President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on January 16, 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 Danbury, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear. Mr. Galster was absent.
The minutes of January 2, 2002 were approved with six affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works Ė Mr. Wilson reported Council had approved the engineering services for the 2002 street program at the January 2 Council meeting. Work is currently underway for plans and specifications. The anticipated schedule is to advertise bids late February, award contract late March, start construction late April, complete construction late August.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements Ė Mr. Danbury stated there is no change in the CSX project. Construction will be in the years 2003 and 2004. Thereís no change to the streetscape upgrade. It is to be bid in the spring and construction completed by late fall. We will be negotiating the Kemper Road Old Commons Drive to Chesterdale Road project right-of-way in February. Construction will begin this summer. It will be closed down in November or December and be completed in September 2003. The West Sharon Road bike path plan approval will be next month. The final tracings will be in March and construction this summer. The low bid for the Heritage Hill School Drive signal is $21,000. There is an alternate A that is a separate line item of $3,370 to widen the driveway for turn radius and relocation of the guardrail. This project will be awarded hopefully tonight and construction completed by late April.
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission Ė report at next meeting.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health Ė Ms. Pollitt stated we had the third reading of Health Regulation R1-2001 amending the Board of Health regulation that establishes fees for food service operations, food establishments, vending and temporary food operations. We also had an injury surveillance report. Flu vaccine is still available. In regards to the nuisance animal program, Dr. Ketring brought up that he does not want to include the opossums as a nuisance animal. There has been only one case of rabies reported in the State of Ohio and he feels that the opossum is not a rabies-carrying animal. I would like to hear if anyone has any opposition to that.
Mr. Danbury said I have no opposition to that. Has there been any discussion about geese? We had a gentleman complaining about that.
Ms. Pollitt replied we gave Dave Winfough the information and he was going to call the gentleman.
Mr. Vanover said I have no opposition to changing the status of the opossum but we would still have to euthanize it if they set a trap for a raccoon and caught an opossum.
Mayor Webster said if we make this change then opossums fall into the same category as squirrels, birds and other non-threatening type animals so all residents would get two bites of the apple; then after they have had their two occurrences we would not respond for the opossum.
Mr. Squires asked are the residents still going to get two freebies for opossums?
Ms. Pollitt replied yes, they would get two calls at no charge for trapping animals. They would continue to come out as often as needed for the animals that carry rabies.
O-K-I Ė Mr. Knox said Mr. Sikes from Miami Township mentioned the fact that just about every person except one plus the staff is an elected official, and all the elected officials come from incorporated villages and cities. There is only one person from a township and there are 280,000 people in townships. I found out that he had been telling them this for ten years but they have promised to do something about this. Judge Murcatroy, the chairperson, said they are also looking at adding businesses and more residents to O-K-I. The last thing they mentioned was that in order to do the things theyíd like to do, they will probably be asking for money.
Mayorís Report Ė Mayor Webster reported I received a letter from one of our residents. It reads: "Dear Mayor and Council, On behalf of the Springdale Seniors members I want to thank you for the funds given to us for our busses and entertainment for the year 2001. We are indeed grateful to each of you and want to wish you a happy and healthy new year. Sincerely, Marietta Brown"
Mayor Webster continued I also have a report from Chief Laage regarding the 2001 Food for Fines Program. It was once again a success. This is the fifth year that they conducted this holiday program and this was by far the most successful. This year they doubled the required amount of canned foods per citation from five to ten, thereby increasing donations by 100%. He wanted to take this opportunity to thank the City leaders for the opportunity to help make this happen. In 2001 there were 395 citations that were forgiven at a dollar cost of $15,815. They assisted three organizations, the Springdale Baptist Church food bank, Tri-County Soul Ministry food bank and Vineyard Church food bank.
Mayor Webster said I also received a letter dated January 8 that reads: "Dear Mayor Webster, Upon further reflection I find that I am unable to renew my contract as Mayorís Court Public Defender for the City of Springdale. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your cooperation. Sincerely, Patrick Garry". We have shared this information with the magistrate and the prosecutor. There is a gentleman in Mr. Flessaís office who has volunteered to stand in until we can find someone, but heís not interested in doing it on a long-term basis. Both the magistrate and John are looking for someone to recommend. We pay as we go at $125 a case.
