President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on April 4, 2001, 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 March 21, 2001 were approved with seven affirmative votes. Mr. Squires said on page 7357 where it says the property is 45.65 square feet wide, omit the word square.




Mr. Butsch said this is not so much a presentation as a question and answer session on the leaf pick up program. I hope everyone received a copy of the memo I sent to Cecil with the attached responses to the questionnaire we sent out. I think the program was well received by the residents. We had a good participation rate, not only on the questionnaire, but on the number of people who used the program.

Mayor Webster said we wanted Dave to come and answer any questions you might have. We wanted to review with Council our recommendation for the future. Cecil, Dave and I have talked about this at length and our feeling is that we should do another pilot. We are not ready to buy into this forever for the whole city. We think the true test is only going to come when Dave and his staff have to service the entire city. We would like to propose that we staff up, rent trucks, etc. to conduct a pilot this coming fall on the entire city. Then and only then can we sit down and say we can handle this with our present staffing or that we can continue but we will have to add staff, equipment, etc.

Mr. Danbury asked, if we were to do this citywide, what kind of capital expenditures would we have to do? Obviously we would have to have more personnel.

Mr. Butsch said we are accepting applications for one additional full-time maintenance worker, which was in the budget some years back. A year ago when I was here discussing the leaf program we had anticipated hiring two if we went with the full program. At this time I think we can juggle our staff around and make it through the pilot project so we wonít have any additional personnel other than what we had scheduled. We had anticipated buying a third leaf machine that Iím going to hold off on. Iíd rather give the two new machines a little wear before I purchase the third one. We will need three to four trucks, which is all of my big trucks during the peak time. We do still continue to run the brush chipper. We found a company that will supply us a truck the size of a dump truck for five to six weeks at $600 a week.

Mr. Danbury said the responses from the correspondents were mostly very positive. Some of the residents think that whatever day they have the leaves out is their day for pick up. There was also a suggestion of having a late season providing there is no snow or even have a pick up in the spring. I would think most people could go back to the old way if they have excess yardage to get rid of and just bag it. I endorse another trial for the entire city.

Mr. Squires stated I too endorse a trial for the whole city. Some of the trees we have donít drop their leaves until very late. Have you considered a late pick up date?

Mr. Butsch replied that is one of the variables we talked about last April. If it is dry the leaves will drop sooner and if it is moist they will hang on longer. I did run the City one final time in the second week of December, which was a week longer than I had anticipated. December was so cold that you run into problems with the equipment. If the weather is good, that is not a problem

Mayor Webster said the longer we extend this period the more likelihood that we are going to run into the problems that Dave alluded to, such as ice and snow. I would like to see us commit only to the time we committed to last year. Officially it was supposed to end the end of November and I would not want to raise the expectations of the residents. If itís a warm fall and we donít have to worry about ice and snow and we can accommodate another cycle we could do that. I think we would be stretching Dave and his staff if we tried to do a spring pick up. Another comment in the survey that I thought was the most prevalent was to have a more frequent pick up. Weíre trying to run a cycle where we hit every home once every two weeks. A lot of people want it every week but I donít think thatís possible. Weíd have to have a big increase in the budget, manpower and equipment to try to accommodate the entire city once a week with leaf pick up.

Mr. Squires said I agree with the Mayor that we should cut it off at the end of November.

Mr. Wilson said I tend to agree with you. I can assume that based on last yearís numbers for two districts, if we went to four we could expect it to be at least double what it was.

Mr. Butsch responded actually the two districts only account for a little more than a third of the city. It took us two to four days to get through one of those two areas that we did do so we are looking at three to five days every time we pull a machine out. It will be tough to complete the heavy time in five days to get through the City every other week. We used around 480 man-hours. We had one seasonal full-time person. We utilized two full-time personnel and we had a summer employee who came in three days a week and worked half-days. We are probably looking at 1400 man-hours for this year.

Mr. Wilson said we have to look at the reasons why districts 3 and 4 were chosen. It was because they had more trees. Districts 1 and 2 didnít have as many trees.

