President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on December 19, 2007, 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 December 1, 2007 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mr. Galster abstained.

    The minutes of December 5, 2007 were approved with seven affirmative votes.

    COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
    Civil Service Commission – Mr. Potts said they met December 6 and had a discussion regarding the qualifications requirements for the position of Chief Fire Inspector. We received fourteen applications for that position. Nine applicants sat for the police sergeant position. We certified the top three candidates and I understand that that position has now been filled. This fall we had the physical fitness and agility test for the position of firefighter and we have certified the list of eligible candidates for that position. We also wrapped up the eligibility list for patrol officer.

Rules and Laws    -        no report

Finance Committee – Mr. Wilson said Item 12 on the agenda is our annual budget review.
   
Planning Commission – Mr. Galster reported Planning Commission met on December 11. Tony Butrum was elected chairman; Dave Okum, vice-chairman; and Lawrence Hawkins, secretary. The BZA liaison is Mr. Okum. The Staples facility was in wanting to get rid of the blacked out glass that is on the north elevation of the building. Their position is that the blacked out glass makes it look like the store is closed and there are no lights on. We have that position as well. They want to get rid of that by blocking up the building and we’re asking them to try to come up with something so that the façade doesn’t just look like a flat, straight wall for that long of a stance. I think this is the second or third time they have been before us, plus we it has been tabled two or three times at the applicant’s request and they still haven’t come up with a solution. A motion was made to allow the glass to be removed and replaced with concrete block. It failed unanimously.
   
Board of Zoning Appeals    -        no report
   
Board of Health – Mr. Squires stated the board members were sworn in. The regulation for the 2008 food operation and retail food establishment licensing fees was passed. The Hotel/Motel Standards regulation was also passed. The new fees add $100 per location as well as $1 per room for licensing fees. There was a discussion of a new food safety honor program for local food operations that is being considered. Those operations in compliance with Springdale’s standards will receive a gold star honor certificate that they can place on the location so patrons will know that they passed Springdale’s standards. There were four fourth quarter smoking violations now under investigation. Springdale Offering Support sponsored ten families for Christmas. A total of 857 flu vaccines have been given by the Health Department this year.

Veteran’s Memorial Committee – Mr. Wilson said in the Springdale newsletter there were applications for the bricks that we hope to sell.

O-K-I    -        no report
   
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster said I’d like to report on our effort to ensure that as many families have a nice Christmas as possible in the City of Springdale. I don’t want to steal any of the thunder from the Police Department because they have had their Food for Fines program in place for eight to ten years and it gets bigger and better every year. SOS picked up ten families in addition to the thirty-three that were being serviced by the Police Department. The Police Department got their referrals primarily from the schools; and SOS was mostly through the Public Health Nurse. Every one of these families received a big box of groceries, ham, gift cards and gifts for the children. In addition, the Police Department had their Shop with a Cop program, and seven children were given new coats from the Police Department. The Fire Department had a coat drive. I have to acknowledge the contributions of Kroger, Sam’s, John Morrell, and WalMart. Without their cooperation we would not have been able to pull this off.

Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mrs. McNear said this is just a reminder that there will be a presentation of the 2008 budget.
   
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn said I’d like to request that Ordinance 69-2007 be tabled. There is some confusion as to whether or not our signals should actually be part of the project that is involved in this legislation. This is a fifty-four intersection project in Fairfield that comes down to our border. There is some mixed information as to whether or not we are going to tie into their system and synchronize our clocks on our systems, etc. Rather than adopt it and not have it for any purpose, I thought I’d wait and get more clarification from ODOT before bringing it before you.

Mr. Osborn continued I’d like to request an ordinance at your next meeting for engineering services by CDS for the SR 747 Urban Paving Project. This will resurface and repair SR 747 from the eastbound exist ramp of I-275 south to Kemper Road. The preliminary estimate for this project is $750,000. By the time we get finished paying for a full depth repair 100% local, the project cost will probably be a 50/50 split with ODOT. We will have to have our deposit in to ODOT sometime in 2008 and the construction will take place in 2009. We’d like to get the design started as early as we can in 2008.