Mayor Webster said we would like to recommend that we start immediately offering a free community center membership to all full-time city employees. Right now about 40 of our employees belong to the community center at different levels of participation. Weíd like to make this part of the compensation package for all city employees. It would be up to the fitness program membership for employees and their families. If every single full-time employee joined we are looking at $5,700. I think itís probably one of those things we can administratively do but weíd like to solicit Council. If anyone has any objections weíd like to hear it.
Mr. Squires said I have no problem supporting that. Would it include a pool membership also?
Mayor Webster replied no. It would enable all city employees to build on that $50.
Mr. Squires said I would like to make a motion that we allow the community center free membership for all full-time city employees up through the fitness center. Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Osborn stated this program came to us in a far more modest form from the Springdale Health Incentive Program (SHIP) committee of our employees who focus on trying to keep our work force healthy. Their proposal had been that the City reimburse 50 percent of a membership to any employee who used the fitness center 26 times in six months or once a week. We started talking about this among the Administration and we felt it had merit on its own without trying to do a reimbursement. If we can prevent one serious medical condition like a heart attack, we have paid for this cost many times over. We do want to encourage our employees to maintain a good physical condition and this is just another example of how the SHIP program generates good ideas. Weíd certainly appreciate your support on this.
Mr. Danbury said I definitely support this when you consider the nature of many of our departments. The Fire Department, Police Department and Road Maintenance are all physical jobs and if people are in better shape they will be able to function better.
Mr. Squires aid we have an excellent full-time manager in Matt Beaty. He has outstanding skills in developing physical fitness profiles for anybody. Hopefully all our City employees will take advantage of the center and his ability.
Mayor Webster said we did discuss this at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting and it has their whole-hearted endorsement.
In reply to Mr. Knox, Mr. Osborn said families would have use of the facilities but if children live in a jurisdiction that participates in any of our leagues they would not be able to play sports on any of our teams. They would have to play on their resident team.
The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said the final report is in on the debris removal program for the year 2001. Iím pleased to report we had 291 requests. People are still continuing to use that and I urge all the residents to do that. Itís a super service that we offer. It has come to my attention over the past two weeks that we have a lot of misinformation going around the community regarding the redevelopment of our downtown area. Iíve gotten a call from an irate citizen totally misinformed. Mr. Osborn got one late last week, not irate, but someone who had been told that the City was saving $1 million to start phase II and then weíd start buying up another block of houses. In light of that, I am going to re-institute Mayorís Night In and will be doing that the fourth Wednesday of every month. It will begin at 6 p.m. and go as long as people want to stay and talk. Itís for anything you want to talk about. You donít need an appointment.
Mr. Danbury said it might have been the same person who contacted you who contacted me. Iíve heard that the City already has things itís going to put in certain areas. We have no idea whatís going in. Itís in the development stage. We donít have any intention of buying anything that somebody doesnít want to sell. So far everyone has approached us or negotiated with us in good faith.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - Mr. Knox said one of the duties of the Finance Director is to review and sign receipts for funds. Recently we received two checks, both from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Each was for $1,000. One went to DARE and one to the Fire Department for the fire alarms for people who need them. Iíd like to thank Wal-Mart for their contribution. We are glad to have them in our city.
Administratorís Report ĖMr. Osborn said I want to bring Council up-to-date on some meetings we have attended in the last couple of weeks. Several members of Council were present at some of these meetings. The first was the public officials meeting concerning storm water that was held in Sharonville last Thursday evening. Mayor Webster, Mr. Squires, Mr. Wilson, Mr. Vanover and I attended that. The issue is being focused on the creation of a storm water utility. The direction that this meeting took really redirected the original intent of this exercise from a water quality review to a water quantity review. Mr. Dowlin, who chaired the meeting, believes he took a consensus away that would permit him to form a committee that would, in turn, propose a storm water utility for the overall county. I have to say we donít necessarily agree with his conclusions that he received some sort of mandate, or secondly, that the direction he wants to go is the most appropriate for Springdale. We are having our Law Director'í Office review the issue as to how these utilities are created, and what authority they have once they are in place. As we obtain more information we will share that with you, but we are watching it very closely. Weíve also had contact with other jurisdictions that have similar concerns.
