President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on April 17, 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, Galster, Pollitt, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and McNear.
The minutes of April 3, 2002 were approved with seven 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 – Mr. Wilson said the contract has been awarded to Adleta Construction and a pre-construction meeting was held on April 16 concerning the 2002 street program. Construction will start late April and be completed in late July. The Crescentville Road resurfacing between SR 747 and Chesterdale will be deferred to the 2003 street program due to Cinergy’s construction of a new gas main in that area in 2002.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury said there is no change in the CSX grade separation. ODOT has approved the environmental document for the Springfield Pike streetscape program. Construction is scheduled to begin this summer and be completed later this year. Construction will begin this summer on the Kemper Road Phase II old Commons Drive to Chesterdale Road. ODOT has approved the environmental document for the Sharon Road bike path project. Construction should be done in the summertime. The Heritage Hill School traffic signal is waiting for Cinergy to do a service drop to the new signal. The driveway widening and guard rail work are scheduled to be complete in the next two weeks. The SR 4/Sharonville Road intersection improvements should start in August of this year and be completed by the end of the year.
Finance Committee – Mr. Wilson reported that they met this evening. The final decision and recommendation for banking services for the City will be made by next week and we will be bringing that to Council the first meeting in May.
Planning Commission – Mr. Galster stated the building elevation change for Globe Furniture was tabled until next month. A landscaping and tree removal plan for the Springdale Church of the Nazarene was discussed and a revised plan was approved 7-0. The Vineyard Church Research Chapel addition was approved 7-0. Planning Commission forwarded to Council a recommendation for a change to the Zoning Code pertaining to the keeping of pets and animals with a 6-0 vote. I wasn’t there. The recommendation is to change the number of pets allowed from two to three. There was also a recommended change to the Zoning Code that was approved 6-0. This pertains to permitted uses, principally permitted uses and conditional uses in different zoning districts.
Board of Zoning Appeals – Mr. Squires said Bill Wade wants to build a residence at 11485 Walnut Street. He actually wanted two variances, one for a 5 foot setback and one for 19 feet. After much discussion he agreed to move his house one foot north and then only needed one variance. That was granted 7-0. Mrs. Rosemary Chandler, 11657 Van Cleve Avenue requested a variance for a 10 foot by 18 foot shed and another to have the shed 3.5 feet from the property line. She was granted a variance for a 180 square foot shed but she had to put it a minimum of 33 feet from the south line of her property.
Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt stated the board passed Regulation R1-2002 giving the health commissioner authority to close a swimming pool in an emergency situation. The State of Ohio will be receiving $30.2 million for bioterrorism. The Health Commissioner said Springdale should receive about $20,000 to be used for educational purposes. They can also lay out incident command systems and roles for disaster responses. Ms. Pollitt said we had a draft copy of a Mutual Aid Agreement to be adopted among local municipalities that would be for sharing of resources and services during an emergency.
O-K-I – Mr. Knox said the two things that might affect Springdale are the fact that O-K-I is planning to widen the representation to include townships and the business community; and they want to become the facilitating authority in the local area.
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster read a proclamation proclaiming April 26, 2002 Arbor Day in the City of Springdale. Mayor Webster invited everyone to attend the Arbor Day and Tree City USA celebration at the Community Center.
Mayor Webster introduced Jim Burton. Mr. Burton said it’s my pleasure to announce a new employee. Mr. Thompson is retiring June 20. We had over 80 applicants for that position. I want to thank Mr. Parham for his support and participation in the interview process. It is my pleasure to introduce Jacqueline Rauh. She comes to us from the University of Dayton, not only as a student, but as an employee at the University of Dayton arena; also from the Montgomery County Parks System and most recently, the City of Lebanon.
Ms. Rauh said I’m very excited to be on board. I’ve heard great things about the department and the City and I look forward to digging in and doing great things for you folks.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn said we had the bid opening for gas and diesel fuel purchases on April 9. Our purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel is tied to the Oil Pricing Index Service (OPIS) as it is published in the New York Times on a weekly basis. At the beginning of our contract that is now expiring the OPIS price for gasoline was $1.0196 per gallon. In the most recent OPIS index gasoline costs were $0.9289 per gallon. The variation in charge is on the delivery of that gasoline. We have actually seen a slight decline in the cost for delivery for gasoline from 2.23 cents per gallon to 1.94 cents per gallon. At the same time we have seen a modest increase in the delivery cost for diesel fuel going from 6.88 cents per gallon to 8.7 cents per gallon. We would request that Council consider an ordinance at your next meeting authorizing a contract with our low bidder, BP, Oil. I might add that BP is our current contract and they were the only competing bid in this bid opening, but we feel, given the rates we have received and that we are tied to OPIS for the bulk of our cost, that this is a good proposal.
