President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on June 17, 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, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of June 3, 1998 were approved with 6 affirmative votes. Mrs. McNear abstained.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Vanover reported that contracts were awarded at the May 20, 1998 Council meeting for the 1998 street program: concrete work to R. A. Miller with work to begin July 13; crack seal work awarded to Terry Construction to begin July 13; and curb ramp replacement awarded to Adleta Construction with work to begin at the end of June.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Ms. Manis stated the anticipated start of construction for W. Kemper Road storm sewer phase I is July 6. Sharon Road repair and resurfacing is to start the week of June 22 if CG&E completes pole relocation. The results of the May 29 bid opening for the Police Department HVAC renovation were reported at the last meeting. The award of contracts is before Council tonight. Public Works facility expansion site work start of construction has been delayed because of weather. The revised start of work is scheduled for June 22.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - Mr. Wilson said the Finance Committee met on June 3 to discuss bids for depositories and banking services. The contract will be awarded for the next two years. PNC Bank was awarded the contract and Ordinance 44 will reflect that.
PLANNING COMMISSION Ė Mr. Galster reported that they met June 9. The first item was approval of store front alterations at 11711 Princeton Pike, formerly the Linens Etc. storefront. They wanted to modify just the façade of the building for the Old Navy Store. That was approved 6-0.
The next item was the approval of exterior changes to the proposed MRI of Tri-County at 12037 Sheraton Lane. It was approved 6-0 with the conditions that the building material, color and landscaping plans still need to come in for final approval.
There was concept discussion of a proposed Loweís Store at the former Levitz location. This project includes tearing down the old store and building a new Loweís. There were positive comments made. There were a lot of comments made about no storage materials outside their building, etc.
The final item was exterior elevation changes to the proposed Target Store at 900 East Kemper Road. Basically, there were color changes, slight elevation changes, not a lot of change to the building. That was approved 5-2.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS - no report
BOARD OF HEALTH - no report
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - no report
O-K-I - no report
MAYORíS REPORT Ė Mayor Webster said this is a very momentous occasion in the City of Springdale. We are going to swear in the third Chief of Police in the history of the City of Springdale. I feel extremely lucky that Iíve had the pleasure of working with Chief Don Stamen and Chief James Freland for 27 years. Weíve had a police chief for the last 14 years who has really set some extremely high standards for you men and women in the Police Department. You fulfilled all of his expectations and, a lot of times Iím sure, even exceeded Chief Frelandís goals and the bar he set for you. I have no doubt that this evening weíre going to swear in a Chief of Police whoís going to raise that bar and I also have no doubt that you people are going to respond to his expectations and his leadership. Mike is certainly one of our own. He has been on the force since 1974. Heís no stranger to this community. Heís no stranger to this Council. Heís certainly no stranger to the men heís about to lead. When Chief Freland first announced his resignation one of the members of the press called me and asked if we were going to go outside or recruit a chief from inside. There was no consideration at all to going outside the City to look for a chief of police. I told her we have had a long line of police chiefs and there was no doubt in my mind that there was someone in our Police Department to carry on that tradition. I would like to ask Captain Laage to step forward.
Mayor Webster swore in Captain Laage as Chief of Police.
Chief Laage said thank you very much. Thanks to the entire City of Springdale family. I have been on the force 24 and Ĺ years and itís been a pleasurable experience the entire time, working with this Council, past Councils, with Mr. Osborn, Mr. Parham, truly professionals in every sense of the word. Iíd also like to recognize a few police chiefs who are here tonight: Al Schaefer of Mt. Healthy and president of the Hamilton County Police Association; Colonel Rick Greer, Hamilton County Park Rangers; Chief Stephen Vollmar, formerly of Forest Park, now of Edgewood, Kentucky. Steve is my brother-in-law. Weíve never talked about this but heís been a mentor to me. I think heís always been one step above. I finally caught up. I think Steve and the other chiefs have opened a lot of doors for me and I truly appreciate that. Chief John Sellman of Greenhills, was going to be here; Kenneth Hughes, new chief of Forest Park. Last but not least, my family, Beth, Sarah, Michael, Katy and Joe. Every occupation has its long hours but I recount when my kids were born by where I was working at the time. With Katie I was in the City of Sharonville Police Department interviewing someone. We had a tragedy in our family and I was on a stakeout. I always tell Beth when my first boy, Mike, was born I was coming down the hall of the P.D. I saw her standing at the door and I knew it was time. I really want to thank them. My mom and sisters are here. We really have transplanted out here and we consider this a wonderful place to live. I remember when I was about ten years old and I think that this is what spurred my interest in law enforcement. My brother and I were in a park in Norwood where we were from, and his bike was taken. We went to the fire house where my dad was and told him. He looked at me and said "go find that bike!" I started looking for that bike and sure enough, we found it. Ever since then Iíve always wanted to be a police officer. In my senior year of high school I attempted to join the Cincinnati Police Cadet Program. At that time you had to be 5í8". Iím just a little shy of 5í8" and I remember going to bed at night with weights strapped on to the ends of my feet hoping and praying that somehow I would be stretched. It never worked but somehow, I think I ended up in a very good place. I sincerely appreciate all of the assistance and leadership that you have provided to our organization. As I said at Chief Frelandís retirement dinner, he has left us in very good standing. We have a very fine organization. We will continue to provide excellent police service to the citizens and visitors to Springdale. I can guarantee you that. We consider it a high privilege to serve the citizens. Thank you very much.
Mayor Webster continued that there will be no Mayorís Nite-In for the rest of the summer. We will reconvene in the fall.
Today was the deadline for the landscaping awards nominations. The judging will begin this weekend and continue through July 5. I will announce the winners to the press on July 6. Weíd like to have the winners in here July 15.
The annual festival is July 3 and 4 from 5 p.m. to midnight with fireworks around 10 p.m. on July 4.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR Ė Mr. Knox said at the last meeting I got a little carried away on my numbers. We donít have 50,000 tax returns. We only have 20,000. With only six people in the department thatís more than enough to keep them going.
As Mr. Wilson mentioned the Finance Committee met and recommended Ordinance 44 with PNC Bank being the depository for the next two years. I should say that six different banks responded and it was edifying to see that they wanted to work with us that way. It was a close competition but PNC came out a little better than two of the other banks.
There is a letter in your packets involving the questions raised by Mr. Thomas Wagner at the last meeting. We received what is possibly an erroneous letter from a company. We have not had a retraction on what it said. So at this time we must go by what the letter said. On May 29 Mrs. Burton told Mr. Wagner that we were going to put everything on hold until we got a letter from the company involved that we considered reliable and correct. Mr. Wagner right now is in limbo and we thoroughly expect it to be resolved in his favor. I will be contacting him and letting him know that in the very near future.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Schneider requested a brief executive session to discuss litigation.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Parham said we are requesting an ordinance for the July 1 meeting declaring certain vehicles as surplus and no longer needed for public purpose and would like to place those into the Cincinnati Auto Auction. In 1996 and I believe in 1995 we participated in this program with the Cincinnati Auto Auction and had very good success. In 1997 we did not participate because it was towards the end of the year and we knew in 1998 there would be additional vehicles we would auction off. We have a total of eleven vehicles to auction. The process will take place July 17. It is our understanding that this particular auction is one of the largest in this area and it was communicated to us that we would probably experience much more success if we participated in this process.
Mr. Parham continued that we received a letter and a check from the Bureau of Workersí Compensation indicating that due to a booming stock market and the fact that the bureauís reserves have performed better than expected, they forwarded to the City of Springdale a check in the amount of $160,313.39. We are pleased to receive it. In 1997 the Bureau provided everyone with a 75% discount on their rates. On top of that discount which should have our expenditures rather low this year we also received this tremendous surplus. We are grateful to have received that.