Mr. Osborn said the next meeting we attended was the Community COMPASS Town Meeting at Music Hall. Mr. Webster, Mr. Squires and Mr. Vanover were there as well as Mr. Parham and I. I was really impressed with the overall exercise. It was a long day. It passed very quickly but by the time you were done, you were tired. You had focused all day on this. I thought the format and the mechanism for reaching consensus was very good. I think itís going to have a good work product when itís done in terms of trying to identify key values for the county. That will help shape a vision that will lead to the comprehensive plan. Iíd have to say there were some off-the-cuff editorial type comments made at the end of the meeting by the moderator. Up to that point I thought she had done an excellent job. She made some comments and took some votes on issues that were not substantiated by any sort of dialog that I think may have been misleading. I think it was unfortunate that they were brought up, but I think the meeting went very well.
Mr. Osborn continued this afternoon I attended a meeting of the North/South Transportation Initiative. This was a meeting of the oversight committee. One of the items on our agenda was to review the level 2 roadway screening for the improvements that are going to be considered as part of this overall corridor study. Level 1 review is a fatal flaw. Is there an outstanding critical issue that is a fatal flaw that would suggest throwing this out of the pile and taking it on for further levels of review? The report on Level 2 gets into more detail and analysis. Ninety percent of the projects that came to Level 2 were passed on to a Level 3 review. The critical thing is that the Level 2 review is at a point where there is a significant amount of information that would be interesting to our elected officials and to the public at large. There are meetings coming up for public discussion on these items. There is one at Westin Hotel on January 29, West Chester Public Library on January 31, February 5 at Milville Community Center, February 8 at the Franklin Town Hall, and February 13 at Swifton Commons Mall. Iíve also requested the consultant to contact the Hamilton County Municipal League and the Hamilton County Trustees Association because I believe both of these groups would be a good audience for their presentation. Their presentation would be on more than highway alternatives. They would also discuss transit alternatives as part of this presentation. Some of the recommendations that were made this afternoon I donít support or agree with, but the motion was made in a way that we were not endorsing these, but simply passing them on for public review and discussion. This is getting to the critical point where our elected officials, not just in Springdale but throughout the county, need to engage and look at the work product that is coming out of this project. I think the earlier that is done the more opportunity for input and the more opportunity for resolution on the issues, and ultimately, hopefully, weíll build a consensus base to take some positive action. So if anyone in the audience or watching on television has any interest weíll try to post these town meeting dates on our web site and at the Municipal Building. If any of the elected officials can attend this I would encourage them to do so.
The Planning Partnership representatives for the City of Springdale are Mr. Richard Huddleston and me. The Planning Partnership has requested a reconfirmation for 2002 as to your preference for representatives. I called Mr. Huddleston today. As you know he is president of the Planning Partnership and his term runs into June, at which point he becomes immediate past president and stays on the board. He is interested in continuing and I would be willing to continue as well.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to appoint Mr. Osborn and Mr. Huddleston as Springdaleís representatives to the Community Planning Board. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn stated we were contacted by Warner Cable who wanted to come out and survey our building to identify what they would have to do to install fiber optics in order to do live broadcasts of our meetings. Before we pursue this too much farther I wanted to run this by City Council and see if you have any objection to our Council meetings being live in addition to being rebroadcast.
Council did not have any objections.
Mr. Osborn said the next item involves the tributary that runs into the Mill Creek. Itís called Beaver Run and comes up through Sharonville, past Heritage Hill Elementary and on up into Springdale. We have been working with the Mill Creek Watershed Council for a couple of years. Iíve gotten to know some of the folks on the environmental side, Dr. Miller from UC and Ms. Kohler from O-K-I. Bruce approached me at our last meeting to see if Iíd be interested in doing a creek walk along Beaver Run just to look at it from an environmental standpoint. Iíd earlier said to the Council that we had attempted to do a project by the elementary school to try to reduce flooding but ran into a problem with the EPA. He suggested maybe we could all walk it together. Bruce suggested we do it February 9 at 9 a.m. Dave Butsch and I are attending. There will be two or three people from the environmental sector. I would open this invitation to any of our elected officials who would like to participate.
Mr. Osborn said I have been talking to Wayne Shuler who had surgery a week ago Monday and he has asked me to pass onto you his appreciation for the flowers that you sent. He is doing very well, better than his expectations. I want to introduce Beth Stiles, our Assistant to the City Administrator and Economic Director. As we discussed when we created this position, she would have duties outside of economic development and tonight is one of them. There was a proposal put forth by Mr. Portune at the County Commission regarding a loan program to encourage people to maintain their houses. Beth and Bill McErlane attended for us and I asked Beth to make a presentation to you tonight.
