President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on November 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. 

 

            The minutes of October 19, 2005 were approved with seven affirmative votes.

 

            COMMUNICATIONS

 

            Mr. Knox read a communication from Mr. Shuler, CDS, announcing his retirement effective December 31, 2005.  Mr. Shuler said he will still be available as he continues as Chairman of the Board for both CDS and TEC.

 

            Mr. Knox said the second letter is from Time Warner Cable that they are going to increase the rates.  The basic rate will have no change; standard rate increases $2.18 in the upcoming year.

 

            Mayor Webster said I received a letter on August 10, 2005 from Terry Gaines informing me that he would not be renewing his contract.  He is ready to retire at the end of November.  Since that time we’ve been looking for a replacement and I am very pleased to announce that I am requesting an ordinance authorizing a contract with Donald W. White to become Springdale’s second magistrate.  Mr. Gaines has done a wonderful job for us and I think we are fortunate to find someone like Mr. White to step in and take over the court.  He has on occasion filled in for Terry.  Mayor Webster introduced Mr. White, who  is the elected Clermont County Prosecutor. 

 

            Mr. Danbury said you were elected County Prosecutor.  We have Mayor’s Court on Wednesday afternoon.  Is that going to be a problem?

 

            Mr. White replied no.  Since I’m the boss I can set my own schedule.  Mr. Gaines is still a magistrate for the City of Montgomery and he will cover for me if necessary.

 

            Mr. Schneider said Mr. White has a very high respect by the legal community and is well thought of in the circles he travels in. 

 

            Mayor Webster said the salary will be $16,500 annually.  He would be covered by PERS but receive no other City benefits.

 

            ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

ORDINANCE NO. 53-2005  AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT WITH LIFESPHERE, INC., PROVIDING FOR SENIOR RECREATIONAL SERVICES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mr. Wilson said I thought in one of the readings I went through it said up to $50,000 for up to two years.

 

Mr. Schneider said it’s in the agreement but we can insert that in the ordinance if you want.

 

Mr. Osborn stated just for clarity it wouldn’t hurt to insert “a year” after $50,000.

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion to add “a year” to the ordinance and Ms. Pollitt seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

Mr. Danbury said Maple Knoll will move their Bingo to the Greenhills American Legion.

 

Mayor Webster said just so there is no misunderstanding this does not allow non-residents to use our swimming pool or the fitness center.  It does allow them to use the racquetball court, the walking track and use the club rooms or outside activities. 

 

Ms. Pollitt said this is a good use of our Community Center.

 

Mayor Webster said I spent the day at the Community Center for the Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Expo.  There were 19 businesses, four City booths and four food establishments.  There was an extraordinary number of older residents who patronized that event.  There was a lot of buzz about what’s going on here and the possibility of the growth of the Springdale Senior Citizens Club.  It makes you feel good to talk to that many Springdale residents and get the feedback on what we’re doing here on the Pike with the streetscape and new retail development that is going in.

 

Ordinance 53-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 54-2005 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN OPTION AGREEMENT RELATIVE TO THE PURCHASE OF .57-ACRE FROM SPRINGDALE-KEMPER ASSOCIATES, LP, AND AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF SAID OPTION IN A TIMELY MANNER, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

            Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.

 

            Ordinance 54-2005 passed with seven affirmative votes.

           

            Public Hearing

HAMILTON COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANT

 

            Mr. Osborn stated at the last meeting we had an open period for people who may have suggestions or proposals for applications related to the Community Block Grant Fund application years 2006 through 2008.  The discussion portion tonight relates to the three applications that the City is recommending and the priority we have for those. 

 

Mr. Osborn said there are three projects that the City is recommending.  The first one is the modification to the Community Center.   Anticipating that there will be a successful expansion of our senior programming, we looked at what we might be able to do to better accommodate that growth.   We want to expand the meeting rooms, create a new hallway and create a new room on the other side of the hallway that would be available for senior activities.  Even though we are taking part of the storage room there is still enough room for the batting cage and the golf cage that are in there now.  Because we already have heating and ventilation into what is now the storage area, the cost to do the modifications are relatively low at $165,000.   That cost will include new sinks and cabinetry in meeting rooms A and C as well as in the new senior activity room.  It will create storage space in that room as well for the senior citizen activities.  The meeting rooms will go from a combined total of 1,081 square feet to 2,104 square feet.  The senior activity room will be 950 square feet.  This means we are adding a total of 1,373 additional usable square feet.  The total square feet added and renovated is 3,090.  This would be our first priority.  Senior citizens are moderate to low income persons by the definitions the Community Block Grant Program uses.   It’s a one-time use expense which means there is not on-going funding related to the application and it is a fairly straightforward proposal. 

 

The second priority would be the acquisition of real estate in the City’s southern urban renewal district.  When we created that district and acquired property for the CMHA Senior Housing Project there were two parcels that we did not acquire at that time.  We believe that acquisition of those parcels would be instrumental in causing an economic redevelopment of that area.  The goal would be to retain the multi-doctor medical practice and veterinary clinic that are in that area, but also see additional retail and office space created that would benefit the senior citizens living in Baldwin Grove, the CMHA site, but also at the Maple Knoll and Meadows facilities.  That’s our second priority.  The numbers are pretty high so I’m not too optimistic.  We would be asking for assistance in acquiring two parcels that have a total appraised value of $345,000. 