ENGINEERíS REPORT - no report
Letter from Pam Packer of 819 Yorkhaven Road
Dear City Council Members: Having read the latest edition of Ordinance 37-1998 concerning running at large of animals, I urge you to vote in favor of this ordinance. I do not believe it in any way restricts residents who have pets. Dogs are often considered by their owners to be harmless, while to a stranger they are quite menacing. Electronic fences that come to the edge of the sidewalk are not restrictive enough when a small child can wander across the line. We discussed this issue for the past several months at the Board of Health meetings and consider it a priority for public safety. It has taken almost a full year to get this ordinance before Council for a vote. Please donít waste any more time. Vote yes. You should finally say pet owners, wake up, you need to control your animals. Sincerely, Pam Packer
Letter from Robert N. Sears, Superintendent of Public Works to Mr. Parham in regards to the letter Mr. Olson sent about the water in his back yard area
On June 15, 1998 at 12:30 p.m. Mr. Green and I met with Mr. Olson at his residence at 12045 Greencastle Drive. His neighbor who lives at 12035 Greencastle joined us as we walked through Mr. Olsonís yard to view the swale area. After viewing the area I told Mr. Olson and his neighbor that the City does not have an easement in this area and showed them the attached print of the area. I offered opinions that they may choose to correct their problem, such as establish a swale across the rear of their properties and use the excess dirt from the swale to fill in the low areas. Secondly, haul in dirt to build up the area and drain it so the water would drain into the swale. Thirdly, place a French drain system that would allow the pipes to drain into the swale. Both residents understood that the City cannot assist them in this matter because we do not have an easement. Please see the attached prints of Mr. Olsonís residence. His residence is indicated as highlighted. If you have any questions please contact my office.
Mr. Wilson said I spoke with Mr. Olson this afternoon and, he and his neighbor have put their heads together and they are going to attempt to resolve the problem. I asked him to keep us informed of the progress. They feel that the options Mr. Sears gave them will not have an adverse affect on their southern neighbors.
Mr. Galster said I had a phone call from Mrs. Maymir on Glenfalls Court. She had sent in some information in the past regarding the I-275 noise. She recently attended the barrier wall meetings. She sent Mr. Wilson a tape of what it sounds like in her back yard making comparisons to decimal levels of all kinds of different instruments and that was distributed to City Council. Her concern is that the noise level at the time they were looking at the walls was also at a time when there was a truck ban through I-75 and I-71 in northern Kentucky. Once that truck ban was lifted the noise decreased tremendously. Recently that truck ban went back into effect. Her noise level has increased to, in her mind, an unreasonable level. There are also concerns about hazardous materials coming through subdivisions as opposed to going through downtown. Do we see any increase in traffic accidents on I-275 even though there might be a decrease in I-75 and I-71 in Kentucky? I know this morning we had a pretty good accident at Rt. 42 and I-275 where a cement truck was over and caused a 4-5 hour backup. Also, what can we do to get the ban lifted? Can the City of Springdale say we donít want the trucks, open the interstate back up? I know thatís a mass transit issue. Sheís saying youíre taking the problem that is happening in Kentucky and moving it to the cities around here. We have increased costs of ambulance services if there are additional accidents on the beltway.
Mayor Webster responded we certainly would be open to suggestions. We can look at our accident records and give you a report on whether there has been an increase in the number of accidents. Last year was a terrible year out there. I know this year fatality-wise hasnít measured up to last year. There wasnít a whole lot of discussion this time. Last time there were a lot of town meetings and people up in arms and it didnít get anywhere. They just did it. There was a meeting last night in northern Kentucky where they want to put the ban in permanently. We certainly would do anything we can to try to stop that from happening and see if we can get this overturned. I donít hold a lot of hope that we can do anything.
Mr. Galster said Iím sure the next question Iím going to get from the resident is what is the status of the walls or alternatives to the walls. We had talked about an earthen berm with trees. We passed on the state funding at the time. What are we going to do if this ban is permanent?
Mr. Shuler replied I can only report on what had happened after those public meetings were held on the proposed walls. The negative reaction that the area got because of the walls built on I-71 came through loud and clear to ODOT, but at the same time the City and a couple of others in this area asked ODOT to investigate through the state legislature whether those same funds couldnít be used for a heavy pine tree screen, natural vegetation that would absorb some of that sound, not just bounce that sound to another area. That basically went nowhere. Right now the funding that was allocated for those walls was allocated to other projects. Thereís nothing on the books at this time for any walls or wall alternatives for this area. I think ODOT and O-K-I are the places to go with both of those questions because it involves the interstate system, and secondly, O-K-I because we donít control what happens on the other side of the river but O-K-I has that planning responsibility for funding.
Mr. Wilson said we read the residentís letter in Council. I listened to the tape and passed it around. With the exception of Ms. Pollitt everyone had a chance to listen to the tape. When I brought it up six or eight months ago, ODOT had put things on hold. I donít know what we can do. I donít want the resident to think that I or any of us have just passed this aside. Certain things we have no control over.
Mr. Vanover said weíre all sympathetic to the issue but weíre dealing with the federal government. When they were here with the sound walls they were less than receptive to our recommendations or our requests for alternative sound absorption mechanisms other than their glorious walls. If the walls work so well you have to wonder why they are going back along the I-71 corridor planting trees and vines to take hold on those beautiful concrete walls that are so effective. I did come down I-75 and saw some of the upgrades that are supposed to look like a limestone rock wall. It looked a whole lot better than what I-71 has but itís still a concrete wall.
Mayor Webster suggested that we take the two issues, wrap them together and go to ODOT and O-K-I. Number one, we object to the truck ban on I-75 and I-71. Number two, if we have to tolerate that then the least the state could do is to allocate some money that we could spend at our discretion. Theyíre going to do the project. We donít want a bunch of ugly walls but we would like some money to do earthen berms and landscaping to help negate the situation.
Mr. Danbury stated at the meeting five years ago it was discussed at length that the walls themselves donít necessarily decrease the decimal level. It reflects it so the area of noise is now wider so streets a couple of blocks away are now sharing in the problem. This area of I-275 and I-75 is the second heaviest traveled area next to going across the river on I-75. I would think that if they are banning trucks there that we would be number one.
Mr. Knox said at the time the proposal was made the state sent the whole issue over to Ohio University to study it. At the opening of Showcase Cinemas I contacted State Senator Howardís representative and asked where that stood. I have not heard back from them so I will try to contact them again to see where the state stands on that.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Barbara J. Ortman, 11985 Greencastle Dr., said I have an invisible fence on a corner lot and the way this ordinance is written it would really cut down on the amount of yard I would have for my two dogs. She continued from a letter she had written. "I have read the proposed ordinance and see several problems with this general policy. First, this ordinance punishes invisible fence owners for being responsible and keeping their dogs contained. You donít have proof that these dogs are getting out of their fences and injuring people. Certainly the dogs that are not kept in any fence and run the neighborhood are more of a threat to the citizens. Secondly, this ordinance punishes residents with a corner lot by taking away a large portion of their yard for use by their pets. Thirdly, this ordinance makes the police "dog catchers". It makes them directly responsible for picking up these dogs, certainly they have more important duties to perform.
On a personal basis, I have 2 dogs Ė one golden retriever and the other a golden retriever mix-both considered good "family dogs". We have had the invisible fence for five years. Weíve not had a problem with the dogs getting out of the fence or injuring anybody. I wouldnít have a dog that I had to be worried about every time it was outdoors. I do live on a corner lot and my house sits back far on the lot. The way this ordinance is written, I would have less than 25% of my yard available for my dogs to run. This hardly seems fair when I have a lot 110ft. x 120ft. When we bought this house, we did realize that there are disadvantages to having a corner lot, but there was no mention of not being able to let my dogs use most of the yard. We do have signs posted that say there is an invisible fence, and the neighbors that walk in the neighborhood know that the dogs may bark, but they donít come out of the yard. By cutting down the area the dogs can be in, I am not able to use my dogs to protect my house. Unfortunately, we have had problems with kids in the neighborhood causing damage in our garage and cars parked in the driveway. When the dogs are in the yard, they bark and thereby act as a deterrent to any troublemakers.
