President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on September 15, 1999 at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Galster, Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of August 25, 1999 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
The minutes of September 1, 1999 were approved with six 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 – Mr. Vanover reported that the asphalt work has been completed in the Beacon Hills subdivision and is nearing completion in Oxford Hills. The work will commence on the overlay of Allen Avenue during the week of September 20. The overall completion of the project is expected by the end of September.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS - Ms. Manis stated that West Kemper Road Storm Sewer Phase II has been installed to Kenn Road. Final restoration, including yard and driveway work is underway in this area. Work on the eastern portion of the storm sewer should commence towards the end of September.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report – Mr. Knox will make comments under his report.
PLANNING COMMISSION – Mr. Galster said Sports Therapy, 11729 Springfield Pike had cut down some trees and we are looking for replacement and replanting. That was tabled 5-0. White Castle requested approval of a proposed parking lot at the corner of West Kemper Road and Springfield Pike. The applicant requested that that be tabled and it was with a 5-0 vote. Dave and Melody Langford, 11673 Harmony Avenue, requested a second driveway on a residential lot, which is a variance from the Subdivision Regulations and why it was before Planning instead of BZA. This was tabled 5-0. Target, 900 East Kemper Road, requested an additional wall sign on the rear of the building. That was approved 5-0. Darden Restaurants requested development plan approval for a Bahama Breeze restaurant, 325 North Commerce Way. This is the first of four proposed restaurants in the Pictoria Island area. There was some concern about some of the treatments on a couple of the walls; therefore, we took it from a final plan to a preliminary plan just to give them some direction. The preliminary plan was approved 5-0. GTE Wireless requested a development plan approval to co-locate on the antenna that exists right now for AT&T. That was approved 5-0. CostCo Wholesale requested final development plan approval at 1100 East Kemper Road and that was approved 5-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS - meeting next week, report at next Council meeting.
BOARD OF HEALTH – Ms. Pollitt said a resolution dating back to 1974 was repealed. We have ordinances in place that supersede that. We had a request for a resolution to increase food service operation license fees. There was an update on the Best Western Hotel. There was a need to look at the exterior wall from the inside and they were very pleased with what they saw as there was no more mildew damage. The nurse is doing infant inoculations now. For more information call the Health Department.
CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - no report
MAYOR’S REPORT - Mayor Webster said that Mayor’s Night In will start again on the fourth Wednesday of the month in the rotunda from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR – Mr. Knox stated that the notes that we discussed in the last few meetings were put out for negotiated bids. The interest rate on the $2 million rate was 3.80% which is considered quite good for a callable note of that size. The rate on the $7 million was 3.80%. We have added in the cost of that note which raised the amount up to 4.05%. That would save the City from paying the money out of pocket and will come out of the note which is what we desired to happen at that time.
ADMINISTRATOR’S REPORT – Mr. Osborn said a bid opening was held on Monday for the 100 foot aerial platform fire truck to replace the City’s existing aerial which is 27 years old. We received five bids and the low bid was by American LaFrance at $595,590. The bids are being closely scrutinized by the Fire Department. There is a trip scheduled next week to the manufacturer’s facility in Pennsylvania to look at a comparable piece of equipment that they have manufactured. We will also be interviewing other departments that have used that piece of apparatus. The budget figure for this purchase is $650,000 so if it proves out that American LaFrance is an acceptable product, then we will be under that budget number. The recommendation on the truck will be coming before the meeting on October 6 and we would like to have legislation at that meeting. I’m sure the Chief will be here to make a presentation on his findings and if you support his recommendation we would ask you to consider an ordinance that night considering a contract with the selected vendor.
