President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on November 5, 2003, 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 October 15, 2003 were approved with five affirmative votes. Mr. Danbury and Ms. Pollitt abstained.



PRESENTATION Ė Proclamations for Cierra Bland and Jacob Schroeder.- Winners of the Statewide Third Grade Safety Belt Program poster contest

Chief Laage introduced Jeff Witte, the DARE officer. Officer Witte stated Jack Hale is here from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. They are trying to get into every third grade class in the state because they are mature enough to understand why and how the seat belt is important, and also responsible enough to remind friends and family members to wear their seatbelts.

Mayor Webster presented the proclamations to Cierra Bland and Jacob Schroeder.

Mr. Hale said the program has been in existence for about fourteen years. Mr. Hale presented plaques to the students that say "In recognition for your creative efforts in designing the statewide third grade safety belt poster. This poster is now being displayed in every school classroom that instructs the third grade students and others to always wear their safety belts while riding in a motor vehicle. Presented by the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Governorís Traffic Safety Office."

Officer Witte asked Mrs. Schuster, art teacher at Springdale Elementary and Mrs. Copeland, art teacher at Heritage Hill Elementary to come forward. Officer Witte presented certificates of appreciation to the teachers in recognition of their assistance with the new poster.

The Mayor and Council members offered their congratulations.



Chief Laage introduced Molly Norris. Molly is a graduate of Princeton High School and is just a few credit hours short of her bachelorís degree. In 1991 she went to the Police Academy on her own. She joined our department in October.

Chief Laage said Mike Berens retired as chief at Deer Park after twenty years. He is a full-time government employee at this time. We have one other retired officer. We feel that the experience and training that Mike and Officer Ingram, who is already on board, is tremendous. These officers will be assisting regular patrol officers. Policing has changed and we can use all the help we can get. We are very excited to have Mike on board.

Mayor Webster swore in the new officers.


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

Ordinance 40-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.


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

Mr. Osborn said we are trying to provide an opportunity for other jurisdictions to join the original nine communities that had partnered to buy the first FATS (firearms training system). We did it collectively using the Center for Local Government as our agent. We have shared the administrative cost. Over that time we have added to the software library by fees to the member jurisdictions. There are now seven to nine additional jurisdictions that would like to participate with the program but we donít have the capacity in the one system. A plan was drawn up and the new jurisdictions that want to join will pay the capital costs for buying two new systems. We, the original participants will get a credit for the software library we have built up and weíll share that library with them. We will have no capital costs in this new arrangement and we will end up with a new hardware system. Our administrative fees will not change and I recommend that we approve this agreement.

Ordinance 41-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.


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

Ms. Stiles stated you have before you an ordinance authorizing and consenting to an enterprise zone agreement with Posterservice, Inc., Frame USA and their real estate subsidiary. The County is expected to approve the enterprise zone agreement that includes a personal property tax exemption and a real estate property tax exemption for five years at 75% at its next meeting on November 12th. The company currently has operations headquartered in Evendale and Woodlawn. They are planning to consolidate their two entities into the old NAPA building on Northland Boulevard. They are prepared to do about $800,000 worth of inventory, acquisitions, pictures and equipment and renovations to the building itself. That portion is what the abatement will be on. Forty-five full-time employees will be relocated to Springdale and approximately twelve new positions will be created over the three-year period. As a result of the tax exemption the City will forego about $500 annually in personal and real property taxes. However, with the relocated employees and the new jobs to be created the total tax generated for Springdale will be $13,450 in earnings tax revenue annually. Posterservice has negotiated a separate agreement with Princeton Schools and the School Board has issued a letter to the County approving their request. We are recommending approval as well.

Ordinance 42-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.

Second Reading


Ms. Pollitt said I would encourage Council to consider voting for this. It has been thirty-two years since weíve had an increase here. We have excellent City services and I would like us to be able to continue those, and I would also like to have the revenue set aside to get the grants that the Administration is able to pull in. You have to have matching funds in order to get the grants. Mr. Osborn and Mr. Parham have always done a great job in getting funding for our streets.

