCC Form 1205.  Accordingly, we will be adjusting these rates effective January 1, 2005.  Our customers will receive notification of the rate adjustments thirty days prior to their implementation.  Enclosed is the FCC Form 1205.  Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions.  Mr. Reed”  Mr. Knox said there was no attachment stating what the rate would be.

             

            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE -   none

 

            SWEARING IN OF POLICE OFFICERS

 

            Mayor Webster swore in Police Officers Benjamin Shulemeyer, James Beckman and Melissa Abel.

 

            Chief Laage said Ben and Melissa are currently attending the Police Academy.  Ben graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a degree in Criminal Justice.  Melissa graduated from Transylvania University with a degree in psychology.  She has been employed in a variety of positions dealing with children in social work.   James received a degree from UC, also in law enforcement in 1999.  He has been employed by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office as a special deputy and school resource officer part-time at Northwest High School.  Jim is certified and he went right into the field training program.   One of these officers is a replacement for an officer who has left our employment.  Two of them are new additions to the police force.

 

            Chief Laage said Kay Divis was planning to retire in January.  We had one clerk resign and that put us in a bind.  Kay approached us and said she would postpone her retirement until we get out of the bind. She is a dedicated employee.

 

            Chief Laage stated we are having a neighborhood safety day with the Fire Department at Ross Park this Saturday.

 

            NOISE BARRIERS FOR I-275

 

            Walter Wyder, 839 Summerfield, said my property is not right on I-275 but I can see it clearly.  This would be the third time I am rejecting the sound barrier walls.  I don’t think it will cut the noise down.

 

            Brett Marlar, Rosetta Court, said I don’t know if the end justifies the means.  I know the federal government makes up 90% of federal highways and the state the other 10%.  I’d like to see the money go towards schools or something more worthwhile.   I think it’s a lot of dollars for only a few to decide.  I think that is something that should be subject to the majority.  I believe trees are more natural to cut down on the noise.  What are the effects of these walls for natural disasters such as toxic spills or earthquakes?

 

            Mr. Jindal, ODOT, stated we have done noise analysis and have found that the walls are effective.  Two or three years ago we had a tornado in this area and people called and said the noise walls saved their lives.  We are here, not selling the walls, but according to federal rules and regulations, whenever we are adding a lane or building a new highway we are supposed to consider barriers.  In Ohio, by statute that authority goes to the City.  The decision will be yours and if you say no, there won’t be any walls.  If the phones start ringing we will refer the people to City Council.

 

             Mrs. Maymir, Glenfalls Court, said I am nearly deaf because I live near the walls.  We suffer noise pollution.  We suffer pollution from the exhaust of the automobiles and trucks.  In 1978 I sent a tape and most of the Council members heard it.  You discussed the fact that there was no money for trees.  I have lots of trees in my yard but I can’t even go into my yard to cook out.  It’s a beautiful yard but the expressway is behind me.  You have to understand how this affects people.  I don’t know how you can arbitrarily say no, we don’t want it because it will bother the looks of our city.  Come to my house for a cookout on Friday during rush hour and I will show you how bad this pollution is.  Only two letters were read and they were from people who don’t even live here.  Everyone is concerned about the pollution bounce over but they are not concerned about the citizens who hear this day in and day out.  I just have to appeal to you and make you understand.  This is not a light matter.  Mr. Jindal, did you say the walls would not be built if the City did not want them?  Your letters to us stated that it was almost a fait accompli that the State said you will build the walls if you expanded the expressway.

 

            Mr. Jindal said we are supposed to consider noise walls if we build a highway but in Ohio if the City opposes the walls, they have that option.  We had 162 responses which is 27%.  One hundred nine people voted in favor of the walls (67%) and 21 said no, 29 said vegetation and 2 said no opinion.  Those numbers are for Springdale.

