President of Council Marjorie Harlow called Council to order on October 15, 2008, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mrs. McNear gave the invocation.
Mrs. McNear took roll call. Present were Council members Danbury, Diehl, Galster, Squires, Vanover, Wilson and Harlow.
After changing Mrs. Harlow to Mr. Vanover in paragraph one, the minutes of October 1, 2008 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mrs. Harlow abstained.
PROCLAMATION FOR LARRY RADEL
Mayor Webster read a proclamation declaring Wednesday, October 29, 2008 as Larry Radel Day in Springdale.
Mr. Squires said I consider Larry Radel a close friend. I have also read the book, Ribbon and a Star, which is the story of the Third Marines on Bougainville. Larrys company spent fifty-two days on the island in bad conditions. There arent words to describe what you do but I can say well done and Semper Fi.
Mr. Vanover said my father was in the Korean War and it wasnt until he was gone that I understood what he went through. I cant imagine. As part of a Marine family, thank you.
Mrs. McNear asked that all veterans in the audience step forward and be recognized.
Mr. Wilson and Mr. Danbury expressed their thanks.
Mr. Galster said Mr. Squires, you did a good job in putting together the story.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission - no report
Rules and Laws - no report
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission Mr. Galster said Thompson Thrift requested a concept plan review for a 6,200 square foot retail building at 11580 Princeton Pike at the corner of Princeton Pike and Kemper Road. The applicant showed us Phases 2 and 3 that showed additional properties close to that corner even though they dont own that property. We tried to stress to the applicant that this is the cornerstone of the redevelopment of that quadrant in the City. It was approved 7-0.
Mr. Galster said we did have some discussion relative to Mr. Tullochs presentation scheduled for October 30 in closing out the retail revitalization project and the need to get that into Planning Commission so that can be put into a plan form and back before Council for adoption. Can we request proposals for creating a Corridor Review District and creating a plan so we can get that enacted? Secondly, there has been discussion over the last couple of months at looking at the Code in general. Im not sure if its the proper time to be looking at a rewrite of the Zoning Code.
Mr. Osborn stated the approach we would like to see followed is to treat this as what it was intended to be, a strategic effort to come up with a thirty year vision for the redevelopment of that retail district. Its really going to be driven by the economic engine rather than by planning details. Wed rather see the document come back to City Council, be presented to you, then you approve or not approve the concept, and then the Administration would bring pieces of it back to you and Planning Commission as necessary for implementation. If it is taken now and converted into some sort of detailed land use plan wed hate to have it formalized to that degree at this point.
Mr. Galster responded the feeling from Planning was that we although there was no way we could see that far into the future adopting the vision through the planning process was just to create another tool. If its Administrations belief that Council can just adopt that and we dont need to create that kind of document, I can bring that back to Planning Commission as well.
Mayor Webster said I think I understand what Planning Commission suggests we do. Mr. Osborn and I had a lengthy conversation about that this afternoon. Our feeling is that this is going to be so multi-faceted. There will be a transportation component, a streetscape component, etc. and I dont think all of it falls within the purview of Planning Commission. As we go through that document economics is going to play a big part as to what we attempt to implement and what we bring to Council. You will be a big part of that. If we gave it to Planning Commission, I think Planning would be looking at it strictly from a land use perspective and Im not sure thats the way we want to go. If we determine to go forward with any piece of it and it involves land use, then Planning Commission will be a valuable partner.
Mr. Galster said I think it is more of creating a vision and getting a vision on record. If its Administrations desire to come to City Council Ill relay that back to Planning Commission, but once that presentation is done it would be nice to get that on City Councils agenda so we can have that vote as to that being the vision we are trying to move forward to. The second part of the question is the status of the Zoning Code. There has been a proposal put forth to update the Code and I want to find out if Administration is interested in looking at that again.
Mayor Webster replied I dont think there are any burning issues right now that would cause us to do that. Lets get past this retail study and see if there is anything in there that we would want to move forward on and get incorporated in there.