Mayor Webster said I donít think it was primarily the number of trees. I think it was the narrow streets and the parking, the logistical problems we knew we would face in those districts. The oldest part of town would be the Cloverdale area; Observatory, Rose Lane, Smiley. Thatís where we will really get into the bulk of the leaves.

Mr. Butsch said I asked Al and Heath what problems they encountered. One was the parked cars. We spent more time putting up and taking down signs than it was a problem to rake around the few cars we had a problem with. Most of the residents did cooperate in keeping their cars out of the way. This year I am just going to post signs at the entrance of the subdivisions and not on the individual streets.

Mr. Osborn said we have to keep in mind that this is a pilot program and we are doing some extraordinary things to stretch ourselves to accommodate the program. We will have one additional person but we had projected that we would need two to do a program this size. We will have to borrow man-hours from other departments, mainly Recreation. We may not be able to do many additional special projects this year. We will have to look closely at taking on additional work. One that has given me some concerns is the landscaping project on I-275. We have thought very hard about this and we are not certain that we can accommodate both of these efforts. We wonít know until we get closer to it but we have been told by the Department of Transportation that we can make that decision very close to the end of the season. We will probably have less flexibility in some of the things we typically do in reaction to issues brought up by the public. Secondly, because we are trying to use existing equipment we will have our leaf boxes on our four big trucks through the first part of the snow season. This past year we picked up most of our snow in December. That means our first response to snow removal is with intermediate and smaller vehicles and it will mean bringing the trucks that have leaf equipment into the garage, breaking that down and putting on the equipment needed for snow removal. That will change our reaction to a snowfall and if itís a major snowfall, it may have a major impact on us. I think the extension of the pilot program is appropriate. I think the growth of it is appropriate, but again, because we are doing it on shorter resources, we may have to give up some other things this fall that we may have to learn how to deal with in the future, by additional manpower or additional equipment.

Mr. Vanover said one of my comments was about putting the signs at the entrances to the neighborhoods. I personally did not hear any negative comments at all. The biggest fear I had was to see the leaves in the gutters but I didnít see much of that at all. I donít have any problem with running this one more season.

Mr. Danbury asked what kind of impact has this had on the catch basins? Have we seen a definite increase in man-hours cleaning up the basins?

Mr. Butsch replied no. We have not seen an inordinate amount of leaves in the basins. A few people made the comment that they wanted to put the leaves in the street rather than on the grass but they left them on the grass and it worked out fairly well.

Mr. Danbury said in response to Mr. Wilson, I donít believe there is a district that has more leaves than mine. One gentleman on Observatory told me that he used to bag over 200 bags because he has a lot of trees behind him. In the two districts we did this past year, there is a higher number of cars parked on the streets. You wonít find that many in Beacon and Oxford Hills because the driveways are bigger. I think you will find different challenges. Mr. Osborn answered another question I had as to how this would impact other services. We have had snowfalls in October in the past.

Mr. Galster said Mr. Butsch, in your workersí comments you have leaves raked into the street. Thatís one of my concerns. It says the number of incidents was limited. Is it just kids playing in leaves?

Mr. Butsch said I didnít hear of any. A lot of the kids are in school and the parents tend to keep the younger children close to the house. I donít recall seeing any kids at all.

Mr. Galster asked is the one-year wear and tear on the machines about what you expected? Do you anticipate the original longevity of the machines to be accurate?

Mr. Butsch replied yes, especially if we store them in our cold storage building. They are out of the weather. Next year we plan to add two more bays onto the storage facility.

Mr. Galster said assume that next year we go into a full-fledged program. Personally, if it interferes one time with snow removal on the street to where I canít get out, I donít want the program. Thatís how important I think the snow removal and the job we do there is. I think we need to look at how we can get the trucks equipped for snow removal quicker. I think the leaf program has a lot less benefits to a lot of the residents.

Mr. Butsch said the entire period is not going to require all four units being set up at one time. As the demand increases then weíll put all the boxes on but that will probably be for a two-week window. Weíll set them up or break them down as needed. It does take two men 2.5 to 3 hours to take the leaf boxes off and put the salt spreaders back on. Unless we get a major storm I would be reluctant to take almost half a day to take the box off and another half to put it back on again. However chances are we wonít have all four trucks tied up with the leaf program and if they arenít needed Iíll break them down.