I have already talked to some members of council and I keep hearing that the cost is minimal to move the fence. It bothers me that I have already paid $700 to have the fence installed originally, and still pay $70+ every three months for new batteries. Now you tell me that the $250 that was estimated to move the fence is minimal-it doesnít seem that way, especially when you canít give me proof that my dogs are causing injury to the citizens of Springdale.
I certainly understand the feeling of the City Council that you need to protect your residents, but this proposed ordinance doesnít do that. Iím sure there are people that are afraid of dogs, but if I were in that circumstance, I would avoid walking in those areas. There are malls and parks that do not allow dogs, which may be a better option. I donít want my neighbors to be afraid to walk past my house, but I also donít think I should have to confine my dogs to a 33 feet x 30 feet area because they donít like dogs, unless of course, you can prove that my dogs are getting out of my yard.
Maybe the city should look at putting a ban on vicious types of dogs to protect the citizens; it seems that would do more than what this ordinance does. You are punishing the residents who have gone through the expense and trouble to install an invisible containment system and have trained their pets to stay in their own yard.
Moving the area where a dog can go in the yard to 10 feet. back from the sidewalk, should help walkers and joggers to feel more secure that they will be safe from the dogs. Another concern that was mentioned in the paper was a concern for small children wandering into a yard with an invisible fence and being injured by this dog. Certainly in this instance 10 feet should be adequate also. Any small child that wanders that far from its parents, could also wander the other direction and be in the street, past any parked cars, and could be injured by an oncoming car. Parents need to be responsible and watch out for their own children.
By moving the fence line back 10 feet in most cases, the wire would not need to be dug up and moved. By turning up the settings, the dog should hear the correction back farther. This would cut down on the cost to the pet/home owner.
I think we need to concentrate on enforcing the leash law, there are numerous dogs and cats that run the neighborhoods. These dogs are much more likely to cause injury than those contained by an invisible or above ground fence.
I also think there should be a requirement for a sign stating if an invisible fence confines the animal. This should make anyone walking feel less apprehensive about a barking dog.
I think the City Council has not truly thought through the impact of this ordinance on many of its citizens-both invisible fence owners and any pet owners."
Marguerite Murtaugh, 706 Yorkhaven Road, twenty-five year resident of Springdale said this struck me as being very prejudicial. As a responsible citizen we went to the expense of putting in the invisible fence. Our dog is black and white; the invisible fence collar is bright green. The people around us know her. She does bark but she does not leave the fence. Her barking allows me to know that people are out. There are teenagers who cut through my back yard. The dog doesnít get by the sidewalk. We canít even take her for a walk because she believes if we put her on that leash and go towards the sidewalk that sheís going to get a shock. To put her in the back yard we would not be able to complete this loop without interfering with a lot of permanent parts of the house. You have to have a completion of a circuit. If it canít be completed what option does that leave us? Iím the mother of five children who grew up in Springdale. I did not let my children roam. I was a responsible parent. I donít know about the concern for small children. Yes, we read about that in the news but I havenít found evidence of that happening in Springdale. There are dogs out there that are totally loose. I donít know where you gathered your data about viscious dogs. I think the ordinance needs to be rethought. Ten feet back from the sidewalk, fine. A sign in my yard in either corner, whatever. If I hear my dog barking Iím outside to see whatís going on. She is never outside with nobody being home. The newspaper focused on small children but I couldnít find any evidence of attacks and I think that would have been publicized. If the problem is with some adults, adults have choices to make. They have places where they can go and exercise if thatís their desire. If there is something in my neighborhood that makes me afraid, Iím not going to come running to Council first thing. If I see a group of teenage boys who donít seem to be up to any good, then itís my obligation to see and watch what they are up to, not to act knee-jerk, this is a threat to me, I need to do something about this. Personal fears need to be dealt with in an adult way. Indicating small children to be the problem I found misleading.
Chris Huth, 11982 Cantrell, said I think it is very prejudicial that you are picking on some people who have taken the time and money to contain their animal. We feel that we have done our duty to protect ourselves and the community by keeping our dogs contained within our property. There are other animals that I see roaming through our yards too. Those could easily be contained by the same system. I donít see why you wouldnít make an ordinance to try to keep cats contained. If you have a vicious animal and you have a report of someone being bitten or attacked this may give you the opportunity to intervene but just blanketing everybody who happens to have an invisible fence is unwise. I really feel that it is an infringement on us. Itís kind of being hidden behind the words "public safety". You really do want to make sure every citizen is safe but I donít know that you have gotten the evidence that animals within invisible fences have attacked anybody or left their fences. If that has become a problem then I think you have something to go on. I think the owners should be responsible for their animals and not have the City feel like they are responsible. Our dog is more like a doorbell. You know when someone is on your property and you go out to investigate. Weíve had our house entered a couple of times when we did not have a dog. We have not been violated since we got the dog and we really feel strongly about having the dog be able to make it all the way around the house. There are times when my job takes me out in the middle of the night and it gives my wife a little bit of security knowing that the dog can get around. Unless you can convince me that there has been a problem, I think it is poor judgment in a way. You are picking on people with invisible fences.
Mr. Vanover said I would concur with you about cats running the neighborhood. Unfortunately, our hands are tied until the State of Ohio changes the legislation that allows the cat to be considered a domestic animal. I commend you with the invisible fence. Youíve taken steps to protect. Unfortunately, there is not an I.Q. test or a good potential dog owner test that can be given. Obviously, there are a lot of people who have animals and donít deserve to have them, or the animals donít deserve to be with those people. The invisible fence was a technological jump over the standard chain link fence. Technology outruns the laws and the ordinances are always in a catch up mode. While we commend you for taking the steps to control the animal we canít wait until there is a problem and weíve had vicious dog attacks in the City, whether or not they have involved invisible fences I canít say for certain, because the minute the first instance occurs somebody will be hear screaming why didnít you do something!
Mrs. Murtaugh stated the only way to achieve total safety is to abolish all dogs.
Mr. Vanover responded thatís true and the only way to achieve total safety would be for us to stop driving vehicles too. Unfortunately, thatís not going to happen. Weíd all live in a cleaner atmosphere if that were to happen. Some people would like to drive 100 mph on I-275 but if they get caught they have to pay a price. Weíre just taking a proactive step protecting everybody out there. I love dogs but I couldnít explain to a parent whose child has walked into the yard unknowingly and been bitten, and said, we never thought about that. I appreciate the steps you have taken but this is a case where the technological and legal areas are not in synch and weíre in a process of playing catch up with that.
Ray Johnson, former Mayor of Springdale, said I couldnít understand the ordinance when my daughter talked to me about it. I thought whereís the problem? How many people have been attacked or threatened to be attacked by dogs behind invisible fences? I donít know of any.
Mr. Vanover said we got a letter from a resident who was walking the street and said the dog came up to the sidewalk and she felt threatened.
Mr. Johnson asked but the dog didnít come into contact with the individual, did it?
You have had a leash law for years.
Mr. Vanover stated no, we found that the City of Springdale did not have a leash law. There were areas of concerns.
Mr. Schneider said he didnít know of any leash law in the State of Ohio. This would be by local regulation. In our situation we allow dogs to run with owners if the dogs are within their control without being on a leash.
