President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on July 15, 1998 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, and Danbury. Mr. Wilson was absent due to a death in the family.
The minutes of July 1, 1998 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R9-1998 "COMMENDING ROBERT N. SEARS FOR HIS YEARS OF DEDICATED SERVICE TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Vanover said I can remember back when we first moved into this City, one of the things we all appreciate is the way the roads were handled during the winter. There was never any doubt when you hit the borders of Springdale. Our streets were probably in better shape than the state routes were. It was by Mr. Sears direction that we have the street program that we have and itís been a pleasure working with Bob. I wish him the very best.
Mayor Webster said thank you. Youíve given 25 years of dedicated service to the City. The Cityís history and reputation of cleaning its streets as soon as the first snowflake hits the street is notorious throughout the area. Thatís just one aspect of all the other great things you have contributed to this City. I just canít say enough as to how much I appreciate your efforts. Thank you very much and we hope you have a nice, long happy retirement.
Mr. Knox said being a director of any of the departments in this City is not an easy job. In the last three years Iíve had several occasions to contact Mr. Sears about various questions and he can always answer the questions. You need almost encyclopedic knowledge to do that. Itís a difficult job and heís done it well. Iím sorry to see you go.
Mr. Galster said I talked to Bob Sears in his office a few weeks ago. He said when he was first hired he was concerned about people in the community seeing him on the side of the street picking up trash and what would happen to his pride. That struck me as extremely important on the day he will be retiring. I think when Bob took the job he was proud to take the job. He was happy to have it for his family. I think when you look back on it, Bob, when you walk through the City you can hold your head high as you always have. You have done a fine job. I donít think there is a single person in this City who isnít proud of the work you have done. I thank you for that conversation that day. On that day I had ridden my motorcycle and somebody had done some work on Kemper Road. The ground where they had put new tar had just opened up and created a gigantic ramp. I hit that and was airborne. I went to Public Works at 5:00. Bob called a crew in and got it taken care of. That was a typical response and for that service I thank you.
Mrs. McNear said one of the things I think is a true measure of a good manager is someone who will not ask any of his employees to do something he wouldnít do himself. I can recall eight or nine years ago on a wintry night we had a construction problem in one of the neighborhoods and there was Bob, in the dark in 35oF, scrubbing the street by himself. I donít think too many people would get out and do that. I commend you for being that kind of manager and weíll sorely miss you.
Ms. Manis said I agree with what Mrs. McNear said completely. I know when the guys are out there he is out there. I know our snow removal gets a lot of talk. There are so many other things your department has done with the cemetery, recycling, etc. I appreciate what youíve done for the City.
Ms. Pollitt said congratulations. Everyone else has already spoken so many glowing remarks about you. Good luck.
Mr. Danbury said itís been a pleasure working with you and knowing you. Being a department head you donít always make the most popular decision but you have to do whatís right. Weíre now known as a "Tree City USA" and I donít think a lot of people realize the significance of that. That is a very prestigious award that a lot of communities try to achieve. We have been there six years in a row. I wish you the best in your retirement.
The resolution passed with 6 affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn read a plaque that they had prepared for Mr. Sears. All these good things you have heard about his department are true. Bob has set very high standards for his personnel and heís lived up to those standards himself. As you know, people perform up to the level of expectation you have for them.
"In recognition of Robert N. Sears on the event of his retirement from the Springdale Public Works Department, Springdale, Ohio, 31 July 1998. Your dedication and service to this community over the past 28 years will never be forgotten. Your leadership and high standards that you have set as the Superintendent of Public Works during the past nineteen years will serve as the benchmark by which all who follow you will be measured. Congratulations on an exemplary career. The grateful citizens of Springdale, Ohio."
Mayor Webster presented the plaque to Mr. Sears.
Bob Sears said imagine this: completing high school, serving your country in the service for 8 Ĺ years, being recommended for a job in civilian life by your commanding officer, being hired by the company as you walked in the door (Cincinnati Milling Machine). I worked there two years and was laid off and that wasnít a bad thing. I sought employment and found a part-time job driving a truck. I was laid off there. The owner of the company recommended to the Mayor of Springdale, Ray Norrish that I be hired. I worked up through the civil service steps in the City. That took me 7 years and 10 months. I was appointed Superintendent of Public Works the night I walked down the aisle to give my first annual report. I served the public in that position under five mayors, one city administrator, at least two wonderful assistant city administrators and many dedicated Council persons. Iím retiring at age 55. Thank you for allowing me to serve you and the public.
Mayor Webster said when we started the judging this year I didnít know what to expect. We had such a horrible spring and then it turned hot. I guess I wasnít expecting a lot but you people really surprised me. Once again you did a marvelous job. Thank you for helping to beautify the City of Springdale. I would also like to publicly thank my wife, Lavonne, and daughter, Julie for chauffeuring me around to do the judging.
