President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on February 17, 1999 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 Galster, Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of February 3, 1999 were discussed. Mr. Danbury said on Ordinance No. 4-1999 there was no notation on how many votes were in favor of the ordinance. The ordinance was approved with 7 affirmative votes.
The minutes of February 3, 1999 were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS – Mr. Vanover said they are bringing forth the 1999 asphalt, crack seal and street repair programs. We are ready to present legislation if Council would wish to enact it. We are running later than normal. The Public Works Committee has made changes. Numerous complaints have come in that we go in, cut the curb and do a three foot section when it’s okay on either side. The worst thing you can do to a concrete structure is cut it because that weakens it. We have adopted the philosophy that we will look at larger sections and evaluate the whole curb linear and decide when and what we will replace. Also we evaluated the situation with street repair and numerous areas of the City are about the same age and we could very well be hit with a year or two that we’d have a $2 million street repair program. We have a five year window laid out so if we get questions we can tell people when a certain area is scheduled. It’s not completely cut in stone and we may have to do a little juggling. We are running at about $780,000 and we are budgeted at $750,000 for the next couple of years and then we have bumped that up. We can discuss this now or bring it up again under new business.
Mr. Galster said if you look in your packet, where we’ve shown it from 1998 to the year 2005, pretty much every street and subdivision is included in that seven year span. Those numbers do include resurfacing and complete new curbs. We’ve always done the street program and that continues the same way, but the curbs have gotten to be 25, 27 years old. Some will be thirty years old before we get into replacement. Every time we go in and cut we are creating a worse situation so we’re trying to take a more aggressive approach. It is aggressive for the first seven years but hopefully we’ll get back into another thirty year life cycle for the curbs and we can get back into the street resurfacing. When we go back and do patches, we’ll try to encompass a bigger area so that we’re not putting five cuts in a 15-20 foot piece. If 65% of the curb is bad we’ll replace the whole section. It’s a little different than we have been doing it but because of the age I think we are better off doing it that way.
Ms. Manis said you said complete curbs but Oxford Hills, Beacon Hills, Centron, etc. says resurfacing only.
Mr. Galster replied that is because the curb work was already done on those streets. Those communities were so large we couldn’t actually do complete curb and surface at the same time.
Mr. Shuler stated when the committee asked us to look into a different way of approaching our street program we first wanted to look at the basis of the concrete curb system we have. We have determined that the average life of our concrete curb is between 25 and 35 years. That will vary by a number of factors, such as a curb that is in the low areas where water lays in it all the time and it goes through the winter freeze/thaw cycles, will deteriorate much faster and will need to be replaced sooner. We now know that many of our subdivision streets were built in the 60s and 70s and we’re approaching the thirty year average. As Mr. Vanover reported, we did not want to get into a situation where one year we came to you and said we need $1 million or $1 ½ million to replace the curb. Also with the complaints we have been getting from many of the residents where we have been doing spot curb replacement, we’re assuming a thirty year life. For the first twenty-five years we will continue to do spot curb repair as needed to maintain the structural integrity of the curb system. Once we get past twenty-five years on a curb section we will only do emergency repairs, and in the driveway areas specifically, because we know that curb is going to be replaced in the next five to ten years. We will continue with our asphalt resurfacing plan on a fifteen year cycle. About every five years we’ll put a seal coat on the pavement and on the fifteen year anniversary we would be looking at resurfacing and fifteen years later we would be doing both asphalt and curb replacement. The advantages of this type of program will allow us to go into a subdivision or on a street, replace the curb, replace the asphalt pavement and also deal with our curb/apron program on a subdivision by subdivision basis rather than a city-wide basis. This way we won’t be in subdivisions every year doing work and then getting into the big apron replacement programs that are city-wide. We believe, over time, we will be doing less spot curb repair; we’ll also have less maintenance costs over the thirty year life cycle because it will be more proactive because we will be maintaining what we have and then we’ll be replacing before we’re pouring a lot of maintenance dollars into it. The other advantage we’ll have is on the streets such as Allen, which is proposed to be the first street to have this program implemented this year, is over the years we’ve had a lot of complaints about the height and steepness of the curb and how hard it is to drive over. In Allen Avenue’s case, by replacing all this curb, we’ll be able to leave the pavement in place. We’ll be able to lower the six inch curb to a five inch curb, which will allow us to put a flatter radius on that