 

            The resident said they were really concerned about the citizens who lived close by and that our voices should count.  You didn’t send it to the entire city because we are the ones who are affected by this.  If they eliminate the truck ban and make the trucks start going on I-275 again, the noise level is going to go up more than five decibels. 

 

            Mr. Danbury asked about many responded from the total number?

 

Mr. Jindal replied we send 590 sent and 162 responded.

 

Mr. Danbury said no one wants to lets residents suffer, but the big question is, I don’t think you would see that big of a difference if they put the walls in.   People in Montgomery say the walls are an eyesore and don’t really affect the noise.  The walls aren’t going to contain exhaust pollution.

 

Mr. Osborn stated one of the alternatives is the installation of vegetation.  Mr. Jindal mentioned a certain percentage who voted in favor of that.

 

Mrs. McNear said the change in decibels was so insignificant I couldn’t image why we would spend that amount of money for that little difference.  In some cases it was only four decibels.

 

Ms. Pollitt said people have told me that it doesn’t work that well.  There is great disparity in repair of the walls.

 

Mrs. McNear said a grassy berm was not an option ten years ago and it is today.  I would love to see more vegetation. 

 

Mr. Knox asked what is the high figure for decibel lowering?

 

Mr. Clark from ODOT replied our model predicted an average of 8.4 reduction in decibels.  A ten decibel reduction is considered halving.  One section was the least effective and might have been at 4 decibels.  The houses near the corridor receive substantial reduction.

 

Mr. Knox asked do the walls make the sound disappear?

 

Mr. Alexander, ODOT, responded it will not make the noise disappear.  It will reduce the noise level for those people who live closest to the barrier.  I think it’s important to understand how decibels work.  If you increase by ten decibels you have doubled it.   A ten decibel decrease would halve the noise.  It is a substantial decrease.  The barriers are treated with a noise absorbent material.  They absorb 78% of the noise that hits that barrier.  The barriers installed on I-71 in the past were deflective barriers.

 

Mr. Knox asked were any studies done 300-500 yards from I-275 to see what happens to the noise at that level?

 

Mr. Alexander replied not at that level.  We have done studies at 600-800 feet.  There was a slight increase. 

 

Mr. Knox stated, so we don’t know what the affect will be on people who did not get to vote.

 

Mr. Alexander agreed with that statement.

 

Mr. Galster said my understanding is that the walls cannot be repaired, only replaced because of the sound absorbing material.  Can graffiti be painted over?

 

Mr. Alexander said there is an approved coating that is designed to go on that barrier.  It would be ODOT’s responsibility.

 

Mr. Galster is there a maintenance program?  Mr. Alexander replied there is no established program.  We have done rehab in different parts of the State.

 

Mr. Galster asked how long a response for graffiti removal?

 

Mr. Jindal replied that is taken care of immediately.   Mr. Jindal stated I want to point out that vegetation does not make much difference.  It gives a psychological impact but does not make much difference in noise. 

 

Mrs. McNear asked what is the cost comparison to putting vegetation in instead of the walls?

 

Mr. Jindal replied it requires a lot of land to make a difference.

 

Ms. Pollitt stated I agree that this affects all of the residents, not just those within 500 feet.   Did you say the Montgomery walls reflect sound and don’t absorb it?

 

Ms. Pollitt stated that does cause the neighbors a great deal of problems.  Why wouldn’t you go back and correct that before you put more walls up?

 

Mr. Alexander replied we have to handle each situation as it comes up.  That could possibly be brought up later.  ODOT is not here mandating the walls.   We are offering it as a requirement of federal law. 

 

Fred Mymir, Glenfalls Court, said I see there is already a resolution opposing the walls. 

 

Mrs. McNear stated it has not been done.  It will be discussed later this evening.

 

Mr. Maymir said you are talking about the difference in decibels.  Saying four decibels is not important is like saying four inches of water is not important.  It would matter to someone standing in water, four inches away from drowning.

 

Fran Sharroch, Norwell Court, said I am in favor of the walls.  Will they help divert any of the diesel pollution?

