President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on March 7, 2007, at 7:02
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Galster, Harlow, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of February 21, 2007 were approved with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster read a letter from Chris Kinnard that said, As a resident of Springdale for over twenty years I want to take a moment to compliment our Street Maintenance crew. Their efforts are especially evident during the winter months. I live in the Oxford Hills area and even though there are serious hills in Oxford and Beacon Hills, we are never snowed in. Im not sure of the best way to recognize their efforts but I hope you would agree that the least we could do is acknowledge them in a Council meeting. Ive not been able to make the last few Council meetings due to a conflict on Wednesday evenings. If you agree with my observation I would greatly appreciate it if you would acknowledge the outstanding snow removal performance of our Street Maintenance crew. I certainly agree with his observation and take this opportunity to congratulate them on a wonderful job of getting us through this terrible February.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 15-2007 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH BUTLER COUNTY, OHIO, FOR BUTLER COUNTY TO ACT AS LEAD AGENT FOR THE RESURFACING OF EAST CRESCENTVILLE ROAD AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn said it should be West Crescentville, not East and the boundaries are from SR 4 to SR 747, rather than Crescentville to SR 747.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to accept the changes. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Ordinance 15-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 16-2007 AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING AN AGREEMENT RELATIVE TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF EAST KEMPER PHASE III BETWEEN THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND THE BOARD OF HAMILTON COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
Mr. Squires made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to add the emergency clause and Mrs. Harlow seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn said this is project known as East Kemper Road Phase III which is widening Kemper Road from Tri-County Parkway intersection to a point just west of Century Boulevard. Part of that is widening the railroad bridge. The total project cost is $1,157,500 paid by the Ohio Public Works Commission; $446,000 paid by the Municipal Road Fund; and $1,177,259 paid by the City. This was our highest priority in 2004 but came in right on the bubble for funding under the Ohio Public Works funding. The following January we were alerted that we could get the funding if we were willing to go into a 50 percent/50 percent arrangement with the OPWC, with the reservation that when the Municipal Fund application came around again, we would go after Municipal Road funding on this project. We did that this past year and made an agreement with the Hamilton County Commissioners and Hamilton Engineer that we would forego any other applications this year and next year in order to get this funding. The County Engineer supported us in that effort and made the recommendation. The Commissioners agreed and the funding has been awarded. This legislation is our acceptance of that funding.
Mr. Danbury said it contains the emergency clause on page 2, Section 1. It just isnt in the title.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded.
Ordinance 16-2007 passed with seven affirmative votes.
PRESENTATION I-275 IMPROVEMENT PROJECT
Cecil Osborn and Don Shvegzda
Mr. Osborn stated the I-275 improvement project will be kicked off this month. The orange barrels are already up on the expressway and the contractor is lined up and ready to go. This is a multi-year project and will have a significant impact on the region in terms of traffic maintenance. Ive asked our engineer to walk us through a power point presentation that was put together by the Ohio Department of Transportation.
Mr. Shvegzda reported the concrete barriers have been placed westbound near US 42. They are rehabbing and resurfacing the existing pavement. An auxiliary lane will run between Mosteller Road to the northbound I-275 ramp. All the bridges have to be widened that I-275 carries over the surface roads. The bridges at US 42 and Chesterdale Road will be replaced. The project cost is $140 million and is expected to be completed in 2010. Phase I is starting now and will run through the fall, at which point Phase II will start. There will be no detours. By using the express lanes they will be able to maintain three lanes in each direction during construction. During off-peak hours there may be some interruption. The speed limit is 50 mph and will be significantly enforced. The express lane for Phase I will begin east of SR 747 and end east of US 42. Phase II will be west of SR 4 to US 42 with ramp reconstruction at SR 747 and SR4 on all the ramps to the south. By Phase III all the eastbound construction is substantially complete. Phase IV starts the westbound construction. The express lane will exist east of SR 747 to US 42. Truck traffic will be prohibited from the express lane.
Mr. Shvegzda continued they are going to widen over Kenn Road, SR4 and SR 747 and there will be traffic maintenance involved with those operations. The work on Kenn Road is anticipated to start in early April. Each side of the bridge is a phase and each will take ninety days. They will sequence along with the mainline construction. Construction activities will take place during off-peak hours, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., Monday through Friday. There will be intermittent directional one-lane traffic through there and closures of up to thirty minutes for placement of the new beams. Similar activities will take place on SR 4 and SR 747. The hours for construction on those roadways will be 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on SR 4, and 12 to 4:30 a.m. on SR 747. On Chesterdale Road the bridge deck will be both raised and replaced. There will be no pedestrian traffic allowed on the bridge. Construction is expected to start in May and be completed by October. ODOT recognizes that the timeframes may be an issue and we will stay in contact with them to get their current status.
Mr. Osborn said the impact of this project will be problematic. One of our concerns is for motorists on the expressway to identify the SR 747 exit to get to our primary business district and not get caught in the express lane. We have approached the State about the possibility of the City paying for signage that would be put in at the beginning of the express lane keying people to the idea that if their destination is the Tri-County business district, they need to be in one of these two lanes and not the express lane. ODOT is difficult when it comes to signage. We had a similar situation on the grade separation. ODOT would only put up signs saying business open. We came along behind them and put up signs identifying specific businesses and how to get to them.
