President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on March 6, 2002, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of February 20, 2002 were approved with seven affirmative votes. There were two changes: on page 7537, change "property" to "proper" and on 7539 change "Point" to Port".
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 8-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE WITH THE FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH OF SPRINGDALE, INC., FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT 11493-11495 WALNUT STREET, SPRINGDALE, OHIO 45246, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn said beyond the purchase price of $88,000 we are also committing to maintain the property as a parking lot so long as the church property immediately east of this location continues as a place of worship. If it should sell in the future and become some other use, residential as an example, we would not have an obligation to maintain this as a parking lot. Because the church previously had an agreement with the Beckstedt Company, the office building on the corner of Church and Springfield Pike to allow parking on there in exchange for maintenance of the lot, the church wanted to secure their right to park there as well, which isnít a problem because it is a public parking lot. There is also a provision that we will install up to eight parking spaces on the south side of the church along our Church Street right-of-way as topography will allow us. It will mean a slight widening of the road. They want to do this for handicap parking purposes and they are going to build a ramp along the south side of the church to make it more accessible to the handicapped.
Ordinance 8-2002 passed with six affirmative votes. Ms. Pollitt abstained.
ORDINANCE NO. 12-2002 "ACCEPTING A PROPOSAL UNDER THE STATE ADMINISTRATIVE PURCHASING PROGRAM AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MEDTRONIC PHYSIO-CONTROL CORP. FOR THE PURCHASE OF TWO DEFIBRILLATORS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Squires asked is the life of these defibrillators about ten years?
Mr. Osborn replied yes and these are now eleven years old. They have been in constant use since purchased. We have four defibrillators that we run routinely, one in each of the three squad units, and one in the lead pumper. We replaced one last year. We will replace two this year and one next year. The new technology in the new units also justifies replacing them.
Ordinance 12-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 13-2002 "AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF A PUBLIC HOSPITAL AGENCIES AGREEMENT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked why is Butler County in here as opposed to Hamilton County?
Mr. Osborn said the project that will be driving this bond issue is actually in Butler County so Butler County will be the issuer of the bonds. They are collecting the debt that they have down here and refinancing it again. They are paying off the 1993 bond with proceeds from the Butler County issue that will be forthcoming. The 1993 bond was refinancing that we did with them from an earlier bond that we did in the early 1980s. It will have no financial impact on the City, nor will it alter the operations at Maple Knoll.
Ordinance 13-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION NO. R9 -2002 "CONDEMNING THE PROPOSED INCREASE IN THE TOTAL TAXES ON HOTEL/MOTEL ROOMS BY THE HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS"
Mr. Knox said the County Commissioners by a 2-1 vote passed their request for this to go forward. Mr. Dowlin voted against it.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked is there a sunset clause on this or are they going to have this rate until the center is paid off?
Mr. Knox replied they have to put this in effect by August 15. It will be in effect for thirty years. Mr. Neyer said today that a penny here and a penny there doesnít make a lot of difference, but eight percent sure does. This isnít over yet. The State has to vote on it and there will be an opposition hearing next Tuesday most probably. Mayor Lovitt, I and other people intend on being there and telling them what we think of this. I will send a copy of this resolution to every member of the committee whoís going to hear this. They are proposing to send $400,000 to the Sharonville Convention Center and Visitorís Bureau and $100,000 to the other communities to mitigate some of the effects of this, but they didnít mention that $2,000,000 will be going in the other direction every year.
Mayor Webster said I would like to propose some changes to this resolution. In the first line it should say the Hamilton County Commissioners "have" voted to increase the tax; then there are three places where it says this increase "could" have a significant impact. I think that should be "will".
Mr. Squires asked where is this meeting going to be held?
Mr. Knox responded the opponentsí hearing will be held in Columbus sometime on Tuesday next week. They held the proponents meeting at 4:00 in the afternoon. Iím not sure theyíll do the same for the opponents. There will be another meeting of the informal group probably tomorrow afternoon or the following day.
Mr. Danbury asked do we know whoís going to be on the committee that will hear this.
Mr. Knox answered Representative Coates has volunteered to send us all the names. Heís been very cooperative in this.
Mr. Galster said Iíll make a motion to remove "proposed" from the title of the resolution and also change "are considering an" to read "have voted to" and in the third, fourth and six paragraphs change the "could" to "will". Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Knox said it is still proposed. Until the State acts on this and passes it, it is still a proposed tax increase. The County Commissioners have just said that they are in favor of it. The Commissioners have requested an increase in the tax.
Mr. Galster modified his motion to reinstate "proposed" into the title. Mr. Vanover seconded the change. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Resolution R9-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Knox said on the hotel/motel tax issue there have been several meetings. There is an alternate proposal. The group that came up with the alternate proposal, the hotel/motel people volunteered to make a 2% increase in their tax and contribute that to downtown Cincinnati, knowing that they themselves would get no benefit from it. They also requested that Cincinnati, who has been 1.5% below everybody else for thirteen years, go up to 16.5%. Mr. Rob Fredericks, the very able aid of Mr. Dowlin came up with a funding formula that would work. It will do everything that the original proposal said, but it would be better balanced in the fact that the people who are getting the greatest benefit would be the ones who paid the most, and thatís what they are refusing to listen to.