Presentation of 1998 LANDSCAPING AWARDS
AREA 1 Beacon and Oxford Hills, Kenn Rd. (north of I-275)
1st Place - White Family of 677 Coxbury Circle
2nd Place Ė Mrs. Herbert Posey of 12131 Greencastle Dr.
3rd Place - Jones Familiy of 905 Cedarhill Dr.
Honorable Mention - Turner Family of 680 Cedarhill Dr.
Lux Family of 792 Clearfield Ln.
Ransom Family of 918 Yorkhaven Rd.
AREA 2 Springdale Lake Dr., Ray Norrish Dr.
Glensprings Area (including the five cul-de-sacs)
1st Place - Sinks Family of 737 Glensprings Dr.
2nd Place - Hemani Family of 11980 Springdale Lake Dr.
3rd Place - Compton Family of 11850 Fairsprings Ct.
Honorable Mention - Petering Family of 629 Glensprings Dr.
Ramsey Family of 11856 Glenfalls Ct.
Maupin Family of 535 Ray Norrish Dr.
AREA 3 Cloverdale Area, Smiley, Park, and Allen
West Kemper (west of Route 4) (north side)
Kenn Rd. (south of I-275), S.R. 4 (north of Kemper)
1st Place - Harold Burkholder of 496 Cloverdale Ave.
2nd Place - Whitaker Family of 687 Cloverdale Ave.
3rd Place - Laage Family of 616 Cloverdale Ave.
Honorable Mention - Skirvin Family of 672 Cloverdale Ave.
Hamm Family of 517 Cloverdale Ave.
Reckner Family of 467 Cloverdale Ave.
Wolf Family of 462 Dimmick Ave.
AREA 4 Observatory Area, Grandin Area
Baldwin Subdivision, West Kemper (south side)
1st Place - Clark Family of 562 Lafayette Ave.
2nd Place - Kathryn Crockett of 519 Lafayette Ave.
3rd Place Ė Lutts Family of 367 Plum St.
Honorable Mention - Koonce Family of 11497 Bernhart Ct.
Brabbs Family of 583 Lafayette Ave.
Miller Family of 595 W. Kemper Rd.
AREA 5 Glenview Subdivision, Cameron Rd. Area
West Sharon Rd., Olde Gate
1st Place - Ketring Family of 403 Vista Glen
2nd Place - Smith Family of 10957 Fallstone Dr.
3rd Place - Swope Family of 486 Vista Glen
Honorable Mention - Pokrin Family of 347 Glensford Ct.
Huddleston Family of 407 Vista Glen
Havlin Family of 391 Naylor Ct.
AREA 6 Springdale Terrace Subdivision
Royal Oaks Subdivision, W. Kemper (east of Route 4)
1st Place - Woody Family of 163 Harter Ave.
2nd Place Ė Carr Family of 11704 Van Camp Ln.
3rd Place - Squires Family of 150 Ruskin Dr.
Honorable Mention - Rachel Bourne of 11825 Lawnview Ave.
Boggs Family of 11814 Neuss Ave.
Frazier Family of 11816 Neuss Ave.
AREA 7 Heritage Hill Subdivision
McClellans Lane, East Crescentville Rd.
1st Place - Ralph Paul of 865 Tivoli Ln.
2nd Place - Schmidt Family of 1003 Pilgrim Place
3rd Place Ė Dixon Family of 815 Ledro St.
Honorable Mention - Taylor Family of 1006 Ledro St.
Farmer Family of 877 Tivoli Ln.
Hunt Family of 818 Ledro St.
Recker & Boerger at 169 Northland Blvd.
Avon Products, Inc. at 175 Progress Place
Maple Knoll Village at 11100 Springfield Pike
Calvary Pentecostal Church at 353 W. Kemper Rd.
White Castle at 11587 Springfield Pike
Delhi Lawn and Garden at 135 Northland Blvd.
The winner of the Fay Marion Howard Award is the Ketring family. Dr. Ketring is a two time winner of this award. I have had the opportunity in the last year to pay his office a visit in Springfield Township. When I pulled up in front of the establishment I knew this had to be the place and once I got inside there hung on his walls, landscaping awards that he has been given by Springfield Township. Thank you for your contributions.
Presentation Ė Hamilton County Parks District Ė Joy Landry
Ms. Landry said there is a total of 48 cities, villages and townships in Hamilton County that are served by the Hamilton County Park District. The City of Springdale is located between Winton Woods to the west and Sharon Woods to the east. Ms. Landry showed slides of the improvements made at; boat house, hike trail, expanded shelter, playground facilities, Parkyís Ark at Winton Woods. Scheduled for Sharon Woods is a new visitorís center, interactive nature exhibits, classroom and auditorium, indoor educational playground, new playground.