Mr. Osborn said the work on the bridges is a real concern. They are going to be worked on at night when people are normally sleeping. We expressed our concern about that. They have not responded to us yet. It will be their decision. The roads where the bridges are on the interstate will see temporary total closures. On Kenn Road they need to raise new beams that will straddle the entire road. They will close the road for thirty minutes when each beam is raised. Kenn Road is the only way we have to get to the Oxford Hills/Beacon Hills subdivision without going all the way around through Fairfield. Our police and fire departments are pre-planning how to deal with that. The Fire Department will probably pre-position a life squad in that part of town. We sent out correspondence to every business in the City we could identify to get them to attend two presentations by ODOT at the Sharonville Convention Center. The response was not overwhelming. The Springdale personnel outnumbered the businesses. Some of the bigger businesses have been contacted directly but I think a great majority of the businesses in the area do not realize how great the impact of this is going to be and we will continue to try to get that word out to them. Weve expanded the size of the April newsletter to provide material and information to our residents about what they can expect regarding this construction. Its not our project but we have to live with it. Its not going away very quickly and we will have to deal with some hardship.
Mr. Danbury asked are the phases continuous.
Mr. Shvegzda replied the construction will be continuous. There will be breaks due to inclement weather.
Mr. Danbury said when they are going to reconstruct the Chesterdale bridge, that will impact our fire support as well. Do we have a contingency plan? Is Sharonville going to be stepping up?
Mr. Shvegzda replied Chesterdale will remain opening although it may be down to one alternating direction of traffic across.
Mr. Danbury asked is it possible to widen the area of the two bridges they are building over Kenn Road and SR 4 in case we need to put another lane in there?
Mr. Shvegzda responded the only thing that will be widened is the width of the bridge above the railway. The span of the bridge will remain the same. If they widened the area they would have to reconstruct the existing bridges.
Mr. Wilson asked what was ODOTs rationale of having the express lanes that seem to be precluding exiting to SR 747 and I-75? These appear to be major exits from I-275.
Mr. Shvegzda answered at one time they were trying to get a design exception to not have as wide a shoulder as is place now. Because they had to maintain the same shoulder width, the only way to continually maintain three lanes is to have the express lane, to shift everything over and do the construction on the other lanes.
Mr. Wilson asked have we considered the paramedics in Fairfield for the Beacon Hills/Oxford Hills area?
Mr. Osborn replied we have mutual aid with Fairfield and Sharonville. The same could be said for the Heritage Hill area. I think that will be circumstantial as events occur and well be watching that. We will be doing that kind of planning continuously with our safety forces.
Mr. Vanover asked how high are they raising the bridges?
Mr. Shvegzda replied it will be around nine inches. That does mean they will have to adjust the profile coming off the bridge on each side.
Mr. Vanover said there is high pedestrian traffic at the overpass at Chesterdale,. I want to make sure that we give the residents adequate notice.
Mr. Osborn stated we shared that with ODOT. I suggested that we all look at taking the bus route on Kemper Road and moving it down and turning it around at some place like the ODOT garage, somehow extending that bus route to make a pass down that way. A substantial number of people there ride the bus. I dont know how responsive ODOT or Metro will be. Were concerned, that faced with the inability to cross the Chesterdale bridge we may see people trying to cross on the expressway. Sharonville and Springdale were both given the option of total closure for approximately ninety days, or a prolonged repair period. Both agreed it was in the publics interest to retain some degree of access across that bridge at all times rather than lose total access for that ninety day period.
Mayor Webster said ODOT really made a concentrated effort to try to communicate and reach out for input from our business community. Im sure we will all hear it when this starts. We tried to tell them and we will continue to try to tell them. We will go through hell here but it will be worthwhile when its done. Everyone needs to be patient and also avoid the area when possible. I havent talked to Don about this but there is an awful lot of room on SR 4 and I would not be surprised that if we wanted to widen SR 4 we could do that without touching the bridges.
Mrs. Harlow said on I-275 where northbound I-75 merges into it on two lanes, the left lane merges into the right hand westbound lane. I always thought that was dangerous. Ive seen a lot of near crashes at that location. Is there any relief for that in this plan?
Mr. Shvegzda said right now the far right lane continues on and ends at SR 747. Now through that area you will have an additional lane. The far left lane wont merge on. There will be another lane just through that location.
Mrs. McNear asked if the theater was one of the businesses that came to the meeting. If they close SR 4 at 8:00 p.m. that could have a big impact on them.
Mr. Osborn replied I dont think they were.
Mrs. McNear said where they started putting up the barrels on I-275, it doesnt look like the lanes are all that narrow. Are they going to stay that way?
Mr. Shvegzda said that is the way they will be.
Mr. Danbury asked has anyone ever suggested putting a wall in-between the east and westbound traffic.
Mr. Shvegzda said they have discussed that for reconstruction but it is too unwieldy.
Mr. Osborn stated it would be a real headache in clearing accidents from the express lane.
Mrs. McNear asked for nominations to the Tax Review Board.
Mrs. Harlow said I have talked to Rose Fehr and she is interested in continuing on the Tax Review Board. Mrs. Fehr was nominated and approved by acclamation.
Mr. Danbury said there will be Springdale night at the Reds/Rockies game on May 5. Twenty dollar tickets may be bought for $11.
Mr. Osborn said we need legislation for Finance to issue notes out of a TIF for construction of an intersection for the improvements at Tri-County Mall and Cassinelli Square. The notes will be rolled until a bond can be issued.
Mr. Osborn reported the employee celebration will be more entertaining and focus less on the awards this year.
Mr. Galster stated we need to schedule a public hearing for April 18th for electronic signs in a PUD district.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Board of Health - March 8
Planning Commission - March 13
Board of Zoning Appeals - March 20
Lions Club pancake breakfast - March 24
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Electronic signs first reading - March 21
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Note for Tri-County intersection construction - March 21
KKG - March 21
Added PO - March 21
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss economic development and personnel matters. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 7:55 p.m. and reconvened at 8:42 p.m.
Council adjourned at 8:46 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council
City of Springdale Council
March 7 2007