President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on September 4, 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 August 21, 2002 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mr. Wilson abstained.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Lisa Powell said Council members, I would like to introduce Helen Meiser, 11117 Springfield Pike, directly in the middle of the Senior Citizens Housing Development you are planning with the City of Cincinnati. Fifty plus years ago a young woman, recently widowed and with a baby, was having a hard time finding a place to live. Soldiers were returning from war and there was a housing shortage, so this young widow, my grandmother, and her best friend, Helen, purchased a lot in Springdale and had a house built. Over the next fifty years they enlarged the house. They added a 1300 square foot outbuilding. They added sheds, all to help encompass the multitude of collectible acquired over fifty years. Helen and Shirley worked full-time. They did not have outside aid. Helen helped my grandma raise her child and her grandchildren. Seven years ago my grandma passed on. This was a traumatic experience for Helen, actually similar to the death of a long-time marriage. Now, the City of Springdale tells Helen she must move. Helen is 87 years old. Can you take half a minute and picture how traumatic an experience this would be to you if you were eighty-seven, if you had lived almost all of your entire life at 11117 Springfield Pike, if you had built a three-bedroom house, a 1300 square foot outbuilding, if you had added a shed, if you had collected over all these years, many, many things that you loved, if you had planted trees that are now huge, if you had planted flowers that still come up regularly fifty years later. You are not asked to abandon all. But think, you are still able and more than willing to take care of yourself. You drive, you shop, you take care of a dog and a canary, you have never been delinquent in paying bills. You have never been in trouble with the law. You have been a model citizen pursuing your own right to life, liberty and happiness. Now, all this is about to be shattered, twice in seven years. The Springdale attorneys senT numerous letters touting all the negotiations they have been doing with Helen, but Helen has not received one viable offer that would allow her to have all that she has now. Helen is asking Springdale to allow her to keep all of her things, to recompense her for enough room to do so, for her lawyer bills, moving expenses, closing costs to allow her to have the necessary space to live her space with all that she has now. Helen is asking you, the Springdale Council members to feel how terrifying all of this is for her, this amount of change at 87. We have observed how Springdale has dealt with Helenís neighbors, none of whom have been fifty-year property owner residents, now asked to leave their homes. If she is forced to move, Helen would like a small, three-bedroom house with the size outbuildings comparable to what she has now with a fenced yard for her dog. Helen is asking Springdale for a fair $300,000 to cover this stressful moving experience at this point in her life.
Planning Commission Report Ė Mr. Galster said Planning Commission was originally scheduled for August 13 and was continued until August 22. Under old business we had the approval of a preliminary plan and PUD map amendment of a proposed CVS Pharmacy, 11601 Springfield Pike. They were approved with a 7-0 vote. You will find them on the agenda as Ordinances 59 and 60. The redevelopment of UDF was also approved 7-0. We had approval of a roof sign at Bahama Breeze on the side you will see when you are coming down the exit ramp at I-275 traveling west. The Springdale Church of the Nazarene requested a non-residential driveway in a residential district and also a sign in the same area. That was tabled at the applicantís request.
Swearing in of Police Officers
Mr. Osborn said we have had to replace on or two officers and we are just now filling two slots that were approved last year. Because of turnover we were not able to get to full complement. Chief Laage is with us and he is prepared to introduce the new officers and Mayor Webster will swear them in.
Mayor Webster said the Chief informs me that this brings us up to 37 sworn police officers. This is a high water mark for the City of Springdale. Iím sure the three we swear in this evening will make us just as proud as the 34 we have.
Mayor Webster swore in Amy Reiman, Michael McGee and Andrea Jones.
Chief Laage said Amy Reiman started with us last August as a police clerk. Sheís the first police clerk who has become a police officer. From the beginning we knew there was an increased interest in the law enforcement profession. Amy grew up in Springdale in a very solid family. She has purchased her parentsí home and is living in it right now. I think it is very satisfying that we are able to offer a position to a resident. Amy knows a lot of people in town. She has been a very solid citizen. She attended Springdale Elementary and went on the Mt. Notre Dame High School. She has attended a number of college courses. I might add that some of these are Spanish courses. She saw a need and felt there should be greater communication between her and the Spanish community. Last year when we talked with Amy about the position for police clerk we could tell there was a great amount of interest. I remember a couple of times giving her a law book and telling her to take it home and read it. I think we have a very good clerical staff and the interest and support from the officers is terrific, but I think itís important when we get an officer from the clerical staff, they know the difficulties and problems that the clerical staff experience.