Mr. Danbury reported I had a district meeting last week. We had a good discussion with some of the residents. Most people have the perception that we are filthy rich and thatís not the case. We have to look at what this is going to cost. For the services the City provides right now, if this doesnít go through, we will have to look at each and every one, such as leaf collection. Weíll have to re-look the Rec Center. Right now, itís free for senior centers and you can get a family membership for $90. I donít think itís going to impact the City services such as police and fire but we offer so many different things. People may have to pay to have a truck parked in their driveway for debris removal. Everybody may not use the chipper and leaf programs but their neighbor might, or if a person sold his/her house, these services can make his/her house more valuable. Ninety-five percent of the tax revenue is coming in from our industry. They are the ones making up the bulk of the money we bring in. If we want to maintain the quality of life we have or improve it, I highly encourage people to support this.

Mr. Vanover said I feel the same. As need increases, if we donít have the money, we canít increase the force to what we want. Weíve had several vacancies that have gone unfilled.

Mr. Osborn said I was also going to address the issue of public safety. Our fiscal situation has already affected public safety. We have an authorized sworn staff of thirty-six police officers. Right now we are carrying thirty-four. We have had to really consider if we could fill those open positions. Our long-term plan for the police department has a target of forty-one sworn officers because of the increasing level of details that department is confronted with. Because of some long-term injuries on the part of some employees, we are looking at ways to reduce costs in other areas to bring one more police officer back on. We have held the assistant fire chiefís position open for the last year. Right now we are not budgeting for that position in 2004. That has a very keen affect on the ability of the Fire Department to do long range planning, emergency management planning, etc. The Chief is doing the best job he can and his captains are certainly quite competent in helping, but they are line officers and they have operations to run, and the administrative burden is falling squarely on the Chief. This concern about our fiscal situation is not new to us. We have been reducing expenses for the last two years, postponing costs. We have held several positions open. We have two positions vacant in public works, altogether seven positions vacant. We have deferred big ticket maintenance items on public facilities. We have deferred infrastructure improvements that are needed to our aging street infrastructure. Even if the economy turned around tomorrow and we saw a return to the performance we had as recently as December 2001, it would be many years before we got back to zero. We probably have more than $4 million in deferred costs staring us in the face. We have to catch that up plus deal with increased demands for City services such as public safety. The City has been taking precautionary steps to protect ourselves fiscally. I donít think we ever thought it would come to where we would have to ask for a tax increase. I guarantee you itís the last thing we want to be doing and we wouldnít be doing it if we thought there was any other way. We are in the final stages of putting together the 2004 budget. It will be put to the Finance Committee later this month and to Council in December. I think you will be shocked to see the cuts we had to make just to balance coming out of 2004. Even with all those efforts we donít have enough money cut out of the budget to put us in a comfortable position going into 2005. I do think the City is in a very critical situation and something we have been trying to work with for a couple of years. The fall off in revenue has outpaced our efforts to cut costs. In 2002 our earnings tax revenue. which is two-thirds of our revenues, fell off by more than ten percent. So far this year our collections are down about $300,000 from last yearís bad collections. Since December 2001 weíre down over $2.3 million in two years just on the earnings tax. We also have other revenues that are being cut back by the State of Ohio. State shared taxes are either being frozen or reduced by the State of Ohio. Public safety, police and fire, will receive the greatest protection of any departments in the organization, then public works. From there weíll just have to do what we have to do.

Mr. Squires said we have postponed capital improvements for over two years. We have a situation in the Fire Department that we need to address. We are co-ed and have one shower facility that needs to be remodeled.

Mr. Knox said I want to say a few words to avoid the impression that we are taking advantage of the non-residents. Mr. Danburyís statistics are quite right that most of the tax funds come from the non-residents but if you look at our budget over the last few years, great amounts of money have been spent on road projects that benefit the businesses and non-residents, the cleaning of the roads during the winter time, the police and fire themselves. All of those things benefit the non-residents so they can work comfortably and safely here. We would like a fair and balanced share to be paid by those people. Iíd hate to give anybody the impression we are taking advantage of those folks. They are getting their fair share and we expect them to pay their fair share.

