President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on June 3, 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, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury. Mrs. McNear was absent.
The minutes of May 20, 1998 were approved with 6 affirmative votes.
Mr. Knox read a letter from Darold Olson, 12045 Greencastle Drive addressed to Mr. Wilson.Dear Mr. Wilson: I am seeking your help with a problem that involves at least four and perhaps more homes on Greencastle and Cantrell. First of all, we have lived on the Oxford Hills section of Springdale for twenty years. During those years the topography in the rear of our property and our neighborsí property has changed so that the natural, or designed grade for water removal has become less defined. Consequently, during and after rains there is enough water left standing that our yards are virtually unusable because of that standing water. The second thing that happens is that the area becomes a great breeding ground for unwanted insects. The home that is most affected is 12035 Greencastle. However, my home at 12045 Greencastle and the homes at 12042 and just north of 12042 on Cantrell are also affected in that we all have standing water for a period of time after a rain. The past few months have become exceptionally bad because of the amount of rainfall. Mr. Bill McErlane from the Building Department viewed the area and he furnished me an area map. I have enclosed a copy of that map. He concurred with the problem we are having. However, his department is not in a position to help. We feel that the City of Springdale should be involved because of the number of homes affected. There may be more homes involved below our property when our area gets repaired and there is additional run-off. There also may be additional problems with the slope or changes in the natural drainage all the way to the drain that takes the water under Cedarhill. Thank you for any assistance you can give us. We need some professional help to remove this problem. Iím also sending the same letter to Mr. Webster.
Mr. Wilson said I spoke with both Mr. McErlane and the Mayor and we have decided to have Public Works look into this and get back with us with the solution.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Mr. Cary McManus, owner of Invisible Fence Company of Cincinnati, said he recently became aware of the ordinance by Council to not consider electronic pen containment systems as a suitable means of confinement for dogs in yards. I donít know what precipitated this but Iím greatly disappointed that I wasnít contacted. I think I could have been very helpful to you. There are 300 invisible fence dealers in the world. I own the largest one with a 15,000 customer base. I have 72 customers in this zip code. What you are proposing to do will greatly alter at significant expense to those who already have systems. We are not at cross purposes. We are in the business of keeping pets safe at home. When a customer calls us we ask two very key questions. Is that dog either aggressive and/or has it ever bitten anyone? If the answer to either question is a yes we will decline putting in a system. The second most frequent reason for people going to emergency rooms is dog bites and they involve children. The number one choice of breed of dog today is Rottweiller. Rottweillers by nature are not viscious dogs. Dogs are a function of their breeding and encouragement by their owners. Unfortunately, too many people are getting Rottweillers for protection. Dogs donít know where to draw the line. So I suggest the problem is viscious dogs and dogs that are encouraged by their owners. Given the proper circumstances we can contain a pet without any problem whatsoever. Assuming the owner is responsible and maintains the battery in the receiver collar to give the dog the proper correction to keep the dog in when he decides to challenge the fence, no problem. Mr. McManus said I recommend that you communicate with Harold Dates, the Hamilton County Dog Warden who runs the Hamilton County SPCA. When I have a problem dog and think people are at risk, I tell him and he tells the water meter and gas people. If a dog is viscious and has bitten or looks intimidating and someone feels threatened, one call to Harold Dates will have that dog picked up. I canít see where a dog barking at a boundary line is a problem except that today people feel threatened by a dog that bares its teeth, by one that barks loud, by one that may not do either of the aforementioned but may simply be large. In order to do what is suggested in this ordinance for the existing customers would require completely reconfiguring the yards as the systems are currently laid out at great expense. I could not even give you a wild estimate of what that would cost but it would be expensive and it would force people to completely rewire their properties, not simply cut it at a couple of points. I would hope that before this comes up for a vote that I will be contacted by members of Council or whoever wrote this ordinance and have an opportunity to give my input. I strongly urge you not to pass this the way it is. It will not do what you want it to do. Typically when we install a fence we do a wire around the entire property encompassing the front yard as well. If we only confine the dog in the back yard we have left ourselves exposed to the possibility that if the dog gets out the front door or garage he is outside the system.
Mr. Vanover said I appreciate your comments but the problem is people put fences up for two reasons: to keep something out or to keep something in. Sometimes itís a combination of both. This came up because of a property on a corner lot with a fence that bordered the sidewalk. The dog may have a collar on and be contained within his property but a small child does not a collar and is not contained outside of that. We have to protect the public as well as the property owner. Residents cannot put an above ground fence in the front yard. The invisible containment systems became popular because homeowners associations and municipalities have put restrictions on fencing so this was a way of technology circumventing that. Unfortunately, technology will leap ahead but then the law will catch up to it. This is the process weíre in now.
Mr. McManus said 7% of the callers to his company ask about putting the fence in the back yard only because they think they will save money by doing so. If you envision a horseshoe, wherever you go out with a wire from the transmitter, which is typically mounted in the garage or basement, you have to come back to it. If you only do a back yard you are going to take a horseshoe wire and drop it in the back yard where the open ends of the horseshoe are at the left and right rear corners of the house. Itís a double wire that has to go out and has to come back and has to be five feet apart throughout the entire circumference. So all of a sudden we have used twice as much wire to do the back yard as we would have to do the entire property. To meet your ordinance we will have to rewire 72 houses in Springdale and that will not happen by September 1998. It cannot happen without a great deal of very upset people. Not only do we rewire the property but the dog has to be retrained to stay in the back yard.
Mr. Vanover said you cannot underwrite every what if. You take the biggest piece of the pie that you can control and thatís what you go with. They can take the dog outside the yard and it could bite someone there.
Mr. McManus said I think there are a lot of things to be considered from an expense standpoint for those people who already have the system to the long term effect of is this going to do what you want to do? Will it keep people safe? I contend it will not. I contend it will leave half of everyoneís yard wide open to a dog being able to get out from at least one if not two entry points in every household.
Mr. Vanover said what do you say to the parents of the child who crosses that line? A dog defends his territory.
Mr. McManus said the fence is buried around the property and we can adjust the field so that the receiver will go off at whatever distance we want to prescribe from that line. We can adjust it from 0 to 10-15 feet. If the fence is on the house side of the front sidewalk and is set at a 5-6 foot field the dog will be forcefully kept back six feet from the sidewalk.
Mr. Vanover said he is not comfortable with six feet back. I think we are 90% on the same side and I applaud the efforts you and your business do but not all businesses take that step. Not every system in Springdale is one of yours. We have to deal with that too. I think at this point we are going to agree to disagree and I am going to yield the floor.
Mr. Wilson said this came out because a resident wrote a letter to me complaining. The situation was while walking down the street a dog came out in a threatening manner. Dogs have been known to go through invisible fences. Section A says "the purpose of this section is to protect the health, safety and welfare of all citizens of Springdale." When people are walking or running up the street and a dog comes out, your first reaction is to freeze. A childís first reaction is to run. When one walks up and down the street, he/she does not look for invisible fences. When dogs come out their first reaction is to stop. We as elected officials are concerned about the welfare of our citizenry. If a child was killed because he/she ran out into the street that is a concern. If an elderly person or anyone has a heart attack or is a physically hurt as a result of being scared by an animal, that is a concern. We are concerned about the cost factor of having to make a change but that is our main concern.
