Acting President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on August 4, 1999, 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 Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Vanover, and Wilson. Mr. Danbury and Mr. Galster were absent.
The minutes of July 21, 1999 were approved with 4 affirmative votes. Mr. Vanover abstained.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Michael D. Aden, 364 Glensharon said his daughter received a letter concerning her tax liability for 1998. She came in to pay it on the 15th of the month but forgot her paperwork. The clerk told her she had until the 31st to get it in. But April only has 30 days and she showed up on May 1st. She was told there would be a $25 fine for being late and now she has been told that there is a $50 penalty because she had not paid 70% of her tax liability by January 31. The clerk said the same thing had happened last year and the Tax Department had sent a notice saying the daughter had made this mistake and they waived the $50 fine. Mr. Aden said he didnít remember receiving the notice.
Mr. Aden said problem number 2 is that there is a 364 Glensharon, 364 Cameron one block away; 364 Naylor, one block from there; and 364 Vista Glen right across the street. There have been several occasions that we have not received our mail.
Mr. Aden said $75 in fines for a $22 tax liability is ridiculous. It really disheartens my whole feeling towards Springdale.
Mr. Knox said when someone is warned that they made a mistake and they repeat the mistake, thatís when the $50 penalty kicks in. Our feeling is that there is a very small minority that tries to avoid paying taxes and we donít think thatís fair to anyone else. Now, if you didnít receive it thatís a different story and I would really like to discuss this whole thing with you at another time. We in the Tax and Finance Department are looking at suggested changes to the ordinances of the City because we have continuing problem with students because of their age and they donít make a lot of money. I think you will find Mrs. Burton quite fair. Put your phone number on the sign in sheet and I will give you a call.
Ms. Manis said a lot of people have complained to me about taxes. If you owe a lot of money to the City, even if you pay on time, theyíll say you have to estimate. If you switch jobs or are in sales, itís hard to estimate and if you estimate wrong they can still fine you. Most major cities have the same section in their code.
Mr. Knox stated quite a bit of that comes from the O.R.C.
Mayor Webster asked does the code give you any latitude at all on tax liability? Considering the amount of money it costs to process the paperwork, I would think it would be in everyoneís best interest that you not invoke this 70% policy unless the tax liability exceeded a certain threshold.
Mr. Knox replied we have been discussing the wording and specific situations and will be coming to Council with suggestions.
Mr. Wilson said the tax form says at age sixteen you are supposed to file even if you donít have a job. Maybe we should look at waiving filing unless the person is employed.
Mr. Schneider said Iím not aware that that is a requirement and donít know what the basis for that requirement would be because we have an earned income tax and the only people reporting through the City Tax Department are people who have earned income. I donít know what the basis could be to require anybody to register with this City for that purpose or any purpose unless they have earned income.
Ms. Pollitt said Mrs. Burton is very good at working with our residents and Iím very confident that she will be able to resolve your issue. Anytime we have an issue that canít be resolved through the Tax Department, there is a Tax Review Board. After he/she has gone through the proper channels a resident can request a hearing.
Mr. Nathan Gordon, Columbus, Ohio, said I have been before you before on a liquor license matter and I am back again. I sent a letter to Mr. Knox several weeks ago and Mr. Danbury and I had a nice phone conversation, and I provided information to him regarding liquor licenses in Springdale. The Taj Mahal is interested in importing a liquor license from another jurisdiction since none are available here in Springdale. Last year we were able to bring one in from Norwood for Cost Plus. Since I wrote that letter I was approached by another possible restaurant as well as a new client interested in a large retail establishment with a carry out license. I think in all three cases we would be talking about establishments whose main interest would not be in selling alcoholic beverages, but selling alcoholic beverages would be peripheral to the selling of food or other products. Mr. Danbury and I had an interesting conversation. Although a relatively modest person, he was very nice. Iím not here to shove anything down Springdaleís throat. Weíre just here to bring in businesses that would like to open up and canít do so without a liquor license.
Mr. Gordon said one of the inequities of the Ohio liquor law is that large restaurants are able to get a D5-I, a non-quota license, because they meet certain requirements.
Ms. Pollitt said I donít really have a problem with transferring a license into a restaurant but when we put it into a carry-out I will need to object to that. I donít want to see any more carry-out places, any more places where young people can go and buy alcohol. How many licenses do we have in this area?
Mr. Knox replied 37. Mr. Gordon provided Mr. Danbury with a print out of each of the licenses and I will reproduce a copy for each Council person if you would like.
Mayor Webster said I know you get tired of hearing me say this but itís a bad piece of legislation. The state legislature has made Springdale a dumping ground for liquor permits and I object to that strenuously. As Mr. Osborn pointed out, they did it in the name of economic development and thatís what we have to live with. Given that, I donít think itís unreasonable of us to ask the Taj Mahal to present to us the economic impact they are going to have on this City. How many jobs are they going to create, what are their hours of operation, how much traffic are they going to generate? If the impact is great then maybe we say that qualifies under what the state legislature had in mind.