curb. We won’t have to grind the street because we will just be filling in that inch that we’ve raised the curb and it will keep our resurfacing costs down; it will give the residents a flatter curb to drive over and it will be a better situation all the way around. Also, when we are doing total curb replacement, we then can give the option of having the curb in front of their driveway depressed as long as they are willing to replace their apron between the curb and the sidewalk. Before when we were doing spot repairs, we may have been doing half of a driveway, so then the resident had to pay for the other half of the curb as well as the apron and it became an expensive situation. The two sheets that were passed out as part of the memo that came from the committee a week or so ago is a longer summary that looked out years. We did this so we could balance expenditures to some extent so we weren’t caught in years where we had extremes and years where we had very little to do. The other advantage is that if you have residents contact you to complain about curbs, you now have a program in front of you and can tell the residents when we are planning to be in an area. If we have emergency situations we will have to take care of those when they occur but we will have a plan in place that we will try to follow as closely as we can. We’re not going to put a lot of maintenance money into an area that we know we are going to replace in a couple of years. For this year, we are going to be resurfacing Oxford Hills and Beacon Hills. We’re not proposing total curb replacement in that area because we just did spot curb repair last year to get ready for this year. In the future, for spot curb replacement, we are looking for a product we can use to recoat the entire curb so that the appearance will not be as checkerboard as it has been, even though structurally we may not be replacing all of that concrete. The other items in the program are the repair items that are in the program every year. That is the concept that the committee is proposing to you and would like to get concurrence from Council on. When we get concurrence from Council on the program itself, we are prepared to move ahead with the legislation for engineering so we can get this work out to bid as soon as possible and take advantage of bidding early in the construction season.
Mr. Galster said on the driveway apron program, if it was depressed 1 /2" we made the resident replace it. We are going to try to get out enough ahead of time so that they have a year’s notice so they have an opportunity to prepare for that replacement as opposed to being given 30, 60, 90 days to fit that into their budgets. I would make a request to bring the legislation forward to actually start the engineering on the street program so it can get out to bid.
Mayor Webster stated I think this is a wonderful plan. I’m glad to see us do this as we’ve all heard about the checkerboard curbs and I have to agree that it doesn’t look very nice. My only concern about this is the driveway apron replacement. We have had two big replacements over the last twenty years. There is a lot of administrative effort that goes into that and Mr. Osborn made the comment last year that whether we do fifty a year or 200, administratively it’s probably the same amount of effort, so it concerns me that we’re going to do that every year for the next ten years. We have to give the people the option of getting it done themselves. If we don’t get out there a year ahead of time and don’t give them that option, then we’re going to have three or four different contractors in a subdivision doing driveway apron repairs at the same time we’ve got our own contractor in there trying to rip out the curbs and grind the streets, etc. I think we ought to think that through and make sure this is the way we want to go with the driveway aprons.
Ms. Manis said I was a little confused on that part also. Are we doing a city-wide sweep on driveways again or just in the areas we are redoing?
Mr. Galster replied if we know that we are going to be in an area at a certain time doing street work, why don’t we put off some of those driveway aprons as opposed to making them do it ahead of time and then pulling up the curb right behind them. It may take a couple of years to get that coordination to happen better and it may take more administration time, but I think it’s better than telling everybody in the city to replace their curbs.
Ms. Manis asked will the curb replacement affect the aprons at all?
Mr. Shuler responded I don’t think it would from a structural standpoint; however, if someone wanted to have a depressed curb, then the curb and the apron would need to be done at the same time. We always run the risk of somebody replacing their apron, then we come in a year or two later with the curb replacement program and we could damage that apron and we may end up replacing it again. It’s a very difficult situation and there is no perfect answer. It’s certainly something we need to continue to talk about and approach from the resident’s aspect.
Ms. Manis said if they wanted to go the route of a depressed curb that be totally their responsibility.
Mr. Knox stated in my roll of fiscal officer for the City, I would like to remind Council that the budget called for $750,000 in this area. This amount is $790,500, an addition of $40,500 to the budgeted amount. The money must come from somewhere and this year we are going to be borrowing money. I’m urging some restraint. If we could find some other place to make up this additional amount I think it would be well advised to do so.
Mrs. McNear said we have the $40,000 from the festival that we won’t be having this year.