Mr. McManus responded it is cost and practicality. There are some yards that physically cannot be done.
Mr. Wilson replied then the resident has to deal with that. We have to deal with the best interest of the general public.
Mr. McManus asked if the dog that caused the incident was in any type of containment system.
Mr. Wilson replied I assume there was an invisible fence because the dog came to a certain point and just barked visciously. There have been incidences that the lady referred to where dogs have actually come out of that containment area and bitten individuals.
Mr. McManus said I would have that dog picked up immediately.
Mr. Wilson responded that would take care of that problem but the individual would have to deal with that the rest of his/her life. Weíre thinking about small children who could be affected the rest of their lives as a result of being attacked by a dog.
Mr. McManus said in some instances we have configured the yard in an hourglass shape. We pinch the wire in at the sides of the house. Now the dog is contained within the back yard but if the dog ever got out the front door or the garage he is contained by the system. If you want to legislate that dogs must be primarily contained in the back yard and the systems must be configured in such a way to only allow the dog in the back weíre not at cross purposes. That is far more doable than what you are suggesting. Thatís what I was trying to suggest earlier. Please consult with somebody who is in the business who may be able to lend some help and support in having this written in such a way that accomplishes not only your goals but satisfies the homeowner at far less expense than it would if this was passed as currently written.
Mr. Danbury pointed out if Mr. McManus has a customer in Springdale and this is passed he will still have a customer in Springdale. The resident would have to incur additional expenses which would go into his pocket so I donít think heís here advocating that we change it just so he can make money. Heís asking us not to do this at less of a profit so I think we need to keep this in mind.
Mayor Webster said one of our staff members called three fence companies just to try to get our arms around the cost of this conversion. The average cost would be $80-$100. There would be a $50 service charge and 40 cents a foot for wire. Two out of three companies indicated that they can splice into the existing line and leave the old wire underground. Invisible Fence quoted a price of $54 for the first half hour of the service call and $22 for each additional half hour and 45 cents per foot for wire. The third one quoted a price of $45 for the service call and 40 cents per foot for the wire. I take exception when you say it involves considerable expense. If I was going to summons someone here to give testimony as to why this should be passed I think you would be the first person I would want to testify. By your own admission, if someone calls you and wants to contain a viscious dog you and your company wonít even give them a quote. That doesnít speak to the other underground fence companies in the area. Even though the person who lives there now doesnít have a viscious dog, you put the fence in. You have no control over whoís going to use that fence going forward. Also, by your own admission itís people related, batteries, collars, systems turned off negates the fence. I think this Council and I have been presented with a legitimate concern and problem and weíre trying to be proactive. I think your solution is to do nothing because whatever we do will have loopholes in it. I donít think there is anything we can do that will be absolutely 100% safe and can guarantee our public that no one will ever get bit by a dog in the City. But I also think we have a duty to do what we can to make it safe.
Mr. McManus said if you run a wire too close to the house you can activate the whole house. The least expensive alternative to doing what you want and still keeping the dog contained in the whole yard but primarily in the back is to tap into your line and create a side barrier that prohibits the dog from passing from the back to the front. If you mandate that I rewire my yard and the dog gets out the front door I still have a problem.
Mayor Webster replied I donít know that that approach wouldnít work but as far as the door being open you have that exposure with an above ground fence.
Mr. Galster said it seems to me that most of our side yards are 5-10 feet to the property line from the house, so if we just run it in, run it back out, splice in, splice out itís a done deal. The front door is still covered even though the dog is not supposed to be there. When you were saying you could turn the whole house on, couldnít you just back it off 7 feet in order to not do that?
Mr. McManus replied but Iím not allowed that latitude under the ordinance.
Mr. Galster responded so your concern is based on the way the ordinance is written about not allowing the fence to be physically in the front yard as opposed to the dog not being able to be in the front yard.
In response to Mr. Galster, Mr. McManus stated that all the systems are adjustable.
Mr. Galster said I have no problem with the wire being in the front yard in order to not turn the house on as long as the dog is staying x amount of feet off the property line. We do have a viscious dog ordinance also.
Mr. Danbury asked about where we can extend the coverage. Is that where the beeping initially begins or the actual shock?
Mr. McManus said in 90% of the cases we use a programmable collar with no delay.
Mr. Danbury asked what it would cost to cut a typical driveway. Mr. McManus replied $25.
Mr. Danbury commented that thereís never been a viscious dog born. Every dog is non-viscious until it bites its first person; then it becomes a viscious dog. We have to legislate something because an owner has a dog that is frisky or viscious, etc. but itís coming too close and scaring people. If a nine year old is walking his dog and these two get into it, the owner may try to stop it but all of a sudden heís in the middle of a dog fight and is mauled.
Mr. McManus stated we are not at cross purposes. I am only trying to suggest a better way to accomplish your goals at the least expense and still keep the dog totally confined in the yard instead of just the back. You can easily legislate that the dogs have to be in the back yard. They are not permitted to be in the front.
Mr. Osborn stated I think you have made a good point. Forgive me for not understanding how your system worked. We really donít care where the fence is. What we want to control is where the dog is. We donít need to define how to design an electric fence system. What we have to do is tell the owner that he/she must have an electronic fence system that keeps the dog a certain distance back from the public right-of-way. Then itís up to a professional like him that will come up with a system that will insure that the dog wonít come within 30 feet or whatever we determine. I think this has been a good exercise. I donít believe we heard each other for a while but I think you made a very good point in what we are regulating is the proximity of the dog to the right-of-way, not where the fence is in the yard. I donít think itís an issue we canít resolve in some manner between now and the next Council meeting. I think the Administration would be glad to work with you on it.
Mr. McManus said call me at 561-8822 and Iíll be glad to work with you.
Ms. Manis said I did call the Invisible Fence Company looking for answers that were raised at the last Council meeting about how much it would cost, how you can do it slicing in, because we all tend to sit up here and think weíre experts on everything and weíve never talked to the people who are experts.
Mr. Osborn said Iím trying to find the part of the ordinance that would be objectionable to you because what it is saying already is that the animal has to be back 30 feet. It doesnít say the fence has to be back 30 feet.
Mr. McManus replied I canít create a 30 foot field in the front and 6 feet in the back.
Mr. Osborn said you would have to modify the system. I was assuming there was something in here that specifically referred to the placement of the electronic fence on the property but really we donít do that. We talk about containing the dog.
Ms. Manis said it was just that we all assumed that thatís how it had to be. We would have been out there making people move their fences without knowing. I donít know that we have to change the wording at all.
Mr. McManus said Item H is a problem because it makes a reference to a dog being able to come within thirty feet. We have to reconfigure a yard to keep him thirty feet back. So we are talking about moving and cutting driveways, etc., whereas if you specifically said "dogs must be confined to the back yard and are not permitted to be in the front yard." Now we are talking about minimal expense to correct that.
Mr. Vanover asked about corner lots.