Mr. Johnson said if we donít have a leash law then we are in really bad shape. I think we should concentrate on getting the dogs that are causing the problem under control or make the owners, if we can find them, responsible for it. I think itís ridiculous to sit here and penalize people who have gone to the expense to try to take care of their animals the best they can and still maintain use of their property without violating anyone elseís space and weíre concentrating on them and weíre not worried about the problem. It doesnít make sense. If we really have a problem with dogs bothering people any place why donít we get a dog warden. It would be a lot cheaper than all of this foolishness you are going through. Please think about that. The police canít do this work. They never did enforce a leash law when we had it. They couldnít as they didnít have the time or the manpower. If you have people injured because the dog violated the fence, the owner is responsible because he has to keep that fence operating properly. Heaven forbid, that happens, but I donít believe it has.
Mr. Wilson said Iíd like to thank you for coming. I enjoyed talking with you, maíam, when you called and Iím glad you took my suggestion to come up and talk with us. The police did furnish us with some statistics showing incidents of calls from residents concerning dogs barking, dogs running up to them, dogs even going through the electronic fence. We have statistics that indicate that dogs have attacked over the years. I think Mr. Osborn got that from Chief Freland. My concern is that we donít wait until the horse is out of the barn before we close the door. This ordinance is primarily proactive. We can cite examples of why we think it should be and you can cite examples about why it shouldnít. I donít think we emphasized the small children although I mentioned it as one of my concerns. I also mentioned joggers and people walking up and down the street. I mentioned to you maíam, when we were out putting out fliers that a dog that has since left your residence, came out and I was concerned.
Mr. Johnson said telephone calls to the Police Department donít necessarily mean complaints. The number of times the police react are the complaints.
Mr. Wilson replied if the resident calls the Police Department and talks to the dispatcher thatís money and time. In my opinion that constitutes a complaint.
Mr. Johnson said things have change a lot then since Iíve been around because in my eight years as Mayor I doubt if we had two cases prosecuted in Mayorís Court of dogs running loose.
Mr. Wilson asked did you have invisible fences then?
Mr. Johnson replied no, but why stop with invisible fences. If we have a dog problem get a dog warden and let him take care of it. Donít expect the police to do it and donít put all the blame on dogs that are behind invisible fences.
Mr. Wilson replied what brought this whole thing about was a letter from a resident going into the neighborhood where there was an invisible fence.
Kerry McManus, owner of Invisible Fence Company, said I would like to ask each Council member not to use the term "invisible fence". There are other companies operating in Springdale and when you say dogs are getting out of invisible fence that reflects on me and my company. The more I hear the more it bothers me. A few statistics. We are talking about a system that these people here and over 14,000 people in the tri-state area from my company alone, spent a great deal of money to keep their dogs in their yards. I donít know about this one customer whoís dog came through the electronic fence. There are over 50,000 dogs licensed by the Hamilton County dog warden. He figures that is about 20% of the dogs in Hamilton County. There is a state leash law and it is horribly misdirected not to take the state leash law and enforce that vigorously. I promise you that your police officers have not a clue about what to do with a vicious dog if they are confronted with it other than pull out their guns. A call to the dog warden will have that dog picked up, which is far more preferable than having a Springdale police officer who does not have practice or training in that area to be involved. I will try to work with the homeowners who do have the Invisible Fence to try to reconfigure their yards to whatever you may end up passing. It is proactive, Mr. Vanover, but it is not as proactive as enforcing a law that is in effect in making use of the Hamilton County SPCA to do whatever you need to do to get vicious dogs off the street. They canít wait to get their hands on them. They canít wait to get them off the streets.
Mr. Danbury said I donít think anybody intentionally tried to slander your name or your company but you are unfortunately burdened with the largest and most well known, so itís like Kleenex or Jell-O.
Mr. Galster said I agree that dog containment systems that keep dogs only in the back yard is a little too far. I think 10-15 feet off the right-of-way is adequate. I know when Iím out with my kids they donít get that far out of my sight and as Mrs. Ortman said, they could go the other way and be in the street. I have two relatives who have invisible fences. They work. One of my relatives has worked real hard to keep a dog contained in a regular fence and has had no luck. This seems to be serving the purpose. They chose not to put it in the front yard but I think that should be their choice. This ordinance, in addition to the electronic dog containment system, does address the leash law that was lacking. I do agree that this goes too far. I used to have a 13 year old collie who loved to sit in the front yard with me. This is not permitted according to our ordinance. Now, I know our Police Department is not going to go down every street and pick up every dog sitting in the front yard with the owner, but it does prohibit the dog from the front yard without a leash.
Mayor Webster said last year the number of dog bites was up substantially. I want to say we had six dog bites in Springdale last year so the Board of Health is concerned about it. However, Mr. Wilson is right. One of his constituents was severely bitten by a dog. An invisible fence had nothing to do with the dog bite. This was a vicious dog that got out of the yard and has since been destroyed. That leaves not only surface scars but very deep emotional scars. This lady cited a situation to us where people in her neighborhood on each side of the street had an invisible fence. In both cases the dogs could come all the way to the sidewalk. This lady was absolutely petrified to walk down to the end of her block because she would have to go past these two dogs. Another resident walked in the street through the same intersection because she was afraid of the dogs. We have people who donít feel safe walking up and down the sidewalks because of the invisible fence. We arrived at the side yard/back yard primarily because of some information Mr. McManus shared with us at the last meeting. Going into the meeting then Council had agreed to hold them back 30 feet from the sidewalk so there is some reaction time if a dog comes charging out. At the same time, we totally respect the peopleís right to have and harbor animals. Mr. Johnson, you presided over Mayorís Court for eight years, Iím sure you heard some cases about people violating our current leash law. When this issue came up, they discovered there was a loophole in the leash law that we had enforced for many years because it said the animal could be under voice control which would account for people sitting on their porches with the animals. To try to close that loophole with this ordinance technically you would be in violation. People, such as Dr. Ketring and Mr. McManus have told us that if the dog is willing to pay the price he will penetrate the electric fence. There are owners out there who donít take care of their animals and those people are the same ones who can have dogs who run to the very edge of the sidewalk. Therein lies the problem. If I had an electronic fence I Ďd probably be sitting right there with you folks this evening, but at the same time, it would be irresponsible of us, knowing that this situation exists, where dogs come all the way to the sidewalk, to sit back and not do anything and wait for a child or adult to get bit by one of these animals, or worse yet, for someone to be afraid of them and jump out in the street and get hit by a car. We hear what youíre saying and we appreciate your input and we certainly can have some empathy for the situation you are in, but we have to be concerned about public safety.
Ms. Manis said I agree with everything has been said in the audience tonight. Barb basically said everything I was going to say tonight when we were discussing the ordinance. I think we had mentioned a couple of times going ten feet back. I donít think they should go all the way to the sidewalk. As you mentioned, with your system you can go back as far as we feel comfortable with. We had discussed thirty feet back which was basically the front of the house. I think saying they have to be kept in the back yard and they wonít get out and bite anybody is misbegotten thoughts from anybody. Itíll make people feel safe if they are in the back yard and you canít see the dogs, but thereís no guarantee that they wouldnít get out of the back yard and bite someone just the same as the front yard. Ms. Pollitt said there had been two dog bites this year and they did not involve invisible fences. A lot of times people are bitten by dogs they know. My best friend was bitten by a dog when she was young and she is stilling paying the price but even she didnít think this ordinance would be that effective. The enforcement issue is a big part of it too. I planned on voting no tonight. I donít want anyone to get bit but I think there is a better way to handle it.
Ms. Pollitt said I received my Board of Health packet tonight and we did have another animal bite which was not in a pet containment system. I believe this might be the fourth or fifth bite we had this year. Animal bites are on the increase and the Police Department will be getting more proactive with animals they know are a problem. If they get a call they will respond.