Two ordinances, numbers 8 and 9 will be added after Ordinance 7.
PUBLIC UTILITIES – Ms. Pollitt said ICRC met January 28 for its annual meeting. We now have the three camera set-up. There has been a social contract settlement between ICRC and Time-Warner so they will be able to focus on future programming. They will be working a lot with the schools and it’s a very exciting time for them.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS – Ms. Manis said a bid opening was held February 9 for the Phase II of Kemper Road. Thirteen contractors submitted bids. They are being reviewed and a recommendation should be before Council at the next meeting. The Rec Center has gone out to bid with a bid opening date of March 9.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION – Mr. Galster said Planning Commission met February 9. We had a conditional use permit for Alphabet Soup, 11285 Springfield Pike. This was also a public hearing. This is located across from the Colony Apartments at the GRC building. There is a tenant on each side. The biggest problem with the use was the location they had for their playground because it was in the middle of the parking lot with a dumpster behind it. The dump truck would have to go through gates through the play area and then through more gates to get to the dumpster. It would happen at an odd time and there wouldn’t be kids present but still, there were issues regarding cleanliness and safety. That was continued at the applicant’s request until March 9.
Arhaus Furniture applied for exterior alterations. That was approved 7-0.
Final approval of Tri-County Golf Center, Princeton Pike was the final item. THeye were talking about having a driving range and executive 9 hole course. At Planning we just saw the driving range and putt-putt. We didn’t see the nine hole course. I believe quite a few members thought it was a different plan than we had looked at before. There is some debate as to whether it’s the proper use for a public facility when it’s a driving range rather than a golf course. That was tabled until March 9.
Ms. Manis asked do you think they are not making the course?
Mr. Galster replied there was no course shown on the drawings and there was no commitment for a firm time frame. This particular area is heavily wooded and we had worked the tree replacement program based on the fact that it was going to be a golf course. A pretty good concession was given in reference to the tree replacement program and I don’t know that those same concessions would be given for a driving range.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS – Mrs. McNear reported that they met last evening with six members in attendance. Calvary Pentecostal Church, 11970 Kenn Road, requested a variance allowing the construction of a steeple extending more than twenty feet above the roof. They had requested a steeple 22 feet 9 inches. The church is located 310 feet from residential properties; 300 feet from I-275 and 490 feet from Kenn Road. We felt that if they had a shorter steeple it would look out of place with the size of the building. This was approved 6-0.
Leroy Fuller, 269 West Kemper Road, requested a variance to allow the construction of 864 square foot garage. He has a house, garage and carport and he wanted to add another building that was over 800 square feet. He is a collector of automobiles and wanted to store those on that property. The board was uncomfortable with him having another building there and asked if he could add on to the garage that he currently has. He said the pole barn companies he had spoken with refused to add that to the building. They wanted it free standing. He withdrew his request and wants to see about a construction company adding to the present garage. The board didn’t have a problem with the size of his garage because he has a large property but we did have a problem with a third building.
Arhaus Furniture, 35 Tri-County Parkway requested to have six parking spaces closer than ten feet to the Tri-County right-of-way. They don’t have parking there now and there is a very nice tree that they wanted to save. They have a driveway and six parking spaces cut in on a diagonal. Only half of those spaces cut into the right-of-way by five feet. It looks like a nice plan and they are going to submit a landscape plan. This would not be a heavy user of parking as Arhaus is very upscale furniture. This was granted 5-1.
Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt reported that they met February 11. We discussed Best Western who will have the second, third and fourth floors cleared by the end of February. They are starting the rebuilding process on the upper levels and are hoping to reopen in April.
The board discussed laser pointers and determined that they are not a health hazard. The types of lasers readily available are just Classes 1-3. When you get to 3B and Class 4 there is increased risk of eye injury. Other communities have banned them. If the Police Department has an issue they can ask that that be sent to the Safety Committee.
Mayor Webster said they had asked the Police Department if they have a concern and we will resurface that issue through the Public Safety Committee.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - no report
O-K-I - no report
MAYOR’S REPORT – Mayor Webster said we had a company move into town. They sent me a thank you note that I would like to read because this company does offer
a service to the community. It’s from Petsmart and reads "Dear Mayor Webster: Thank you for your participation in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of Petsmart’s new store on Saturday, February 6. We appreciate your time and interest in welcoming Petsmart to your area. Through our philosophy of dedication to the care and well-being of animals and donating prime store space for local shelters to offer pets for adoption and selling dogs and cats in our store, we hope to add overall value to this community which we serve." That is pretty neat for a company to use a big area and take pets in for adoption and give those pets away.