Ms. Landry said we have a program called "Community Releaf". Itís our way of having a physical presence in each community. Iíd like to offer to the City of Springdale the gift of a tree. We have five specifies to choose from. You choose an appropriate public facility within your City and weíll come out this fall and plant the tree.
Mr. Osborn said itís great to have you in this evening. Youíve done an excellent job with that lake. Iíve lived in this area quite a long time and it is a regional draw and you have exceeded my expectations.
Ms. Manis said I have heard nothing but good things about the walking trail at Winton Woods. Do you offer free golf lessons for the juniors?
Ms. Landry replied we do every summer as a way of encouraging youngsters to get involved in the game.
Mr. Danbury said I hear with the completion of Winton Lake you will be stocking more and more fish.
Ms. Landry responded typically throughout the summer we stock all four of our lakes every Friday morning with channel catfish. In early spring and fall we stock trout.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - NO REPORT
PUBLIC RELATIONS - Mrs. McNear said the Springdale newsletter should be out shortly.
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY AND WELFARE - NO REPORT
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Vanover said that under the 1998 street program R. A. Miller Construction received the contract for the concrete program and construction is to start July 13. Terry Construction received the contract for the crack seal program. Construction started June 22. Adleta Construction received the contract for the curb ramp replacement program and construction will start July 20.
PUBLIC UTILITES Ė Quarterly meeting schedule for July 23.
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Ms. Manis said the West Kemper Road storm sewer project Phase I construction started this week. The tree removal is almost completed. Sharon Road repair and resurfacing construction has begun. The Police Department HVAC renovation is scheduled to start next week. Construction is underway with asphalt work on the Public Works facility expansion. That should be completed by September 1 and the overall should be completed by October 2.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - NO REPORT
PLANNING COMMISSION Ė Mr. Galster said they met last night. We had approval of a landscape plan, building finishes, dumpster enclosure for MRI of Tri-County. That was approved 7-0.
We had a proposal for a garage to be added behind the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, 169 Northland Boulevard. The applicant did change his plan and that item was tabled until the next meeting.
The next item was the approval of a setback on the north property line at 12174 Peak Drive to allow the construction of a patio enclosure. This is a PUD. It infringed about two feet into the existing setback line. It was approved with 5 votes, 1 no and 1 abstention.
The last item was the development plan approval for the Century Office Park Building at 11570 Century Boulevard. This building is 91,000 square feet and was approved 7-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS Ė will be held next Tuesday.
BOARD OF HEALTH - NO REPORT
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - NO REPORT
O-K-I - NO REPORT
MAYORíS REPORT Ė Mayor Webster reminded everyone of the community wide garage sale at the Community Center August 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All eighty booths have been taken. The Public Works Department will be set up to handle tires, batteries, paints, etc.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR Ė Mr. Knox said we have engaged Berg and Company to do an audit on an annual basis in accordance with state regulations. We have received a report of the audit approved by the State. I will be distributing copies of it to each Council member. We did quite well.
Mrs. Burton has sent a letter to me, Mayor Webster and Mr. Osborn pointing out the fact that we have a deficiency in our ordinances. We had one case where a company did not pay their taxes. Although we can prove that they should pay it and they will pay it, there is no place in the ordinances that shows that there should be any interest paid on that or any penalty. Weíre going to correct an ordinance to correct that.
I did contact State Senator Howard and she will get back to us on the study that is being done at Ohio University on the buffer items.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Osborn stated that the Metropolitan Sewer District has issued a temporary suspension of sewer tap permits for north central Hamilton County. This is a result of a sanitary sewer overflow during wet weather conditions on the main trunk of the sanitary sewer along the Mill Creek in northern Reading. City officials in affected communities along with County Commissioner John Dowlin met with MSD Friday evening to review this situation and determine what we can do in the short term and in the longer term to address the problem. I do want to commend Commissioner Dowlin for the active roll heís taken in trying to find a resolution to this. The first facility affected by this is a 100,000 square foot office building that is going to be built by Kieseland. It has tenants ready when the project is complete. We believe that although the permit has been denied at this point, we can come up with enough credits in a very short time to make sure they have their permit by the time they need it. I donít think we are going to see any interruption in construction so long as we get on this problem immediately and find some immediate short-term solutions that will allow the jurisdictions to see development occur but at the same time have a longer term plan in place to satisfy the Ohio EPA. We will keep you apprised of developments.
You may recall that during the public meeting we held on the Sharon Road project one of the items that came up involved the stoppage of traffic that wanted to turn left into the drive-thru going eastbound on Sharon Road, waiting for westbound traffic to clear. In the evenings, particularly with the sun directly on the backs of cars, folks have said itís hard to see tail lights and we have had a few accidents there. There is also left turn movement into Ballinger going the opposite direction. Weíve worked with Forest Park and our current contractor on the project, and we have come up with a change order for the addition of a slight widening of the road to create a turn lane. That cost would be $26,000.