Mr. Galster said I think $3600 to expand the pilot citywide is a reasonable number to try to get a much better feel for what we are committing ourselves to.

Ms. Pollitt said in our district I heard nothing but positive about the program. I think you all did an excellent job.

Ms. McNear said from the comments I read it appears it was a very positive pilot. Even the negative comments were very minor, such as the dust.

Mr. Butsch said we tried to trap the dust by using layers of filtered tarps. But when you filter, air goes in but it has to come out also. If we trap too much of it and make it too fine, it all sticks.

Mayor Webster I am hearing Council say go ahead with the citywide program. Weíll rent whatever equipment we need, which we think will cost $3,000 to $,4000. We will make do without adding the second person to staff and weíll get back to Council at the end of the season.


Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.

Mr. Parham stated I forwarded to your attention a memorandum dated March 27 in which I outlined the renewal rates for our stop-loss as well as the third party administrative services. As the memorandum points out for our stop-loss, in previous years since 1992 we have had a deductible at $25,000. Each year when I send the TPA out to the market to solicit for proposals from the re-insurance market, they have constantly provided me with a scenario that it will either remain at $25,000 or boost up to $30,000. In previous years it hasnít seemed as beneficial for us to boost up. This year, because of the hardening of the insurance market, I am recommending that we move to the $30,000 specific limit. If we remain at the $25,000 limit, then we will face an increase of about 24% of fixed costs. Those will be dollars that we know we will pay out. If we increase to a $30,000 specific, it will be an increase of 1.44%, roughly a $21,000 or $22,000 difference. If we decide to move up to the $30,000 specific limit, it would take about 4 Ĺ of the individuals covered by the program for us to pay out that $21,000 to $22,000. Itís a gamble as any other insurance is. Weíve had relatively good years. We have not had any more than two individuals to exceed the specific limit at one point in time. I think it would be a good bet to accept the $30,000 specific limit.

Ordinance 24-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.

Mr. Parham said this is the other fixed part of our health insurance program. We have a fixed side and a claims side, which is the part you never can predict. Under the fixed part, the third-party administrator handles all of our claims administration for the organization and also makes sure the services are provided appropriately as they are outlined in our summary plan description. Last year I do believe we had a minor increase of ten cents for administration. There was also an increase for the HIPAA administration program, which is a federal program that is required. Each time an employee leaves we must send a certificate of notification to that employee. That moved from $1 to $2. This year there is an increase for the Health Span Network. Health Span is a preferred provider organization. They negotiate rates and discounts for the program. We simply access their program. We have been with them three years and this is the first increase. It increased by fifty cents. The other is a small increase of 25 cents for the claims administration. That is always based on our average annual claims per employee. I recommend the passage of this ordinance as well.

Ordinance 25-200 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Galster made a motion to add the emergency clause and Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

Mr. Wilson made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.

Mr. Osborn said this and the following ordinance are being brought before you this evening because we want to re-bid the project under discussion. Back in February we opened bids on this project and the low bidder was Sunesis. After some additional review was done by them, there was a proposal on cost item changes, some of which we anticipated because Waterworks had not finished their detail plans. However, there was this element of the eight-inch iron pipe that everyone was fairly consistent on except Sunesis. They were about 50% of the other bidders. They asked us to effectively double their cost per linear foot on the eight-inch iron pipe. We didnít feel this was appropriate because had they bid that number at the original point of the bid opening, they would not have been the low bidder. So we didnít feel it was appropriate to allow them to change a number on a unit price item at this point and we have decided to recommend the option of rejecting all bids, repealing the ordinance awarding the contract to Sunesis and re-bidding the project.

Mr. Danbury asked how is this going to affect the timetable for the project?