Ms. Stiles said the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners recently passed a resolution to establish this program. Itís called the Hamilton County Home Improvement Program. Itís a linked deposit program and itís designed to provide assistance to homeowners and investors to improve and maintain their property. Itís available to all communities in Hamilton County, provided that the communities agree to participate in the program and also take on some monitoring duties that are associated with it. The program offers home improvement loans at a 3% discount from the market rate at the bank. The proceeds from the loan can be used for any kind of alterations, repairs or improvements that enhance the property or improve the livability of the home. Luxury items such as swimming pools, hot tubs, satellite dishes, etc. are not permitted under the program, nor are appliances or new home construction or refinancing. The minimum loan amount is $1500 and itís capped out at $50,000 with a term of five years. There are no income limits to participation; however, one and two family dwellings must be valued at under $300,000. The applications are made by homeowners at participating banks. Right now the county believes it will be the six major banks in town because they have the depository authority from the county. The lender will do their normal underwriting and approve the loan, and then process the application for the HIP program. They will determine eligibility at that point. Once approved they will forward the information to the county for their final sign-off for the program participation. At that point the lender makes the loan at a 3% discount rate on what they normally would have offered. The Cityís building inspector will be required to make progress inspections. Right now they are calling for two inspections during the repair work and sign off on a final verification form stating that the work was done and the money was used for what they said it would be used for. In order to participate in the program the City must approve an ordinance authorizing Springdaleís participation and authorizing the Mayor to execute a program agreement with Hamilton County stating that we will provide the monitoring service for the loans. The Administration requests that the appropriate legislation be prepared for the next Council meeting.
Mr. Danbury asked is it feasible for us to negotiate something with one of the banks we do business with. Can we say as a City that we have so many dollars?
Mr. Osborn replied we wouldnít have the same clout as the County. This is a linked deposit program. The reason the banks will discount their loan rates is because it is a linked deposit and in order to induce the banks to make these loans, the County is saying we will deposit X millions of dollars in your bank. In turn the banks make that commitment. As you may or may not know, we have trouble just getting them to reduce our bankcard cost for Building Department credit card operations. I donít think we would have the same impact as the County. I think itís a great program because of its simplicity and our involvement is going to be minimal. I think it will have a direct impact on virtually every residence in this city. Any home in Springdale would be able to get a highly discounted loan to make improvements. I think this is just what this county needs.
Mr. Knox said the administration of a loan program like this by our Finance Department would be quite a burden.
Mr. Danbury stated I wasnít saying the City should get involved. I was just saying if we said go to x bank and say if a Springdale resident goes in there they can negotiate at this rate and maybe we could get a better rate than other communities.
Mr. Knox responded given what Mr. Osborn was talking about with the linked deposit, that would tie us in some cases. I would also prefer to not have that occur.
Mr. Wilson said I assume the credit criteria would be the same as for normal loans. So everybody might not get this loan.
Ms. Stiles replied that is correct. The bank will do their normal underwriting in terms of appraisals, credit, etc.
Mr. Knox asked what constitutes the money that would equal $1500? What equity is involved?
Ms. Stiles replied it goes back to requirements of the bank. I would think for $1500 carpeting would be allowed.
Mayor Webster said I think this is a pretty exciting program. In 1996 we announced the Community Pride Program. There were multiple facets to that, the debris removal program, increased inspections, recycle program, garage sale. At the time we talked about exploring some low cost home improvement loans. We couldnít find anything that really made any sense. This is very appropriate and fits very nicely into our overall Community Pride Program. I would like to see us get involved in this.
Ms. Stiles said most of the items probably require building permits anyway.
Mr. Danbury said I would like to remind everybody that we require permits but we donít have a fee for residential permits.
Mr. Vanover said a tip of the hat to Dick Huddleston who was there Saturday and also Fred Borden. I will volunteer to walk the creek.
Law Directorís Report - no report
Engineerís Report - no report
Mr. Knox said we have one communication. The lady is in the audience.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Jeanine Tucker said the letter I wrote is concerning the two pet limit in Springdale. Before I talk about that I would like to compliment Matt at the fitness center. He is fantastic. I had probably read ten books on fitness and Matt has taught me more in the time Iíve talked to him than anybody. He is great.