Mr. Danbury said we do spend most of the money on the infrastructure, fire and police. The Mayor put out something that said out of thirty-one local communities, twenty-two have a tax rate higher than what Springdale has.

Ms. Pollitt said I work for the City of Cincinnati and their tax is much higher. I was under the impression that they sent Springdale a portion of that. It wasnít until I got on Council and worked with the Finance Department that I found out that wasnít really happening. Springdale gives a tax break but they arenít going to get any money from Cincinnati either. I think some of our residents have the same assumption that I did, that a percentage of that money paid to Cincinnati would be filtered back to my home community. When I stayed home and didnít work at all, we had to live on a very balanced budget. Over a period of about ten years things start wearing out and you have to replace them. When I was able to go back to work everything we owned was worn out. I hate to see that happen to our equipment.

Mr. Galster stated we are presently pushing the life of some of these emergency vehicles. Exempt from this increase are the same things that are currently exempt such as pensions, profit sharing, social security, interest dividends, etc. Programs such as free trash service may have to go by the wayside.

Mrs. McNear said when I talk to people who live in other communities they canít believe all the services we have, such as having the truck parked in your driveway, trash pickup, etc. People who work here use the police and fire departments as well as the residents. How often does the Mayor read letters from residents commending the Fire and Police Departments for the services they provide. Nobody wants to raise taxes; nobody wants to pay more taxes. Nobody wants to be in that position we are forced to be in but if we want to continue to have this be a viable community where people want to live we have to do this.

Mr. Galster said a lot of issues that the Planning Partnership Revitalization Initiative is trying to revitalize some of the communities that have fallen on hard times or lost major employers. One of the issues they wanted to get all the communities to agree to do is get the jurisdictions to start replacing the sidewalks in front of peopleís homes and businesses. Thatís a project that the City of Springdale already does.

Mr. Squires said please do not interpret anything we are saying as threats. It isnít. Itís a reality check. Weíre just in a position where we are faced with some very hard decisions.

Mayor Webster said we have talked about a lot of things. I donít want anyone out there to think we are sitting out here with a hammer over your heads saying vote for this or weíre going to whack this or that. The bottom line is, though, that you canít put ten pounds of flour in a five pound sack. If we wake up on March 3, 2004 and the earnings tax is not passed, then we have no choice. The budget we submitted says we would have $100,000 left over at the end of 2004. It takes nearly $1 million a month just to run this City. If everything held true we wouldnít have enough money left in the treasury to run the City in January 2005. Weíd have no choice but to have a plan in place to implement as quickly as possible to reduce the budget so that we have ĺ to $1 million left over to run the City. Where we get it we have not decided. I think it will be a combination of curtailing services, increases usage charges. When we moved to the City in 1964 we paid for our garbage collection. We did that until the first earnings tax was implemented in 1969. Thatís a $300,000 line item. Is that the one to be hacked? I certainly hope not but somethingís got to give. I urge everyone to give it the proper consideration. I know we have one resident who would like to speak. I would like to hear the flip side of the coin and I encourage anyone else who has a problem or question to come up before Council. We will be here November 19th and again December 3rd. Iíd be more than happy to talk with anyone who gives me a call.

Ms. Pollitt said I am going to schedule a district meeting for my district.

Mayor Wilson said we have heard from everyone but the chairman of the Finance Committee. I would be interested to hear what Mr. Wilson has to say about the tax increase.

Mr. Wilson said I have reviewed the budget with my fellow Council members and Administration and I am in concurrence with them. Yes the businesses comprise most of the revenue. They do benefit from the services more so than we do. If we get six inches of snow tonight, businesses open tomorrow, customers can come in and purchase items, trucks go out with items that have been produced. The business community benefits as much if not more than the residents. Most of the comments are relative to the residents because they are the ones who are going to vote. The businesses have not yet had an opportunity to speak. Their businesses survive on the services we provide.