Another complaint weíve received is the intersection at S. R. 4 and West Sharon Road. At the eastbound leg of Sharon Road we have a right turn lane going eastbound to southbound and we have a through lane and left turn lane combined in one lane. If you are going eastbound and someone in front of you wants to make a left hand turn you are dead in the water. Thereís not even a lead and lag type arrow situation. If people donít make it through on the light they have to wait for the cycle to come around. The volume of traffic at that intersection is predominantly right turn movements in the a.m. Thatís why the traffic engineers made that distribution. But for safety purposes we donít feel this is an adequate solution. We are looking at adding a right turn lane at that intersection at a cost of approximately $32,000. That totals about $53,000 and coincidentally, as part of that project we have a contingency cost for water main relocation of $53,000. We know we will probably use some of that money but we have put the contingency in there to cover the cost as if we had to replace every foot of water main and we know thatís not going to be the case. Rather than issue change orders or bring legislation before you and issue with change orders and then be faced with the same situation on the back end of the project, weíd like to add this work to the current contract and at the end of the contract, take our credits and overages and have a final change order for you rather than coming back in two or three times.
I also wanted to bring Council up to date on the issue of an RFQ for design services associated with the Community Center expansion. The advertisement for the RFQ (Request for Qualifications) will be Sunday, July 19 in The Enquirer. The response deadline for consultants will be Monday, July 27. We will bring a recommendation into Council on August 5 so Council can adopt a motion authorizing us to negotiate a fee with the successful consultant. We believe we could then successfully negotiate an agreement and bring legislation before you for a contract on August 19. This is as close as we can cut the time frame for each of these individual steps. We recognize that it is a cost factor. If we see this project delayed we will either see the cost go up or the project pushed into the fall or a combination of the two. We are trying to keep the project on schedule for an early spring 1999 construction start.
There is an open house for Bob Sears here in the City Building on Friday, July 24, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. It hasnít really sunk in yet that youíre leaving. Itís not going to be the same.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT - NO REPORT
ENGINEERíS REPORT - NO REPORT
Letter from John R. Meyer, 477 Maple Circle Drive
Friends, It was 1:00 a.m. when a 4th of July party ended near Rt. 127, Hamilton Avenue. Three of us all drive north to I-275 and then east. Suddenly, the speed limit dropped to 60 mph and shortly afterward I could recognize two Springdale police cars with lights off in the median. As I passed them in the light traffic one expects at 1:30 a.m., I realized that they were checking all our speeds with a laser gun.
I realized where Springdaleís priorities are, and I guess my friends did also. I was not proud to exit at Route 4, reminding everyone of where I live. I suppose someone in Springdale is proud enough of such action to justify the cost and the reputation we are generating. I am not.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Meyer has previously written the Administration and Council regarding the 60 mph speed limit. He thinks it should be 65 mph. Representative Fox, when he was in the State House, also tried to get the speed limit 65 mph all the way through Springdale, Forest Park and Sharonville. ODOT said that road is not designed for 65 mph speed. Itís designed for 60 mph. From Winton Road to Montgomery Road it is 60 mph both directions. This is not a Springdale speed limit although I certainly support it. I think it should be lower than that. As far as having two police officers out there running radar at 1:30 a.m. on a holiday, I make no apologies. I personally am proud to live in Springdale and Iím personally proud of our Police Department. Iím glad they were out there doing their job.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
David Tarwater, 11779 Rose Lane said Mr. Osborn, you recently mentioned something that reminded me of where I came from, Bethesda, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC. You mentioned the problem with sewage to keep up with growth in the area. Marriott Corporation was developing a community consisting of office buildings, retirement communities, etc. To keep the costs down municipally the costs were being born by the corporation as well. Iím not suggesting Springdale try to make this area unfriendly to business but perhaps that should be considered in any future issue of any size which would impose anything upon our municipal systems.
Mr. Osborn said I think your comments are valid. The issue here is regional in scope, not just Springdale. The sanitary sewer overflow we are talking about is one of thirty or more throughout Hamilton County. This happens to be at the top of the hit list for EPA. There is a very significant concern that the whole county is facing this type of situation. It is clearly in the domain of the regional sanitary sewer district to address these issues. The County Commissioners have shown real concern about this. Hamilton County owns the sanitary sewer system but contracts with the City of Cincinnati to operate it. They are often at cross purposes. We took the initiative to try to work with MSD to try to identify all sources of storm water infiltration. Between MSD and the City we did a two year study. We identified illegal taps, indirect cross directions between storm and sanitary sewer, manholes that allowed water in because of defective construction, etc. We eliminated all sources of storm water infiltration that we or that the County could identify. We also have detention requirements as part of our subdivision regulations so when a business comes into the community, they have to construct on their premises, a detention facility that will control the discharge of storm water off their site so that the amount of discharge after construction does not not exceed that before construction until after the storm exceeds a 100 year storm. We were the first community in Hamilton County to adopt those rules in 1977-78. This is not a solution that can be solved with a band-aid approach. We will have to look to MSD and the County Commissioners to show the leadership for that.