I’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Captain Hafer and the P.D. and Jim Burton and the staff at the Community Center for the survival seminar that was put on last Thursday. The report I got was that it was an outstanding presentation. It costs the City around $1,000 plus time and effort and I think it was money well spent. It’s the type of activity we’d like to see more of and hopefully, with a bigger, enhanced facility we’ll be able to do that. We certainly are going to try to have another one of those presentations in the near future.
Also, I would like to announce that Mayor’s Night In is scheduled for next Wednesday and I just got an invitation to the DARE graduation so I reluctantly have to cancel the May 24 Mayor’s Night In but we will resume on the fourth Wednesday in March.
I’d like to share with Council a resolution that was adopted by the Board of Hamilton County Commissioners declaring March 7-13 Tornado And Flood Safety Awareness Week in Ohio. The Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency is mailing Tornado And Flood Safety Awareness Week information to all newspapers, TV and radio stations, including a special packet from the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness. I’d like everybody to try to take advantage of that. Pamphlets will be passed out in the local elementary and middle schools. Since all the sirens in Hamilton County are tested the first Wednesday of the month they will not test them two weeks in a row.
Mr. Vanover said I’d like to echo the congratulations to the Rec Center Staff and Police Department. I was there that night and it was phenomenal. Everyone was impressed. It ran over an hour and less than half a dozen people left.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR – Mr. Knox said back when we were reviewing the budget someone asked what is the basis for the liquor license payment from the state. We get 50% of the licensing fees of the liquor dispensing establishments in the City of Springdale.
ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT – Mr. Parham said I provided you with a memorandum dated February 11, giving you an update on the labor negotiations. On February 1 we held the fact finding hearing and we needed to take action seven days after receiving the report. We received the report on February 8 meaning we would have had to take action this past Monday. The report contained everything we had previously agreed on at the fact finding hearing. The FOP voted to accept the fact finder’s report and since we took no action, it shall go into effect. That concludes our negotiation process for this year. We ask that legislation be brought at the March 3 Council meeting with an emergency clause to approve the contract with the Fraternal Order of Police.
As Ms. Manis indicated in the Capital Improvements report for the Phase II Kemper Road storm sewer project, the bid opening was held on February 9 and we received 13 bids. The engineer’s estimate for the project was $371,308. The low bidder was Site Services & Underground, Inc. at a bid of $274,817.75. The uniqueness about Site Services & Underground is that I think they have been in business a little less than five months and we have relatively little history on them so it’s going to require that the Engineer’s office perform a bit more background investigation on them. The next low bidder was Sunesis whom we have done work with before. Their bid was $296,285.50. The contractor who performed Phase I was Trend Construction. Looking at the engineer’s estimate and the low bid, there was approximately $100,000 difference so that does leave room. Apparently, Site Services was also the low bidder in Forest Park. We plan to start our work in June and Forest Park is looking to start a little sooner than our project.
Mayor Webster said on the alternate, the engineer’s estimate was $44,975.50. I’m sure most of you are aware that that is the property on the north side of Kemper across from Thriftway. Initially it was in the Phase I project and we pulled it out as there were questions about what may happen to the property and we put in this year as an alternate. In fairness to Council you need to know that a number of those pieces are under contract to be sold. You may want to take that into consideration in your decision to add that to the contract.
Mr. Parham reminded Council that the 1999 budget for Phase II was $407,000.
LAW DIRECTOR’S REPORT – Mr. Schneider said we have drafted a proposed laser lights regulation as Council requested at the last meeting. I will be glad to work with whomever the chair thinks I should.
Ms. Pollitt said that would only be if the Police Department initiates it. We have let them know that the Board of Health thought there was no need for them to enact legislation for a health concern.