Ms. Tucker continued about the pets Ė Springdale is a great place to live. I think we have a lot of great ordinances and I think thatís why I think itís a good place to live. Iíve done some calling around. I called nine areas that surround us to find out how we compare. I called Greenhills, Sharonville, Evendale, Lincoln Heights, Glendale, Blue Ash, Montgomery, Woodlawn and Forest Park. Only two had limits. Woodlawn had a limit of three and Forest Park had four. The other ordinances concern more how people are taking care of the animals. I certainly donít think anyone should have more animals than they can properly care for. In my particular situation the reason it is important to me is because I have two dogs. They are mother and daughter and the mother is getting older. Recently the mother was diagnosed with a disease and Iím afraid she might die soon. I want to get another dog into the household and I want to be able to walk my three dogs down the street and not have to worry about it. I just think two is a pretty low limit to have, especially when you consider the areas around us. I did get 50 signatures that Iíd like to submit to Council. I did get a lot of support in the community. Most people didnít even know there was a limit and an awfully lot of the people I talked to were in violation and didnít even know it. I learned a lot about this when I was making my calls. I know that the State of Ohio covers this in that six or more dogs is considered a kennel and you would have to be zoned appropriately. I live right behind here and having three would be plenty for me. I think four would be appropriate but Iím asking for three.
Ms. Pollitt said thank you for coming up and Iím really impressed with the homework you did. It is a problem because itís not just the size of the dogs or the number of dogs. You could have two dogs and they could make more ruckus than three or four dogs. Itís a real touchy situation because of the size of our lots, the size of the dogs.
Mr. Wilson said you mention that one of the dogs is terminally ill. You said that you want to get a third dog in the interim. When the ill dog dies, would you be replacing that dog?
Ms. Tucker replied no, I would not but I would like to have that option if I wanted to. We work hard all our lives to have our own homes and to only be allowed to have two pets in my home feels like a violation of my rights. I can certainly understand not having filth or a number of animals that canít be taken care of, or somebody who has 75 cats in a small house, but if someone is maintaining their animals correctly and not bothering any neighbors, I think it should be at their discretion. I think there should be a limit but I think two is really low.
Mr. Wilson said when you say pets, it could be a dog and a cat. When I was on Board of Zoning Appeals we had someone who wanted to have two goats to give their baby goatís milk. We have to be very careful when we make these adjustments because it opens the door. Sometimes it better to do things on an individual basis, especially if itís a temporary situation as opposed to opening the door and saying we could have three pets, four pets. We might have to further define this to say two dogs and a cat or two cats and a dog or the dogs have to be a certain size. I realize in some smaller neighborhoods, if you have three great Danes or three Doberman pincers or rottweilers, thatís like having three adults, where if you had three Chihuahuas, other than the noise. Those are things we have to consider. Iím not saying that I donít agree with you or that I would vote one way or the other. I just want you to be aware that there is a specific reason why we do this.
Ms. Tucker asked could you give me a specific reason why someone would not be able to maintain three Dobermans or three rottweilers properly?
Mr. Wilson said rottweilers are excluded from insurance from a liability standpoint, as are other breeds such as German shepherds, Doberman pincers, Oriental guard dogs. Some of that is because of size, some because of viciousness. If you open this up, then you could have three Dobermans that could be vicious. Then we have three dogs that happen to get out of the house and are running down the street.
Ms. Tucker said Doberman wasnít a good example. What about three golden retrievers? What kind of example can you tell me that three golden retrievers would negatively affect my neighbors or my household?
Mr. Wilson replied if you were on a 50 acre farm it probably wouldnít matter but because we are a city we have to be considerate of our other neighbors so we have ordinances to keep things going in the city in an even flow so that everyone can exercise rights but still be considerate of our neighbors.
Mrs. McNear said some neighbors donít like to hear the barking, some neighbors close by donít want to smell the droppings. When I was on Board of Zoning Appeals we had somebody who had a dog that had nine puppies. It was summertime and they had all of these dogs in a very small dog run that abutted the fence right underneath these peopleís bedroom window. Also, people are afraid for their children, particularly if a larger dog should get out.