Mayor Webster stated I attended that meeting also with MSD and I was very proud of the efforts of Commissioner Dowlin trying to get this resolved. Iím not quite as optimistic as Mr. Osborn. I think we are going to get some temporary relief. I did not leave the meeting with the understanding that it is going to be business as usual. I think we will still have some restrictions placed on us. I think the performance of MSD is absolutely appalling. We have been lead to believe if we got 915 rebuilt that would take care of the problem. That was a three phase approach. They arenít even finished with phase 1. Theyíre still waiting for easements on phase 3. I donít know that phase 2 has even been bid. They are a long way from getting 915 completed and then they spring sewer 700 on us, where 915 taps into that in North Reading. Now theyíre saying thatís the bottleneck. Now they have to build a treatment facility in Reading to retain and treat sanitary sewer in high water situations. Thatís a 3-5 year project if there were no obstacles.
Marge Boice, 236 Harter Avenue, said I watched the Council meeting of July 1. My emotions ran from amazement to anger, from surprise to shock. I felt compelled to come here this evening knowing much of the history of this City, which of course, a lot of people donít, because we never published the history. With the exception of Ms. Pollitt I worked with most of you. There were points in the evening when I thought I donít know these people at all. I understand that you have decided on option 3 which I donít agree with; and now I see tonight you are going to request a repeal of that and are going for option 1. I think you need to do some serious thinking about your finances and how many people use that Rec Center. I am in favor of improving that Recreation Center. We have continued to do it over the years with the racquetball courts, the addition of the new slide at the swimming pool. When I left these chambers we were talking about one gym in addition to the present gym at a cost of $5.2 million. Now we are talking two additional gyms. Mr. Wilson made the remark that Springdale has a credit rating. Of course it does. This City has been debt free since 1985 because of good fiscal responsibility. Mr. Galster said maybe weíd have to cut some services or change the budget. What if you have a pumper go down? What if a couple of cruisers are totaled? Mayor Webster said he would not want the health fund to go under $1 million. I donít even want to see the $700,000 transferred into this new fund. Then I see we should provide a study room with computers and encyclopedias. That study room will be nothing but a high tech playroom. Where are the parents here? This is not the Cityís responsibility. Ms. Pollitt, Iím glad you polled your district. Enlarge the game room. Mr. Burton said most kids are burned out on sports by the age of 12 so we have to find something to keep the teenagers busy. Has anyone here ever heard of volunteer work? Mrs. McNear, I always had you pegged as sort of conservative. I was amazed at your explanation that even back in 1972 there wasnít gym time and now they have to wait so we need two more gyms. I donít think we need that. I heard the comments from citizens that pride should be the priority, not money. Whoís going to pay this bill? The taxpayers, just like theyíve paid it all along. One woman made the comment that people are leaving because of a lack of recreation and we may soon become a community of seniors. What we have here today has been bought and paid for by the tax dollars of the seniors such as myself, and we are more than willing to continue to help in any way we can, to pay those taxes. But when she says the young people are leaving, I would have to differ with her. I know of three families, friends of mine, who have left this community, and every time I talk to them they say how they miss the recreation. They left this City for educational reasons, the same as two of my children have chosen not to live in this community. Tom, they really nailed you when you mentioned raising taxes. If you go into the debt you all are talking about, and things go sour with the economy, you will have 17 years to pay it off. We may have to raise taxes. There are a lot of things we need in this City and recreation certainly is a jewel in our crown, but weíve talked long and hard about a substation. Where has that thought gone? I think you people have gone out on a limb and are getting in any deeper. You are leaving or will leave a tremendously difficult legacy for the people who follow you. Most of you wonít be here four to six years from now, either by choice or by defeat at the polls. I think you need to think very, very seriously. Can we afford this? Mr. Danbury, I know you opposed this building but please letís put it to rest. This building at $5.2 or $5.3 million was paid was paid for, cash on the barrel head.
Mr. Danbury said we did pay cash for this but we saved up over many years and there wasnít a major public outcry to expand this at the time. We did a survey through the University of Cincinnati and 72% of the residents polled indicated that they would like to see some kind of expansion. This included all age groups, both sexes. As for me making the comment that I opposed it, if you look at the minutes, I said nobody up here was for it.