Mr. Galster said if we have a rise in dog bites in the community then that is a separate issue from the electronic pet containment system. If we find out we have five dog bites and they were all on leashes, do we regulate that every leash can only be four feet long so youíre that much closer to your dog? I was on the original committee that looked at this. We had a lot of concern about police, fire and paramedic personnel coming to houses that have invisible fences and would they be able to get there if the dogs were outside. For that reason I said letís proceed. Since then Iíve talked with owners of the fences and postal workers. Postal workers donít deliver to houses that have invisible fences. You have to go and get your mail at the post office. If the paramedics arrive and the dog is in the house, they have the same problem as if they were contained in an invisible fence. Those issues that were originally driving this ordinance, in my mind, have either changed or gone away. Maybe itís because of enlightenment. Maybe because it was wrong. I do agree that having a dog being able to come right up to the sidewalk is a bad situation, an accident waiting to happen. I want to see it moved. I havenít gotten any positive support from this Council that says ten feet. Itís always stayed at 30 feet. I think a lesser dimension serves the purpose. Knowing what I know today I would never have recommended it when it came out of Rules and Laws as itís presently written.
Mrs. McNear said there has been a lot of discussion on this issue for many meetings. Weíve changed the footage from 10, to 15, to 30, to the front of the house. I think we definitely need to move it, just as Mr. Galster just said but I think we need to come up with something thatís a smaller distance than 30 feet or the front of the house. We may come up with a number such as 15 feet and you may still have to move the fence. There is some dissention as to whether this will go through. Two, three, four feet is not enough for safety sakes. I was thinking of 15 feet.
Mr. Galster responded I have no problem with 15 feet if there is a majority concurrence. I think there is a need for the ordinance to get the fences off the sidewalk. Iím still torn on how I would vote if it were no ordinance or rear yard only. If someone goes 15 feet into the yard they either have bad intentions or a child should be watched a little more.
Mrs. McNear said there are some parts of Springdale where you canít have a Cyclone fence or a wooden fence. The area where Mr. Knox and I live has irregular lots. I donít like walking down the street when the animals are out. As much as I have some fears about those containment systems, if we stop it at the front of the house the same problem still exists. You canít control everything, nor do I think itís our job to control everything because we canít.
Mr. Danbury said I donít think anybody here is in favor of causing anyone additional dollars. I see both sides of it. Had this ordinance come up before pet containment systems, this issue would be moot. We do have an obligation to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community. When people are afraid to walk down one side of the street thatís a problem. If someone were to go into the street to avoid a dog that is problem. Itís not only firefighters, but what about Girl Scouts selling cookies?
Mr. McManus said there were many occasions when people wanted to maximize the space and put the wire between the sidewalk and the tree line. So when you set the field at 5 or 6 feet the dog would be kept on the house side of the sidewalk but could get right up to the sidewalk. I havenít allowed it since I bought the company in 1994. On the other hand, if you mandated that the electronic pet containment system wire is on the house side of a sidewalk, then you will be keeping the dog back 6-8 feet anyway.
Mr. Danbury asked how close to the sidewalk can we control this without causing the owners any additional cost?
Mr. McManus replied it depends on how it was installed and where the front wire was. Back to the way it was originally written, Mr. Schneider, I believe you were talking about the public right of way being 30 feet from the center line of the road. That was the whole essence of writing the legislation in the first place. If you enforce the leash law you will attack 90% of the problem.
Mr. Galster said I like to talk about where the dog can go as opposed to where the fence can go because I donít know if every system has the ability to adjust the way yours does. If, in fact, you turn up your system to keep your dog 15 feet off the sidewalk or curb if there is no sidewalk, does that also have the same effect on the sides and back yard?
Mr. McManus replied it will be 15 feet everywhere. Itís not possible to have a larger field in the front yard and lesser in the back and sides.
Pam Packer, 819 Yorkhaven Road, said I just want to say again, please donít let this keep going on. Make some kind of decision.
COMMUNITY CENTER PROJECT UPDATE - CDS
Mayor Webster said as I recall Council wanted us to go back and hone the cost of the project down and explore other options.
Jim Schaeper said at the last Council meeting we presented two options on the expansion for the Community Center. We are here to present a couple more options with the intent of maintaining a lot of the program spaces we had before and also the hopes of reducing construction costs.
Jim Warner made the presentation of the other two options. We looked at expanding horizontally instead of vertically with a double gym, elevated running track, teen gathering area, equipped exercise and dance area, child care area. We cut back on meeting room space.
Option 4 would have a single gym that is somewhat bigger to accommodate bleachers and half court basketball.
The size and costs of the different options are as follows:
Option 1 70,000 square feet $7.46
Option 2 74,500 square feet $7.8
Option 3 68,000 square feet $6.8
Option 4 59,000 square feet $5.7
Ms. Manis said the footprints are coming out to the parking lot. Mr. Warner replied Option 4 is the same as the previous two but Option 3 extends out into the parking lot.
Mrs. Packer asked if the additions go into any of the green spaces. Mr. Warner replied it doesnít intrude on the residential areas and also keeps the options open for the future for any other type of community center expansion.
Mr. Vanover asked if there is any subbasement storage. Mr. Warner replied no. We did talk about putting the basketball in the basement area but surprisingly, we found it would cost more.
Mr. Warner said the batting cages would have to go into the existing gym during the winter.
Mr. Galster asked do we lose waiting rooms and office area.
Mr. Warner replied in Option 4 the existing offices would be renovated for a study room for the teens. There is waiting area in the lobby. Option 4 is a little smaller. Option 3 is similar to the previous to options.
Mr. Vanover asked are you retrofitting the existing locker rooms?
Mr. Warner replied we scaled back on the program requirements from Options 1 and 2 in that respect. We would still be renovating the locker room facilities but they would be serving the pool users as well as the rest of the Community Center users. You lose the family oriented locker room and the dedicated pool locker rooms.
Mr. Galster said it doesnít make a whole lot of sense to me to cut down from Option 1 to Option 3 for $800,000. The biggest savings is going from Option 1 to Option 4. Now does Option 4 meet the needs of this community?
Mayor Webster stated these figures are the construction costs. They do not include engineering, architectural fees, inspection fees or furnishings. We estimate that the $7.8 million will cost a little over $9 million. The $7.4 million will cost $8.6 million; $6.8 million will cost $7.93 million; and $5.7 million would cost $6.5 million.
Hopefully the engineers and architects have given Council what they asked for two weeks ago. In order to keep the project on schedule we hope that Council could look at the four options and be ready to chose on July 1.
Ms. Manis asked what do we have in the five year plan? Mr. Galster replied we have $2.2 million in Community Center expansion. If you take into account additional items that have already been completed we have $2.5 million.
Mr. Burton stated we have $2.25 million budgeted in the year 2000. Last year we did the underground field wire. We still need to address the poles and the fixtures themselves. That will probably cost $75,000.
Ms. Manis asked could we get costs for this building to compare what the soft costs were on this building. I want more financial information. People ask will we raise taxes or what will we lose? I know the Mayor mentioned in the paper that we would be cutting back on some things. I just wanted to know what those would be Ė things weíll have to do without.
Mr. Danbury responded I think I was quoted as saying that. Some things with the budget would have to be put on the back burner and we might have to cut a few things. Thatís up to Council.
Ms. Manis asked would we have to cut things?
Mr. Danbury replied we donít know how much money we will have coming in in the year 2000.
Ms. Manis asked are there projects on the table that we will not be able to do?
Mr. Danbury said each Council person may have to decide on each project as it comes up. We approve the budget but that doesnít actually allocate money for specific projects.
Ms. Manis asked do you think we might have to give up the pumper thatís in the budget for 1999?
Mr. Danbury replied the sign will have to go. Other things will come up and I as a person will make that decision based on what I personally feel will benefit the community as a whole. Thatís me and we have seven people. I will have to look through the entire budget because we didnít know all the facts and figures before us for the four options and the hard costs, engineering, soft costs, financing, etc. We will have to look at projected income. Within the last year we had enterprise agreements with some new companies that are coming in here to generate more dollars. The TIF we have could be retired soon.