Mr. Osborn said on corner lots we have two front yard setbacks.
Tom Wagner, 9942 Forest Glen Drive, Montgomery, said I own and operate a business out of my home. In May of this year I received a letter from your Tax Department concerning the fact that I was required to file taxes in the City of Springdale. I immediately sent a letter Rhonda Burton concerning this matter, explaining that I do not live, work or conduct my business in this City and I asked her to provide just cause as to why I received this not just for 1997 but also for 1995 and 1996 as well. I did not receive a letter from her. I received another letter from a staff that was computer generated, hand stamped by two names. I drafted another letter but I thought I would call and speak to the Tax Commissioner directly and ask why I was receiving this information. She was very steadfast, immovable, inflexible and stubborn and I lost my cool. I apologize. I am here tonight because I am concerned. I donít know if your Department of Taxation is on a witch hunt or what. I work for clients locally, nationally and regionally. One of these clients happened to be International Paper. I didnít know then but I do know now that they have a facility here in Springdale. The facility I happened to work for on a consulting basis was in Loveland. My services were paid through International Paperís headquarters office. They were asked by your Tax Department to send a list of all vendors doing business with International Paper within the City of Springdale. They sent a list of all of their vendors in the State of Ohio. I assume many of those received the same correspondence I did. There was nothing I could say to Mrs. Burton that would make any sense. I did contact my client. I had to call Memphis. They donít know Springdale from Montgomery from Forest Park. They sent me a 1099. I live in Montgomery and I file my taxes in Montgomery. I feel there is a little bit of harassment. You may not share that. You have to pay for your new convention or your communications. I donít know that this is the right way to do it. I know there probably are organizations that operate in your community that do not pay taxes. I have talked to International Papers. They faxed me a copy of a letter that was sent indicating that the first letter with the list was in error. That didnít seem to make any difference. Mrs. Burton indicated that I was a taxpayer and it was my responsibility to straighten this out, not the City Tax Department. So here I am again. Iíve written three letters and she has not once responded to me personally. She indicates if she had to respond to every letter that she received she would get nothing done. I said if I had to file a tax return in every city across this country that I do business in then I would not get anything done. Iím not International Paper; Iím a small business owner. I take pride in what I do. Mr. Mayor and City Administrator, I have written a letter and am providing you with a copy of the correspondence. I donít know what the purpose of this is but I feel that I had no recourse. I have to deal with this mega-company in Memphis to correct it. I have absolutely no idea how many companies were on that list. I happen to be one of them. I donít know what you do about it but there is a concern and I think there is a better way to do what this department is trying to do. I think we all have an awareness of what is going on with the Internal Revenue Service and none of us enjoy what we have to go through there but you do it. I would not hesitate to file a tax return in a municipality that I worked and/or lived.
Mayor Webster stated the administration policies and procedures of the Tax Department are administered by and the responsibility of the Finance Director, Mr. Ed Knox. Since you directed the question to me, Iím sure Mr. Knox will be happy to give you advice on how to resolve it but if youíre not happy with the advice he or Mrs. Burton gives you, there is a method of challenging the rulings and that is through a tax appeal commission that this Council appoints. Itís a totally independent board that hears matters such as this. They certainly have the authority to give you whatever relief they deem necessary.
Mr. Wagner replied Iím not asking for relief. Iím being asked to do something that I do not have to do, am not legally required to do for the reasons Iíve stated. Yet there is this continued request to file these taxes for what reasons I donít really know. I assume International Paper is going to handle it. It also occurred to me that International Paper was probably not the only organization in this City that has received that same request. Others may have handled it a little differently. There were many vendors on that list that should not have been on that list and why my explanation was inadequate to satisfy this person I don't know. I appreciate the opportunity to vent a little bit.
Mr. Knox said I will be looking into this matter tomorrow. You fell within some paragraph in our tax ordinance. Iíve been sitting here for almost three years and in every case there is a reason for it happening although in some of them itís not quite apparent. We will look into it, clarify it and if everything is as you say, we will correct it as rapidly as possible. Please do not use the word harassing. We do not harass people. We enforce the ordinances of the City and we try to do it evenly and fairly to everyone. We do not harass anyone purposely or even not on purpose.
Mr. Wagner responded that is the word I used because that is the way I felt. As far as I am concerned this doesnít have to go any further. You have an ordinance but I donít fall under that ordinance because I do not live, work, or do business in Springdale. The second letter I got was in respect to answering within twenty days or penalties. Mrs. Burton told me she would bring me to Mayorís Court if I didnít comply. International Paper sent this list. With my address and zip code why I would be operating in Springdale.
Mr. Knox replied we have quite a few instances where that is the case.
Mr. Wagner said there should be a better way to handle it and one which is not as abrasive.
Mr. Knox replied I will look into it and report back to Council at the next meeting.
Ms. Manis said from the list sent to the Tax Department by International Paper they may have assumed that you were working here. After you called and explain wouldnít they take that for anything, Mr. Knox? Wouldnít they say sorry?
Mr. Knox stated we receive quite a few comments from certain tax payers that turn out not to be quite in accordance with the facts; therefore, regretfully we have to have something more substantial to show the actual situation.
Ms. Manis said but you call up and say Iíll get you a letter from IP and it comes, shouldnít it be weíre sorry, thank you? If we find out that weíre wrong do we send a letter of apology?
Mr. Knox said we have done that in the past. I can think of one case where I wrote the letter myself. We have worked out things of that sort in the past once we have clarified what the issues are. They canít pick and chose. Council says what things are to be done and the Tax Department does it.
Ms. Manis said I understand that but when weíre wrong we should admit weíre wrong and go on. I know there have been some people where itís been noted that they are off the books but every year they get the same letter.
Mr. Knox stated that that has been made easier recently by the fact that we are going to be hiring more personnel. The people in the Tax Department are stretched extremely thin, particularly at this time of the year.
Ms. Manis said I think itís wonderful that weíre hiring and if we need more help to do our job correctly we should hire more people.
Mr. Danbury asked how many tax returns do we process a year?
Mr. Knox replied itís over 50,000.
Mr. Danbury said I can understand your predicament and we apologize for any inconvenience but with the sheer numbers we have.
Mr. Wagner said I understand that but the correspondence I received was not personalized. When I tried to explain the situation I didnít get a response. I got another letter that said you file in twenty days or youíre penalized. When I tried to explain this it was an immovable object. I understand what you are saying because some of the same comments were made by your Tax Commissioner. But where does that leave someone like me? How far does the City of Springdale go with regards to those issues? Her comment was she has too many to concern herself with. There ought to be some safeguard. We talk about your concern for the public. I am not a resident of this community but I am the public and I think I deserve some accommodation in that regard. You have your rules, laws and ordinances. Montgomery has the same thing. I try to be in accordance with those ordinances. Iím just a small guy. I donít know what that means, file a tax return whether you owe tax or not. Where does Springdale get off? Because somebody at International Paper goofed up. The process of trying to correct that falls on deaf ears. There is a fax in here that maybe the Mayor will pass on to you, that was sent, a letter to International Paper that the first list was a mistake. It spells that out but that wasnít good enough.