Board of Zoning Appeals - no report
Board of Health Mayor Webster said the Board had another smoking violation hearing concerning the same establishment. This was their third violation and the fine is up to $1,000. The State law says you shall not smoke in a public place. Mr. Comer and The Boulevard object to it and dont want to cooperate. The Code gives the Health Department the prerogative of enforcing this against an individual who goes into an establishment and is observed smoking or we can pursue the enforcement through the proprietor. We are sending Health Department sanitarians to do this enforcement. They are not in uniform and not armed and I am not going to be responsible for sending an unarmed female without uniform into a bar to cite some patron for smoking a cigarette when the law very clearly allows us to cite the patron or cite the owner/proprietor. The board did uphold the fine and we forwarded that to Columbus. We had the second reading of the fee schedule for food services.
Mr. Danbury said a lot of people are getting around this by having an outdoor deck. Have they pursued this?
Mayor Webster replied I dont know. Thats his prerogative.
Veterans Memorial Committee Mr. Wilson said our secretary/treasurer showed me a receipt of a check for $64,000 that was transferred to our general fund. That money will be used to pay a portion of the billing that the City incurs for the Memorial.
Mr. Galster said the account is still open and we are taking donations.
Mayor Webster said we are still allowing people to purchase pavers and those pavers will be installed before the grand opening now scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. You can buy a paver through March 31, 2009.
O-K-I - no report
Mayors Report Mayor Webster stated there are two dates left for the Rileys/SOS donation program. We are looking for people who would like to adopt a family for the holiday season and also, let us know if you know of a family in need. The Police Department has requested to do the Food for Fines Program again this year.
Mayor Webster read a proclamation for the DARE program.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director - no report
Administrators Report Mr. Osborn reported our crews chipped, hauled and disposed of 230 dump truck loads of chips, 2300 cubic yards. They were working ten and twelve hour days between September 14 and October 14. We have had numerous calls expressing appreciation by members of the community regarding the work by the Maintenance Department. The normal chipper schedule will resume October 20. Our leaf program will start October 27 on the west side of Springfield Pike. Starting November 3 they will do the east side and alternate back and forth.
Law Directors Report - no report
Engineers Report Mr. Shvegzda said the contractor intends to have everything completed on the SR 4/Crescentville Road project with the exception of the final wearing course, the striping, signage and signal yet this year. The Crescentville/SR 747 ODOT project is scheduled for construction in 2009. We have reviewed the Veterans Memorial project and put together a punch list. We are working with the fountain supplier to tweak certain issues and adjust it so we have a better flow of water at the fountain. The 2008 street program is basically complete except for the city-wide concrete portion. That should be completed by the end of the month. The Police Department pedestrian bridge work is underway.
Mrs. McNear said there is a letter from Time Warner Cable to Mr. Osborn dated September 30, 2008. It is notification that they annually will adjust the rates for the cable. I have quite a stack of information in my office if anyone would like to see it. There is a subsequent letter dated October 6, 2008 addressed to Mayor Webster which does give additional information about the increase. Letters were sent out October 8. They state their reason for the increases is to due to substantial investment in their systems and working with customers to deliver the best entertainment, and they have added several channels and programming.
Mrs. McNear continued I would like to read a letter from Duke Energy dated October 6 addressed to Mayor Webster. It reads: Thank you for your tremendous public service that you and your staff delivered during the power outage due to the extraordinary wind storm. This severe act of nature caused over 700,000 power outages across Duke Energys Ohio and Kentucky service territory and left behind a huge trail of debris. Our communities were well served by your extensive emergency planning response and activities. Across the board you made every effort to make sure that members of the public had all the information they needed to ensure their own safety and that of their families. Your concern for and service to the citizens you represent was particularly obvious and helpful over the past few weeks. It was a pleasure to serve our communities with such highly motivated committed officials. On behalf of the entire Duke Energy family, thank you for your extraordinary teamwork and cooperation during this unprecedented storm. Sincerely, Marvin Blade, Manager Community Relations.
Mrs. McNear said the last letter I have is from the Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners. They have been working on programs on how to be green in the community. They are going to have several engagements with other communities and they are asking if anybody on Council or Administration is interested in participating. They have information where you can contact them to work with them. They are trying to design a program to give the leaders in the community a user friendly tool kit on how to save money by implementing best practices in the government regarding energy use and green policies.
