President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order December 15, 2004,  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 Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.  Mr. Danbury and Mr. Galster were absent.

 

            The minutes of December 1, 2004 were approved with five affirmative votes.

 

            COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS

            Civil Service Commission – Mr. Strange reported that they processed correspondence from the City and received an update on where the City was in filling the assistant fire chief position.  Three-hundred ten people sent in applications for the secretarial position and 149 sat for the test.  We also established a timeline for the open police sergeant position as well.

 

Rules and Laws                                                                 -               no report

Public Relations                                                                 -               no report

Public Health, Safety & Welfare                                         -               no report

                                                                                           

Public Works – Mr. Wilson stated that the construction for the Cloverdale area streets is completed.  The work on the new sidewalks from SR 4 to Cameron Road is completed except for fire hydrant relocation.  The Lawnview Avenue construction will start in April 2005.

 

Public Utilities                                                                     -               no report

                                                                                           

Capital Improvements – Mr. Wilson said the water main tie-in at the south end of the SR 747 CSX grade separation project will take place on December 15 and 16.  The sheet pile wall installation located next to the temporary roadway is the only other work that will be done this winter.  Construction for the streetscape project Phase II will begin construction in late summer 2005.  The SR 4 and Crescentville project is a joint project with the City of Fairfield.  Fairfield will pay for 70% of the engineering cost and Springdale 30%.  ODOT will pay 90% of the construction cost which is estimated at $1.45 million.  Construction will start in the spring of 2007.

                                                                                           

Finance Committee – Mr. Wilson said there will be a discussion on the five year budget after the ordinances and resolution.

                                                                                           

Planning Commission – Mr. Vanover said elections were held and the same people will continue in office.  The first item was landscape approval for Staples.  Mr. and Mrs. Perin were present.  The parking lot was supposed to be redesigned and it appears that the Perins and ODOT are at odds on some issues.  We asked that Staples, ODOT and the Perins get together and come to an agreement.   Bahama Breeze had asked for an extension on a banner permit but the banner is not in yet.  That item was withdrawn and the banner will stand as approved originally.  A proposed development plan for Springdale Elementary School was presented and approved. There was a discussion of a proposed Transition Overlay District on West Kemper Road.  It was approved and recommended to Council for passage.

                                                                                           

Board of Zoning Appeals                                                    -               no report

                                                                                           

Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt reported Regulation R1-2004 to establish food service license fees was passed.  The Health Commissioner is working to establish a resource committee to help people in need.  The name of this group will be Springdale Offering Services (SOS) and will consist of community businesses and members.  The Health Department is still looking for volunteers for the health assessment group.  Mrs. Mitrione is a member of the ENSURE Team which will work in HazMat situations.  The ENSURE group would look at the quality of air on the edge of a situation and then notify residents if they need to evacuate or stay indoors.  Ms. Messer has more flu vaccine available.

                                                                                           

Veteran’s Memorial Committee                                          -               no report

 

O-K-I – Mr. Knox announced that John Dowlin has attended his last meeting and will be missed.

                                                                                           

Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster stated that Mr. Dowlin was honored by the Hamilton County Municipal League.   I would like to elaborate on the SOS program.  We got the idea from the City of Fairfield.  I get calls from businesses and organizations that want to help and I know there are people out there in need, but there’s a problem in making the connection.  We are trying to organize this.

 

Mayor Webster said we have closed on the Fogel property in Old Town.  The laundry will operate far into the project.  He will be a tenant in the new development.  Council has given us the authority to acquire Tri City Cleaners and the Domino’s property.  We still are negotiating with Shipps Yamaha.  We are working on some other things and as soon as that falls into place we will be sharing that with Council.

                                                                                           

Clerk of Council/Finance Director                                      -               no report         

Administrator’s Report                                                       -               no report

Law Director’s Report                                                        -               no report

Engineer’s Report                                                              -               no report         

 

            COMMUNICATIONS

 

            Mr. Knox read a letter:  “In the spring of 2007 the State of Ohio will add a lane on each side of I-275, thereby increasing noise and traffic.  Additional traffic will also be rerouted through I-275.  The State of Ohio offered to build a wall barrier to reduce the inevitable increase in noise at no expense to the City of Springdale and the City of Forest Park.  Forest Park City Council approved to have the walls built but the City Council of Springdale voted against putting up the noise barriers.  Our quality of life and property value will be impacted by the increase in noise and traffic, yet the City of Springdale made a decision based on rumors and not facts and without adequate research.  It is apparent from the Council minutes that you have made a hasty decision about what is going to impact the quality of life for many people who live along I-275.  I am requesting that the City of Springdale treat this as a serious matter and to come up with the best solution for all the residents of Springdale.  This is not one of those problems that you can treat lightly.  Also, has the City of Springdale considered how the noise will impact the Springdale residents when the City of Forest Park has their wall built.  Monay Mack, 16 year residents.”