Phil Bauer, 797 Weymouth Court, said I have been in Springdale since 1977. Springdaleís one of the finest cities to live in and raise a family. Being a commissioned salesman, my salary is based on what I sell, which hasnít been a whole lot the last couple of years, so my salary has been down. Weíve cut quite a bit in our household. We havenít been on vacation in the last couple of years and weíve tightened our belt quite a bit. I work around the house a lot more than I would like to. We have also been hit by another tax increase by the Princeton School District in May. I look at this increase as a 50% tax increase. I would love to get a 50% increase in my sales, much less my earnings. You say you havenít had a tax increase since the 1% went into effect. As salaries have increased over that time, that 1% has grown. I see this tax increase as taking care of your ills on the backs of the citizenry. I suggest that we cut back on some of the services we donít need. They are extravagant in some cases. Weíve had limb pickup every week for the last couple of months. I think some things could be cut back. I donít know what those things are. Thatís why you all run the show. It sounds like we have a crisis that has been building up over the last couple of years and will carry through for the next couple of years even if the economy comes back to where the earnings tax was sufficient. The economy is getting better. I wonder if we could put in a temporary tax increase and come back to this issue later. I have never seen a tax increase that has been rescinded. We can always find ways to spend money. Letís look at this as a temporary issue.

Mr. Danbury said we are looking at what we can cut. We could cut out the garbage removal but youíll still have to pay for garbage pickup. Youíll still have to pay for the Community Center. We still have to have seed money for matching funds. If the roads start deteriorating businesses are not going to want to come here. You have to look at the economic impact of what is happening in West Chester. We canít lose that battle. We want to maintain the quality of life for the residents here and the infrastructure that businesses can thrive in. Weíre just trying to even the playing field with other communities around here.

Mr. Bauer said Iím not looking to curtail serious services. Iím looking at other things that might not be so necessary such as the trucks in the driveway. I donít think they are going to make or break Springdaleís values.

Mr. Danbury said if we cut out some of the niceties we may be short just to maintain the continual increase in our insurance, in Fire and Police Department salaries.

Mayor Webster said I could give you a political answer to your suggestion of three to five years. That would be that all this issue does is authorize the Council to enact an ordinance to increase the earnings tax to 1 Ĺ percent. Five years forward if the City is awash with money they can always pass an ordinance to reduce that 1 Ĺ back. I donít want anybody to vote for that thinking that will happen because it probably wonít happen. I know some of the things and the magnitude of some of the projects we have been pushing back. For the past two or three years we have been pushing things back. There are a lot of capital items out there and it will take a lot to get caught up. I donít have a crystal ball. I canít tell you what the Cityís finances are going to be five years from now. Your suggestion is one approach we could take but I fear all weíre going to be doing is pushing the situation over to another administration and another Council, but itís always an option.

Mr. Wilson asked to whom do you pay your taxes? Mr. Bauer responded I write a check to Springdale.

Mr. Wilson said Fairfield takes out 1 Ĺ% so itís a wash for me. The cost of doing business goes up every year. The costs of products go up. Prior to when we both moved here there was a volunteer fire department. As the City grew and businesses grew, the Fire Department became a paid department. The Police Department has grown. The cost of doing business has gone up. Weíre at the point that we donít have a choice. Some services we have to cut real deep. Itís not about stopping leaf collection. This is not a threat to any resident who doesnít wish to vote for this but if we donít do something in the next series of months, itís serious. I just want to maintain what weíve got and the only way to do this is with this tax increase. I canít ask a police officer to work and not get a raise. I canít ask a firefighter to work less hours or work more hours for less pay. I canít expect public works people who come in at 10:00 on Friday night to come in for straight salary instead of overtime. They donít want to do that. I donít want to do it.

Mr. Bauer replied some of us in the private sector have to do it. Thatís the way life is. Iíve seen people laid off.