Mr. Osborn said we plan to make a presentation to you at the next Council meeting regarding the leaf collection program that we have been studying for the last two years. Two years ago we did a pilot project on half the city and last year we did the whole city. We’re prepared to make a report to Council on the costs of operating that program in 2001.
Mr. Osborn reported Glendale has adopted a resolution pledging their cooperation with the City of Springdale on the intersection improvement for SR 4 and Sharon Road. We are now in the process of acquiring the necessary right-of-way and that will go to construction this summer.
Mr. Osborn continued we received our invoice from the Partnership for a Great Cincinnati for our annual contribution of $10,000. In 1999 we pledged $50,000 over a five-year period and this will be our fourth installment of that pledge. This program has been on-going for quite a number of years. This program is managed by the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and its purpose is to promote the Greater Cincinnati region nationally and internationally, and obviously, Springdale is not an economy unto itself. We depend on the strength of the region, viability of the region, new businesses coming into the region. We feel it’s in our community’s best interest to support the Chamber in this outreach effort.
Mr. Osborn said Dave Butsch, who is Superintendent of Public Works and one of our arborists, will be going to a meeting near Columbus Friday to accept the City’s tenth award as a Tree USA City.
Mr. Osborn reported the City’s bike safety program, sponsored by the Recreation Department and Police Department has its kickoff Saturday, May 4 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is the first of several programs for bicycle safety. There will be free hot dogs and soft drinks for the participants. Everyone who registers their bicycle will get a free helmet and bike lock. The program includes a safety inspection and simple repairs to bikes. Other events will be at Heritage Hill School and Underwood Park on May 11; Beacon Hill Park and Cameron Park on May 18; June 8 at Mallard Lakes and Colony Apartments; and June 15 at the Knolls Condo Center and Glenview Golf Course. We encourage everyone who has a bicycle to get involved in this project because it’s important to recognize the risk that our children have riding bicycles on public streets. Head injury is a very serious problem with young people.
Mr. Danbury asked do we have a program where children can donate helmets they have outgrown to needy children?
Mr. Osborn replied we don’t have such a program. We buy new helmets each year for distribution through this program. Some of the money we use comes in through donations from places such as Wal-Mart, Avon or other places. There is no reason why any child in Springdale cannot receive a new helmet.
Mr. Parham said as part of the City being a member of the Miami Valley Risk Management Association, any time that the group has a desire to make changes in the bylaws there must be a two-thirds majority of the Board of Trustees to approve it. Once that approval has been met, two-thirds of the legislative bodies of the seventeen communities must approve it as well. The association began in 1988 with six communities. At that time the association had a new member fee that would be assessed against new communities that were going to join the association. It was primarily to handle administrative costs associated with putting together bids. The new member fee is ten percent of your premium. We really don’t believe that’s a fair assessment against a new member and when we are trying to recruit new members it serves as a hindrance. The board has approved doing away with the new member fee. We don’t like to keep coming back to the legislative bodies to request changes so they did a total revamp of the document. The document was put together in 1988 and some of the language no longer applies. We’d like to have legislation at the next meeting to approve the new bylaw amendments. I can provide you with a copy of the document and identify those elements that are changes.
Law Director’s Report - no report
Engineer’s Report – Mr. Shuler said I have a couple of comments on the Municipal Road Fund. There were only fourteen projects approved this year by the County Commissioners. Springdale got two of those. One was the joint project with Glendale. We believe the primary reason we received the funding for that project is that we convinced them that we could start and complete that project this year. Secondly, there was about $2.8 million in the program. The two requests we were approved for were for $465,000. Springdale did very well in the project approval program this year.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
BEAVER RUN RIPARIAN CORRIDOR RESTORATION PROJECT
Mr. Osborn said I’d like to introduce Bruce Koehler with OKI. OKI has graciously offered to partner with us on this project and Bruce is the person on OKI who is fulfilling that role. His expertise in environmental matters is first-rate. He has done a great majority of the leg work in order to put together the grant application. We thought it would be great if Bruce could come to Council tonight and give you an overview on what the project is doing.