Ms. Manis said I donít think anybody up here disagrees with your comments as far as keeping the children busy, going back to basics, but I donít think anybody up here created the problem either. We all do things with our kids but weíre not talking about us. Weíre talking about a whole community of families who donít have the opportunities we do or donít do things with their kids. There are kids out there running the streets. I donít know what their parents are doing. This whole Rec Center is being built for the kids running the streets but itís part of it. The study room is about 6íx6í. There is no cheerleading room. There is no room whatsoever to add a practice there. A substation is in the five year budget. You commented on things slashed at the Police Station. A lot of things were slashed by the last mayor and Council. There were several things slashed at the Rec Center also. I donít disagree with some of your comments but I do think that itís needed. Itís going to be a debt situation regardless. Itís just to what point you want to do it and to what point you want to handle it.
ORDINANCE NO. 51-1998 "ORDINANCE DECLARING CERTAIN EASEMENTS ACROSS REAL PROPERTY AS SURPLUS PROPERTY AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO EXECUTE A QUIT CLAIM DEED FOR THE RELEASE OF SAID EASEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded. Ordinance 51-1998 passed with 6 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE 53-1998 REPEALING ORDINANCE NO. 52-1998 AND AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO SOLICIT REQUESTS FOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY (OPTION 1)"
Ms. Manis made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Schneider, if this is passed it repeals the one passed at the last meeting over my veto. By combining these issues, if I exercise my power of veto on this one, then that means Ordinance 52 stays in place. Why arenít these two separate ordinances?
Mr. Schneider said they have approved Ordinance 52 and a Council member has requested the Law Director to prepare an ordinance repealing what has previously been adopted and adopting a new ordinance which would be in conflict with the prior one. So the proper way to handle that is an ordinance repealing and in the same ordinance, adopting the new position. Your veto would be a veto of this ordinance and yes, if your veto carries on this, 52 will still be in effect because youíve been overridden on the veto previously. The only change that would be made if this were to be adopted would be to repeal 52 and go on with 53 which is going from option 3 to option 1.
Mayor Webster said you have negated the ability of the mayor to repeal this ordinance.
Mr. Schneider said you have the right to repeal this ordinance and then things stand as they stood at the end of the last meeting.
Mr. Danbury stated as you know I voted against option 1 the first time. I saw the advantages but was concerned about expenditures. I was talking with Mr. Galster who said itís basically a 7% difference but with option 1 we would a separate floor below. We would have more room for exercise area and meeting rooms. It would allow us flexibility for the future. I realize over the years we do projects and get reimbursements. We canít budget any funding coming in from the federal, state or county. We are doing the storm sewer on Kemper Road and a $1 million dollar project to widen Kemper Road by Tri County Mall. We have $1.5 million budgeted and Mr. Osborn said there is a very good chance we will get some funding in here. That means we would have $750,000 coming in. Mr. Galster was playing with the numbers and ran it by Mr. Osborn. Mr. Osborn said that if we were to pay more up front, the funding the for this over the next twelve years would be much lower. There are other items we may be able to move around. There is no discussion about us getting into a shared substation. There are things we might be able to do in the future. I apologize because I did not speak with everybody on this issue. I spoke with Mr. Vanover because he was a dissenting vote. I apologize publicly for not talking with Ms. Pollitt. I did speak with Mrs. McNear last night.
Mrs. McNear said Mrs. Boice, Iíve always had great respect for you and have valued your opinion highly. You are probably the one who me when I came to Council that you have to make tough decisions. This is probably the toughest one that many of us have had to deal with. I donít think we can do the Rec Center without going in debt. I was not in favor of option 4 because it only had one gym or gym and a half. I think the gym can be more versatile. Maybe we need to tie this to dollars rather than just what the options are going to be. More work needs to be done. When I heard this might be coming up again I thought how can we spend all this time, months and months, with the Recreation Center, the Administration, all the meetings and all the people. Even among the seven of us who voted for this weíve changed our minds already. I find it quite embarrassing that we made a decision and already weíre saying we made a mistake. We are only going to get one shot to do this right and we have to spend a lot of money. Two people said at our meeting that they think we have more work to do and I agree with them. Iím not going to vote for option 1. I still stand where I stood two weeks ago, but I think we need to go back to the drawing board.
Mr. Knox said today I spent eight hours along with Mrs. Burton and 150 other finance officers, directors, treasurers, etc. attending a training session given by the Auditor of the State of Ohio under Ohio law. As I was going through the Wall Street Journal I noticed the interest rates that major cities were paying for bond issues. A few were at 4.75%; most were at 5% and above. The City of Springdaleís rate right now is 4.25%. The reason we are at that point is because of the fiscal restraint that has been used by Councils in the past. I will again counsel you to use restraint in this issue. Otherwise we are going to start paying more, on top of the fact that we will have a debt we will be paying for.
Mayor Webster said I would just hope that if Council passes this ordinance tonight, that you would amend it to put a paragraph in there to make sure the engineering firm gives Council what they said they wanted but charge those people with doing this at the least possible cost, to bring back to us options that we can exercise to try to control the cost. I still think the cost is out of hand. I donít think we have exercised any restraint at all in doing this. Itís like we need it, letís do it, the hell with the cost.