Mr. Shuler replied we have put together a schedule to re-bid this immediately and have bids opened and ready to award the contract by the first meeting in May, which would allow us to stay on schedule. We bid it early for two reasons; hoping to get the advantage of the better bids early in the year and secondly, to have some of the work outside of the immediate roadway work done early. This means we will have to double up our efforts to get that work done during the construction process. Itís certainly not going to put us in the most ideal situation. However, we do believe it is one we can work with.

Mr. Danbury said we are looking at estimations from Waterworks. I realize itís not part of this contract but do we have anything with that?

Mr. Shuler responded it is part of this contract. In fact, that was one of the problems. We wanted to get the project bid. We were waiting longer than we had liked for Waterworks to get their final plans and quantities in to us. As Mr. Osborn reported they still were not ready at the time we went out to bid. When their quantities did come in they were more than had earlier been anticipated by them so it made a considerable change. The advantage we have at this point is that we do have all of those plans and the quantity from Waterworks so weíll be bidding with all of those quantities known.

Ordinance 26-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Galster made a motion to read the ordinance with the emergency clause. Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.

Ordinance 27-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.

Ms. Pollitt asked Mr. Shuler, could you explain Item 4, the final tracings submitted to ODOT?

Mr. Shuler said one of the disadvantages of being awarded the federal dollars for this or any other project is that we are now obligated to follow the Ohio Department of Transportation review and plan development process. At the completion we will turn the plans over to them for bidding, contracting and construction. They have a specific set of stages that they follow. We talked to them and said it is not a difficult project. Canít we shortcut this process and do it all in one stage. They said no; it doesnít fit their guidelines. We have a four -tep process of plan development and review points. When we get to Item 4 it means they have reviewed the project and we have made all the changes and have everything they want. They use the final tracings for the bidding and contract process.

Mr. Osborn said sometimes the scope of the project may be so small that the federal dollars you are getting may not be worth the loss of control. We are not bidding this project; the state will bid this project. We have this as a 2002 project. We will be getting $86,000 out of a project that we estimate will cost $107,000; but as a result we are adding probably 25% to the cost of our engineering services. Weíre still coming out ahead. Itís just that it creates a higher level of frustration and we lose some control over the project. We certainly need to take that into consideration in the future when we look at funding application. It may be that the value of the funding is exceeded by the complications and frustrations added by oversight from higher levels of government.

Mr. Shuler said just to continue that same thought, using this funding and going through the ODOT process is probably adding 20-25% to the construction cost and 50% to the engineering cost.

Ordinance 28-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Danbury seconded.

Mr. Osborn reported we have just completed our second year with NetSetGo as our administrator for the network and they have performed very well. Up until two weeks ago we had not had any unscheduled down time on our system. Unfortunately we did run into a little hiccup two weeks ago where one of our drives went down on one of the servers and we lost about half a dayís e-mail. The back up systems worked as they were supposed to. Their response time has been very good. Their maintenance has been good and we are very satisfied with them. We think the increase in the contract is reasonable. We think it is growing as a result of putting additional units on the network. We have added eight more stations since last year and the overall labor increase in this contract is 10%. They point out that they need to do that in order to retain qualified personnel in their organization. I can attest to the fact that we have been very pleased with the people who have been representing them for us. We recommend renewing the contract.

Ordinance 29-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.

Resolution R5-2001 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Danbury said Iíd just like to make Council aware of a negative issue. In attendance tonight are Mr. and Mrs. Sharkey. They live on Naylor Court and we have had some problems with the Creative Kids World Childcare Facility located on Springfield Pike. I followed up with Mr. Sharkey to see if they have had any problems with the situation. We have had instances of children being out there past the hours that the facility agreed to. The noise factor was the biggest issue. This definitely impacts the quality of life on the people who live immediately in that area as well as Maple Knoll. From my understanding of the minutes and from talking to everybody, the applicants were before Planning Commission and they assured Planning Commission that the different issues that they originally agreed to would be rectified. I was informed that it was not. I did, on behalf of the facility, stop by there Sunday to see if anybody was out there and there was nobody out at 4:30 Sunday afternoon. I donít know if Mr. Sharkey is going to be addressing Council but I did want to let everyone know that the people running the facility may have all intention of taking care of the issues that they said they would, but they have not done it yet and it still seems to be a problem for the residents.