Michael McGee is a resident of Mason. He is just a couple of quarters short of completing his bachelorís degree from Xavier. We interviewed Mike in the spring. He was anxious to get on the job and he accepted another position during the interview process. Mike is currently at the D. Russell Lee Academy. He has about three weeks to go there. He is a very fine officer. Mike worked for Dillards for a number of years in their store security while going through college. We deal so many times with the retail community. Thatís where most of our details are and when our officers respond, if they have that extra experience of security, it helps to understand their issues when you are trying to deal with that arrestee. Mike comes with a lot of good recommendations and will do any excellent job with the Police Department.
Andrea Jones comes from Kentucky and was a full-time dispatcher for Northern Kentucky University. She received her associateís and bachelorís degree from Northern Kentucky University. I think we were all impressed with the number of favorable comments we received about Andrea when we were going through the hiring process and also the background investigation, very good employee, very hardworking, very dedicated. We have an extremely high work load here. These men and women have a lot of details every day. We are very fortunate to have Andrea with the Police Department. Andrea and Amy are both going to Great Oaks Police Academy. They will end somewhere around Thanksgiving. I have been in touch with the academy commanders and canít say enough about their performances so far. I worry am I picking the correct person and I know Derrick does too. This is very hard because these people are going to be with us for the next 25 to 30 years. These are the people who will be protecting us. I tell them when they go to the academy that I donít expect a 70 passing. Iím a firm believer that this City is a cut above the rest. Itís no different for our candidates. We are getting the cream of the crop and they have to perform that way. Our last recruit, Tim Simenton was valedictorian of his class. We knew he had the ability and heís performing exceptionally well with the Police Department now. Derrick and I may differ at times about whom we pick, but we both agree the one quality we want in a candidate is that he/sheís a good person. We can teach someone how to become a good police officer. However, we have to start off with that person who is basically a good person. There are a lot of traits a person have that are there through their upbringing. We are looking for ethical, moral people, hard workers who are dedicated. We definitely agree on that and when we come to that decision we know we have a good person. Now itís up to the Police Department to train them to be an excellent police officer. We donít have a lot of personnel issues and I think we owe that to our City government and community itself.
Mayor Webster said the way the Police Chief describes the department and goals, and the commitment that he has, I think you see that filter through the entire Police Department. From top to bottom we have a great police department and a lot of thanks goes to you and Butsch. You have done a wonderful job bringing the staff together. I would like to express our gratitude not only to the Chief, but also Derrick Parham. Derrick is not only involved in interviewing police officers, but every other City position. I think if he went back at the end of the year 75% of his time is spent in the interview room.
Mr. Osborn said Iíd like to address Amy, Andrea and Mike. We are very fortunate to have you three join the department, but I would also like you all to think about how fortunate you are to be part of such a good organization. I do like these occasions when we can get so many police officers in at one time because we rarely have the opportunity to tell you straight out that we appreciate what you do. I speak for many people in this community and itís just a real source of pride to have you all serving us. Amy is from Springdale and we just hired a young man, Heath Waxman as a firefighter. In less than thirty days two young people many of us have watched grow up have joined the public safety departments in Springdale. They elected to stay home and serve their community.
Ms. Pollitt said Iíd like to welcome Officers McGee and Jones to our community. My comments tonight are for Amy Reiman. Iíve known Amy since she was three years old and itís wonderful that you followed your dream and are going to be able to do what you want to do.
ORDINANCE NO. 59-2002 "AMENDING THE ZONING CODE AND ZONING MAP OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO PROVIDE FOR THE REZONING OF APPROXIMATELY 1.70 ACRES ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF SPRINGFIELD PIKE AND WEST KEMPER ROAD (CVS PROJECT)"
Mr. Knox said we have advertised for a public hearing to be held at the October 2 Council meeting.
ORDINANCE NO. 60-2002 "APPROVING THE PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF APPROXIMATELY 1.70 ACRES LOCATED ON THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF SPRINGFIELD PIKE AND WEST KEMPER ROAD (CVS PROJECT)"
ORDINANCE NO. 61-2002 "AN ORDINANCE PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE AND SALE OF $5,900,000 COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION BONDS TO PAY COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH THE COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION FOR MUNICIPAL PURPOSES, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Galster made a motion to read by title only. Mr. Danbury seconded. The motion passed with six affirmative votes. Mrs. McNear voted no.