 

            Mr. Squires said I would like to indicate that the decision City Council made was not based on rumors.  It was based on fact.  Many of us on this body did attend that meeting of ODOT when they presented the plan on installing the noise barriers.  ODOT did not do a very good job of selling that.  We encouraged our residents to attend the meeting at Council where this was going to be discussed.  The attendance was not very good.  Council did not take this lightly but the decision was based on the best facts available to us.

 

            Mr. Wilson said I spoke with Mr. Mack several times.  I feel uncomfortable with his comments about us not listening to facts.  As an insurance agent I have customers all over the state and some of them live along these barriers.  When I visit their homes I hear the noise.  The noise near the new barriers and the old sounds the same to me.  My vote was based on personal knowledge. 

 

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE -         none

 

            ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

 

ORDINANCE NO. 59-2004  “TEMPORARY APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 2005, UNTIL THE FISCAL YEAR 2005 APPROPRIATION PERMANENT ORDINANCE IS ADOPTED BY CITY COUNCIL”

 

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

 

Ordinance 59-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 60-2004CLARIFYING THE NUMBERING OF PREVIOUS ORDINANCES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY

 

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

 

Ordinance 60-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 61-2004  “VACATING NORTH ALLEY, SOUTH ALLEY AND A PORTION OF ORANGE STREET FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF SPRINGDALE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ANY AND ALL DOCUMENTS NECESSARY FOR SAID VACATIONS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mayor Webster said it appears that the school is sitting on the alleys now.

Mr. Osborn replied no, that is where the parking lot is.  The paper streets have been in existence dating back to the 1800s.  The school acquired the property around them but they were never vacated by the City.  I don’t believe there is any harm to the City in vacating the alleys.  The City has no intent to use them in the future.

 

Ordinance 61-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 62-2004  “AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE CONTRACT OF CDS ASSOCIATES, INC., FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mayor Webster asked does the retainer stay the same and Mr. Shuler replied yes.

 

Ordinance 62-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 63-2004  AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE AGREEMENT WITH WOOD & LAMPING LLP FOR LEGAL SERVICES TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”       

 

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

 

Ordinance 63-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 64-2004  AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 53-2003 AND ORDINANCE NO. 43-2004 TO PROVIDE FOR WAGE INCREASES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

 

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

 

Mr. Osborn said the increase in pay ranges is for full-time, non-public safety employees , part-time fire department personnel, and salaried employees.  The other changes occur on Exhibit B.  The economic development director was previously identified as a 5E.  We’d like to reassign that position to the 6E pay category.  When this position was created it was assistant to the administrator/economic development director.  An “assistant to” position is a staff position and is typically not as well compensated as critical department director positions.   We have now evolved the position to function totally as an economic development director’s position.  The second change is to alter the Assistant City Administrator’s grade from a 7E to 8E.  This doesn’t mean an immediate pay raise but there are department directors at the same pay level as the deputy administrator of this City.  This is a line supervisor relied upon by the Mayor and me with total executive responsibility.  We felt he should not be compensated at the same grade level as a department director.    The City Administrator’s position is currently at the 10E level.  We recommend that it be 9E to 10E thinking that when the current holder is replaced after thirty plus years, they City won’t have to pay that much. 

 

Mr. Squires said regarding the firefighters’ pay table, it lists steps.  Are those annual steps?

 

Mr. Parham replied the steps are annual steps. 

 

Mr. Squires asked how do they get to Merit I and II?

 

Mr. Parham responded those are identified when the department director feels the employ has performed in an outstanding manner, more than what is typically expected and makes a recommendation for those steps.

 

Mr. Osborn stated we still consider merit pay an exceptional response to a deserving situation.  There are not a high number of people carrying merit compensation throughout all the departments.  Other full-time employees are subject to this type of merit step as well.  We do make those decisions judiciously.  We don’t want them to be an automatic or expected step.

 

Ordinance 64-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

ORDINANCE NO. 65-2004  SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATION ORDINANCE TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CURRENT EXPENSES AND OTHER EXPENDITURES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2004”

 

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

 

Mayor Webster said if we had not gotten the tax increase we probably would have a substantially smaller workforce.  We still continue to see a deterioration of our earnings tax throughout the year.  In the third quarter we started to see some revenue from the increased rate.  The last report I saw we were $10,000 to date over where we were at this time last year.  I think 2005 will be a lot rosier financial picture than what we see now.  I’d like to compliment Cecil, Derrick and all the department directors for the very prudent way they managed to budget. 

 

Mr. Knox said we will not be closing the TIF bonds this year.  In some areas we did get more tax revenue than we had expected. 

 

RESOLUTION R30-2004  CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF KEVIN KETRING AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

 

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

 

Mayor Webster stated Dr. Ketring is a veterinarian and he’s been on the board probably twenty years.  He makes a real contribution to the board.

 

Resolution R30-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

RESOLUTION 31-2004 “CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF RITA HART AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

 

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

 

Mayor Webster said Mrs. Hart is also a long-time member of the board.  She brings a unique perspective to the board as a nurse in the Princeton School District.