Ms. Pollitt stated speaking from the Board of Health aspect, at least every other meeting we have a dog bite so thatís an issue. We have the leash law and quite often the police have to enforce that because the people are not keeping their animals up.
Ms. Tucker said I do believe people should be judged on an individual basis on both the puppy situation and the leash law. I still would argue that two is exceptionally low and I canít find anyone in this area that compares to that. Springdale has a number of ordinances. When I moved here from Cincinnati at first I resented all the ordinances. Iíve come to learn that thatís what makes this a very nice place to live. I have done a lot of work to see if I can get this one changed.
Mr. Wilson said letís say every household is allowed a minimum of three dogs. That would be homes where there are two retired people, thatís plus one; single people thatís plus two. True, not every home would have three dogs but youíd probably have a city with a population of 10,800 residents and 4, 000 dogs.
Ms. Tucker said I donít think having three dogs is that big of a deal.
Mr. Wilson responded it might not be for your house and maybe your neighbors on either side would have no dogs so that would equal one dog per household. But suppose your neighbor wants three dogs and on your block of 25 houses there are 70 dogs or 60 dogs.
Mr. Osborn said I took Mrs. Tuckerís call initially and had a very nice discussion about her concerns. She wanted to know how she could get the law changed and I suggested that she come before you all. I advised her that this issue would be reviewed by Planning Commission and brought back to Council. The ordinance is not one that we enforce other than on a complaint basis. We have very limited opportunity to know how many animals a party has unless the case arises that your next door neighbor has more than the allowed number and itís creating a nuisance. Weíll come in and work with the situation but we donít go around policing this to make sure that every house only has two animals. Thatís not to say that we condone a violation of that but we donít actively pursue enforcement. The second thing I would like to add to the discussion and this issue has come up before, is such as a person has two cats and would like to have a dog. Itís more than just wanting to have three Great Danes. It can be a combination of animals as well. It seems like the thrust of the discussion was getting at three big dogs in one household. I think there are other combinations that have come up in the past that would not be as onerous as three major size dogs. Thatís why I thought it was an appropriate issue to bring before City Council.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Osborn stole most of my thunder because I was going to talk about the enforceability of it. It is one of those passive things. We donít go knocking on doors asking how many pets do you have. We have to have something on the books and two has worked very well over the years. I do know for a fact that where you have an ailing, elderly dog there has been some relief granted for someone who wants to take on a third dog, but once that dog passes away you are not permitted to replace it with a third dog. I think the two animal ordinance has worked very well. I would like to congratulate you on your homework. The president can refer this to the appropriate committees.
Mr. Vanover said Mr. Webster proceeding in stealing some of my thunder. If itís Planning Commission Iíll be glad to take it back. I think there are more bad owners than bad dogs. I am a former breeder of Great Danes and my best friend through high school at any given time could have eighteen or nineteen dogs and/or pups. Would I choose to live that way? No. I love those animals to death but they were perceivably good animals. My point would be to move this on to one of the committees. Youíve done your homework and made some positive points.
Mr. Danbury said you said it should be on a case by case basis and ideally that would be good. Ideally we wouldnít have to pass laws. Some people can handle three dogs. Some spaces can accommodate three dogs. If we say you can have three then somebody will want four, five or six. I have a cousin who was looking at a house in Springdale but she has three large dogs so she chose not to live here. For some people a dog or cat is as much family as anybody else. About eight years ago I introduced legislation that we should outlaw exotic animals. I got calls from people who thought I was nuts Ė lions, tigers, bears. But then people called me up and said people had rattlesnakes, a baby leopard. Some people just donít get it. We do have problems with some people and barking dogs all the time. I think Ms. Pollitt hit it on the head. Some of the yards just canít accommodate three, four or five. Some owners can manage three dogs but if we said yes to you, and someone else wants three dogs, we canít say no. If we go to three, why not four or five. Itís unfortunate that we have to make laws like this. We have a very well-known and prominent veterinarian on Board of Health and I think he would support this. We have to draw a line somewhere.
Mr. Wilson said you have done your homework. If I appeared argumentative to you, I apologize.
Mr. Squires said I too want to applaud you for your diligence in doing your homework. Iím very impressed with your enthusiasm for what you want to do. Please listen to what the Administration said regarding enforceability. We enforce these things on a complaint basis. You may have a case with the Board of Zoning Appeals for a temporary variance.