Mr. Osborn stated there was a request by Mr. Diehl to get a schedule for the neighborhood watch meetings in anticipation that he might like to attend some. I thought that was a great idea. We would encourage all of you to attend these if you have a chance. We try to send a representative from another department in addition to the Police Department.

Mr. Osborn said another suggestion by Mr. Diehl involves the City e-mail addresses for you all. Right now, any e-mail coming to you goes to a single collective point that is then distributed by our systems administrator to you. We’d like to create an e-mail address on our server and give you the necessary information as to how you can access that e-mail. That way you can have more official correspondence with other jurisdictions, elected officials, etc. and have anonymity with your home e-mail address. In the next few days the systems administrator will be contacting you through e-mail with your new e-mail address and instructions on how to log onto our system.

Mr. Galster said if you click on my name it sends it right to me. I would prefer to get it in my regular e-mail.

Mr. Osborn said when Ms Dunfee sends the material out to you, if you prefer not to have a City e-mail, let her know.

Mr. Wilson said when I read Ordinance 69-2007 it said fifty-four traffic lights would be in the loop. Is that up SR 4 or throughout the city?

Mr. Osborn replied I’m not certain because it’s not our project. I do remember writing a letter of support for Fairfield when they applied for funding. It will involve the SR 4 corridor coming down to our corporation line. It’s to our best interest to have their signals working well. I can’t tell you where the other signals are throughout the city.

Mr. Wilson said if it extends north to Hamilton then we might be getting into Hamilton. Are they aware?

Mr. Osborn responded I don’t know but in any case, if we do connect with one another we would synchronize our clocks for our systems. Then it would be if we as a collaborative could work out a timing system that benefits both of us. We are not going to do anything that jeopardizes the movement of traffic in Springdale.

Law Director’s Report    -         no report   

Engineer’s Report – Mr. Madl reported the SR 747 CSX grade separation project is complete. Duke has completed installation of street lights and we are trying to obtain an update on when the lights will be operational. The SR 4/Crescentville Road project construction begins in the summer of 2008. The Kemper Road Phase III project is substantially completed. The SR 747/Crescentville Road improvement plans have been received by ODOT. Construction is anticipated in 2009. The rough grading has been completed for the Veteran’s Memorial project. Completion should be early September 2008. West Kemper Road from SR 4 to Hickory final design is underway. Issues concerning Springdale Elementary’s Certificate of Occupancy have been resolved and we have been in contact with the school regarding the easements necessary for this project. The funding application through the Ohio Public Works Commission for the SR 4 southbound lane addition at I-275 was unsuccessful. Due to being unsuccessful on obtaining outside funding we are anticipating that construction will be delayed until 2009.

Mr. Vanover asked do we know when we can expect the Chesterdale project to be opened up. The deck is done and the cages are up on both sides.

Mr. Madl answered no, but I can get an update for you.    

    COMMUNICATIONS

    Mrs. McNear stated the first communication is from the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of State Fire Marshall’s office. This is the Volunteer Firefighters Dependent Fund Certificate of the annual election of board members. Mr. Danbury will take care of this.

    Mrs. McNear said the second item is from the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners addressed to Mayor Webster regarding Hamilton County’s delinquent tax lien sale. The letter states that Hamilton County will join Ohio’s other large urban communities and sell a portion of its delinquent real estate tax liens. The sale of the delinquent tax liens will increase your revenues next year that arise out of property tax receipts. Treasurer Goering estimates that the initial bundle will be in the $8 to $10 million range. This represents about eight to ten percent of the total delinquency. State Treasurer Cordray offered an initial opinion that the amount of our delinquent loans that may be successfully sold could be in the $25 to $30 million range. That is two to two and a half times more than what Hamilton County Treasurer Goering originally thought.

    Mayor Webster said I received a letter this week. It reads, “Doyle, I want to say sincerely that the passing of Resolution R21-2007 was greatly appreciated. I felt honored to serve both on the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Commission during my time of service to Springdale. Since 1971 Springdale has faced many issues and developments where long deliberations and astute decision were necessary. Some of those sessions lasted until 3 a.m. I firmly believe that every applicant was allowed a fair and thorough presentation before decisions were made. During my tenure there were times where we learned from developers and they learned respect for the City’s wishes. This type of interchange has resulted in what the public sees today. I feel it is most positive making Springdale a great place to live. Over the years I have been the Council’s and the Mayor’s appointee. I thank you again for the comments that I would do what is best for Springdale. Sincerely Bill Syfert. P. S. Please accept my check for $100 for the Veteran’s Memorial Fund, a fitting tribute to those who served this country”.