Mr. Danbury said for the students in the audience, a lot of communities, Sharonville primarily and Springdale is one, put a lot of infrastructure together. Theyíve built a lot of ties with hotels and motels to build them there. To do that sometimes they will put out a lot of money or do whatever they can to entice a hotel to be there. Whenever people come in and stay at the hotel that city will generate revenue. This proposal is that people in Hamilton County will be charged almost twice as much so we feel a lot of communities outside of the downtown area, the people will not stay here, they will go to Fairfield or some place else. Thatís the importance of this.
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - March 12
Board of Health - March 14
Board of Zoning Appeals - March 19
Mayorís Night In - March 27
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Barbara Wiethe, attorney representing Mr. Singh who owns the Taj Mahal Restaurant, 11778 Springfield Pike said they are asking City Council, if they donít want to approve, not to object to an economic development license. Mr. Singh just wants a beer and wine license for the dining establishment. We have been on the wait list for three years. The law is really outdated but it says you can only give a license one for every 2,000 people, but in the last three years they have developed a trex license, so that you can transfer a license from one community to another. We think the Taj Mahal would qualify because they remodeled their restaurant when they first went in there and now they are acquiring 4,000 more square feet. I know that the City has done one for Snookerís, Costco, and Bahama Breeze. I know itís not a chain restaurant but I think heís shown good faith by being in the community without alcohol for three years. They are going to hire more people and pay more taxes as the restaurant expands. He is competing with restaurants in that mall that have a liquor license.
Mr. Beers from Montgomery said my wife and I started going there about 2 Ĺ years ago. The food is very, very good. We have been going there every week for two years. The quality of the food is excellent; the service is terrific. You couldnít have a better restaurant in this city.
Mr. Galster asked is this for on-site consumption only and you are actually asking us to not object?
Ms. Wiethe replied yes, it is for on-site consumption. The liquor department is processing this but they wonít go further unless they get a letter from Springdale. If you object they wonít approve it. If you say you donít have any objections they will pass it. The liquor board is taking the position that the local people know whatís best for them and they need a letter from Council.
Mr. Wilson said when you purchased the restaurant it was a Jamaican restaurant and they served beer.
Mr. Singh stated we tried to buy their liquor license but we couldnít get it.
Ms. Wiethe said sometimes when the license holder is in bankruptcy the liquor license goes back into the quota, and if someone was on the wait list, they probably got it.
Mr. Knox said Ms. Wiethe has been following this very closely. Weíve been in communications at least three times but as of this afternoon we had not received the paperwork from Reynoldsburg.
Ms. Wiethe said this is such a complicated process. When he first asked me I put him on the wait list. Weíve been waiting since then. Ahead of him is the Tri-County Golf Ranch. They are blocking us from getting the D2, but theyíve been on the list for two years. The liquor department told me they donít have a food facility and they have to have some kind of food to get their license. Before I found that out we purchased one from Monroe for $16,000 and they are willing to let us purchase that license.
Mayor Webster asked whatís the present size of the restaurant and whatís it going to be?
Mr. Singh said we had almost 2,000 square feet, now we are adding about the same amount.
Mayor Webster said I get on my soap box as I did with the other three. Itís nothing personal about your restaurant and youíre following the law, but Iím going to take this opportunity to lash out at the state legislature for creating this chaos with liquor licenses. They had one set of rules and they were going to do it on population. Then to circumvent that they say you can do one in the name of economic development. What they created here is that Springdale is a dumping ground for liquor permits so if anybody wants to start a business in Springdale, they go looking at some other part of the state that has excess and they bring them in here. Before we realize it weíll have a bar on every corner. I think itís terrible for the community and I think itís a terrible state law. Iím not chastising you because you are doing whatís legally your right to do. I personally object to it being purchased and brought into the city.
Ms. Wiethe responded I think you only have three economic development licenses here. A lot of cities have the reverse problem but everyone wants to come to your wonderful city.
Mr. Danbury said I have personally eaten at your restaurant and itís very good. What percentage of your business is done during the daytime?
Mr. Singh replied we are busy at lunchtime and at night time and on weekends we have a waiting list.
Ms. Wiethe said the economic development says only 25% of your gross income can come from alcohol.
Mr. Danbury said I share the Mayorís concern because we are getting it all the time, but on the other end of the spectrum, a place such as you have is not where people say letís go have a drink. We donít really have that many "bars" here in Springdale. We have mostly restaurants.
Mr. Knox said we donít have the paperwork. When we get it I will get a copy to each of you.
Mrs. McNear said we will vote on it at that and, in response to Ms. Wiethe, said it would not be necessary for them to come back at that time.
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into an executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss real estate issues and possible litigation. Mr. Vanover seconded.
Council went into executive session at 7:45 p.m.
Council resumed at 9:36 p.m.
ORDINANCE NO. 14-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH THE CINCINNATI METROPOLITAN HOUSING AUTHORITY REGARDING DEVELOPMENT OF ELDERLY HOUSING AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ordinance 14-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Ordinance on RPC - March 20
Resolution for Randy Hormann - March 20
Council adjourned at 9:38 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council