Mrs. McNear said you have a couple of options; you can go to the Board of Zoning Appeals and it wouldnít hurt for us to take a look at it, perhaps in Rules and Laws, Board of Health and Planning Commission.
Mayor Webster said this is a zoning ordinance so it will have to end up at Planning. We would be more than happy to discuss it at the Board of Health and get Dr. Ketringís input but the recommendation to Council will come from Planning Commission. The ultimate vote would be here.
Mr. Vanover said for us it will not happen overnight. Your best remedy, at least for the short term, would be to get on the Board of Zoning Appeals agenda February 19.
Ms. Tucker asked is the Planning Commission a public forum where I can come and speak? A couple of people brought up the fact that people could have large litters of animals and have nine dogs running around. There is a specific law about the weaning of puppies. Iím not arguing with that a bit, but I think two is not fair. Iíll just keep asking. Thanks for hearing Mr. Knox and me, you have been very helpful.
Mr. Osborn said if you are past the deadline for Board of Zoning Appeals we will waive that so that you are on the agenda in February. I think on some occasions, if you are going to get a variance, it requires the signatures of your adjoining property owners. You might want to see if you could get a signature from your neighbors that they have no objections.
Mr. Vanover said you could bring the neighbors in if they would be willing.
Ms. Tucker said I called Evendale to find out their policy. I talked to someone on the Board of Health and they donít have any ordinance about the number of pets. If a neighbor complains this Board of Health man goes out and evaluates the situation. Iím not saying we shouldnít have a limit, just that two is too low. Their person is a veterinary assistant and he told me good luck and he hoped I do well with it.
Margaret Johnstone said you seem to think that if the limit went over two that dogs would be running rampant in the street. That doesnít seem to be the case, seeing that the majority of our surrounding neighborhoods donít have any limit at all. To think that we would have total chaos and enormous amounts of pets all over the place if you raised the limit is kind of silly. The neighborhoods around us are very similar and to my knowledge there isnít any stray pet problem with these communities. I think the limit set on us residents and homeowners is extremely low. The state takes care of any huge amounts with their limit of six or a kennel license. I think two is extremely low. Jeanine didnít have any problem collecting her fifty signatures. She only had one person say two is a good number. Fifty is not a big number but consider out of 51 people, one person agreed with this law. Everyone else said they thought it was too low. As our elected officials I think itís your job to take the greatest consideration of what the citizens want and think is fair.
ORDINANCE NO. 4-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A MEMORANDUM OF AGREEMENT WITH TRIMBLE, JULIAN AND GRUBE, INC. FOR A PROFESSIONAL ACCOUNTING SERVICES CONTRACT FOR THE AUDITS FOR YEARS 2001-2003 WITH APPROVAL OF THE STATE AUDITOR"
ORDINANCE NO. 5-2002 "ACCEPTING A BID AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH ATKINS & STANG FOR THE CHESTERDALE ROAD SIGNAL AT THE HERITAGE HILLS SCHOOL DRIVE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said this is an issue of a long-standing nature. There has been a safety issue at the school for a long time. We have entered into an agreement with the City of Sharonville. We are the lead agency on this. We will manage the contract and pay the contractor. At the end we will send Sharonville a bill for half of what we have expended on this. I know Mr. Parham has done a lot of work on this and I have worked with the Mayor of Sharonville. We whole-heartedly endorse this project and would urge your support.
Mr. Danbury said this was originally estimated by our engineer at $36,800. This ordinance is for $21,245 plus an additional $3,400. When I first saw this I questioned whether they are qualified. According to the correspondence I received from Mr. Shuler they have traffic signal certification, installation certification and ODOT has stated that they have worked with them in a very satisfactory manner in the past. Itís a very qualified bid as well as being under budget.
Mr. Osborn pointed out that Alternate A is an expense that will be paid 100% by the school. This involves a minor widening of their driveway.