I would like to discuss the Community Development grant application process for the years 2000 through 2002. As you saw in the material I recently distributed, the application process has begun. We are required to hold two public meetings. I recommend the first public meeting be held October 6 and that is to invited the public to provide input regarding projects that would benefit our low/moderate income population. We would then have a second public meeting and I would recommend that that be scheduled on November 11. At that meeting the Administration will be bringing a list of recommended projects forward for your consideration and public discussion. It would also be necessary for Council to finalize the list and prioritize the projects identified and follow that up with a resolution authorizing an application. In order to qualify a project has to meet the primary objectives for the Federal Community Development Program. The primary objective is to benefit low and moderate income persons. A second objective is to serve to eliminate or prevent slums and blight. The third objective is to address an urgent local community development need directly related to the health, safety and general welfare of the City. This third category is far more difficult to score well under. It’s not given as high a priority as the previous two and because of limited resources there is the likelihood that projects in that category will not be successful. There are two areas in the City that by definition would qualify for urban county community development funding. The first is block group 3 of census track 215.01. This is the area surrounded by Greenlawn on the west; the paper street Forest Avenue on the north; Springfield Pike on the east and Kemper Road on the south. The second area is just across Springfield Pike and that’s our urban renewal district. With that background, I have provided Council with a couple of tentative projects I would like for you to give consideration to. I would like to direct your attention to project #1 in the handout, the Greenlawn/Dimmick area. This project would be to do a total replacement of all of the residential streets in the area; curb replacement and full depth asphalt repair and overlay on Dimmick, Rose, Valley View, Greenlawn, Smiley and Cloverdale. In 2000 and 2001 on the long term street program summary we have already scheduled the Cloverdale area for that type of work. I’ve highlighted the area that is subject to being covered under our existing street program for 2000 and 2001. It was taken as a whole block. The breakout you see here would represent that portion of the area that would be eligible for Community Development Funding and the area that would not be eligible. I would like to suggest to Council that we consider breaking this area into two projects, and take part of the area that is subject to funding along with part of the area that is not subject to funding, so we can come out with a cost that is fairly balanced between two years. If you look at the estimated cost of this project for the area eligible for funding, it is estimated that the cost of the project would be just under $445,000. It would probably be unrealistic to ask the Community Development Program to give us a lump sum of that amount in one year. I think we’d be more successful if we metered it out over two years.
Another issue to think about is the rolled curb that is in place now and the difficulty in accessing a driveway. It’s one of the oldest subdivisions in our community and we did the upgrade in 1972/73 and the rolled curb is pretty severe. We are going to replace that with rolled curb and this does present the opportunity to make curb depressions at driveways. We have to determine whether or not we want to include the curb depression as part of a City cost or make it part of the cost for the resident. That would not be a cost for the curb itself, but for adjusting the driveway to meet the depressed curb. There are very few, if any, concrete driveways in this area. They are almost all asphalt with a few gravel driveways. I think it would be a fairly low cost compared to areas with driveway aprons, curbs, sidewalks, etc.
The next project that we would like to have Council give consideration to as part of this program involves our urban renewal district. As part of the five year budget we had set aside $500,000 in the year 2000 to make improvements to the street system in this area. That was a best guess on my part. However, now that this application opportunity has come along, I have asked the engineer to give us a better breakout of the costs for improvements in this area. On the last page of the handout you will see that the project involves widening Pear Street to 33 feet of surface area from Springfield Pike back to Elm Alley, then 24 feet from Elm Alley to Walnut. On Walnut we would widen the street to 36 feet from Kemper Road up to just south of Orange. It would transition from 36 to 24 feet in the area by the group home so that by the time you got to the Orange Street intersection we’re back to a 24 foot cross section. That would be carried on to where the improvements on Walnut ended that were made as part of the Municipal Building construction. This improvement, besides just widening the street and going full depth with new asphalt and resurfacing, would also involve a curb and gutter system, which the area currently lacks and it would involve a complete sidewalk system which the area currently lacks. Its proximity to our elementary school and commercial businesses that attract young people make the sidewalk system a critical factor. In the vicinity of the elementary school we are also looking at constructing a ten foot sidewalk on the east side of Walnut. We haven’t defined how much of that ten foot area will remain in place and what part might become a bus pull off. We intend to get together with the school district to try to work out a safe bus pull off for the school. It’s a very narrow street with no sidewalk and it’s a very undesirable condition. The cost estimate on this project is $200,000. While we have money budgeted for this project in 2000 in the five year budget. I would suggest that we give this consideration and part of our thinking will have to be how we order our priorities. Also Council would have to have agreement with the basic plan. These improvements I’ve defined for you this evening reflect those that are contained in our urban renewal plan.
Ms. Manis asked would we request these and other projects?
Mr. Osborn replied that is up to Council. We need to get all the projects on the table and then we have to assess which ones are most important to us. We can put in as many projects as we want, but at some point we’ll have to prioritize the projects.
Ms. Manis asked will they look at the most expensive one?
Mr. Osborn responded I think we have to look at the one we can justify with the greatest potential for success. If we have one project that is of much more important benefit to the low moderate income community or one making improvements that eliminates slum and blight, that’s not to say we can’t make that project number one even if it is more expensive or even if we are asking for a greater portion of funding than we are on some other project. It takes some strategy on what projects you think have a good chance, but more importantly, what projects Council feels are more important to the community.
Mr. Wilson asked on Pear Street where you have gone from 33 to 24 feet and on Walnut south of Orange and heading north parallel to the Municipal Building, what’s the rationale for having those areas not as wide as the other ends?