Presentation Ė Concept Plan for the Community Center Expansion Ė CDS Associates
Mr. Osborn said we have our design team here this evening, Mr. Roger Kirlin, Jim Warner and Jim Schaefer. They are going to be giving you some idea as to the work that has been undertaken since the initial discussions on this project in January. The work product you see here is a result of the tour that Council took and the questionnaire we sent out to the community. What you see in terms of square footage of the building and the costs associated with the building is a product of the programming weíve asked them to accommodate in a new facility. This is an effort to assemble a building that would meet the programming needs that weíve told the architects we would like to see happen. When we get done with this presentation I have a few additional comments Iíd like to make and then our objective this evening is to get your direction on where to go from here. We may have to step back and look at alternatives to this particular approach in order to bring costs down. We have ideas as to how that can be done. Before we leave here this evening we would like to get some direction from Council as to parameters on issues such as comfort level with costs, and if we begin to have to look at reducing programming in order to meet that cost, what are your priorities in terms of the programming?
Jim Schaefer said Iíd like to begin with where we left off at the town meeting of April 8 where we took the results of the survey, analyzed them, presented them and at the conclusion of the presentation, we had identified spaces and programs that had received the strongest support. One of the areas was the equipped exercise area. A lot of the residents wanted this area to be expanded and renovated. An indoor track was also a strong issue, more gymnasium space, a multi-purpose room, dance and aerobics studio. This would be a room complete with mirrors and ballet bars, its own sound system and a high quality, resilient wood floor. Adult facilities is an area where older residents of Springdale could gather, hold social functions, card games, board games, etc. Upgrading the toilet and locker room facilities was also a strong issue. An expanded game room and designated teen facility with a room that might be used as a study room, more meeting rooms and child care for the patrons was also desired. Child care would be limited babysitting so the parent could drop off the child while they used the remainder of the facility. We worked closely with Jim and his staff, Mr. Osborn and Mr. Parham. We generated some concept floor plans and elevations.
Jim Warner gave a presentation of the concept. Buffering from the residents is an issue. In the scheme that was explored over a year ago we were looking at expanding with a single gym out behind the facility. However, with the program as Jim just described it we were looking at a double gym with a running track. The size of those mandates that we would expand into the grassy area, getting a lot closer to where the residents are. There are utilities that would be impacted by whatever expansion we do. We also need to adhere to a building setback to adhere to the zoning code. Something that was expressed to us what a desire to be able to see the activities that take place at the Community Center. Another major issue is having easy access to the facility and having good centralized control from that point. Other issues are accommodating the kind of circulation you have. We have an emergency generator and a transformer next to the existing building that are cost issues to deal with and logistical problems to work around. We have to keep your community center in business while you do all of this expansion work. Those are several site influences that impacted our thinking process.
We explored the possibility of expanding out front. It deals with the issue of getting a large, massive structure away from the residents. It provides opportunities for opening up the front of the building relative to Lawnview and the parking lot, thus allowing a view of the activities. It allows some convenient staging of construction. It also means it will be easier to provide less disruption to your existing center. By grouping the activities around the front you can still keep the one control point you have and that streamlines administration.
After meeting with staff and administration we decided to explore this alternative and set aside the expansion to the rear. We are looking at a three story structure that would be added to the front of the building. How are we going to have enough parking? A new parking lot can be constructed near the rear of the police facility. It would be extended over into the property adjacent to the police station. We would be able to add 27 additional parking spaces.
Mr. Schaefer used drawings to show how the new center would be laid out. (Drawings are available in the Clerkís office). The first floor plan was basically the same for Options 1 and 2. The main difference is in the lobby area. In Option 2 we changed the location of the elevator and stairs. The same office location with the same control point access is the same as Option 1. The running track on the third floor in Option 2 would extend over the lobby and around. You could have exercise equipment up there and it would extend the track to a tenth of a mile versus the twelfth of a mile on Option 1.
Besides the normal systems cost for construction we have phasing of construction.
The cost for Option 1 is estimated at $7.46 million.
The cost for Option 2 is estimated at $7.8 million.
These figures do not include equipment and furnishings.
Ms. Pollitt asked about floor sizes. Mr. Schaefer said they are:
Option 1 Option 2
unrenovated area 18,254 sq. feet 18,254 sq. feet
renovated 4,572 sq. feet 4,572 sq. feet
new building Ė first floor 23,949 sq. feet 24,226 sq. feet
second floor 16,609 sq. feet 18,372 sq. feet
third floor 6,990 sq. feet 9,071 sq. feet
net new construction 47,548 sq. feet 51,676 sq. feet
total sq. footage 70,384 sq. feet 74,512 sq. feet
Council recessed from 9:10 p. m. to 9:20 p.m.
Mr. Osborn said when we first started looking at this project I think everyone involved was looking at a facility closer to 50,000 square feet which is what we saw at Blue Ash, Sharonville, etc. at a figure of about $5 million. As you have seen, when the architects were asked to combine all of these features into a facility on this site, we ended up with a building of 70,400 square feet at a cost of $7.5 million. The problem is not with the architects; itís with trying to put all of these activities in the configuration that you see here. There are issues we can approach to discuss how we can bring these costs down. Before we leave here this evening we would like to get some feedback from Council as to what your comfort level is regarding costs for this facility with the understanding that we can undertake certain changes to the project that may break down costs but it may not break it down to the level that we would like to see. Then we have to talk about priorities in terms of reducing programming; that is reducing space out of the building.
Iíve used a figure of $6 million for construction. That is hard costs for the building. The soft costs involve design fees and furnishings. You could expect a design fee of about 10 percent or $600,000. You could expect engineering fees, landscape design fees at 1.5% or $100,000. And you could expect construction management fees of $315,000. So itís just over $1 million in soft cost fees. Our estimate to furnish this facility with new exercise equipment, chairs, game equipment, etc., is $250,000. For a $6 million project we would have an outlay of $7.25 million. What is reasonable for us to spend? What can we afford?
I donít think any of us can define the absolute dollar figure the City can absorb without having to go to long term debt, but I think itís safe to say this $6 million I picked out is probably that limit. If we go much beyond that we are probably looking at long term debt instead of notes. The maximum period you can roll a note is seven years. We would be paying about $1 million a year for seven years to pay off this project, including the soft costs. If we spend $1 million for the next seven years to pay for a facility of this nature, we probably will have to cut out other public improvements. I think Council should be aware that if the cost of this project is much more than $6 million Iím concerned that we would have to deal with a long term debt. That may be something Council feels is valuable but I think you need to know that in making your decision. We would like to get feedback from you on what you think the limit on cost should be, and if we have to reduce programming, what areas do you think we should give up first.
Mr. Danbury asked with a facility this size what is the estimated cost for utilities? Mr. Osborn replied I couldnít give you that yet. As you recall from the tours we have asked the various facilities to provide us with additional information on utility increases but I donít have that information. I think another question relating to that is staffing. Itís our position that we would not require any additional full-time staffing but it would mean a number of additional part-time positions, at the counter for supervision, in the equipped exercise areas, day care facility, etc. There will be an increase in personnel costs but they will be on a part-time level rather than full-time. It will probably be $150,000 a year for staffing and utilities.