Mr. Wilson read a letter from Bobbie Moore, 637 Glensprings Drive that read: Per our conversation of 7 October 2008 I am presenting this letter for discussion at the City Council meeting of 15 October 2008. I would like to propose a feasibility study of putting a library in Springdale. It could start out as a rental property if necessary until the funds become available for building a proper structure. There are currently unoccupied spaces that may be large enough in which to start. There is property west of the Recreational Center that may be appropriate for such a structure in the future. Grants may be available through the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, federal funding, the library and local government support fund which primarily benefits Ohio libraries, state funding, business investors or angel investors. Such a facility would be an asset to the City of Springdale to empower the citizens and result in long term improvements to the community. The library is a transformational force in the lives of both young and old. Currently residents travel to other areas of Hamilton County to access library facilities. Im curious as to how many Springdale citizens would be interested in such a project. I will be glad to offer my time and energy to the fruition of this project.
Mr. Wilson said we talked early on about a library and I cant remember the exact reason we didnt pursue it. Im curious as to how Council feels about Mrs. Moore trying to put some information together and coming back to us at a later date to present her findings.
Mayor Webster said when I first ran for mayor in 1995 there were two things I wanted to accomplish. One was to have a post office and the other was to have a library. Unfortunately, those are two things I have not been able to accomplish. I think the likelihood of either of those things happening in the near future is pretty remote. When we approached Hamilton County about funding from their library fund we were just very politely told no, with the internet they said they didnt see the need for any more bricks and mortar for a library. It was pointed out that even though we dont have a library, there are libraries in Forest Park, Glendale, Sharonville, Fairfield, all around us. I have no problem with Mrs. Moore checking into this but I have a hard time making a case for that in these times.
Mr. Osborn said in 1995 we had extensive discussion with the Hamilton County Library. We offered to provide the real estate and they still turned us down. There is a public library system that covers Springdale, the Hamilton County Public Library. I do not believe that we would be able to get any funds from the State for an independent library.
Mr. Vanover said we have to give Duke Energy line workers kudos for their work after the storm.
Mr. Wilson asked can I tell Mrs. Moore she can go forward with the pursuit of getting a library in Springdale?
Mayor Webster responded yes, if she can do this we will be very supportive.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
John Lewis, 22 year resident said I would like to compliment City Council on this ordinance you passed for people keeping up their property. I know we have a long way to go but youve done something. The only thing that gets me now is when people put their trash a week before its picked up and it just lays there and scatters.
Mr. Vanover said if the garbage goes out early call the Building Department.
NORTHERN CINCINNATI CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU- Ed Knox
Mr. Knox said I want to tell you what the Northern Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau (NCCVB) does for Springdale and ask Springdale to do some things for the NCCVB. In 2002 the hotel tax was increased. Over fifty percent of the tax money and over fifty percent of the votes come from the suburban area we were able to have some of the tax money comes back here. Last year 38,000 room nights were generated by the NCCVB in our area from Blue Ash to Harrison. We brought the US Bowling Conference State Tournament to this area. Cincinnati North Hotel booked 6564 room nights which generated between $11,000 and $12,000 in tax money for Springdale. In 2011 there are 10,000 more room nights coming to the area. A lot of small things are coming in also. Now, what can Springdale do for the NCCVB? There is a small problem with the funding. It started out with $500,000 with $250,000 coming from the Cincinnati Visitors Bureau and $250,000 coming from Hamilton Countys General Fund. We dont know how much we are going to get from Hamilton County and we need to start applying pressure to the Hamilton County Commissioners. We would appreciate if anybody here knows anybody downtown and can talk to them about it and tell them we need attention to this matter so that next March we can have three-five year funding instead of having to go year by year.
Mayor Webster asked have you thought about drafting a resolution and having all the communities pass that to send to Hamilton County?
Mr. Knox said we have discussed that and could do it at the next board meeting and bring it back.
Mayor Webster said I think Council would be receptive to doing that. I dont know anybody personally that I can call and say get this done.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Knox, you are on the Board of Directors for the Northern Cincinnati Convention and Visitors Bureau. Are you representing the City of Springdale?
Mr. Knox replied yes. I was elected for a two year term this year. My term expires in 2010. The board elected me.
Mayor Webster said I think you do a good job representing the City. However, if you werent doing a good job representing the City Id hate to think you are being reappointed by somebody else on the behalf of Springdale. Wed like to reappoint you ourselves.
Mr. Knox said I do serve at the Citys pleasure.