Mayor Webster said in answer to somebodyís question about what was in the five year plan. As of January 30, 1998 in the five year plan we have $360,000 for 1998. We have $302,00 in 1999; and $1.6 for 2000 for a total of $5.1 million for those three years. There was nothing for the year 2001.
Mr. Shuler said I think everybody is looking at different numbers when the priorities started changing. The Community Center project was moved up to a higher priority and moved up into earlier years. More of the dollars were allocated in 1999 and 2000. I think there are over $5 million allocated over the next three years.
Mayor Webster asked how deeply do you want to get involved in exploring the options this evening. Jim Burton is here and prepared to discuss any of the plans if you want to discuss them in detail. Some of you have probably seen Option 4 for the first time here tonight. Iíd like Jim to address Council on the fourth option because that is new. Itís not radical from where we were a year ago but maybe itís radical from where we were two weeks ago. The expansion consists of one additional regulation gym but our way of looking at it, itís an additional two gyms for practices and for some games as I understand it. If we go with that option you are still looking at $6.5 million. We have $5.1 in the budget so weíre still looking at another $1.5 million. But the $5 million will come out of the budget over the next three years so if we roll notes, we certainly could retire that additional $1.3 million very easily over the remaining four years, hopefully without having to make some tough choices such as do we want to expand East Kemper Road, do we want to do substations, etc.
Jim Burton said 1 Ĺ to 2 years ago we started rattling our sabers as a staff and Administration and Council authorized a survey conducted by the University of Cincinnati. Since then weíve had the survey and a town meeting and it was decided that some action needed to be taken at our facility. When we looked at it specifically ,it was felt that the areas that needed to be addressed were gym space, equipped exercise space, child care and the teen programs. Whether you look at Option 1 or Option 4 we have done that. If you could do Option 1 that would be fantastic but thereís a reality. Even with Option 4 we have addressed all of those issues. Weíve made adjustments in additional locker rooms but we realize we need to dress that up. Weíve cut out a few meeting rooms on the large scale. Our current conference room would become a meeting room. Our current offices would be a small meeting room. Half of that would be for teens. Even with this plan right here we have addressed all of those issues. We can play cross court. These gentlemen have done a fine job on that. Currently when we play cross court now the court is 62í long by 40í wide. About 75% of our games are taken from the third to sixth grades. Theyíve stretched and fudged as much as they can and with Option 4 the cross courts would be 70í long and 42í wide with a four foot gap in the middle. We would have larger cross courts and feel we could incorporate through the fifth and sixth grade basketball programs there. We looked hard at volleyball. We made sure that the track and lighting is out of the way. The earlier equipped exercise rooms were 3,000 square feet. This one is 2,500 square feet. We are at 800 now. You have heard several times that Sharonville is at 2200. They are a little tight. This is still 300 more square feet than they have. We pared the dance floor from 3,000 square feet to 2,500 square feet. We have still addressed all of the issues that we felt we needed to address and both surveys asked us to address. Weíre comfortable with any of the plans including this one. I like the second one where the track comes out, goes through the lobby, downtown and back; but thereís a reality. Weíve addressed our needs with this plan as well.
Mr. Vanover asked do you think the joint locker room could be a problem for control factors?
Mr. Burton replied we are in the infancy stages of a card key system and readers here as you know. We think we can dress up the locker rooms real nice and can accommodate all groups concerned.
Mr. Vanover said weíre addressing the heating/cooling situations that we have in the existing locker rooms right now.
Mr. Burton responded most definitely.
Ms. Manis asked about meeting rooms.
Mr. Burton said our current offices could be divided and half could be a small meeting room and half for a study room. The other additional meeting room would be what is now our conference room.
Ms. Manis said one of the main things was us not having space for classes. You canít do Tai Kwon Do in this small meeting room.
Mr. Burton said hopefully we could do it in the dance studio. The other option would be by leaving the east end available it would be easy to tack on a meeting room.
Ms. Manis asked how big is the storage room for the new gym?
Mr. Warner replied itís about 60í long x 8í wide. Thatís intended primarily for ball storage.
Mr. Burton said the old equipped exercise area will become available for storage so weíll be picking up 1100 feet of storage that we donít have now.
Ms. Pollitt asked if the saunas would stay in the renovated locker rooms and do we use them that much?
Mr. Burton replied yes, they would stay. The one in the menís unit is used more than the womenís. Weíre hoping that by enhancing it that unit will pick up as well.
Ms. Manis stated you said this will meet our needs now. How long do you think this will meet our needs based on the numbers you have for programs and from talking to other community centers?
Mr. Burton replied it would be speculating. We have talked about adding second grade basketball. I think that is something we donít have to foresake. Whatís going to happen in three, four, five years I donít know.
Ms. Manis said if we expand again weíd have to go out the other side.
Mr. Burton responded if you wanted to add a meeting room and/or a gym it could be done later without encroaching on the neighbors to the east.
Mr. Danbury said when we went on our field trip everybody said they wish they had made a larger area or wish that they could have expanded their fitness area. Options 1 and 2 are 3,000 square feet. Right now we are looking at 2,500. We cannot expand the fitness area or dance floor if we build it as presented like Option 3 or 4 tonight. Would there be a way to expand our fitness area if the need arose five years from now?
Mr. Burton answered I guess you could gerrymander within the footprint. In all of these options we have tried to keep the passive activities at one end and active at the other.
Mr. Danbury said so if we choose Option 1 or 2 we will have 3,000 square feet of fitness area and with Options 3 and 4 we will have 2,500; and thatís what weíll have to live with.
Mayor Webster said the plan we presented last June had 2,500 square feet of equipped exercise space. When we went to Sharonville and saw their 2,200 square feet and they said they wished they had made it bigger, I think we all said weíre not going to make that mistake so we kicked it up to 3,000 square feet. Two things to keep in mind. Sharonville went from zero exercise area to where they are today so the people thought they had died and gone to heaven. I donít think you have that situation here. Weíre crowded and we need to do something. We will have more than three times the space we have today. I donít think we are cheating the community by only tripling the size of the exercise area. Are we going to run out? I donít know. Are we going to need a third regulation gym down the pike? I donít know. I donít know where the people are going to come from. Right now weíre landlocked. I donít see the population going much more than it is today while Sharonville has a lot of undeveloped land.
Mr. Danbury said I agree with that and Sharonville has 3,000 more people than what we do today. Obviously, when you have an area that is brand new you are going to get more people down there. A lot of people buy things from TV, then put it off to the side. I think you are going to get a lot of people there initially, then after a while the activity will go down. I would like to plan so weíll be okay in the future.
Mr. Vanover said the population may shift one way or the other. Weíve still got that gap between the storage room and locker room that would be minimal to brick up for growth potential if need be.
Keith Chavies asked Mr. Burton which option he would chose.
Mr. Burton replied with all of these options we have addressed the needs. There is no question what the differences are between 1 and 4 but weíre part of a big picture. If I didnít feel that we had bettered ourselves even with Option 4 I would express those concerns. With this plan we have addressed all the things weíve been asked to address and we will be better than we are now.
Beth Chavies asked based on the budget and everything else which one would you recommend?
Mr. Danbury said itís like a company car and they asked would you like a Cadillac or Yugo. Obviously, you would want the Cadillac. I think any department head would want the best possible equipment. Thatís not really his decision. Itís Councilís decision.
Mrs. Chavies stated that is why I asked him. He is the expert. He is the one who knows what we need.
Mr. Danbury replied but heís not the expert on funding of other services to the community such as fire, police, etc. Thatís what weíre here for. I know what he would say and heís not saying it. He wants Option 1 and if he didnít want it, he shouldnít be in that job. He does a great job with what he has but thatís our decision.