Mr. Knox said this ordinance is to issues bonds in the amount of $5.9 million. $5.8 million of that money will be used to pay the note that we have rolled every year. The decision of the Administration is that interest rates canít get much lower and now is the best time to go into a bond. It will also give us a set amount to budget for each year. The excess $100,000 will be to pay for the costs. There are several costs that have to do with the bonds, the underwriter fee, legal fee from Taft, Stettinius and Hollister, and some other fees associated with the issuance of bonds. We should not exceed $5.9 million but we will come pretty close to it. The bonds will be issued with a date of September 20, 2002, which is the date we must pay off the previous notes. You will see in the ordinance that it says September 15. That is simply the date that is used for the five-day difference. The buyers will actually pay us the interest.
Mayor Webster said our Community Center expansion costs us right at $8.5 million. At the time we didnít have the money so the plan we agreed to was that we would retire $600,000 a year until we had that paid off. For the last two or three years we have retired $600,000 in principal plus the interest of $120,000. We have been paying $700,000 to $750,000 a year. Every year we do this we are incurring $10,000 in expenses. So in a fifteen year process we are going to save money on the overall expense of it. Our high payment is this year and it goes down every year. We are projecting 4.4% interest. I think thatís high and that we could get it under 4%.
Mr. Knox said we will do this will level principal payments. We will pay the same amount of principal every year and every year the interest will decrease. Also, since itís in excess of ten years, it will be a callable note at ten years.
Mayor Webster said the City did receive a Double A rating. A lot of people, Mr. Knox and his staff, Cecil, did a lot of hard work putting the documentation together to justify that. That speaks highly for a city our size to get that kind of rating. That should help drive down the interest rate also.
Mr. Knox said Mr. Williams did the yeomanís work on this and heís still doing work on it. We did decide to use Seasongood and Mayers as underwriters and I must comment very favorably on their good offices.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Ordinance 61-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 62-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY LAW DIRECTOR TO FILE PETITIONS FOR APPROPRIATION OF PROPERTIES NECESSARY FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE URBAN RENEWAL PLAN (MEISER PROPERTY)"
Mr. Osborn said I have two items. In your material this evening you will find correspondence from me covering a rather large memorandum from the Regional Planning Commission Regional Partnership. The document I transmitted to you summarizes the recommendations of the COMPASS Steering Team that worked with the material generated through the public involvement process that many of us attended in January 2002. The intent of the Steering Committee was to try to flesh out strategies and objectives of meeting the goals of the Planning Partnership. This material will be presented for discussion at the Planning Partnership meeting on September 25. The Cityís voting representatives are Mr. Huddleston and me. Anyone who has any comments about this material that would like us to consolidate and submit to the Planning Partnership on behalf of Springdale may approach either of us. Council might want to consider this as a discussion item on your next Council meeting. I think there are many things in here that we would agree with. I also think there are a number of things we would not agree with. I think it would be well for all of us to at least have read this so that if it comes back in another form in terms of having been adopted, we at least know we had a shot at having input on it.
Mr. Osborn stated my second item has to do with the notice to property owners on Springfield Pike in the business area between Kemper and Northland. Itís providing information to the merchants as to the timing and nature of the streetscape project that actually started this week with site set up for the staging area for construction.
Mr. Knox said the Land Commission meeting will be held September 19. This will be an open meeting for all individuals in Hamilton County. Itís important that not only officials of cities and people who belong to certain groups to attend, but a diverse amount of citizens, occupation, gender, race, etc. should be there to give their input as to what they think the future of Hamilton County and surrounding seven counties should be. If anybody has the opportunity and time come on down to Textile on Thursday evening and take part in this.
Mr. Danbury said we visited this topic before but are there similar types of groups as this Steering Committee dealing with Butler, Warren and Clermont County.
Mr. Osborn replied no, this is an effort on the part of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission. I think the initiative came from the County Commissioners. Any involvement by the outlying counties would only be incidental. The end product is a comprehensive plan for Hamilton County.
Mr. Danbury said since we are on the outskirts it would make sense for us.
Mr. Osborn said one of the points I put into the hopper is that we do need to have liaisons with adjacent counties on items that affect multiple jurisdictions. We have some jurisdictions in Hamilton County that are also in other counties. Loveland is in three counties.