 

Mr. Alexander replied I don’t know.  There has only been one study back in the 1970’s in Iowa.  There is nothing that says the walls would have an affect.

 

Ms. Sharroch said trees will just die from the pollution.  Are we going to keep planting trees?   Anything that helps with noise pollution or air pollution is a good thing.  I don’t think we should take this wall lightly.

 

In response to Mr. Galster’s questions, Mr. Jindal said $3 million has been budgeted for three miles of walls and $118,000 a mile for decoration purposes.  Mr. Jindal said we will make every effort to save existing vegetation.  Vegetation and trees do not stop noise.

 

Mr. Vanover asked what is the lifetime on the absorbent coating and what affect does it have on wildlife?

 

Mr. Alexander replied the life expectancy is twenty to thirty years and there is no debilitating effect on wildlife.

 

Mr. Danbury said some of the people who want the walls may move within a year.  We have to do what is best for the City.

 

Mr. Wilson stated if it doesn’t work and people who live 1,000 feet away are affected, you won’t take the walls down.

 

Mr. Alexander said seventy to eighty percent of the noise directed to the wall is absorbed by the wall.  There is less noise deflected over he wall.

 

Ron Pitman, West Kemper Road,  said I can remember ten years ago when the same discussion was held.  I haven’t heard a whole lot of difference tonight except that ODOT did make one point with the walls being a little shorter.  If they don’t have to make the wall so high why can’t they come up with a berm and dress it up.  You’ll never be able to eliminate the noise totally.  Five hundred people are affected now.  You could have 5,000 affected with the walls. 

 

Mayor Webster said thanks to the people from ODOT.    I don’t think we should make a decision based on money or deflection.  If this money is not spent here it will be spent somewhere else.   The deflection of noise is not a problem.   We don’t have enough land for vegetation to make a difference in noise.  The air pollution is not going to change.  It really boils down to do we want those walls to benefit a few people?  My heart goes out to the people who are living next to the interstate but do we want the canyon affect to benefit a few.   The walls in some areas will be right next to the emergency lane. 

 

Springdale resident said I have been a resident since 1972.  I grew up in North College Hill.  Several family members live there.  I am there frequently.  They have noise walls and it’s quiet over there.  They are in all the major cities.  They are there for a purpose.  Why are we talking about Montgomery when these gentlemen have said over and over that the walls are totally different?  They are there for the protection of the citizens and I don’t think you are protecting the citizens in this area.

 

Mr. Danbury said if the walls are ugly, will the residents still receive more peace.   From my understanding, you still won’t be able to go out in your yard and enjoy a nice peaceful conversation with these up there.  It doesn’t appear that the quality of life will improve that much.

 

Mr. Knox said we hold you gentlemen in the highest regard because you have a very difficult job.  You try to explain things.  You are not trying to proselytize, but as you notice, we do ask a lot of questions. 

 

Mr. Squires made a motion to move Resolution R25-2004 up on the agenda and Mr. Danbury seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION R25-2004 “RESOLUTION OPPOSING ODOT PROPOSAL TO CONSTRUCT NOISE BARRIERS ON I-275 WITHIN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE

 

Ms. Pollitt made a motion to approve and Mr. Squires seconded.

 

Mr. Galster said there is no provision to provide vegetation.  

 

Mr. Danbury made a motion to include vegetation and Mr. Squires seconded.

 Mr. Schneider stated that Section 2 should read,  “That the Council of the City of Springdale respectfully requests that vegetation be planted in lieu of the noise barrier and that the full amount of dollars which would have been spent on noise barriers be spent on vegetation in the City of Springdale.”

The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

Resolution R25-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 46-2004 “ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF $1,600,000 OF NOTES BY THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, IN ANTICIPATION OF THE ISSUANCE OF BONDS FOR STREET RELATED IMPROVEMENTS, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

Mr. Galster made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Danbury seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

Mr. Knox said we are actually only going to be borrowing $1,500,000.  If this does pass this evening we will get a rate of 1.87%.