   
    COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE -    none

    ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS

ORDINANCE NO. 66-2007 “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, 2007”

Mr. Squires made a motion to read by title only. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

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

Mr. Wilson said I wonder if Mr. Osborn could give us an overview of this ordinance.

Mr. Osborn said the purpose of this ordinance is to balance out our accounts to be more consistent with the existing appropriations or, in the alternative, to increase or decrease those appropriations in order to meet actual expenditures. In Section 3 it talks about additional appropriations. You can see there have been no additional appropriations into the General Fund and all the other changes and appropriations you see following that are additional money spent out of those respective funds. Section 4 explains that we are adding money into those funds. More money was collected into those funds than had been budgeted. We try to project the General Fund so we try to lay off costs to some of the more specialized funds. Section 5 shows that we underspent our Capital Improvements Fund this year and we are reducing the appropriations to $3.8 million.

Mrs. McNear said if you’d like to see specific details I have a breakdown.

Ordinance 66-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

ORDINANCE NO. 67-2007 “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. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.

    Mayor Webster stated when took over the programming for the Senior Citizens Center at Maple Knoll, anyone who was a member was invited to join us at our Community Center. To subsidize those efforts Lifesphere gave us $100 for every member who joined who was a non-Springdale resident with a maximum of a $50,000 subsidy. In neither year have we hit the maximum. The membership went down this year and we think it will continue to go down. When we presented this to Council we said there was no guarantee after two years. We may have to fund it ourselves or go to the communities where those people reside and ask for a subsidy. Lifesphere approached us and have volunteered to pay us $30,000 for this coming year; $20,000 the following year and $10,000 the third year. The number of outside seniors is decreasing and we anticipate that it will continue to dwindle. We ask you to endorse this legislation.

    Mr. Galster asked do we know how many people we have from outside communities?

    Mayor Webster replied no, but it is less than 500.

    Ordinance 67-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.    

ORDINANCE NO. 68-2007 “AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 87-2006 TO PROVIDE FOR WAGE INCREASES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY”

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

Mr. Osborn said this ordinance will increase wages for all full-time employees of the City and part-time members of the Fire Department by 3 ½% with the exception of firefighters who will receive a 4% increase in 2008 under an existing labor agreement. The rate of compensation for police officers is unknown as negotiations are still continuing for their next three year contract.

Ordinance 68-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

ORDINANCE NO. 69-2007 ”PRELIMINARY CONSENT LEGISLATION”

Mr. Vanover made a motion to table and Mr. Galster seconded.

Mayor Webster said I would like to go back and address the number of outside seniors who were subsidized. It was 446 for 2006 and it was estimated this year that it would be 340 out of an authorized 500.

The motion to table passed with seven affirmative votes.

ORDINANCE NO. 70-2007 “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.

Mr. Danbury asked on Item 8, have we typically agreed to send a director or member of your firm to the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers?

Mr. Schneider replied it has been in the contract for ten to twelve years. We don’t go to every one.

Ordinance 70-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Wilson nominated Ed Knox.

Mr. Squires nominated Julie Matheny, a lifetime resident and executive director of the Springdale Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Danbury said I know this is going to come off wrong and it is nothing against anybody personally, but I have a problem with putting someone in a position that could affect the policy of a family member. Julie is the Mayor’s daughter. I’m not saying she would do anything improper but I think even it was my son who wanted to be in there I think it would be a problem. You could say she doesn’t directly put anything on the ballot but I think it is setting a difficult precedent for the future that we have somebody in there who could affect something or sit on something. I have known Julie forever and I have the most respect for Mr. and Mrs. Webster but I think it is a bad precedent putting someone in this position. Board of Health I wouldn’t have a problem with because it wouldn’t affect a possible change in the Charter. Mayor Webster, I have nothing but respect for you. I don’t think you would use this. You don’t need it but this is setting a bad precedent.