Mr. Parham said there seems to be some concern about expanding the equipped exercise room. On Option 3, if we simply swap the dance and exercise area thereís a notch to the east that would allow some type of expansion.
Mr. Burton said my concern is that you start to encroach on the green space.
Mrs. Lavonne Webster asked how many meeting rooms would we have with Option 4?
Mr. Burton replied we will have the ones we have now and will be able to add a couple of smaller meeting rooms for 6-8 people. Mr. Burton said a lot of times we have smaller groups meet and they could use the conference room or where our offices are now which would allow the bigger rooms to open up more often for larger groups.
Mr. Galster said Iím just trying to get a feel for meeting rooms. The three meeting rooms together, the teen study room, the additional two meeting rooms, the old conference room, put together donít make one size meeting room of what we have now.
Mrs. Webster said the conference room is very nice.
Mr. Galster said when we were talking about adding more rooms, if we had ten people show up they would have to go into one of the main meeting rooms.
Mrs. Webster said the conference room would hold ten or more.
Mr. Burton said the groups are limited to once a month, maybe twice a month.
Mr. Galster said we are pretty much booked. Are any of the groups meeting presently bigger than what these rooms could hold?
Mr. Burton responded with these two smaller rooms Iím sure we could accommodate some of the groups if they wanted to meet twice a month because weíre having to tie up those rooms for 2, 3, 4, 5 people and we could move them off into a smaller area.
Ms. Manis said even in Option 1 I was concerned that we donít have enough classroom space. We werenít adding more rooms, just bigger rooms. I was thinking the adult game room and adult lounge could be made into classrooms. I think classrooms and meeting rooms should be classified differently because they are used for different things.
Mayor Webster said we have talked about opening rooms in this building. Right now there is a staffing issue. We donít have anybody on staff to accommodate that but I think thatís probably going to change very shortly. If you open this building up there are 5 or 6 nice conference rooms.
Ms. Manis said we have talked about that already because I think the need is there today.
Mr. Burton said on plan 1 there were three pretty large meeting rooms.
Ms. Manis said but there were only three rooms. The size is bigger but you can only hold three meetings. If you had a meeting that took up two of them then you are down to one again. I thought we were going to go for more.
Mr. Galster inquired, on plan 1 is there additional future use there?
Mr. Warner replied 3,700 square feet on the first floor.
Mr. Galster said based on the situation with the exercise room and dance room they could be flip-flopped if need be. My concern is that we build this thing so confined to what we need as a minimum right now that we donít have the ability to do anything in the future. Iím not trying to build the biggest thing we can build. I just want to make sure that we make smart decisions. Most of my business is industrial but Iíve never seen an industrial client build a production facility where he has utilized 100% of every square foot in his building when he does a major expansion, never. Thatís what concerns me about Option 4. There is nothing in there extra for anything to come up that we havenít thought about. Option 4 is the bare minimum and weíre still spending $6.5 million.
Mrs. Chavies said with Option 4 with the single gym are there things we arenít gong to get to do because we have limited gym space? The batting cages go into the old gym during the winter months.
Mr. Burton said a true double gym and the oversize gym have the same effect. Itís just a little smaller. You compromise when you put your batting cage back in half of the current gym. If you had a room to put it in you still have four courts to operate off of. If you have put it in half of the gym you have three courts to operate off of. Of course, now when we do that we have one court to operate off of. Youíre still going from one to three. If you had a room to put it in youíd be going from one to four.
Mrs. Chavies said there are a lot of coaches who would like to practice two nights a week rather than one. With the single gym versus the double gym are we cutting out that opportunity?
Mr. Burton replied I think we can still accommodate the double practices. With the batting cage in half the gym, will that affect something? Maybe open gym time. Our hope is to play third to sixth grade basketball which is about 75% of what we have now.
Ms. Manis asked could we also accommodate the menís basketball league coming back and more volleyball practices and open gym time?
Mr. Burton replied yes. At some point in the crux of the winter something may have to be minimized. Whatís more important, basketball, volleyball, etc.? We wanted to try to do a little something for everybody.
Ms. Manis said in this plan we are doing a little something for everybody.
Mr. Burton stated in all the plans we have addressed all of the needs we have laid out. They are to different scales but they are all addressed.
Mayor Webster said right now we have jazzercise four hours a week in the gym. That will be totally removed to the dance studio.
The square footage for the four options is:
Option 1 70,384 square feet
Option 2 74,500 square feet
Option 3 68,200 square feet
Option 4 59,036 square feet
Today we have 22,700 square feet. The lowest we are going to do for the community is go from 22,700 square feet to 59,000 square feet. Sharonvilleís total is a little over 50,000, so anyone of our options exceeds by 9,000 square feet what Sharonville now has. Itís not the Cadillac but I donít think weíre short-changing the community.
Ms. Manis said I think what drove this in the beginning was gym space. Then we did the survey and got all the other things. The dance room does help get increased gym space. Iím sure we need the increased exercise room but I would just hate to skimp on gym space no matter what. I know we want the Community Center to be the Community Center for different things but the need was there for that and we saw it, and we can see it today. Thatís my greatest concern. I would do away with it all if I could have a double gym.
Lynn Rinck said what if you go with Option 4 and five years down the road you have to build another gym. You will have three areas you would have to control and how much would it cost for that extra gym? As Mr. Vanover pointed out this is a changing community and demographics are changing. Who do you want to attract to your area?
Mr. Danbury replied thatís the question everybody knows. If you are going to spend the money ,do you spend the right amount or do you spend a little more and get what you think youíll need in the future?
Ms. Rinck asked what do you think it would cost to put in a third gym in five years? Why is Option 4 an option if itís not even enough now.
Mr. Danbury said if we are going to spend the money letís do it right.
Mrs. Chavies said there was talk about raising the membership fees. Has that been looked at all and how well would that subsidize some of the costs?
Mr. Danbury said I asked Mr. Osborn that and he said there probably would be an increase but it would not off-set the cost of any type of expansion.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Burton has brought the subject up many times. We are extremely low right now. Jim has suggested that we raise the prices just so maybe people may appreciate what they have down there. If we did nothing, which is not going to happen, I think weíd still want to look at the fees and bring those up but we still want to keep it affordable to families in Springdale. The one thing we have talked about is, additional programs that we add will be pay as you go. Whatever it costs us we are going to pass on to the people who use that service.
Mr. Vanover said at Sharonville they talked about revenue generating but when you look at the figures itís still heavily subsidized by the City. Itís not a stand-alone operation.
Mayor Webster said whatever revenue we would generate would go to off-set operating costs. Right now Jim has a $70,000 budget item for utilities at the Community Center. Thatís $70,000 for a 22,700 square foot facility. If we take that up to the 50, 60, 70,000 square feet that number is going to drag along there.
Mayor Webster said the capital improvements worksheet would be in everyoneís mail folder tomorrow.
Mr. Vanover said I apologize Mr. Schaeper and Mr. Warner because I classified you guys as engineers at the last meeting. You are architects and we appreciate your effort in that field.
ORDINANCE NO. 37-1998 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO AMEND SECTION 90.01 RUNNING AT LARGE PROHIBITED"
Mr. Danbury said there has been a change in Exhibit A to what was previously discussed at the last meeting. I would like to see the intent of this ordinance to keep the public in a safe manner but I donít want to incur any kind of cost to the people who have had it installed. Mrs. McNear and Mr. Galster said they would accept 15 feet from the right-of-way. Mr. Schneider said based on testimony from Mr. McManus that six feet from a public right-of-way, if you look at Exhibit A under C, it says "no person being the owner of an animal . . .," in the third line you say "the City or within", if you were to scratch out "the front yard of any property" and insert "six feet of a public right-of-way". The very last sentence of Item C you would cross out "for purposes of this paragraph a corner lot would have a front yard for both street frontages." I canít make an amendment but thatís one way to appease everybody. If this doesnít work we can always go back to what we are proposing.