Ms. Manis asked Mr. Osborn, isnít this what Steve talked about all last meeting, asking the architects for all the options and getting that in the RFQ?
Mr. Osborn replied I donít think it is directly related to the RFQ. You will find attached to your legislative update the RFQ I have drafted for this project. It is only prudent that we ask the architect to develop areas that can be carved out of the project in order to reduce costs. The big cost factor is the double gym. Iím certain that the architectural team will attempt to develop a strategy so that when we reach the bidding process we have some fall back capability or add on capability.
Ms. Manis said I believe we discussed that when you do the RFQ you attach the plan.
Ms. Pollitt said I was the only one who voted against option3. If I vote to repeal this I am voting for option 1. Iím not going to vote to repeal this. I think we need to amend it and go back to the basics. I said at the last meeting that I felt that all of those figures were putting us too far out in debt, that it has a lot of things we didnít need, but apparently I was the lone ranger at that meeting. I think we have to go back to the drawing board and do it right. I donít know how long it takes to design and get your plans together for a building such as the one weíre in or the police station but letís do it right.
Mr. Galster said what the Mayor was asking for was when we do go into design, letís work it and manipulate it. I was asking to get options to add items to it and there is a difference. We will make changes through the final design stage. I donít think the City has rushed through the process of getting to where we are today. Weíve had people involved; weíve toured and taken recommendations for quite some time. I think there is a basic concern that if you take option 3 and add a couple of options such as the split locker rooms and family locker room, the money was not even the $650,000 plus we anticipate the price to come down. The $13 million debt is not all community center debt. If you look after year two when the building was built weíre more in debt than when the building was built. I look at what is going to cost to build it. I know weíre going to have finance charges. If we are going into long term financing after itís built, there is no reason we canít put it into the ten year financing package at that point. Instead of being 17 years it would be 12 counting construction time.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Galster, you are exactly right. If you go through year by year you will see indebtedness that exceeds what was spent on the Rec Center. But letís not distort the fact that we are going to be in debt because of the Rec Center. If you take the Community Center expansion out of the equation, the City is not looking to issue bonds. If we donít get matching funds on Kemper Road weíll probably have to float some temporary debt in the form of one year notes, but even with building a substation in Heritage Hill, buying land, we still donít see the City going into long term debt and issuing bonds. Weíre issuing bonds because we are spending the money on the Community Center. Even if we go with option 4 we will have to issue bonds but if weíre successful in getting matching funding for the Kemper Road projects and go with option 4, then itís that much less we have to issue.
Mr. Vanover said I know weíve committed to a timeline but we need to ask ourselves do we feel that these four options are the four options. Are there other options that will answer the question and solve the problems? It comes down to dollars plain and simple. I agree itís been a hotly discussed and thought out process. We spent four years planning the structure weíre in now. We spent six or seven months on the expansion down there. Maybe we need to pull back.
Ms. Manis said we voted last week. I made my decision and Iím ready to stick to that decision.
Mr. Danbury said this is one of the toughest decisions. I donít want to spend money that I donít have because you donít know whatís going to happen. But I feel very comfortable that what we will have will be a good project. We have an opportunity to make a better product for the same amount of money by just paying more up front. We spent an entire day visiting different places. We had meetings here with representatives from CDS listening to our suggestions. We had two different surveys. Weíve had inputs from the residents. As for going back to the drawing board, we agreed to a timetable with the citizens. Iím not going to rush into a decision of this magnitude just to meet a timetable but Iím happy with what weíre going to have. I was comfortable with the decision we made last week. I like the design concept. Weíll be able to attract more of the population who donít use the center now. Didnít Sharonville come in under budget?
Mr. Osborn replied I asked Mr. Kirlin to give us some comparisons on where their concept plans were and where their construction costs ended up. The spread for Sharonville was $600,000. The Florence City Building has a spread of $400,000 less than the concept numbers. There are a lot of factors involved; obviously both of those communities worked hard to try to get what they wanted but also be practical and eliminate costs where they could.
Mr. Danbury said I wasnít going to vote in favor of it last week unless I was totally comfortable with the money spent and the concept. I see that we can have a better product for the same dollars invested by just utilizing some funding weíre pretty sure is going to come in and just pay more up front.
Mrs. McNear said Iím confused about taking the money from here, or you put this much down. Youíre still spending that money. Itís like saying I can go to Jake Sweeney and buy an Escort and my payments will be $200 a month. I could also get a Corvette for $200 a month but whatís your down payment? The bottom line is your still spending that money. I voted for option 3. I thought it was the best one for the cost. If itís still going to be a problem to pay for it and obviously itís going to take a long time to pay for it, letís not add to that cost. Letís take a step back. Letís do it right.