Mr. Squires asked Mr. Danbury, isn’t it true that any recommendation from Charter Review must then come before Council for approval and once approved, does it not go before the people for voting?

Mr. Danbury responded that is true but we may not see a piece of legislation because it could be sitting in committee. It’s not just for right now but it is setting a precedent for ten or fifteen years down the road.

Mr. Squires said any revisions necessary must come before this board. It is our duty to look at it and it must eventually be approved by the voters of the City.

Mr. Galster stated, you are correct Mr. Squires that any change to the Charter would have to come to Council and if moved forward, would go to the voters. I think the point Mr. Danbury is trying to make is that when you sit on a board you try to sway people’s opinion. I think what Mr. Danbury is saying is that items that don’t come as a recommendation from Charter to this board are where he is having an issue. If someone has something that might be objectionable it never gets out of Charter if, in fact, someone is arguing for it not to go forward beyond that committee. If they are in agreement it would come to this board and then the voters, but it needs to go through that process. Some ideas don’t ever get out of certain committees.

Mr. Vanover said Charter is required by definition to report to this body on an annual basis and that is all actions, whether they were tabled or invoked. This committee has served at the direction and bequest of Council. I would rather have it be proactive rather than reactive.

Mr. Schneider said you haven’t used the word conflict, Mr. Danbury, but it is sort of implied. There is no legal conflict in that appointment. Ten percent of the electorate that voted in the last general election can put a matter on the ballot for Charter amendment, and a super majority of Council can do the same. The committee can take no action on its own other than make a recommendation to Council to get the super majority together to do it or maybe if an initiative is strong enough petition the community to get a matter up for a vote but there is no conflict between the Mayor’s position and the appointment of a relative or someone else. I’m not aware of any conflict that exists as such.

Mrs. McNear stated this is an uncompensated position, totally voluntary.

Mrs. Matheny was elected by a 4-3 vote.

RESOLUTION R27-2007 “APPOINTING JULIE MATHENY AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF CHARTER REVISION”

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

Resolution R27-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

RESOLUTION R28-2007 “CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF LYNN JONES AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

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

Mayor Webster said all three have been on the board for several years and I ask Council’s consideration.

Resolution R28-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

RESOLUTION R29-2007 “CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF GEORGE KELLNER AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

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

Resolution R29-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

RESOLUTION R30-2007 “CONFIRMING THE MAYOR’S APPOINTMENT OF PAM WILLIS AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF HEALTH”

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

Resolution R30-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.

OLD BUSINESS

Mrs. Harlow said I would like to ask Council if either Planning or Law or Administration knows of the recommendation that BZA sent to Planning regarding the sheds and garages.

Mr. Galster said it was discussed at the last Planning Commission meeting and Planning did forward its recommendation to Council. Mr. McErlane was going to investigate where it went.

Mr. Diehl asked don’t we need to do something about OKI?

Mrs. Harlow asked do we have anyone on Council who would be willing to attend and be our representative?

Mayor Webster said I received an e-mail from Mr. Osborn stressing the importance of having a representative there. The general group meets four times a year. That is what this representative would be required to do. The executive meeting meets monthly.

Mr. Osborn stated the executive committee is pretty competitive. OKI meets quarterly for 1 and ½ hours. It helps having a presence there. We have a pretty high profile with OKI. I’m still involved with them through their executive director and other key people in their organization. I think it is a benefit to us to have someone present on the executive committee when a topic comes up involving our city, even if that person doesn’t speak out. Just the fact that they are there influences other people and how they respond to our requests for funding. This is the gatekeeper agency for federal funding coming into our community.

Mrs. McNear said I could do the four times a year. I’m not sure about the executive committee. Mayor Webster stated if you don’t get approval from your employer or you need someone to fill in I will fill in for you. Mr. Squires said I will serve as an alternate also.

Mr. Danbury asked how can find out if there is anything in the works for being more aggressive in the immigration laws?

Mayor Webster said we can check with our local representative.

    NEW BUSINESS                     -         none

    2008 BUDGET PRESENTATION

    Mr. Wilson stated the year end balance for 2007 is estimated at $3.7 million. The expected ending balance for 2008 is expected to be $1.5 million.

    Mr. Wilson said we are seeing more money coming in for the Veteran’s Memorial.