Mr. Wilson said we donít want to do that. We have to look at whatís best for the City and at this point we have to bite the bullet. As to your point of three to five years, Iím sure the next Administration, if the economy changes and weíre at a point where we have some kind of excess and we can project that we can do something, Iím sure the City will or provide even better services.

Mr. Bauer said I hope that if it comes to that that this Council is as united to roll it back as it is to increase it.

Mr. Galster said I just want to clear up one misconception on the chipper program. We didnít just start spending four times as much to do it once a week. Our Public Works Department decided itís actually cheaper for us to go to every home once a week as opposed to an area once a month. Weíre providing the same service for less money and they are getting it out of your yard quicker.

Mr. Vanover said although this wasnít part of the earnings tax but proof that some taxes do die, in 1981 we had a fire operations levy that was not renewed so the tax rate went down.

Mr. Bauer said I talked to six people seriously about this tax increase. The Mayor said he hadnít talked to anyone who wasnít for it. I was shocked to hear that. All the people I had talked to said they didnít know about this. I saw an article in the Enquirer. I looked on the website and didnít see it. Maybe you should have it on a plaque at the Rec Center. Otherwise there will be a backlash later on.

Mayor Webster stated other than delivering a flyer to everyoneís home, which weíre really not allowed to do at public expense, this is what weíve done. A resolution only gets read one time and Council passes it. In this particular case I suggested to Council and they followed it, is that we read this four different times. Council meetings go out on television and a lot of people see those. Iíve seen it in three different newspapers. We have a City newsletter that comes out in early December and there will be an article in there explaining that it will be on the ballot.

Mr. Galster made a motion to continue and Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.


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

Mr. Squires asked for our viewing audience what is this plan?

Mr. Osborn answered the Federal Government adopted a law in 2002 that said if you want to be eligible for natural disaster mitigation funding you have to have an approved plan in place. Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency stepped forward with the support of the County Commissioners and proposed that they applied for a grant that would fund the development of a natural hazard mitigation plan for all the jurisdictions in Hamilton County. Hamilton County EMA formed a committee, drafted a detailed document and it saves us a considerable amount of time and money by supporting the plan being developed by the County. It also makes the mitigation plan within all the jurisdictions consistent from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Resolution R17-2003 passed with seven affirmative votes.


Mr. Osborn said you may recall that the City was denied on an application for a loan through the Ohio Public Works Commission loan program. We filed an appeal with the Hamilton County Integrating Committee, a nine member board made up of three people appointed by the City of Cincinnati, two people appointed by the Hamilton County Commissioners, two people appointed by the Hamilton County Municipal League and two appointed by the Hamilton County Trustees Association. In order to override the decision of staff it requires a super majority vote of seven out of nine votes. Only eight people were present. We got six out of eight votes. We have no other recourse other than to reconsider this project next year. I have nothing to say but positive things about the Integrating Committee staff and the fair treatment that we received at their hands as well as the committee itself.

Mr. Osborn continued our application for the Phase III Kemper Road project ranked ninth out of thirty plus projects but will not be receiving funding under the current round of LTIP program. This is the result of major multi-year projects that the Integrating Committee committed to last year. We will make application again next year.

Mr. Osborn said the next item I have deals with the Veteranís Memorial. I received an executed grant of easement today from the Wimbleton Apartment Company LTD, which is the DBA for the owner of the property that is being donated to help prepare the site for our veteranís memorial. I would request that Council consider legislation at your next meeting authorizing execution of that easement.

Ms. Pollitt said there is a construction project on West Kemper Road that looks like it is taking place right over the top of the sewer project we did. Can you tell me about that?

Mr. Osborn replied that is a gas main replacement project that started up by Kenn Road and has been moving west to east. The gas main is being replaced primarily on the north side of the road and outside the pavement area. From the culvert just east of Lawnview to Value City they have had to tear out the sidewalk to put the gas main in place. We sent a letter to the residents on Kemper Road who were impacted by this and recommended that they take pictures of their property for restoration purposes because restoration will be a slow and arduous process. We also have to keep in mind that this is a Cincinnati Gas and Electric job and we have limited control over it.