Mayor Webster said some of the additional staffing would be paid by the programs we are staffing for.
Mr. Danbury asked are we anticipating raising fees for membership?
Mayor Webster replied I would certainly think so. That is something Mr. Burton and his staff have looked at. Our fees are ridiculously low at the present time. We are going to have to raise fees but I would not want to see us try to offset the cost of a $7.4 million project by raising fees.
Ms. Pollitt asked do you have any projected studies of what your usage might be?
Mr. Burton responded no, I donít have any numbers.
Mayor Webster said for years we sat here and debated on the slide and other things for the pool. Mr. Coleman put it very poetically when he said "build it and they will come." Iíd like Jim to share with you the figures for the last weekend at the pool now that weíve added the slide and the mushroom.
Mr. Burton said for the last six months we have done a lot of homework. Every place we have gone, they have indicated that they underbuilt. Dublinís facility is 2 years old, 75,000 square feet and they are adding on to it. Itís all relative. Five hundred people at the pool is something that has not happened since I have been there since 1976. I have been the director for seventeen years. A big day in the pool concession was $200. Last weekend on Saturday we had 496 people at the pool. The pool concession did $434 in business. Gate receipts were $186. Those receipts are from people who do not possess a membership.
Ms. Pollitt said I would just like to see that we are going to utilize this space. I know Mr. Coleman said build it and they will come. I think we will have a great increase and it will be a real asset to the community.
Mr. Burton replied we have established those needs and the community has mirrored them.
Mayor Webster stated everyone who went to Dublin was immensely impressed with what they saw but keep in mind that it is a 75,000 square foot facility that they are adding on to but itís a community of 20,000. Itís almost twice the population of Springdale. It doesnít mean that we should have half of that size because Sharonville just built a 52,000 square foot facility and there are areas that they which they had built larger. If itís square footage you are looking at we need somewhere between 52,000 and 75,000.
Ms. Manis said we donít have to do what Sharonville or Dublin does. Itís good to get ideas but we have the need here and we know we have the need here, especially in the gym space. The dance classes are full continually. The teens are there. We know we need this space. I donít know what you cut out.
Mr. Danbury said I was at the pool last night and Kim was working away. There was a line of people. I think it will be utilized. My feeling is I donít think weíre going to get more people with a larger track. I donít know if I can justify a $300,000 difference just to have a little larger lobby. I think eventually these places will be utilized. We canít anticipate whatís going to happen 5 to 10 years from now. There may be totally different uses for these areas that weíve never even considered. I think we need to allow Jim and his staff to ascertain the needs of the community and we have to come up with the money somehow.
Mr. Galster asked Mr. Osborn, what big ticket items are we talking about to cut the numbers down?
Mr. Osborn replied the only major item that you can eliminate and dramatically alter the cost of the building is the double gym. If you go from a double gym to a single gym you would probably cut more than $1 million out of this project. We would have to alter the site plan to accommodate some of the foot print changes that result from that. The other change weíre talking about is going to a more horizontal plan rather than vertical. That will cause some price reduction but not of that magnitude. If we are trying to get our construction costs from $7.5 to $6 million the only major bite we can take and get there is to go from a double gym to a single gym. Iíve asked Jim Burton to evaluate that. If you recall, when we first started this process we were only talking a single gym. It was only when we saw the benefit others were deriving from a double gym that we thought we might be able to do this. The only substantial change to reduce the cost that much is going from a double to single gym. Some of the other areas such as the adult meeting room could save us a little bit if we didnít do that because we wouldnít have to build more meeting rooms other places. We have an adult recreation area. We can eliminate that but we are talking 600 square feet as opposed to 17,000 square feet. Thatís whatís driving this, the size of the project as a result of a second gymnasium. If we want to get down to a $6 million figure is to rethink the scope of the project and take it down to two gyms, the one existing gym and one new gym. Iíve asked Mr. Burton to think through what that would mean in terms of programming.
Mr. Galster asked do we also lose the running track?
Mr. Osborn responded Iíve asked CDS to still try to do a running track thatís partially over the gymnasium and partially over the first level of meeting rooms.
Mr. Galster asked has Mr. Burton looked at what he has to do program-wise?
Mr. Osborn replied itís a matter of how good do we want it to be and what do we want to accomplish. If we have additional gym space we can expand basketball to second grade instead of third grade. We can allow practices twice a week instead of once a week. We would double our gym capacity and that would allow us to meet our needs as we have them right now. There are other opportunities that a double gym provides that we would lose.
Mr. Burton said another gym is going to benefit us from where we are now. As I explained to Mr. Osborn the advantages of a double gym probably come in to play more in December, January and February. One of the issues from the coaches is that they want to practice twice a week when the games start. There is a cry to go down to the second grade level to stay competitive. The children playing volleyball are slotted to Sunday afternoon to practice because thatís all there is. Once the games start the teens do not practice because there are no practice slots for them because their game times are on Sunday as well. Is a single gym doable? Is it better than what we have? Sure, it is. Is a double gym even better? Sure. But as Mr. Osborn stated, how good do we have to be or need to be and obviously, cost is a consideration.
Mr. Galster asked Mr. Burton, would you say a double gym meets our needs and a single gym wonít?
Mr. Burton replied I would have to be fair and say a single gym would improve our situation. Itís hard without really crunching numbers. Weíre a little bit under the water. Iíd hate to get right to the level of the water and then find ourselves sinking down again. We just started this discussion this afternoon and weíre going to have to look hard at it.
Mr. Galster stated I think we need the additional double gym. I was trying to find out what it would take to get back down to the $6 million number. The answer is we can put one gym in, but then if we find out we need that gym space, how are we going to add another gym to the single gym we just added?
Mr. Osborn said we had a meeting earlier this day and we talked through some of these issues. If weíre talking about a third gym within ten years you might as well build it now but Iím not suggesting that is justification for doing it. I donít think there is a reason to look at this in phasing.
Mr. Wilson asked if we eliminate the double gym, what effect would we have on the indoor track?
Mr. Warner answered we would have to look at options on how we could do it but I think we could by bringing the track over the lobby, maybe over a portion of the roof.
Mr. Wilson said if we start with the single gym and want to expand at a later date to a double gym, do you have a ball park figure of the cost?
Mr. Warner replied presumably youíd be keeping the wall that would separate the two gyms and not try to open it up. That would save some but you would have inflation, the fact that itís a smaller project which would mean higher unit costs.
Ms. Manis said one of the main things we talked about when we started this was lack of open gym time. A single gym wouldnít increase that much at all if we were handling all the practices.
Mr. Burton said once you got down to the core of the winter something would have to give, either practice time or open gym time with just one more gym. Then it gets back to looking at how good do you need to be. For game time, we need 14 hours between Friday nights and Saturdays to run games. Last year we started early and ran late. If you want to be time friendly something will have to give. How good can you afford to be?
Mr. Vanover said one of the driving factors for the additional cost between Option 1 and Option 2 was massaging the building to accommodate that bump out. If we go to a single gym and try the bump out weíve cut some down but weíre throwing more into it, correct.