Mayor Webster asked that this be put on the Boards and Commissions list. Mayor Webster said you also serve on an executive committee.
Mr. Knox responded it is the Convention Facility Authority. I am appointed by the Hamilton County Municipal League.
Mayor Webster said we are researching whether you have to be an elected official but assuming you dont, I think it would be nice if this Council make a motion and we forward it on to the Municipal League that we support Mr. Knox continuing in that capacity.
Mr. Vanover made a motion to reappoint Mr. Knox and Mr. Danbury seconded. Mr. Knox was appointed by acclamation.
Mr. Danbury asked does NCCVB have a list of businesses and activities by community?
Mr. Knox said we have a brochure for the entire area. A lot of it is paid advertising. No one area can really overpower the other ones but we can look into that.
Mr. Diehl asked how does the Sharonville Convention Center fit into your group?
Mr. Knox replied Sharonville is a member just as Springdale is a member. The Sharonville Convention Center is a major player because they bring so many people into the area.
Hamilton County Community Development Block Grant
Mr. Osborn said this is the second public hearing for the next three-year round of the Hamilton County Community Development Block Grant program. This program is intended to benefit households that are at the low to moderate income level. The deadline for the application is December 3 so we need a motion tonight. The first project we are recommending for application is a small repair grant program. We would like to apply for $20,000 a year each of the three years to fund a small repair grant to residents who meet the qualifying standards of low to moderate income to assist them in doing work to improve their homes. The things that come to mind that are big ticket items that neighbors seem to notice are driveways, roofs, siding. Wed like to give an incentive to folks to try to undertake those improvements. The drawback seemed to be that a person in that income level probably doesnt have the money to put the $1000 up front to get a reimbursement so we took this program to SOS. They embraced it and proposed that they could serve as financier for the project. Once we find a qualified applicant SOS would advance the money to them. They would do the work, then turn the receipts and documentation to the Building Department who would make an inspection on the improvements. We would then communicate with Hamilton County who would cut a check to SOS. We hope it will generate some home improvements around the community. The second item is a total reconstruction of the playground equipment at Chamberlain Park with the exception of the swing set that is there now. All other equipment will be removed and two separate play areas would be developed based on age group. That has a price tag of $30,268. We recommend that this be our secondary priority and that it be requested in year three of the program. We are prepared to take any suggestions or comments from the audience regarding any alternatives or embellishments to these two programs.
Mrs. Harlow asked if anyone in the audience would like to address Council regarding the public hearing to please come forward. There were no comments. The public hearing was closed.
Mr. Vanover made a motion that Council authorize the Administration to file the applications for the Hamilton County Community Block Grant. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS
ORDINANCE NO. 39-2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH DONALD W. WHITE TO SERVE AS MAYORS COURT MAGISTRATE FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said this is an annual contract. The magistrate has agreed to serve for another year at the same rate of $17,500 and inclusion in PERS. We have an extremely efficient court.
Ordinance 39-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 40 -2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MARK E. PIEPMEIER FOR PROSECUTING SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said this is an annual contract. Mr. Piepmeier has agreed to serve for the same rate as last year, $9,000 and inclusion in PERS.
Ordinance 40-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 41-2008 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH JONATHAN SMITH FOR PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Smith does a great job for us also. We have to provide this service for indigent people. This year it has dwindled down to just a few cases. He is coming back for the same terms as last year.
Mr. Wilson asked who speaks Spanish among these three individuals or do we hire someone?
Mayor Webster responded we have an interpreter if necessary.
Ordinance 41-2008 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Danbury said Springdale Day at the Reds will be April 25, 2009.
Mr. Danbury said there are telephone poles that were damaged but knocked down.
Mr. Osborn replied Duke will come back to repair those.
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Presentation of Retail District - October 30
Board of Health - November 13
Planning & Zoning Workshop - November 11
Planning Commission - November 11
Mayor Webster said Mr. Knox told me that his wife received an absentee ballot and the Charter amendments were not on there. I remember seeing something on my desk after you passed an ordinance on this acknowledging that the Board of Election had received those. Im 99% percent sure they were filed with the Board of Elections but they didnt make the ballot.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT - none
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED - none
Council adjourned at 9:51 p.m.
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Marjorie Harlow, President of Council