Mr. Osborn said the reason Pear Street is widened out to 33 feet as you approach Springfield Pike is that we intend to have two lanes out and one lane in. We would have a dedicated left turn lane and a dedicated right turn lane. If someone gets to that intersection and wants to turn left, then they will block the traffic that wants to turn right. That area would transition from 24 feet to 33 feet. On Walnut we are providing a much wider street system along the edge of the elementary school which would include a combination of a wider street and more pull off area for busses and pedestrian sidewalks to keep the kids out of the street. Once you get past the school we can transition back to a standard 24 feet wide street.
Mr. Wilson said when the busses drop the students off, do the busses continue north on Walnut or turn at Pear and come out to Springfield Pike at that point?
Mr. Osborn said most of them go up Walnut but some go up Orange. It’s hard to predict and I’d rather leave that to the school to work out. We’re most interested in trying to create a safe area for the busses to get off the travel surface. Right now they have to park in the street and there’s about half a lane left. There is no sidewalk to speak of and people are parking randomly on the other sections of the side streets. We’re hoping to improve the Walnut Street section and also Pear Street.
Mayor Webster said I can’t emphasize how bad that situation is there. The school has cooperated the best they can to try to create a driveway and drop off point inside that lot. Some parents choose to do that and some drop their kids off on the street. There are school busses on one side; a car with a departing child and sometimes you get a hot rod who want to go around all of that and it’s really a dangerous situation. We really do need some improvements in that roadway system.
Mr. Osborn stated again, my reason for bringing this before you this evening was just to get this off to a running start. If Council should come up with any suggestions or ideas, we’d be glad to pursue them over the next few weeks. The next meeting is an opportunity for the public to come forward. I wanted to get something out there for the public to think about as well and for them to have some appreciation for the areas in the City that might be eligible for this funding. Another category I’d like to mention that is automatically considered a benefit is the elimination of architectural barriers. If you look around the City we have spent a great deal of money already, and in fact, money out of this program, to put handicap ramps at virtually every intersection of the City that has sidewalks. We looked at our sidewalk system and really didn’t feel we had any area where we could collectively make a big enough project to make a funding application. If you can think of any situations in parks where we could eliminate architectural barriers, that would be an eligible project.
Ms. Pollitt asked is there any possibility in the future to extend this project across Kemper Road?
Mr. Osborn replied either with the 2000 census we’d have to see that the census block group for that area falls within the moderate/low income range, or the other option would be to declare another urban renewal district and seek funding to make improvements. One thing about the Baldwin Subdivision we should think about is that we have homes that are 150 years old. Some of those homes sit on the right-of-way. It’s a surveyor’s nightmare. We could probably go in and put curbs in, but we’d have to put storm sewer systems in as well, and we certainly would be pressing it to even consider sidewalks just because the occupation versus legal descriptions are sometimes not consistent in that subdivision.
Mr. Osborn said I will be sending a letter out to all candidates for office who are on the ballot in Springdale and I would invite you to contact me after receiving that letter if you are a candidate. If you have any questions about the regulations contained in it I’d be glad to discuss those with you. The relevant code section is 153.049H of the Zoning Code Regulations.
Mr. Osborn continued we are bringing five fulltime firefighters before you on October 6 and also our newest police officer to be sworn in. We are also going to have a ceremonial swearing in of the promoted police personnel who were recently advanced as a result of tests to fill vacancies.
This morning I went before the County Commissioners at a public hearing regarding Phase II of Sanitary Sewer 915. The project in question is the trunk sanitary sewer for the Mill Creek Valley. The first phase has been completed from north Reading through Evendale and Sharonville to a point just south of I-275. The Phase II project will go under I-275 to the north until it intersects Carmen Creek. It will then go west under I-75 into the Heritage Hill area of Sharonville, up Carmen Creek, across the Heritage Hill School property, across our Chamberlain Park, across the GEEAA Golf Course and back under I-275. It cuts northeast across the corner of Tri-County Mall, then under S.R. 747 and stops in the vicinity of Princeton Bowl. This Phase II project was the topic of the hearing this morning and it was approved unanimously by the County Commissioners. The bid opening date is scheduled for December 14 and it is anticipated that construction will begin on February 14, 2000 and will be completed on September 14, 2001. It’s a very major undertaking and has been a long time coming. I appeared before the County Commissioners in 1985 on a CIP. We were looking at Phase I in 1987, Phase II in 1988 and Phase III in 1989. We were very naïve, but nevertheless, I want to take the time to recognize all the County Commissioners for their support on this, but particularly John Dowlin. He’s truly been the champion on this project and I hate to think where we’d be if he hadn’t brought his considerable clout to keeping this project before the right officials at EPA and MSD.