Mr. Warner replied weíd have to do a layout. Itís possible it wouldnít have to be bumped out additionally to do that track.
Mr. Danbury said the plan shows 3,085 for the equipped area. What do we have right now? Mr. Burton replied 800 square feet. Mr. Danbury said Blue Ash was adequately sized. How big are they?
Mr. Burton replied they are at 3,000 square feet. That is the industry standard. They actually wanted to be a little larger.
Mr. Danbury asked if we were to do one of these options as presented, can we change whatever down the road if there is a need.
Mr. Burton stated on the bottom floor you have a whole area that is undeveloped. I would think the equipped exercise area would be flexible. The dance studio may be a little less since you have a quality floor in there. The game room of 2,500 square feet should be flexible.
Mr. Danbury said if youíre going to spend the money, spend it and do it right. We did it right when we did the pool slide and itís a hit.
Ms. Manis asked Mr. Osborn, what exactly are you looking for tonight?
Mr. Osborn replied we have to determine Councilís comfort level at cost. What is the point that you feel we are spending too much money for a facility of this type? Once we know that we can determine how big a facility we can build. As they do some additional value engineering they will bring this cost down. They feel and I feel this is a very overstated cost estimate because itís at a very preliminary stage. We will also look at alternate reconfiguration to bring it down. Beyond that we need to know, does Council want a project that will come in at $6 million or $7.5? Related to that we can do some cost reduction through redesigning and keep all the programming but if we are going to make that jump from $7.5 million down to $6 million, weíll have to cut out programming and the most likely candidate is the second gym. When itís all said done the $7.5 million project would end up at $9 when soft costs are included. The $6 million dollar project would be $7.25 million.
Ms. Manis said I would like a couple of weeks to talk to some of the residents in the community.
Mr. Osborn stated we will be marking time until we get that decision from Council. You have given us a mission of finishing this building by the spring of 2000. We are on a very tight timeline. We had planned to go to bid in February/March 1999. That means we have to design this building in 1998. The longer we delay defining the scope of the project the further back we push these dates. We need to come together fairly quickly on this if we are going to try to keep this schedule.
Mr. Vanover asked what discussion has there been on construction materials?
Mr. Osborn replied we have talked and the architects assure me that while we can save incremental costs here and there itís nothing in the range Iíve talked about. We are going to do everything to bring down the cost as we start detailing the project.
Mr. Danbury said I do want to allow Mrs. McNear a chance to hear all of this and get her input. Do you think it would be too late if we waited until July 1 when weíll also be doing a resolution for our tax budget for 1999?
Mr. Osborn replied no, I donít think thatís too late. We might be able to look at some other ideas that weíve kicked around in the last day or two in changing the site lay out but keeping the programming in place. You know the margins.
Ms. Manis said I really like this site lay out. It works well and will look pretty out there with the trees. By the next meeting would you have some ideas on how we would finance if we decide to go this way?
Mr. Osborn responded we could get some information on what financing would cost. Discussion today included depressing the building one floor into the ground, putting the gym underground, spreading the building out over more property, reorganizing the parking. We could look at bringing some of the development back to the north end of the site. By the next meeting we'll try to bring you back some options that retain the same level of programming but hopefully reduce some of the costs. Now that means weíll be spending more money on professional services but it gives you more information to make a decision from.
Mr. Wilson said I would like some more time to talk with some of our residents and like the July 1 timeframe.
Mr. Vanover said maybe we can offset some of this with increased revenues and higher membership fees.
Mr. Osborn responded we do not cover our costs now so it doesnít necessarily hold that if we increase fees we will pick up money that will cover our costs. It will put more money into the operating budget and I think thatís a valuable exercise that the Mayor and the Recreation Director have indicated we are going to do. However, I donít think it is related to the overall size of this facility.
Mayor Webster said as a follow up to Ms. Manisí and Mr. Wilsonís comments about talking to some of our constituents. I think itís terribly important that everybody in this City have a say in this. We have gone out of way since day one to make this as open a forum as possible and solicit peopleís opinion so I certainly urge the press to try to help us with this. If Mr. Osbornís figures are close, on the high side we are talking about a $9 million project. To the best of my knowledge the City has never undertaken a project of this magnitude. We donít have $9 million in the treasury. We are probably talking about financing it over an extended period of time so we need to hear from you. We need to hear from everybody in this City who has an interest because we are talking about a lot of your tax dollars for a long period of time. I would urge you to contact someone up here, send cards and letters, make phone calls, etc. This is a big, big decision we are faced with.
Mr. Vanover asked if the drawings are going to be available and Mr. Osborn replied yes.
Mr. Joe Rudik, 11910 Lawnview Avenue, said you sent out 4200 surveys and you got 421 responses. Out of 421 responses half of those were in favor of the addition to the gym. That computes out to about 6.3%. If only 6.3% of our population wants this, whatís the other 90%. Thatís a lot of money youíre spending on this place, a lot of frills. I spend a lot of time at the gym. I go almost every day for 1 Ĺ hour. I work out in the exercise room. I ride the bike path every night. I never see that place crowded. The most people I ever saw in the exercise room was nine. There are 8 strength machines, 6 aerobic machines. You might get people who come in at quitting time who want to use those machines right now for 15 minutes and then theyíre gone. Well, we canít spend $8 million for 15 minutes. You have a racquetball court thatís not even used 90% of the time. Iíve been up there every day of the week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thatís twelve hours a day that place is open. None of you people go down there and see this. Sure they got basketball. They want six gyms. They want open time. We canít afford all of that. This is not a training facility for the Olympics or the World Games. This is supposed to be a recreation facility, thatís all. We donít use it 50% of the time. People donít even want to use it at their convenience. They donít want to get up at 8:00 in the morning with their kids to play ball on the field. The 1980s were the hey days here when all the fields were packed. It looked like a carnival down there every day. There were hundreds of people watching the games. Now there is nothing. Itís just a pie in the sky. It looks good. Like Mr. Danbury was saying, you buy a CD player. Youíre not satisfied with one or two disks on it. You want 100. What for? Thatís what this facility is. You want a room for the senior citizens, a pool room. What for? Nobodyís going to be there. I belong to the Senior Citizens. We meet once a week and at most there are 40 people there. Thatís adequate. The saunas are empty. Why do we need 25 gyms? You people are not logical. You listen to what these people tell you, what the standard is. We need 50,000 square feet for this or 50,000 square feet for that when we donít. Weíre just a small community. Whatís the projection for the population growth in this community. We have 10,000 people in Springdale. Whatís the area for growth in housing? None, weíre landlocked. Whatís this projection down the road that weíre going to need more area in the future? Where are these people going to come from? We canít build a facility for everybody to be there 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and the rest of the time it remains empty. $9 million is a lot of taxpayerís money going down the drain. Blue Ash and Dublin have younger people who go to the gym. Weíre always trying to upgrade. Who are we competing with, ourselves?