Mr. Gordon replied we would be happy to do that. I think thatís a very fair request. I agree that it is a bad piece of legislation which I use whenever itís necessary. If we got rid of the quota system weíd all be better off. What weíve created are a bunch of exceptions. While you may only have 10,000 or 11, 000 residents in Springdale you probably have several hundred thousand who come in on a daily basis. I would object to the term dumping, but itís a common problem state-wide where weíve created all of these exceptions. When I go to a restaurant I like to have a glass of wine or beer. While some restaurants may do fine without it, most need that mix to make a go of it.
Mr. Vanover said I agree with Mayor Webster that the system is bad. With the crack down on DUIs it doesnít make sense that just about every gas station in town has a carry-out license. Letís fix the system rather than adding more exceptions.
Ms. Pollitt asked if an establishment has a liquor license for on-premise and they go out of business, can that liquor license be sold to another company and changed to a carry out? I would have a real problem knowing a company could have an on-premise license and it could later be converted to carry-out when I am trying to keep that out of Springdale.
Mr. Gordon replied under Ohio law you can transfer a liquor license. If you go out of business you can place it in escrow for up to two years. You technically cannot sell a license. An on-premise license permits you to sell both on and off-premise but I donít know why anyone in Springdale would use an on-premise license for carry-out sells.
Council asked that the client make a presentation as to why they want the liquor license. Mr. Gordon said he would provide that to Mr. Knox when his clients get it together.
Jim Raussen, 75 Bishopsgate Drive, #316, Woodlawn stated I am considering a run for state representative of the 32nd District. I am a graduate of Moeller High School and Xavier University and had been a township trustee in Hamilton Township in the mid 1990s. I will have a web site up in about a week atwww.JimRaussen.com.
Mr. Knox said I would like to give my quarterly report on the Cityís finances. The amount of money over and above the $1 million that we would like to hold and two months operating expenses was $1,849,000. That is an increase of $270,000 but that is not due to increased tax revenue. The increase came from estate taxes. The budget is going well.
Mayor Webster said at the last Finance Committee meeting we decided we were going to sell a note in September to finance the Community Center. Is that the time frame we are still looking at? Mr. Knox replied it is on schedule for the first meeting in September.
Ms. Manis asked will the thermal imaging system be on the agenda next time?
Mr. Parham replied he has not had a chance to talk to the Fire Chief yet. Mayor Webster said we would probably want to have an ordinance at the next meeting.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mr. Vanover stated he would not be at the next Council meeting as he will be out of town.
Planning Commission - August 9
Board of Zoning Appeals - August 17
Mr. Parham stated the last time he had reported on the Community Center they were about two weeks behind. With the oppressive heat they are probably another ten days behind schedule. The contractors were forced to adjust their schedules because it was too hot to get much accomplished. We still think we can begin to make up time starting next week. Once the steel arrives everyone believes the project will really take off. At this point you can see where part of the walls are up for the batting cage area. The foundation has been laid for the gymnasium area. A portion of the track will be shut off beginning Monday evening so they can begin to work on the detention system. It will take about three weeks to get that in place. The area to be shut down is from the walkway running along the concession stand heading east towards Lawnview.
Mr. Vanover said I understand we had some problems with some fill. The soil wasnít up to par. What kind of effect has that had?
Mr. Parham replied we had a lot of unfortunate problems with the soil, primarily in the parking lot area and where the gymnasium will go. Just about everything they were digging was bad dirt. One of the soil testers told the contractor that he would have to begin to cut three feet of soil throughout the entire gymnasium area. That alarmed a number of people including the architect. We met with the contractor and it turned out that we did not have to remove that amount of dirt. At that time they didnít have a tester out there every day but since then we have overcome the hurdle of removing that soil. Weíre not sure what the dollar figure will be but it will add a chunk to the project.
Mayor Webster said Iíd like to remind everyone of the Recycle Days. The annual garage sale will be held August 14 in the parking area behind the Police Department. The Recycle Days will be held at the Public Works Complex, 335 Northland Boulevard on August 13 and 14, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The following items will be accepted for recycling: aluminum and bi-metal cans, colored and clear glass, corrugated boxes, newspaper, plastic bottles, paint, tires, crank case oil, lube oil, oil filters, antifreeze, vehicle batteries, automotive oil, automatic transmission oil and diesel fuel. Paint should be marked with the color of paint. Oil should be in 1-5 gallon containers; newspapers and corrugated boxes should be tied in bundles. On August 27 and 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. the usable paint brought in will be available to the public on a first come, first serve basis at the Public Works complex.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Rezoning McClellans Lane (CostCo) Ėpublic hearing - August 18
Approving Preliminary Plan (CostCo) - August 18
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Thermal imaging - August 18
Council adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council