LAW DIRECTOR’S REPORT - no report
ENGINEER’S REPORT – Mr. Shuler said next week we will be doing our yearly city wide traffic counts where we evaluate the volume of traffic that is entering into and exiting the City so we can see where our traffic growth is occurring most rapidly. It helps us project our needs in the future. Most of this is done by electronic counters we have buried as part of our closed loop system but there are areas where we still use people.
Secondly, I just wanted to assure Council that we are on the backs of Waterworks about getting Kemper Road fixed. We are probably as unhappy as you are at the condition of Kemper Road where they did that main work and we are attempting to get that finished up.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Ms. Manis asked do the sexual predators who move into Springdale do so on their own or does an agency place them here?
Mr. Osborn replied once they are released and are through the halfway house and resettlement program, they are free to select their own place of residence.
Mr. Vanover said, Cecil, Mayor, I have received nothing but rave reviews on the neighborhood signs that have gone up.
Mr. Osborn said I think it would be unfair for the two of us to take credit for that. It was initiated by the Beacon Hills/Oxford Hills Homeowners Association. They petitioned us to put up the signs you saw on Kenn Road identifying those two subdivisions. Mr. Butsch should also be recognized because he’s the one who’s carried that project. We got so much response from those signs that we searched the whole city for subdivisions that had widely recognized names. Signs have gone up for The Terrace, Heritage Hill and are on order for Royal Oaks. We’ve been very happy with the response we have received from the public and I think you do dress up the community, but that was brought to us rather forcefully by one of the neighborhood associations and I think it was a good idea.
Ms. Manis said I think it is very nice too but I’ve heard from people in Old Springdale and other areas asking what do we get?
Mr. Osborn responded we could look at that but I don’t know how many people outside the dais here would know that that is the Baldwin Subdivision. The Smiley/Cloverdale area is the Springdale Park Subdivision but I don’t think anybody knows that. We were trying to pick out neighborhoods that had developing neighborhood identity in terms of their names. If anybody has strong ideas we are open to talking about it. We could not find any record of Royal Oaks Subdivision. Actually it is called Royal Oaks Park which we found out from a lady who built one of the first houses. When she saw the signs go up for The Terrace she called Dave Butsch and asked when the signs were going to go up for Royal Oaks. He said they looked at all the subdivision records and that area is called Springdale Terrace Subdivision II and we can’t find anything on record that calls it Royal Oaks. She brought in documentation including the original sales material and a map of the area provided by the developer that showed that area that was considered Royal Oaks.
Mayor Webster said we knew when the Beacon Hills/Oxford Hills people approached us that it was Pandora’s Box but at the same time we knew it was such a great idea we just couldn’t say no to it. When they went up we did get a lot of favorable comments but we also did get the same type comments Ms. Manis did from folks saying when are we going to get ours. That’s when we went back to the drawing board and asked where are the easily identifiable subdivisions. Those are the subdivisions that had homeowner associations at one time or another. I think there has been some community effort put forth there.
Ms. Pollitt asked, Cecil, would you have any objection if I went door-to-door in the Baldwin Subdivision to get a petition from them since they are the oldest subdivision in the area?
Mr. Osborn replied you don’t need my permission to do that.
Mayor Webster said we are very receptive of that but just bear in mind what Cecil told you about not knowing where property lines and right-of-ways are. There are some streets where we couldn’t put those signs up. We’d have to have more signs and smaller signs to put them up there.
Mr. Osborn said we might want to pick out the key streets in that subdivision. If those residents would like to see us pursue that we’d be happy to work with you.
Ms. Manis asked what is a subdivision?
Mr. Osborn said we are looking more at the residential subdivisions. I don’t think we would include the Springfield Pike business community.
Mayor Webster said when I said six or seven signs I could see Mr. Wilson as chairman of the Finance Committee roll his eyes. Those signs costs us $670 apiece. Did I read those eyes wrong, Mr. Wilson?
Mr. Wilson replied yes to an extent. I was thinking how we could put more signs on my street, but at this point I think the only areas we have would be Beacon and Oxford Hills.
Mr. Danbury said I think it’s a great idea but if we have to research to find out what an area is called and tell people where they live at over $600 a sign, I’d like to take care of the bigger bills first.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Zoning Appeals - 9/21/99
Princeton School District Public Officials Night - 9/17/99
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance adopting new zoning regulations - open
Resolution for 2001/2002 Urban County Community November 3
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Aerial Platform Fire Truck - October 6
Council adjourned at 8:02 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council