Ms. Manis said as far as gym time I was there every day in the winter. I had one kid playing basketball. I started a cheerleading program at the Rec Center for the third through sixth grade girls. We had 40+ girls. There was no space for us to practice. We practiced in the racquetball courts; we practiced in the meeting rooms with the carpet on the floor; we practiced in the hallways. We could not get any gym time to practice in. Some of the basketball teams were practicing at Heritage Hill School; some at Springdale School and they were cutting those times out. We didnít have enough gym space for all the kids who want to play sports.
Mr. Rudik responded back in the 80s they had more kids than they have today and things ran smoothly.
Ms. Manis replied we have more basketball players now. We added third grade boys and girls. We never had girlsí basketball in the 80s. We have girls basketball teams now, probably two teams in every age group. We also have jazzercise in the gym two days a week. Weíve had to kick the menís basketball teams out. They donít have a league any more. We kicked the womenís volleyball out though they did let them come back. We looked at building a gym onto the back. That was $5 million for one gym.
Mr. Rudik said I know everybody wants everything for their kids but itís not logical.
Mr. Danbury said we have been hearing about it for a number of years. There have been petition after petition signed by people, the staff. We have been talking about it for a long time. The City undertook a survey about a year ago commissioned through the University of Cincinnati. It was very representative. We did a sample base of 500 citizens One of the questions was would you like an expansion. 72% of the respondents said that is something they definitely would like to see. They wanted to see additional gym space, a running track, other things besides recreation. It is a recreation center now. We want to try to get away from that and have it a community center. We had a meeting in March and this entire place was packed. We didnít solicit this. They came to us and said we need additional gym space. We donít have money to burn. We have no personal reason to build this if we donít think it is justified. I donít blame you for feeling that way but there is a need out there.
Mayor Webster said I appreciate your comments and Iím sure Council does too. We might disagree on some things. This goes to the point I was making before. I think we need to hear what the other 90% of the community thinks about this. We heard from you. If there are other people out there who feel that way we need to hear from them. As Mr. Danbury said, we had Council chambers packed in January. Everybody who bothered to show up that night was the opposite of you. They wanted to see us do this. You are the first person who stood up and said I donít want to spend this money. But I think itís terribly important that everyone understand the magnitude of it. We are a population of 10,500. If we build a $9 million facility, we are taking about $857.14 for every man, woman and child. Thatís a lot of money. If you are a family of four thatís $3,400 that this facility will cost you. This City has never undertaken a $9 million project before so we need to hear from more people.
Mr. Rudik replied you will only hear from the people who want this facility. How many people who were here represented the total population of Springdale?
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Rudik, how are we as elected public officials to make decisions?
Mr. Rudik said to put logic in it. You are already thinking about the other cities and what they have done.
Mayor Webster replied Iím not going to make a $9 million emotional decision.
Ms. Manis stated usually when we talk about a project all you hear from are the people who donít want it. If the people are happy they are the ones who donít show up. Iíll be really interested to see who shows up at the next meeting and voices their opinions about this, or who talks to us in-between. We did get some surveys back from people who said not to do this. You were asked to be on my committee the first time to look at this. Iím glad you are here and speaking up.
Mr. Wilson said when a survey is done to get a 2% return in phenomenal. What we got was a great return. We took into consideration the number of people who responded who wanted the gym. Thatís how we based our decision. This has been a long, well thought out process and weíre not finished yet.
Mr. Rudik responded itís well and good if you want to expand but expand what you need. Donít go grandiose. There are a lot of facilities in this plan that are not needed. If a gym or extra space is needed for a dance club, put it in.
Mr. Wilson replied we donít want to do this piecemeal. Thatís why I asked about the single gym versus the double gym. If five years from now itís going to cost us 3 Ĺ times as much, then we have to ask ourselves if itís worth it. What do we need, what can we cut out? I appreciate your comments and Iím sure there are people out there like you who chose not to come. You are representing a percentage of people that donít want any or limited expansion but there are several hundred people who want that expansion, people with small children who want their children to have a place to go. In a sense this is brainstorming. We are going to condense it and come up with a final resolution and present it. Youíll still have an opportunity to comment again.
Mr. Osborn said I believe your comments are valid. Itís clearly a critical issue and we need to hear from as many people as possible. It was alluded to earlier that at a Council meeting in January a tremendous group turned out with a petition asking us to accelerate looking at expanding the Community Center. You have to attribute that to people who were motivated and came in and yes, that was a one-sided response. In April when we got some general information together we sent a letter to every resident in the City asking them to come and participate in a meeting at the Community Center. We would make a preliminary presentation on the scope of the project. I included in that letter the fact that weíre probably talking about a project somewhere in the range of $5 million because at the time thatís what we were expecting. We had a fairly decent turn out and not one person raised a question about should we do this, or what are we doing this for. The input that Council has had so far has been almost exclusively in favor of doing what they are doing so I think you have to appreciate that thatís why they are headed in that direction. If there is a silent majority out there that feels contrary Council just hasnít heard from them yet.
Mr. Rudik said I was supposed to come to that meeting but I pulled a muscle. Some people came but were afraid to voice a negative opinion.
Mr. Osborn replied I donít know what we can do about that. They had every opportunity to speak up. The City staff and elected officials have really tried to reach out to the community and we are still open to what input we get. Right now the input we have gotten is steering us towards this project.
Mr. Danbury said if anybody is nervous and doesnít want to speak publicly, he/she can always contact any of the elected officials. Our phone numbers are listed. I do want to clarify one thing. Iím not going to put words in the Mayorís mouth but I got myself in trouble. I donít think you meant that a recreation center would cost each and every person $857.14.
Mayor Webster stated if you divide the $9 million by 10,500 people, it equates out to $857.14. However, we are not going to levy a head tax.
Mr. Danbury said I got in trouble when I said this building would cost $600 per person and the fact is that these dollars will come from businesses as well as residents. It wonít be just individual tax dollars going for that.
ORDINANCE NO. 37-1998 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO AMEND SECTION 90.01 RUNNING AT LARGE PROHIBITED"
Ms. Manis said Forest Park has an ordinance on the same issue. They tried to change theirs to somehow let the invisible fence be in the front yard but you have to be with your dog but that part did not pass. Both of them are here for Council to look at for their information.
Mayor Webster said there was some discussion on attaching Exhibit A.
Ms. Manis replied we will change that for the next meeting.
Mr. Danbury asked Mr. Schneider at the second reading can we do an acceptance of a new revised Exhibit A.
Mr. Schneider replied yes, unless the Chair decides itís so substantial it may call for another re-reading.
Mayor Webster said I would respectfully request that if we are going to change the ordinance, that we consider that a substantial change, and consider that a first reading. The reason I ask that is that the Board of Health is presently in recess for the summer. We have talked about this for some time. We spent a good deal of time on the Board of Health talking about . We promised them they would see the finished product before Council voted on it.
Ms. Manis said I never promised them that. Mayor Webster said I did and Ms. Pollitt also responded I did.
Ms. Manis said it came out of my committee. I donít have a problem with that.
Mayor Webster stated so if we could have the legal people get on board as to what we want and get that before Council so that the thing we see at the next Council meeting is what you guys want to see and consider as a first reading. I know Barbara distributed it last time so Iíd like to see us distribute the next version and give them two weeks in case we want to have a Board of Health meeting during that interval.