 

Mr. Osborn said the third application would be for funding related to the senior programmer we would employ to manage our senior programming at the Community Center in 2006.  Wages, benefits, etc. has an expense projected at $42,797.  We plan to apply for that amount each year for three years for a total of $128,392.  While on the surface it would seem to be an eligible expense, and it is, the County Commissioners up to this point, have not awarded funds for personnel expenses.   

 

Ms. Pollitt said the third item would be paid over a three-year period of time.  Would the first two items be split that way?  Do they prefer to have it broken down over three years?

 

Mr. Osborn replied I suggest we apply for priority number 1 in fiscal year 2006 and also priority 2.  They prefer it to be broken down over the three years and the third one is very easily broken down.  The construction cannot be broken down.  We could push the real estate out into 2007.

 

Mr. Danbury made a motion to approve the application and prioritization of the projects.  Mr. Vanover seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

           

            COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE -         none

 

            OLD BUSINESS

 

            Mr. Osborn said earlier this year we made application under the Municipal Road Fund and SCIP for an improvement project on SR 747 in the I-275 area that has a price tag of $919,000.  This would cause the full depth repair and resurfacing of the area between the terminus of the grade separation project and the eastbound I-275 exit ramp.  The results have come out on the grading of all applications.  We rank seventh and the top eleven should score well enough to be funded.   The appeal process has not yet run but I think it would take a considerable amount of jockeying projects around to bump us out.  I think it’s fairly safe to say that it looks like we’re going to get funding in 2006 on this project.  The breakdown for that project would be $367,600 from OPWC in the form of SCIP funding, $183,800 from the Municipal Road Fund and $367,600 from the City.  Sixty percent of that funding will be from outside.  East Kemper Road Phase 3 is a two-year, $2 million project.  Fifty percent of Phase 3 is budgeted for 2006 and now we’ve budgeted for this project so we will have two OPWC projects underway at the same time so we will have a fairly substantial capital budget next year.

 

            NEW BUSINESS

           

            Mayor Webster said I had a report form the Police Chief informing us that things went extremely well during Halloween.   There were no incidents.  There were two officers on bikes and three auxiliary officers as part of the patrol.

 

            Mr. Osborn said I am requesting an ordinance authorizing an agreement with Cincinnati Water Works regarding the incorporation of their thirty-six inch transmission main into the East Kemper Road Phase 3 construction.  The phase being built this past year was on Chesterdale and the next phase goes along Kemper to Tri-County Parkway to SR 747 to Glendale.  So that we don’t have them coming back and digging up our new street, we have coordinated with them and the Engineer’s office has designed their work into ours, but there are certain points in the agreement that I would like to see reduced to a written agreement signed by both parties, such as their obligation to restore or resurface Tri-County Parkway as an example.  We have committed them to resurface half of it and we will resurface half of it. 

 

            Mr. Osborn continued, we received a communication from Brenda Weimer.  Peck, Shaffer, Williams has been serving as our advisor and bond counsel on an as needed basis.  They would like to establish a relationship with us through an engagement letter.  We have that document and draft ordinance and would like to have that ordinance at the next Council meeting.

 

            Mayor Webster said he would like contracts renewed with Jonathan Smith, Public Defender; John Flessa, Prosecutor; and Magistrate Don White.

 

            Mr. Danbury said I assume there will be positions on boards and commissions that are up for reappointment.  We might want to consider that at our next meeting.

 

            Mayor Webster said on November 1, 2005 I received a letter from Bill McErlane, Chief Building Official, advising me that in his opinion we have a blighted property at 12065 Greencastle Drive in accordance with Chapter 99 of the Springdale Code of Ordinances.  The property currently has violations of the Springdale Property Maintenance Code with respect to the following: windows, vegetation.  This is the first step in a series of events that needs to take place.  In addition to that you also have a letter from Mr. Parham who will be handling the hearings on the City’s behalf.  I would like to turn the presentation over to him.  This the first time we have exercised our authority under Chapter 99 of the Springdale Code of Ordinances dealing with spot blight.  I think it’s a big step for the City to take but I think it is certainly justified and necessary to continue to protect the property values in the City of Springdale.