Mr. Vanover said somewhere along the line someone is going to incur some expense because if the wire was buried on the public right-of-way side, then the effective range would put them in the 2-4 foot range, and thatís taking the word that all the systems in place are that adaptable. Mr. McManus admitted some people buried the wire on the right-of-way side of the sidewalk.
Mrs. McNear said I think the purpose of moving this back from the front of the house to 10-15 feet is to accommodate the people who already have this system. I would propose that we make this two-part and for systems that are existing, itís six feet from the property line, but any new systems going in must be 15 feet or 30 feet, whatever the number we come up with. With it two-part we can accommodate the people here who are saying Iíve taken care of my animal, but for the future we can say we want even more safety than what we can provide now and accommodate everyone.
Mr. Schneider said we are regulating this as a nuisance and a danger to the public so we would need to have it consistent for everyone. When Mr. Danbury asked how we could work this out so there would be no expense incurred for the property owners who put it in the right place, based on the testimony we had, a six foot buffer on all rights-of-way would accommodate that. Those who put the wire in the public right-of-way put it in the wrong place to begin with. We did also change the cover ordinance itself and put in there the provision that anyone who is in violation does have 90 days after the passage of this ordinance to change it.
Mr. Galster asked is the public right-of-way always at the edge of the sidewalk?
Mr. Shuler said in most cases in most of our subdivisions where we have sidewalks, those sidewalks are a foot inside the right-of-way. Remember our conversation of a few years ago, at the homes on Crescrentville the right-of-way is actually 10-15 feet behind the sidewalk. We do have some situations where the sidewalk is not right on the right-of-way.
Mr. Galster stated so weíre asking them to go six feet beyond that.
Mr. Shuler said we also have cases where we have no sidewalks and then itís at least 10 feet behind the curb to the right-of-way line.
Mr. Galster said so if you have a house that has a curb and no sidewalk itís a minimum of 10 feet plus the 10-15 feet weíre asking here so itís 25-30 feet off. Mr. Schneider, is there any way to word this instead of being from the public right-away but the general thoroughfare?
Mr. Schneider stated Iím sure there are some areas where we donít have curbs so I donít think it would be wise to tie it to curbs. What we have everywhere is hard traveled surface, but thatís just the street so youíd have to move to something beyond the edge of pavement. In essence, we would be permitting them to be in the public right-of-way and I donít think this City wants structure by any homeowner in the public right-of-way. I still think the better regulation is public right-of-way. You could use property line which would accommodate the 1-3 feet variance you have there.
Mayor Webster asked do all the companies have the ability to keep an animal at least six feet back from where the wire is buried?
Mr. Galster replied from what I understand from the gentleman here is that is true but where the wire is buried can be so different that that six feet may not get it to the other side of the sidewalk.
Mayor Webster said if we could draft some legislation that says six feet back from the pubic right-of-way, then if someone has one buried on the wrong side, then they will have to move it. If anyone puts anything in that apron he/she does so at his/her own risk.
Mr. Vanover said there are a number of do-it-yourselfers and we donít know what their capabilities are.
Ms. Manis asked Barb Ortman, what kind of sign do you have and where is it? Mrs. Ortman replied the sign reads "this yard protected by an invisible fence" and itís on the mailbox by the street. Ms. Manis said if we go to six feet I think we should require some kind of sign. That would be a separate ordinance under signage.
Ms. Manis made a motion to amend Item C in Exhibit A to replace in the third line, "the front yard of any property" to say "or within six feet of a public right-away" and then to delete the last sentence of that paragraph. Mr. Wilson seconded. The motion to amend passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster made a motion to amend the entire ordinance and Mrs. McNear seconded. The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded. Ordinance 37-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said I want to thank everybody for his or her input. Ms. Manis put a lot of time and effort into this and also the Board of Health.
ORDINANCE NO. 43-1998 "ACCEPTING A BID AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH BP OIL COMPANY FOR GASOLINE AND DIESEL FUEL AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mrs. McNear seconded. Ordinance 43-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 44-1998 "CONFIRMING THE DESIGNATIONS OF DEPOSITORIES BY THE FINANCE COMMITTEE OF COUNCIL, INCLUDING KEY BANK, STAR BANC CORPORATION, PNC BANK, N. A., AND THE FIFTH THIRD BANK, AS DEPOSITORIES FOR THE ACTIVE AND/OR INTERIM DEPOSITS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO; DECLARING ALL PUBLIC MONIES COLLECTED OR TO BE COLLECTED DURING THE PERIOD OF DESIGNATION TO BE ACTIVE OR INTERIM DEPOSITS; AND ESTIMATING THE PROBABLY MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF MONIES SUBJECT TO DEPOSIT THEREIN AT ANY TIME DURING SAID PERIOD AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded. Ordinance 44-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 45-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH TREBOR ELECTRIC FOR THE ELECTRICAL WORK NECESSARY FOR THE SPRINGDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT HVAC REPLACEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Ms. Manis made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded. Ordinance 45-1998 passed with 6 affirmative votes. Mr. Vanover abstained due to the fact that Trebor is a competitor in his line of business.
ORDINANCE NO. 46-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THOMAS OíSHEA, INC. FOR THE GENERAL CONSTRUCTION WORK FOR THE SPRINGDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT HVAC REPLACEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded. Ordinance 46-1998 passed with 6 affirmative votes. Mr. Vanover abstained.
ORDINANCE NO. 47-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH RPC MECHANICAL FOR THE HVAC, PLUMBING AND FIRE PROTECTION WORK NECESSARY FOR THE SPRINGDALE POLICE DEPARTMENT HVAC REPLACEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded. Ordinance 47-1998 passed with 6 affirmative votes. Mr. Vanover abstained.
Mr. Parham said we are requesting an ordinance for assessing the cost of the street lighting to the Glenview residents. In 1995 we had a discussion with the residents about installing the street lights into their neighborhood at their cost. We received a proposal from CG&E in 1996. The lights have been installed and now it is time to go into the assessment process. In 1997 we passed the Resolution Of Necessity. We had no one to object so there is no need to establish an equalization board. This process is very similar to the steps we went through with the driveway aprons. In an effort to be sure we have the necessary filings with the County Auditor, we are requesting a July 1 ordinance and hopefully passage at that time. The residents will have a thirty day window to notify us whether they wish to pay up front or whether it will be assessed. If we donít hear from them within the thirty days we will add them to the assessment list that will go to the County Auditor. We hope to send out the letters during the week of July 6. We should know by August 10 whether we will add them to the assessment or they are paying up front. We request legislation with an emergency clause for the July 1 meeting.
Mr. Danbury said Mr. Parham, you mentioned that we are looking at declaring some vehicles as surplus and sending them out for public auction. Have we ever considered getting rid of the old, old fire truck we have? I know we use it as a back up. Do you think there is any value there ?
Mr. Parham replied the Chief has not identified it as being a liability at this time. I think it serves a purpose in that we have it available. I can raise the question with the Chief but he hasn't mention anything.
Mr. Danbury said it works and itís paid for, but from my understanding it takes a special driver.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Tax Review Board June 30, 6:30 p.m. Ė Tax
Commissionerís Conference Room
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE OF LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Newsracks - open
Distribution of Advertising Materials - open
Resolution Approving Cityís 1999 Tax Budget - public hearing, July 1
Surplus Vehicles - July 1
Assessment for Street Lighting - July 1
Resolution for Bob Sears - July 15
RECAP OF LEGISLATION ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT MEETING
Two from Mr. Parham
Council adjourned at 10:50 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council