Mr. Galster said itís my understanding that the changing in Exhibit A is strictly to clarify that the dogs stay in the sides and back yard and thatís what we have been saying all along. We just want to make sure that what we have been saying all along and Iím sure what you have been representing to the Board of Health is in fact, representative in Exhibit A. I donít think we are substantially changing Exhibit A. I donít think thatís anywhere near a substantial change. I think if you asked everybody up here if this ordinance was trying to limit dogs to the sides and back yards of residences and thatís all weíre doing in the wording of Exhibit A, trying to accomplish that in a clear and concise manner I donít consider that a change.
Mr. Danbury said itís not going to matter that much as it is so if thereís a request.
Mr. Galster said last meeting we talked about how long we have been waiting.
Ms. Manis said it got yelled and yelled about how itís got to get in here and got to get done. Now we have to change the September date in the back to October. There are more changes that need to be done. Weíll have to change H to 90 days from the time it finally comes in.
Mayor Webster said no one is hollering for this thing to be done. I suggested we give the people six months to make this conversion because you were concerned about the expense. This lay in your committee for six months. Now all of a sudden you bring an expert witness, so to speak, in tonight. Why didnít you bring him in six months ago? Why didnít your committee solicit the expert?
Ms. Manis replied it was in Public Works and Mrs. Boice supposedly called him. Should we call her in and ask her? He gave us the same numbers, the 45 cents when Mrs. Boice talked to him as you got today, but nobody asked him the other questions.
Mayor Webster said we had some substantial input into this ordinance tonight and my question is where has the guy been? Why didnít your committee solicit his opinion earlier?
Ms. Manis replied they did but they didnít as the right questions obviously.
Mayor Webster responded evidently. Now we have new information and now we want to get it through on the pretense that this not substantial change.
Ms. Manis asked is it a substantial change or do we just have to delay it to let the Board of Health look at it.
Mayor Webster said I think itís only fair that the people who have a vested interest in this, the boards and commissions, let them see the finished product. Thatís all Iím asking. I donít think I exceeded my authority or Ms. Pollitt exceeded hers by making that commitment to the Board of Health.
Ms. Manis said itís been in my committee. Itís been pushed to get here. Ms. Pollittís the one who said it had been laying in committee for six months which I donít think is unreasonable for an ordinance of this nature. First of all, it started in Public Works, was there for two meetings before it ever came to Rules and Laws. Then there has been discussion about it. Iíve asked for input, never got anything. I was not in favor of the ordinance anyway. I drafted it the way Council directed which was not much. I finally called somebody because we were getting answers from people on the committees and up here that they said was true so I finally called and asked. I donít think anybody has a problem with this guy coming in. He didnít say anything that we didnít have in the ordinance to begin with. I do think for someone whoís not on the committee to promise this ordinance before Council takes a vote on it or without even asking Council if they care. I donít mind if they see it first but the same thing happened with the exotic animals. It had to go to this committee and this committee and everybody had to put their input in. Itís been there once. Itís been to the police chief; itís been to the Board of Health; itís been to the Zoning Board. Thatís another thing that held it up. Theyíve had their input. Itís not changed that much since then. I donít care at this point. Itís here. If we want to wait longer, fine. I have no problem with it.
Mr. Danbury said if the Board of Health wants to look at this I donít have a problem with it. If you want to vote on it, I donít have a problem. The Board of Health obviously looked at it with Exhibit A with the understanding that that would be the exhibit that was presented and voted on by Council.
Ms. Pollitt said under Exhibit A, paragraph A it says "the purpose of this section is to protect the health. . ." and thatís where we are coming from with this, Ms. Manis.
Ms. Manis asked but has it changed? Are we still protecting the health?
Ms. Pollitt said I would like to see it cleaned it a little bit.
Ms. Manis so Board of Health is going to revise this and then it will go to the Law Director?
Ms. Pollitt said no, all they were asking for is to see it. Weíve not done anything different with any of the ordinances. It was put in their mailboxes so they could see it. The bottom line is we all want to get an ordinance passed. We all want to see something happen and weíre just going to have to work together to get it done. I think this man made a lot of sense tonight when he was talking about squeezing the wires on the side of the house and accomplishing what we want and not inconveniencing our residents or costing them a tremendous amount of money. Now all we have to do is do the housekeeping on this ordinance and making it happen.
Ms. Manis asked so you donít have a problem with it coming in at the next meeting.
Ms. Pollitt replied no, if this is not going to change substantially, I donít believe the Board of Health would have a problem with it because it is accomplishing the goal we want to accomplish.
Mr. Wilson said I donít think we need to have a special meeting of her committee, just have the people on her committee look at it prior to our voting on it. I think the time frame can remain intact. I think we just need to get this change done as expeditiously as possible and get it to the members of her committee, have them voice their comments. If they make no comments by a certain period of time we move on with this. I donít see a massive change in this that would necessitate postponing our time frame. We can still remain within the same time frame. There arenít that many people on the committee that she canít get a response from them in 48 hours, pass it on and within a week we can have all this resolved and on the third Wednesday we can vote on it.
Mayor Webster said thatís all great and dandy. How are you going to get that pushed through the Law Directorís Office in time. Weíre not making much of a change but things donít move so expeditiously through the Law Directorís office. Whoís going to sit down with the Law Director and tell him what has to be changed?
Mr. Wilson asked Mr. Schneider if he can take care of this in a matter of days? Mr. Schneider replied yes, but I do want to know what exactly what you want. The most recent comment I heard was you want the dog contained beyond the front lot line of the building. Mr. Schneider said you said the dogs should be allowed in the side and back yards. That says the dogs can come out to the front of the building.
OLD BUSINESS - none
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - June 9, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Zoning Appeals - July 21, 7:00 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATON STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Modifications for the Police Department HVAC - next meeting
Contract for vehicle fuel - next meeting
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Mr. Osborn said I will be out of town for the next meeting. On the HVAC modification, as you will recall, we had a major project for the Police Department HVAC upgrade. We did an initial phase that had a longer lead time on it. That work is being completed. This cost relates to the remainder of those modifications and includes such things as improved ventilation for the crime lab and better ventilation in other parts of the building.
On the vehicle fuel we have attached a recommendation regarding the award of a contract to BP. BP is our current vendor and we have been very satisfied with their services. The reference we use for bidding is the Oil Pricing Index Service as published in the New York Times and the price does fluctuate based on that OPIS number. The fixed number in the gasoline purchase and diesel oil purchase is delivery cost and as you can see, that is a minimal amount. We will expect to present legislation at the next meeting awarding that contract.
If you have any questions get to me or Derrick ahead of time. It would help us to confer ahead of time so when he comes in here Iím not leaving him holding the bag.
Mr. Schneider asked on the dog ordinance they are now restricted to the front lot lines. We normally consider corner lots to have two front yards. I just want to make sure everyone understands that.
Mr. Knox said by next Tuesday we should have an ordinance for the first reading at the next meeting on the banking and depository services for the City.
Council adjourned at 10:55 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council