Mayor Webster said Mr. Danbury called me ten days ago. I met with Mr. Osborn and Mr. McErlane and we have put together an action plan. Iíd like Mr. Osborn to review the letter we sent to the owner of the property. We established some time frames for them to comply with Planning Commissionís mandate. If they donít do that then weíll take further action. There are some additional items that Mr. Osborn and Mr. McErlane implemented that hopefully will insure compliance. Itís one of those things that I hate to admit, but we need to rely on the residents to let us know that. If they are not complying with the requirements, donít worry about making a pest of yourself. Call me, call Cecil, call your Council person. On this one we did not have a follow up plan in place, and after Mr. Danbury called me and alerted me to what was going on we certainly do have a follow up plan in place.

Mr. Osborn said I donít have the letter with me but I will be happy to make copies available to Council. Itís from Mr. McErlane, the Building Official, to the owners of the property and he has outlined again what their responsibilities were as defined at the Planning Commission. He has given them until the end of April to complete the landscaping that they are committed to do under threat of having their conditional use permit revoked. In addition, since last Friday we have had an inspector go out and visit the site every day at noon and after 4:30 p.m. These are periods when there are not supposed to be children at play outside and we have found none. At the beginning of this process the inspector did stop in and tell them that we did have complaints and we were going to be monitoring them at odd times. For this past week we have been doing this every day and we will probably be doing that for at least another week and then on a periodic basis to determine if we can find any violations. If there happens to be something taking place and a resident could bring it to our attention, if we donít have an inspector over there at that particular time, we can send somebody over fairly quickly. We are trying to stay on top of this. We recognize that it is a frustration for the residents and we take it very seriously.

Ms. Pollitt asked how did the CSX crossing work go last week?

Mr. Osborn replied it is still in place. They had told us three days and we expanded it to a week. They were not able to get the work done in time. Today was the most recent day for them to complete their work. We are going to allow the asphalt to cure overnight and open up tomorrow. The Police Department and Public Works Department did a great job on short notice in setting up this detour.

Mr. Vanover said I wanted to pass the word on while Mr. Butsch is in attendance that they did do a great job.


Mr. Schneider said I just want to advise Council that Tim Garry will be covering the next meeting on April 18.

Mr. Osborn said we received a notice from the Hamilton County Engineerís Office that they are flying aerial photography for the CAGIS system (Cincinnati Aerial Geographic Information System). Thatís the database system that the private sector and public sector use for mapping and other design purposes. They started on March 28. It will probably take about two weeks. There are about ninety points around the County where they have put big white Xs on the ground as station points from which they will scale their drawings. Some of the materials are plastic and can be removed very quickly after itís over, and some are painted on. Nevertheless, they indicated that it will take about two weeks. Items that can be easily removed will be taken up and the painted Xs should wear off in short order. So if you see some Xs around the community thatís what it is all about.

Mr. Osborn reported I was approached by a representative of the Metro requesting to do a presentation to you in the near future. I had that on my list because I received an executive summary of the Metro Moves report. I was very impressed with it and had intended to call Carl Palmer to see if we could get extra copies of the executive summary for you all and also get on a list for a presentation but they beat me to it. With Mrs. McNearís consent we will have them in at the next Council meeting.


Planning Commission - April 10

Comprehensive Plan Committee - April 24, 5 p.m.

Board of Zoning Appeals - April 17

Board of Health - April 12


Mike Sharkey, 355 Naylor Court, said I made copies. This is what we are trying to deal with with Creative Worldís Day Care Center. They had approval for a zoning variance December 12, 2000. The owner said they would have 92 children there and that has increased to 110 children. They were going to comply with the buffers we had talked about. Apparently they are going to do that now.

Mr. Osborn stated we indicated that they have to do it by April 30 or theyíll be brought back before Planning Commission for consideration of revoking their conditional use permit. In response to Mr. Sharkey, Mr. Osborn said I can provide you with a copy of that letter.