 

Resolution R31-2004 passed with five affirmative votes.

 

PRESENTATION – 2005 BUDGET

 

Mr. Osborn reported even with the tax increase we are still faced with a challenge for a secure revenue growth.  The true picture in earnings tax has shown a relative decline.  The tax base on which we levy the earnings tax has continued to decline in 2004.  Although we saw the benefit of 1.5% earnings tax in the fourth quarter, that was on a smaller and declining base.   We are not going to be able to be as aggressive in doing some of the things we had hoped to do, such as retiring short term debt and restoring vacant positions within the organization, and addressing capital programs.  Expenditures have gone up by 19.5% but more than half of that increase is in the transfer from the general fund budget to the capital improvements budget.    Revenues are going to grow by 20%.  That is a benefit from the .5% tax increase.    The earnings tax is 78% of the revenue for the City.  The collections on earnings tax decreased by $1 million in 2004.  That means that collections will be about $1.5 million less than what we had expected for 2005. 

 

Mr. Osborn went through the budget by category.

 

Ms. Pollitt said the street program should be good after finishing in 2005.

 

Mr. Osborn stated we will have gone through most of the residential areas but we still have commercial streets to be reconstructed. 

 

Mr. Wilson said some residential streets were postponed, not all are done.

 

Mr. Osborn stated the street program is in the budget.  We will never run out of streets to do.  We have another issue, retirement of short term debt.  We may need to draw back a little bit in 2006 to help accelerate the payment of short term debt.  We need to be out of debt and have cash reserve because of the fluctuation of income.

 

OLD BUSINESS                                             -                       none

 

            NEW BUSINESS

 

            Mr. Knox said each member of Council has received a copy of the bids for the five-year contract for the audit.  The selection is really mine but I would like to get a consensus of Council.  I feel that Balestra, Harr & Scherer, CPA’s Inc.deserves to get the contract.  They are the lowest bidder.  Jeff Williams runs a point count on people and they came in with the highest point count.  Jeff then called their references and they got excellent ratings from everybody he called.  There were no objections to contracting with them for the next five years.

 

            Mayor Webster asked do you need an ordinance for this?  Mr. Knox replied we go to the State Auditor first, then we have an ordinance.

 

            Mayor Webster asked if you are dissatisfied with them after the first year, do you have a way to get out of this?  Mr. Knox replied yes.

 

            Mr. Vanover said I received several phone calls over the weekend from irate residents who said the word was out that the Board of Education was not going to rebuild Heritage Hill School, just renovate it.  I would encourage any of our residents to make it to a Board of Education meeting and make your feelings known.   One remark made at a prior meeting was that Heritage Hill is not a community school.  I politely reminded them of Webster’s definition of a community school.  Heritage Hill is a community school and probably the most unique school in the district because we have two municipalities, a township and two county borders involved. 

 

            Mayor Webster stated the number of children who walk to most of the elementary schools in this district is about 20 or 30.  In Lincoln Heights and Springdale the number is 240.  Some of the things I have heard outside of the board meetings are disheartening.  Some communities are concerned about their property values, some are concerned about the historical significance of having a community school.  No one wants to put the children number one.   The board has dispatched architects and engineers to look at all of the issues including the flood plain issue in Heritage Hill.  Evendale wants a new school.  Before this past week they weren’t even on the horizon to get a school, and now their school is going to be renovated and that’s not good enough.  They want a new school because they want to maintain the property values.  I contend if that’s the criteria we are using, then we need a new school in Heritage Hill also.

 

            Mr. Wilson said a comment was made that Heritage Hill is not a community school but a transient school.  That prompted me to come to the meeting to see if that comment was made openly.  All of our students need a quality education in a decent school environment.  These students called transients, we can either make them tax burdens or tax payers.  They become tax payers by getting a quality education in a good school.

 

            Mayor Webster said I would like to ask Council to consider a pay increase for the elected officials that would be effective December 1, 2007, which means no one sitting here would be assured of that increase.  Last time we did an eight percent increase, which is two percent a year.  I don’t think that’s exceptional or being greedy.  I think it’s only fair if we want to try to continue to recruit good public officials, I think we need to properly compensate them.  I would request that an ordinance be brought in to reflect that.

 

            MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS

           

            Board of Zoning Appeals                                             -           December 21

                       

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE            -           none

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

Mr. Vanover made a motion that Council go into a meeting as a committee of the whole for an informal discussion on real estate matters.  Mr. Wilson seconded.  The motion passed with five affirmative votes.

 

Council went into executive session at 9:10 p.m. and reconvened at 9:45 p.m.

 

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT       -                       none


 

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED

Appropriation for 2005 budget                         -                       January 5

Transition zoning on Kemper Road (first reading)     -                       January 5

Elected officials pay increase                                     -                       January 5

 

Council adjourned at 9:47 p.m.

 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

 

                                                                        Edward  F. Knox

                                                                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director

 

Minutes Approved:

 

Kathy McNear, President of Council

 

 

 

__________________________, 2004