    Mayor Webster said we made the last payment on the general fund obligation notes. The only obligation this city has is $3.9 million of outstanding bonds on our Community Center. When we borrowed we borrowed on the short term basis and we’ve lived up to those obligations. Now we can start trying to build up our cash reserves.

    Mr. Vanover asked do we have any idea as far as the sale of the property tax liens?

    Mrs. McNear replied not at this time.

    Mrs. Harlow asked how does that work?

    Mayor Webster said this would be a public auction. It’s a great investment. There are attorneys who specialize in this. They bid on these and put them in a safety deposit box because you can’t lose. The property can’t be sold from one person to another until that lien is retired, and every year the lien earns a very generous interest rate.

    Mayor Webster stated it is $25 to $30 million dollars estimated for the entire county. I have to think if they are going to generate that kind of money I would not be surprised to see us get $1 million from this.

    Mrs. Harlow said the DART fund has fluctuated a lot between 2006 and 2008. That’s for the regional support of law enforcement.

    Mr. Osborn stated I don’t have any answer. We probably anticipated an increase in our dues to participate because that group is falling on financial problems as federal money dries up. Apparently they were able to continue at the current fee levels.

    Mayor Webster said we are projecting to add a full-time person in the Health Department. We have two part-time sanitarians and we want to convert one of those positions to full-time. We only have two full-time Health Department personnel, the Health Commissioner and the Public Health Nurse. There are a lot of programs that we are required to participate in and we need back up for those plus restaurant inspections. We have looked at this for a number of years and we feel now is the proper time to do that.

    Mrs. Harlow asked what is the status of the fencing around the Community Center?

    Mr. Osborn responded we have had trouble with the contractor coming to the work site. They have had another major project underway. We now believe they are committed to getting this project done by the end of January.

Mr. Wilson said the expenditure for road paint went from $14,000 to $20,000. I suspect that is because of all the construction.

Mr. Osborn stated the additional costs are related to thermal plastic work we are going to do this year. Plastic striping or symbols applied using heat are more permanent than paint. Given the reconstruction that has occurred we have to reapply and at the same time we are replacing those thermal plastic applications in other places where they have worn off.

Mr. Vanover asked would any of that be recoupable from the water main project on Kemper Road?

Mr. Osborn replied no, this is all our cost. We have gotten considerable support from Water Works already.

Mr. Squires asked how hard were we hit on the salt this past weekend?

Mr. Osborn replied not significantly.

Mr. Wilson said I had a question on line item 52600, Urban Forestry. I was reminded that this is a result of the emerald ash borer and the trees we have to replace in the City.

Mr. Osborn said there are 660 ash trees in our public right-of-way. One hundred eighty of those are in the Glenview Subdivision. We have worked up a plan to remediate those trees. In Glenview we are going to remove every other tree and replace them with another variety. We are then going to treat the remaining ninety ash trees to try to make them more resistant to this pest. There is no absolute solution. There are plans to treat another ninety trees throughout the City and remove and replace another thirty. It will take a couple of years to get through the whole city.

Mr. Vanover asked have we had any signs of the emerald green ash tree borer in our city?

Mr. Osborn replied no, but it’s in our county.

Mr. Wilson said the printing for economic development was spiked to $13,500 from $1,000 in 2007. This is the PR we do to keep the City going.

Mr. Tulloch said it will primarily be used in the implementation of the retail district initiative that we currently have.

Mr. Osborn said the actual budget will be presented to Council for consideration on January 2, 2008.

Mayor Webster said I would like to acknowledge the efforts of Mr. Osborn and his staff, all the department directors for bringing their departments in under budget.

Mrs. Harlow stated it was very readable and the mission statements make it easier to read.

    MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Health                     -         January 10
Volunteer Firefighters                  -         December 21
Board of Zoning Appeals                 -         January 15

COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE    -          none

UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 69-2007                     -         tabled
Fee Adjustment for CDS                 -         January 2

RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Budget    approval                     -         January 2
Engineering Services for SR747 Urban Paving    -         January 2

Council adjourned at 8:42 p.m.

                        Respectfully submitted,



                        Kathy McNear
                        Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Minutes Approved:
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council



__________________________, 2007
    

City of Springdale Council



    December 19    2007