Ms. Pollitt asked will it be moving east?

Mr. Osborn replied no, itís intermittent. Theyíve done some open cutting across Kemper Road in several places. Thatís where they are tying in to existing gas main on the other side. The same thing will happen at SR 747 and Kemper Road, which is the eastern terminus of this project. They will have to cut right across the road diagonally so we will have a major trench going across that intersection. We want the area by Tri-County done by the big shopping season.

Ms. Pollitt asked since we already had that dug up, could that not have been incorporated into that project?

Mr. Osborn answered that project was done five or six years ago. We send out a notice to all the utilities stating our projects for this year and next year. If we know a utility has a major project we will postpone our project until they pass through the area. Thatís the best we can do.

Mr. Danbury said I just wanted to thank all the residents who showed up for my district meeting and thank the officials who showed up.

Mrs. McNear asked Mr. Osborn, have we had any further communication from Cinergy on the cable replacement start date?

Mayor Webster said I did see Mr. Blade last Thursday and he was very apologetic. Heís well aware that we are waiting for a letter from him.

Mr. Parham said at the last conversation we had with them they are looking at the mid part of November. Iíll give them a call tomorrow and see if we can get an update.

Mr. Vanover said we have temporary lights up on Chesterdale for an MSD project.

Mr. Osborn stated MSD reported to us that they have a sewer collapse occurring along the western side of Chesterdale Road. Itís outside the pavement area but right under our guardrail. MSD has to replace a minimum of 350 feet of sewer. This work will take about two weeks. In order to have room to work they will have to close down one lane of the road. This is an emergency repair and itís in our best interest to get it done.


Mr. Osborn reported that the City of Sharonville has approached us about housing prisoners for them after convictions in their Mayorís Court. We already have an agreement with Glendale and we have had contacts from at least a half dozen other jurisdictions making the same request. Springdale has maintained its certification as a five-day holding facility over the years as regulations have become more stringent. Other jurisdictions have chosen to let it lapse and depend on the County. The County has now gotten to the point that they are no longer taking days for prisoners from Mayorís Courts. We know in terms of demands on our facilities that we can accommodate Sharonville. The typical sentence out of Mayorís Court may be one or two days or a day a week. We know that over the course of the year it will only be a few days and we can accommodate that. We recommend that the City enter into an agreement with Sharonville to provide them with the same service that we provide Glendale. We request an ordinance at the next meeting.

Mayor Webster stated we do get paid for that. Weíve been charging Glendale $70 a day.

Mayor Webster said I have a request from Chief Laage requesting that we do the Food for Fines program again this year. Once the word gets out we have people who donít have citations who just come in and donate bags of food. Last year we helped the Springdale Baptist food bank, the Tri-County SOUL Ministries food bank, and the Vineyard Church food bank. We gave up $8,390 in fines. The Administration is recommending that we do it again.

Mr. Squires made a motion to support the Mayorís suggestion. Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.


Planning Commission - November 11

Board of Zoning Appeals - November 18

Board of Health - November 13

Mayor Webster congratulated everyone who was re-elected to office including the school board.

Mr. Galster said I just wanted to acknowledge the CDS fall perspective newsletter article about the Veteranís Memorial and express my appreciation.

Mr. Schneider introduced Sara Ellington, new partner in the firm to Council.

Mr. Galster reported that there are board and commission appointments that will expire at the end of the month.

Mr. Danbury made a motion that Council go into executive session as a committee of the whole to discuss real estate matters. Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.

Council went into executive session at 9:09 p.m. and reconvened at 9:35 p.m.



Resolution R16-2004 third reading - November 19


Easement agreement with Wimbledon - November 19

Agreement with Sharonville to house prisoners - November 19

Council adjourned at 9:36 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,




Edward F. Knox

Clerk of Council/Finance Director

Minutes Approved:

Kathy McNear, President of Council



__________________________, 2003