Mr. Sharkey said Mr. Darby was concerned about the smaller children playing outside the fenced playground area. He said it was a disaster waiting to happen because of the ground water retention pond. He told the owner not to let the children play outside. His remark has been ignored. Since December the small toddlers are outside on the playground when the weather permits. Did you say you checked this week and they werenít outside after 4:30 p.m?

Mr. Osborn replied thatís correct. Weíve had somebody down there every day.

Mr. Sharkey said they were in early today but theyíve been out almost every day this week.

Mr. Osborn stated I asked again today anticipating this meeting and I was advised that our inspector has been down there every week day since Friday and found no one playing outside.

Mr. Sharkey said I called Mr. Webster two weeks ago today. It was 5:30 or 5:45 p.m. when I called and they were outside playing. Itís sporadic but I was under the understanding that they were supposed to be brought in at 4:30 p.m. Sheís not abiding by that. You can see by the picture that a tree fell while we were on vacation in February. When we came back we saw the pink ribbons around the trees which were the trees they were going to cut down. The first weekend was a bad weekend and they didnít do anything. It took them ten days to get the tree down. In the meantime the children were still outside playing in the playground and outside the playground with the danger of these trees ready to fall on them. You see what damage it did to the fence. You can image what it would do to a child. They just totally ignore this. Iím trying to tell you that this is a dangerous situation. Iím not going to tell anybody anymore. These people have no regard for anyone; the childrenís safety, the neighborís peace and quiet. They have no regard for anything. The picture of that fence is proof. Iíve got videotapes I can bring in. You can see the children out there playing when the trees were still down, the branch was down. Iím sorry. Itís just gotten totally out of hand. They donít want to do anything. The fence has been down for almost two months now. They donít want to comply with anything. They are totally lacking in any compassion, understanding. Maybe she needs a good clock. Maybe she doesnít know when 4:30 is. I donít want this on my head. Itís up to you folks to make it happen. Iím not going to come back again and tell you whatís going on. I donít want anybody hurt. I donít want it in my backyard.

Mr. Danbury said thank you, Mr. Sharkey, for coming in. I would highly recommend that you give me or any of the Council people a call, the Mayor or the PD if thereís an unsafe issue out there. Weíre not there all the time. I can testify at least as of Sunday, the pictures you see there are the same. The fence is still that way. It could have been the safest environment and a tree could have fallen so I donít want to imply that they let this big tree fall thatís about to rot. It could happen anywhere. On behalf of the applicants, because they did indicate in the initial presentation to Council and the meeting in November at Planning, that they did intend it, I would assume that they do intend to take care of this.

Mr. Sharkey said the trees have been taken care of. My wife called Ron Smith the following day and he went over and told them it was a dangerous condition there. They still continued to let the kids play outside with the dead trees still laying there.

Mr. Danbury said I believe that the action that the Mayor and Mr. Osborn have taken will take care of the matter.

Mr. Sharkey said I donít want it on my head.

Mr. Danbury said I am talking about the noise.

Mr. Sharkey said the noise has now become a secondary issue. Now itís a safety issue. They donít care about these children at all. Someone doesnít care about them.

Mr. Danbury said I believe the City has taken a very good, proactive stance on the noise issue.

Mr. Wilson asked who is responsible for the repair of the fence? Is it the landlord of the tenant?

Mr. Osborn replied I couldnít tell you. The landscaping is the responsibility of the landlord. I would assume that the tenant would also be looking to the landlord to repair the fence but I donít know that. That might be a lease-holding improvement that they made as opposed to the landscaping surrounding the property.

Mr. Wilson said we would have to contact both of them.

Mr. Osborn stated I believe we would start with the tenant.

Mr. Danbury made a motion for Council to go into executive session to discuss possible real estate and personnel matters. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

Council went into executive session at 8:20 p.m. and reconvened at 8:50 p.m.




Fitness manager position - April 18

Walnut and Pear Street improvements - May 2

Ordinance 23-2001 Ė second reading - April 18

Council adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,




Edward F. Knox

Clerk of Council/Finance Director

Minutes Approved:

Kathy McNear, President of Council



__________________________, 2001