 

            Mr. Parham stated in the second meeting of March 2005 Council adopted Ordinance 15-2005, the regulation of spot blight for the community.  We discussed that this would be a situation where this is a last ditch effort.  We will try to exhaust all other measures prior to moving to this point.   We have exhausted the City’s resources time and time again.  As Mayor Webster indicted the property located at 12065 Greencastle Drive has been repeatedly a thorn for the Building Department and City.  The City records indicate that the property is currently owned by Mr. Donald Anderson.  Mr. Anderson purchased the property around August 1993 and has held the rights since that time.  The City Building Department has issued twenty notices of violations ranging from tall grass, to repair shutters and broken windows.  On a number of occasions the Police Department was called to the location because of the neighbors’ fears of vandalism to the property.  Someone had gotten in and caused some damage.  Mr. Anderson was requested to secure the property.  On many occasions Mr. Anderson did just that.  However, on four different occasions he refused to make the corrections and was cited to Mayor’s Court.  As of today there is a citation currently in effect.  This would be the fifth citation to Mayor’s Court.  This one is to repair the broken windows as well as to trim back the shrubbery that has overgrown the property.  It appears he may have made some modifications to the shrubbery but the boarding of the windows is still apparent and in some cases, the shrubbery is still overgrown.  I’ve provided you with a copy of Mr. Anderson’s response to the September notice he received.  Since we are at a point where we hope to engage Chapter 99, we will begin to look at those things that determine where the property is a blighted premise.  Since our history with Mr. Anderson began in 1993, we have had to go back time and time again.   Either we stop the problem now or this will be an on-going problem until such time that he rids himself of that property, or unfortunately, through this process the City rids him of the property.  Over the twelve year process Mr. Anderson has owned the home, at no point that we are aware of has either he occupied that property or someone else occupied the property.  The property has simply sat vacant for the twelve years he has owned that property. 

 

            Mr. Parham said the steps are that the Administration is to issue a report to Council which is the letter I issued to you this evening.  Council is to schedule a public hearing no sooner than thirty days and no later than forty-five days to give Mr. Anderson an opportunity to present any evidence he may have as to why his property should not be identified as a blighted premise.  Your Council meeting of December 7th would fall right into the timeline.  Once Council has established the hearing date, then the Clerk of Council/Finance Director is to issue a notice to Mr. Anderson notifying him of the time and place and his right to be heard.  He would have the right to present evidence and witnesses and the City shall have that same opportunity.  If he fails to show for that hearing, the Administration has the ability to present any evidence and/or witnesses to demonstrate why this property is considered a blighted premise and why we feel compelled that the property should be acquired.  At that hearing this letter that was presented this evening must be read and then each party gets their opportunity to present their case.  The Council has the ability at any time to take a recess, to continue the hearing or make the decision on that particular evening. 

 

            Ms. Pollitt asked will the neighbors in close proximity of this house be notified of the public hearing in writing?

 

            Mr. Parham replied yes.  I think it is important to identify the neighbors and give them the opportunity to attend the hearing as well as any former neighbors who had resided in that area.  We believe that some former residents of that area were so disgusted with the lack of upkeep of that property that they chose to relocate to other areas.

 

            Ms. Pollitt said I hope some of them will take the opportunity to come and speak about this.

 

            Mr. Danbury said I have spoken with a lot of residents who are upset with some of the conditions of some of the housing stock around here.  They feel as though it is going down.  I assured them that we are trying to identify and correct certain things.  We can’t see things in the back yards in some places but it is very vital for the  City to handle these situations.  The person in question has been given ample opportunity to correct everything.

 

            Mr. Knox asked is Mr. Anderson current on his real estate taxes?

 

            Mr. Parham replied I don’t know.  Mr. Knox said I will look into that.

 

            Mayor Webster stated you can look into that but I don’t think it has any bearing on the subject.  After Council makes their decision and I assume it’s the position the Administration is advocating, what is the next step?

 

            Mr. Osborn responded if Council declares this property to be blighted under our definition and authorizes the Administration to pursue the acquisition, we would certainly make an effort to negotiate an acquisition.  I don’t think that will be successful.  Council’s decision could authorize us to pursue condemnation of the property.  That just gets us up to the starting line.   By finding this property blighted and authorizing the condemnation, you are giving us direction to start pursuing that condemnation process.  The Law Director can then institute the necessary notices and actions.  We would eventually have to adopt legislation stating our intent to acquire through condemnation.  The process would go directly from here to court but the fact that we’ve held a public hearing and given the individual an opportunity to discuss the issue before Council to persuade Council not to take the step of declaring the property blighted weighs in our favor especially if we have evidence from the community, people who come forward and say this has been an on-going nuisance for the past decade.  We do know people who have moved out of the community because they did not want to live near this home anymore.  We can use those same witnesses in our case downtown.

 

            Mr. Vanover made a motion to schedule a public hearing for December 7, 2005 to discuss the property at 12065 Greencastle and notify all affected parties, and Mr. Squires seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

            MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

            Planning Commission                                                            -           November 8

Board of Health                                                           -           November 10

            Board of Zoning Appeals                                             -           November 15

 

            Mr. Osborn said I wanted to follow up on the Springdale Chamber’s Expo.  It was very well organized and executed.  I was very impressed with the response from the business community, the number represented and the crowd that was there.  We hope this was the first of an annual event.

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE            -           none

 

Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss personnel matters and possible real estate acquisition.  Mr. Vanover seconded.  The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

 

Council went into executive session at 8:04 p.m. and reconvened at 8:22 p.m.

 

Council adjourned at 8:26 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Edward  F. Knox

                                                                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2005