Council asked for it to be on the next agenda.
Mr. Osborn said my first item relates to the Hamilton County Community Development Block Grant Program. About two months ago we entered into a cooperative agreement with Hamilton County that allowed us to once again be eligible for funding under this program. It has a three-year funding cycle so we have to make application this fall or we miss the boat for three years. We have to have some public meetings in order to take input and I would suggest that we advertise for public input at our Council meetings on September 18 and October 16. The deadline for submitting the application would be November 8. This covers the funding period for fiscal years, 2003, 2004, and 2005. The purpose of this funding is very specific. The three national objectives are to benefit low and moderate income persons, serve to eliminate or prevent slums and blight, and address a local, urgent need. It can be used for property acquisition, demolition, road repair and improvement, restoration. It does have some flexibility but under certain areas there are provisions that limit how much we can expect to be eligible for in funding. We will be working with the Community Block Grant folks to make sure we know what census blocks in our community might be eligible, then we would structure our recommendations to Council according to our priorities for application for funding.
Mr. Osborn said my second item deals with the disposition of a salvaged signal pole that we have stockpiled in the Maintenance Garage. As we go through a project we take those down and try to save them for our own use. Itís so rare that you can find one that we can re-use because they are specific to the exact site that you are picking out so we also sell them. We have an opportunity to sell a salvaged out pole that was taken down years ago. We negotiated a price of $1,000. Our other option is to cut it up for scrap. Since it is more than $500 we need a motion from Council declaring that this pole no longer needed for public purpose.
Mr. Danbury made a motion to declare the pole no longer needed for public purpose and Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission - September 10
Board of Health - September 12
Board of Zoning Appeals - September 17
Veteranís Commission - September 18
Mayor Webster said Iíd like to share some bad news I just received from a long-time member of the Board of Health, Harry Haverland. It reads, "Dear Doyle, Itís with regret that I must submit my resignation from the Board of Health. My health has deteriorated to a level that I feel I cannot effectively carry my responsibilities as a member of the board. Thank you for all the courtesies you have extended me over the years. I wish you continued success and good health. Please convey my best wishes to the board. Respectfully submitted."
Mayor Webster said Captain Haverland has served on the Board of Health the entire six and a half years that I have been Mayor. I think he had another term when Mayor French was in office. He served the City in excess of fourteen years and was a very capable member of the Board of Health. Itís with a heavy heart that I announce that I will be seeking a replacement for Mr. Haverland. Anyone who has a medical background in nursing, food inspections, food handling, doctors, veterinarians, weíd love to talk to you.
Mr. Osborn said I received word today from the Ohio Department of Transportation that they will be bringing legislation down tomorrow for the grade separation project. I request that item be on the agenda at the next meeting.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Lisa Powell said I reiterate that the $100,000 offer that Springdale has given Helen would probably enable her to buy a very small place in Springdale maybe. It would not provide her with enough space for all that she has. Perhaps you donít understand the size of a 1300 square foot building that is filled with things that she still wants. She does not want to go into a nursing home. She doesnít need to go into a nursing home. She has been looking at properties and we believe she has found something she can live with but itís more than $100,000. Iím asking you to please picture how long she has been a resident here and try to be fair. She shouldnít have to go to court to live out the rest of her life.
Mayor Webster said we certainly heard what you said earlier and we certainly hear what you said now. We donít negotiate things like this in public. We have made every attempt to provide a forum for negotiations. I made the comment when we passed Resolution 21-2002 that none of us were happy to have to do that. We were hoping that negotiations would resolve the issue. We are hoping that this ordinance doesnít have to be passed two weeks from now. We are hoping we can reach some agreement through negotiation. I would urge you and Mrs. Meiser to try to work through that venue to see if you canít come to some solution to this.
Mr. Schneider stated we have a meeting Monday morning at your attorneyís office.
Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a meeting of the whole to discuss possible real estate issues, economic development and personnel issues. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Council went into executive session at 8:08 p.m. and reconvened at 9:00 p.m.
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Ordinance 59-2002 - September 18
Ordinance 60-2002 - September 18
Ordinance 62-2002 - September 18
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
Resolution for Harry Haverland - September 18
Ordinance on grade separation - September 18
Board of Health appointment - September 18
Ordinance for salt - September 18
Council adjourned at 9:04 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council