ENGINEER’S REPORT - no report
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 6-1999 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE CONTRACT WITH RUMPKE WASTE, INC. FOR WASTE COLLECTION AND RECYCLING SERVICES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded. Ordinance 6-1999 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 7-1999 "ACCEPTING A PROPOSAL UNDER THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PURCHASING PROGRAM AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH JOHN DEERE COMPANY FOR THE PURCHASE OF A LAWN MOWER AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Parham said we did not present a report before bringing in the legislation; however, this was an item we had hoped to have on the agenda last time. This item is in the 1999 budget for $20,000. The state bid price was a little under $18,000. In order to get us prepared for the upcoming high grass growing season we wanted to get this to you as soon as possible.
Mr. Wilson said this is for Parks and Recreation and the mower we are replacing is on its last leg.
Mr. Parham replied the one we are replacing is a 1990. I don’t know if we have an older mower that is not a John Deere but this is our first John Deere. The mower we are replacing is in bad shape.
Ordinance 7-1999 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 8-1999 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE ENGINEERING WORK NECESSARY FOR THE 1999 CRACK SEAL PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Vanover said we separate the crack seal from the concrete work so we can get a more favorable bid situation. Ordinance 8-1999 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 9-1999 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE ENGINEERING WORK NECESSARY FOR THE 1999 SUMMER STREET PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded. Ordinance 9-1999 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R4-1999 "APPOINTING ROY A. MITCHELL AS A MEMBER OF THE TAX REVIEW BOARD"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded. Resolution R4-1999 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Mackey’s term on the Tax Review Board just expired and I would like to take nominations at the next meeting. Ms. Pollitt will check with Mr. Mackey to see if he is interested in continuing. The term will end January 31, 2003.
Mr. Danbury said I don’t want to point fingers because I do it all the time, but I have a hearing a problem and even though I know it’s important to discuss issues among yourselves, it’s very distracting. We owe it to everybody to keep those sidebars to a minimum. Especially with my hearing it’s very frustrating. I will do the gavel and I don’t want to do that.
Mrs. McNear said this topic is kind of a health issue. It’s about the birds. I love watching the birds but there are thousands of birds by Showcase Cinemas. I really think it’s two health issues. People are watching the birds as they drive and I think we are going to have pile ups on the expressway. Also I am concerned about the droppings because there are so many birds.
Ms. Manis said I haven’t seen them in a couple of days but it was amazing to see all those birds.
Mayor Webster said the easiest thing to do is ignore your comments about the birds because we have been concerned about that for several years. We have looked into some methods of controlling it. We could put out some kind of poison but could you imagine the press if they got wind of that. We’re open for suggestions and will investigate any ideas you can come up with.
Mr. Danbury said the key is to eliminate the food source and they wouldn’t show up. There evidently is something in the bushes there that attracts insects that the birds would eat because that is the only area where they are concentrated. To eliminate that food source would be costly I’m sure and ODOT would have to give us approval.
Mr. Wilson said some cities have used an ultrasound whistle to keep them at bay but that just moves them to another area. They would either go north to Fairfield and Fairfield would be on our case, or they would come south and pop up on our Municipal Building. There really is no solution for it that we have talked about so far.
Mr. Knox said we did advertise the public hearing for the Pictoria Island PUD at the March 3 meeting.
Ms. Manis asked when are we going to get copies of the history? Mr. Parham responded I will get that in your boxes tomorrow.
Mr. Parham said at the last Council meeting Ms. Manis raised the question about the timing of the police and other civil service examinations. I met with the Civil Service Commission on February 12 and I did present that idea to them. We talked about holding the exam on Saturday which will probably give a wider range of individuals an opportunity to take the exam. However, for police officers working in other jurisdictions, their schedule generally will have them working seven days so we may not be able to hit all of them.
Mr. Danbury said I spoke with a resident last week about the issue of people who leaving their cars parked in one place. I’m sure it is frustrating to a lot of people and the City is looking at this but we only have so much manpower. I think people need to consider their neighbors when they park.
Mr. Danbury said for communication purposes, I would like to ask everybody to submit cell phone numbers, pagers, e-mail addresses, work numbers, etc. to Mrs. Dunfee. I think it’s very imperative that we are able to get in touch with someone in certain circumstances. It is strictly voluntary but I’d like to request that of everyone.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
The Springdale Youth Boosters night of horse races - February 27, 7:00 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Newsracks - April
Contract with FOP - next meeting
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Phase II Kemper Road storm sewer - next meeting
Resolution for Tax Review Board - next meeting
Council adjourned at 8:25 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council