Mr. Osborn said I want to respond to Ms. Manisí comments. She brought a copy of the minutes of the last meeting on the issue she was raising. It involved a question Mr. Galster asked about whether or not we could design the project with options so that we could bid a couple of options on the project and then build the one we wanted to do based on cost. My response at the time was I was not certain that you could do that in the RFQ. Mr. Kirlin agreed and pointed out that the RFQ is intended to identify the most qualified consultant. We then negotiate a fee structure with that consultant. He indicated that at the front end of the design process we have a lot of flexibility. As we get further down that road we will be more and more rigid. When we reach the end we may be able to build into that certain options but theyí re not going to make dramatic alterations in the cost. Mr. Kirlin said to me since that last meeting that he would like Council to consider that whatever architectural firm you go with, you give that architect the latitude to try to accomplish as much as he/she can with the resources that we identify that weíre willing to commit. There may be other ways to package this where we may be able to get more efficiencies and break out costs but increase the programming capability of the facility, but weíre not going to know that until we get into design. The first thing we have to tell the architect is our comfort level in terms of costs. Then theyíll design against that number or try to beat it and at the same time, achieve all the goals we set for them in terms of programming. As the Mayor has indicated, we will also charge them with continuing to try to reduce the costs. If this ordinance should fail we still have the previous ordinance in place. At least part of the schedule on the RFQ would remain consistent. We would advertise this Sunday and a have a response deadline by July 27 and come back to you with a recommendation on August 5. Iím not sure how much preliminary alternatives we want to look at in the design process and how that will affect the fee. We won't know that until we have selected an architect and have started discussing this process. If we tell them this is what we have in mind and this is what we want to spend, come back with a plan, then they can give us a pretty straightforward cost for that. But if weíre still looking at different directions at the time we engage the architect then he/she will have to build in some costs to adjust the planning or design as we go along. We will bring in a recommendation for an architectural team on August 5. We will assume that whatever ordinance is adopted, that that is the absolute ceiling on the cost for this project and we want you to bring that cost down and add in as many amenities as you can along the way. My one reservation is whether or not weíll be able to get a fee negotiated by August 19 but weíll give it a try.
Ms. Manis asked how long is the design frame when you go from the big tweaking to the little tweaking?
Mr. Osborn responded if we want to get out to bid in February/March 1999, there isnít much time for that. We have a conflict between trying to get this design phase completed as quickly as possible so we can get into construction bidding as early in the year as possible. Contrasting that, we want to look at spending more time on refinements on the front end of a design process.
Mr. Shuler said when we were looking at a schedule for this project, we had assumed that we would spend about one month additionally working with Council refining the concept. Hopefully, at that time there would be an agreement on the final floor plan and the structure appearance. Then they need about six months to get the detail plans ready to go out to bid. This is why timing is somewhat important because we know from doing these other projects that we can save money if we can build projects early in the year before the contractors get tied up. Additionally, if you look at some of the information we had talked about earlier, we had budgeted some additional preliminary dollars to do exactly what you are talking about; that is, to take all of the discussion, take a plan and continue to work with that plan to add the facilities you want, and at the same time, look at what the cost of doing some of those operations different ways, and if you can get the same look, appearance or space by doing it a different construction method, maybe thatís what youíll choose to do.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to amend Ordinance 53-1998 to do this in the most cost efficient way. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed 6-0.
Mr. Danbury said in lieu of some of the discussion we had here, it appears that, even if we do come up with the first floor, we are going to do it the most cost efficient way so that could come down, and the actual cost may be closer to option 3 as it stands today. This is the maximum we are looking at investing.
Ordinance 53-1998 passed with 4 affirmative votes. Mrs. McNear and Ms. Pollitt voted no.
Ms. Manis said I want to thank Mr. Sears for looking into the cones on my street. In your memo you said it was your fault it wasnít looked at and I disagree with that totally. I think the contractor should have come and got his cones.
Mr. Danbury said I was wondering if we could have a sapling exchange or seed exchange where people could bring in different types of plants and exchange them with others.
Mayor Webster replied maybe that is something to have as part of the yard sale day.
Ms. Manis stated someone called her about a tax issue. The person had paid money to Springdale and was supposed to get it back and he didnít. The Tax Department said heíd be getting a check in a couple of weeks. After two weeks they told him it would be more like two months. Do we have a policy on how long it takes to get it back?
Mr. Knox replied the amount of refunds has become astronomical. The Tax staff takes those things in the order in which they are received. Mrs. Burton must review them. She takes them in the order that they are given to her.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Zoning Appeals July 21, 7 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE Ė none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
News Racks - open
Advertising Materials - open
Construction of Salt Dome - August 5
Community Center - August 19
LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
Legislation on Penalty and Interest - August 5
Council adjourned at 9:35 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council