Mr. Koehler said tonight’s request is an outgrowth of a February 9 stream walk. Eleven people including Council people McNear and Vanover; Public Works Superintendent Dave Butsch; Nancy Elwood, Executive Director of the Mill Creek Watershed Council; UC Professor Mike Miller; and Restoration Ecologist Craig Stroud. Though she wasn’t on the walk I want to mention Beth Stiles. She’s been very helpful. We seek authorization tonight to pursue nearly $209,000 in state funding. We seek authorization through a resolution of support and authorization that gives Cecil the authority to sign contracts and other important documents if we get the grant. The source of funding would be the Clean Ohio Conservation Fund. The Clean Ohio Fund has three segments; trail, brown fields and green fields. Green fields break down into two areas; open space acquisition and riparian corridor restoration, which is what Springdale’s application goes after. The project site would be the section of Beaver Run close to where it has a confluence from a tributary that drains the Tri-County Mall, Dave & Buster’s, Target area. That all happens at Chamberlain Park. On the opposite site are some homes that are in danger of losing back yards to erosion. The major components of the project proposal include stream bank stabilization, widening the stream, storm water management, garbage clean up, honeysuckle removal. Once we remove the honeysuckle we would plant native sedges, shrubs and trees. A lot of this project would use bioengineering, which is a combination of natural and structural solutions. With each grant there is some local match expected. Springdale is offering to kick in $60,000 from the Urban Forestry Fund. Craig Stroud and I were able to think up another $51,100 worth of services in kind, which would be more stream walks, educational events, volunteers removing shopping carts, cutting honeysuckle, etc. I’ve already talked to a member of the Natural Resources Assistance Council. She was giving me some friendly advice. She has already checked out the project site and had trouble finding everything we were talking about because some of that tributary is out of view, plus the severity of the problem might work against us because the Clean Ohio Fund is more intended for natural areas that you enhance. The first thing that needs to be done is to stop the erosion and Holly advised me that if they spent that bond money on erosion prevention projects it would quickly dry up. I’m seeing the grant application as a work in progress and maybe we could put emphasis on certain elements or even change it a bit to respond to Holly’s advice about her first impression of the grant application. She also advised us if it’s not be funded by the Clean Ohio Fund, it’s appropriate to seek funding from the Capital Improvement Program of the Public Works Commission so we just have to keep trying until we find a way to improve Beaver Run. It hasn’t even been recognized by the State. They haven’t even bothered to assess it like they have many other Mill Creek tributaries. I hope you pass the resolution and we’ll take a shot at the Clean Ohio Fund.
Mr. Danbury said you said there are different phases people can be involved in volunteering to clean up debris. Would this be considered private property if people went in there? Would we have to get easements or would it make us liable for any injuries that might happen?
Mr. Osborn replied the area Bruce is referring to is principally on City property. Some of the erosion is threatening private property on the north side of the creek. A lot of the clean up would be within the city park. I know that the Watershed Council has volunteer programs on a regular basis.
Mr. Koehler said we would concentrate on the City property. We have had enough experience with clean ups to know how to keep people safe. I can’t make a blanket guarantee but I’ve gotten some good ideas over the years.
Mr. Knox said I kid about OKI since I’m the representative but I should say the people who handle the water issues at OKI do a superb job.
Mr. Osborn said Mr. Koehler has given us the opportunity if we ever want to put together an excursion to canoe part of the Mill Creek. You don’t have to do the whole thing. Bruce organizes a lot of public involvement activities just to raise people’s conscientiousness about environmental issues right here in our own hometown.
Mr. Vanover said I got a mailer that Butler County was having Stream Education Day. I think that would go a long way in furthering our cause. It really is amazing that when you get down in the creek, you can forget where you are. In the twenty-one years we have lived there we have seen vast improvement.
Mrs. McNear said I did go on the creek walk. It was great fun and I look forward to doing it again. I would be anxious to help with the cleanup.