 

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

 

Mayor Webster stated we are borrowing this money with intent of paying it back in full by the next budget.  We had some streets in dire need of being reconstructed.  It was decided to fix the streets now rather than wait until the money is in the coffers.  Inflation would have driven the cost up by more than 1.87%. 

 

Ordinance 46-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 47-2004 “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH CREATIVE MICROSYSTEMS, INC. FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES REQUIRED IN CONNECTION WITH THE PURCHASE AND INSTALLATION OF THE COMPUTER SYSTEM SERVER FOR THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

Mr. Danbury made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Vanover seconded.  The motion passed with six affirmative votes.  Mrs. McNear voted no.

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn said the equipment we want to replace is ten years old.  This is the core of our business operation and a failure here could be very difficult for us.  We are keeping the same software and we encourage Council to approve this ordinance.

 

Mr. Knox said Mr. Williams and Mr. Osborn have done a lot of work on this.  This will not occur immediately.  We hope to have it in place and running in January. 

 

Ordinance 47-2004 passed with seven affirmative votes.          

 

            OLD BUSINESS

 

            Mr. Danbury said with all the new road construction we are doing on Cloverdale, Harmony and Smiley, I notice that they are starting to put more houses in there.  At one time a resident had a house built right across from her as soon as we paved it and they had to dig it up.  I was wondering if we could talk to the builders before they build the houses.

 

            Mr. Osborn responded we can do that but it’s a big subdivision and if we ask a developer when are you going to build on that property, he will answer when he sells it.  A better way might be to approach the people who are holding the property that is actively on the market and ask them if they have any sales pending.

 

            Mr. Osborn reported we have gone through a big search effort for a new Economic Director and Assistant to the City Administrator.  We had one of the best fields of potential candidates that I can ever remember.   We picked Jeff Tulloch.  He has built building after building in this community.  He was a regional vice-president for Linclay Corporation back in the 1980’s.  He went to the Galbraith Corporation and then became vice-president for the Duke Corporation and ran their local operations.  Four years ago he branched out on his own.  Now he has expressed an interest in coming back to work for us.  Before he went to Linclay he spent six years as Economic Development Director in the St. Louis area for the State of Illinois. 

 

            Mrs. McNear said I have had complaints from a couple of school bus drivers that they are having trouble getting through the construction area in the Cloverdale area. 

 

            NEW BUSINESS

 

            Mayor Webster requested three ordinances for the next meeting to renew contracts with the magistrate Terry Gaines, prosecutor John Flessa, and for a public defender.  Patrick Garry has been performing that service at $125 a case.  I have had some discussions with an individual and I think we will get everything worked out.  We will be paying him $150 a case. 

 

            Mr. Osborn stated the Police Department annually has a good collection of bicycles through recovery of stolen bicycles that are not picked up by their owners or lost bicycles that are not reclaimed.  We hold these bicycles for a minimum of ninety days.  We do a check and double check to see if they are on a list of reported stolen bicycles.  If they are not, in the past we have auctioned these bicycles off.  We are presently holding twenty-eight bicycles.  Chief Laage has made a proposal that we donate the bicycles to a charitable organization that repairs those bicycles and distributes them to needy children.  The Vineyard Church here in Springdale has a program that does that.   We would like Council to consider this option instead of selling the bicycles.  If the legislation is adopted the Police Department will then go to the Court of Common Pleas to get their consent to get the bicycles donated.

 

            MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

            Planning Commission                                                          -           October 12

            Board of Health                                                                     -           October 14

            Board of Zoning Appeals                                                     -           October 19

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE                 -           none

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT  -         none

 

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED

 

Magistrate, Prosecutor, Public Defender ordinances      -           October 20

Donation of bicycles                                                             -           October 20

 

 

Council adjourned at p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Edward  F. Knox

                                                                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2004