Ordinance 5-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 6-2002 "CITY OF SPRINGDALE GIVES CONSENT TO DIRECTOR OF TRANSPORTATION OF THE STATE OF OHIO TO COMPLETE ROAD IMPROVEMENT PROJECT"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said in Section 3 of the ordinance there are certainly a lot of things that ODOT spells out that they will not pay for. So that we are not going into this blindly our Superintendent of Public Works, Dave Butsch and City Engineer Don Shvegzda have sat down and analyzed this project to see what we need to be successful in repaving SR 4 from Glensprings to just south of Cameron Road. As I said in the memo of pending legislation, the overall project cost is expected to be $413,713. The State will only pay $161,122. Itís certainly not as much as you would hope to get from the State of Ohio to pave a state route but itís as good as weíre going to get. The construction will take place in the first quarter of 2003 so this is not a 2002 construction item. We just have to get in the queue and be ready. We had put money in the five-year budget for this project but I do not believe it was at the amount we see here.
Ordinance 6-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R7-2002 "COMMENDING DON DARBY FOR HIS DEDICATION AND SERVICE TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Danbury said we have been very fortunate to have someone like Mr. Darby serve on behalf of the City in this capacity. He came in with six months to go on a term. Someone resigned and we were really in a bind. The Mayor asked him to come forward and help out because he had been there before. He had also been on Civil Service Commission. He came in running. I think most people who know Mr. Darby know him as a professional and a gentleman. I am sorry to see him go but I understand with him being interim superintendent. I want to thank him for all the work he has done.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Danbury pretty well summed it up. When I received the resignation from Mr. Young, I said Iíd really like to have Mr. Darby but I donít think we have a chance of getting him. I knocked on Mr. Darbyís door and was presently surprised when he said he would love to do that. We were fortunate to get someone with his skills, experience and dedication to the City. I too would like to say thank you for having served once again.
Mr. Vanover said I have to ditto a lot of what was said. Mr. Darby is the consummate professional on the board. His insight and input are immeasurable. I told him the only reason I would let him out of Planning Commission was because of his other job. I except to hopefully see him back one of these days. He is needed elsewhere and I grudgingly turn him loose.
Mr. Squires said weíre all going to miss him. My thoughts are just a genuine thanks for what you have done for the City and thanks to you for taking the job you now have. Princeton is very fortunate to have you at this particular time.
Mr. Wilson stated we all wish him the best in his new endeavor. I would venture to say, Mr. Mayor, that in the very near future, one way or the other if there is something that needs to be done in the City in the way of the board, youíll be able to knock on his door again. If he has the time he will definitely volunteer.
Resolution R7-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear opened nominations for appointment to the Tax Review Board.
Ms. Pollitt said I would like to ask for Councilís appointment of Mr. Roy Mitchell to the Tax Review Board. Mr. Mitchell has served on that board for a number of years now. He does an excellent job. Mr. Mitchell has his own CPA firm. He always comes to the Tax Review Board and he does his homework. He is able to guide us through the maze of complicated tax issues, always counsels us in a good manner so that we can make a good decision on the review board. The Mitchell family has been very involved in school, scouts, sports, etc. They are definitely one of the leading families in our community and I canít say enough good about the entire family. I would certainly request your support on this.
RESOLUTION R8-2002 "APPOINTING ROY A. MITCHELL AS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD OF TAX REVIEW"
Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Wilson said I talked with Mr. Mitchell at length a few days ago about his commitment to the City. He mentioned that Ms. Pollitt had called him earlier and he had committed to her. I think itís an excellent appointment. I think heíll do well. Heís been on it a long time and still has that same enthusiasm. I feel very positive that heíll continue to do a good job.
Resolution R8-2002 passed with six affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mr. Knox said Samís is changing the make-up of their ownership so the liquor license needs to change. There were no objections.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mr. Osborn said Iím handing out a copy of the flier thatís being mailed to all Springdale residents in the coming week announcing the public meeting to discuss the comments on the draft of the comprehensive plan. That meeting will be at 7 p.m. on January 29 here in the Municipal Building. There will be another one on February 12 at the Springdale Chamber of Commerce.
Community Center Teen Dance - January 25, 9-11 p.m.
Teen Night - February 1, 9-11 p.m.
Mr. Osborn said there were over 200 people at the teen dance two weeks ago. Weíre getting a lot of youth at the Community Center and this has been a successful program.
Mayorís Night In - January 23, 6 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss possible real estate issues. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session from 8:59 to 9:26 p.m.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 4 - February 6
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Legislation to participate in Hamilton County Home
Improvement Program (HIP) - February 6
Tax increment financing bond for Phase II
Of Pictoria Island project - no date
Council adjourned at 9:28 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council