ORDINANCE NO. 20-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN ADMINISTRATIVE AGREEMENT WITH UNITED MEDICAL RESOURCES (UMR) AS THE THIRD PARTY ADMINISTRATOR OF THE CITY’S SELF-FUNDED HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Parham said I forwarded to your attention a memorandum dated April 12 in which I outlined not only the administrative costs associated with our health insurance program for Ordinance 20, but also Ordinance 21 which addresses our stop-loss coverage. There are a couple of items I‘d like to point out. In Ordinance 20 there is a slight increase that United Medical Resources is recommending for the administrative costs for TPA services. It amounts to roughly $1.30 per month per employee for the number of claims. We seem to generate a higher volume of claims than a lot of their other clientele so I thought the amount they requested was very reasonable. At the same time there is an increase of $.50 for the HealthSpan Network. A number of years ago we engaged HealthSpan to gain access to their network. It allows us to experience very large rebates or discounts for our health insurance services. If our employees visit a physician or provider that is in the HealthSpan Network then the discounts we receive are really tremendous. When we started the process HealthSpan only had Mercy Hospital and Good Sam. Now at this point practically every hospital in the greater Cincinnati area is now a member of HealthSpan so it gives our employees a lot more opportunity to find themselves in the network. The $.50 increase is very minimal compared to some of the discounts I have seen that we have received on some of these services. In addition, I’ve talked in the past about the federal regulations of the HIPPA Program, in which we are required by law to forward to an employee who leaves our plan to show that they have had coverage when they move on to a new employer, thereby eliminating some of the pre-existing condition requirements by most plans. In the past UMR charged us $2 for each certificate that has gone out. Sometimes a college age dependent of an employee may not get their information back to us in time, and they are dropped off the system. We try to make sure that UMR doesn’t send a certificate out and then charge us $2 for that, then we add them back on the plan a couple of days later. They are proposing to charge a flat fee of $.30 per employee per month. I think that will be a much cleaner, easier process for us. The administrative services are the least of our concerns. The stop loss rates reflect somewhere in the neighborhood of 34% to 35% increases. There are a number of factors that contribute to that; the longevity and maturing of our employee base, the hardening of the insurance market, the effect of September 11, and then we had a really bad year. At the last meeting I reported that we had three individuals who had exceeded $40,000. Since then we’ve had a fourth. We have another seven who have exceeded at least $10,000. I am recommending that we do not increase our specific threshold to $35,000. If we continue to bump the number we’re going to find ourselves in the position of insuring our program 100%. I recommend that we remain at the $30,000 limit. Once we move to the $35,000 we won’t receive quotations on $30,000 again. The next year it would be $35,000 and $40,000. The legislation before you tonight reflects the $30,000 rates and increases I outlined earlier.
Ordinance 20-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 21-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH HCC BENEFITS, CORPORATION TO PROVIDE FOR STOP-LOSS INSURANCE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Ordinance 21-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R13-2002 "A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE TO FILE AN APPLICATION AND ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR THE PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING FUNDS THROUGH THE DIVISION OF FORESTRY’S URBAN FORESTRY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IN ORDER TO MAKE LANDSCAPE IMPROVEMENTS RELATED TO THE SPRINGFIELD PIKE STREETSCAPE PROJECT"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this relates specifically to the streetscape project on Springfield Pike. We anticipate planting sixty-two 2 ½ inch caliper street trees. The varieties will be autumn purple ash and Cleveland select pear. The cost for this work is $24, 800. We are applying for 50% funding under this program.
Resolution R13-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R14-2002 "A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE TO FILE AN APPLICATION AND ENTER INTO A PROJECT AGREEMENT WITH THE OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION TO STABILIZE AND ENHANCE BEAVER RUN, A DEGRADED RIPARIAN CORRIDOR"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Resolution R13-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
OLD BUSINESS - none
Mayor Webster said last year we canceled the first meeting in July and the first meeting in August. It worked out well from our standpoint but we need to know ahead time if we’re doing it again.
Council agreed to the summer schedule.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Opening Day - April 20
Mr. Galster said Planning did forward two recommendations to Council for zoning code changes. There needs to be a public hearing.
A public hearing was scheduled for June 5, 2002.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Contract with BP Oil for vehicle fuel - May 1
Contract with TEC - May
TIF for Pictoria Island - open
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Contribution for Partnership for Gr. Cincinnati - May 1
Approve bylaws for MVRMA
Council adjourned at 8:40 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council