President of Council Kathy McNear called Council to order on December 18, 2002, 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 December 4, 2002 were approved with six affirmative votes. Mr. Danbury abstained.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
Civil Service Commission – Mr. Strange said Civil Service Commission processed a letter from an applicant who was contesting his CSVA results and we resolved that issue. We also discussed the current open positions for violations bureau clerk and custodian. We understand the City’s direction concerning those positions. There have been further discussion with surrounding communities about doing consolidated testing as well as hiring. We see it as a real opportunity, not only to save money but to get a broader base of candidates. We are looking at potentially revising our current testing procedures for patrol officers so it’s more aligned with the new State requirements.
Rules and Laws - no report
Public Relations - no report
Public Health, Safety & Welfare - no report
Public Works – Mr. Wilson reported that the 2002 street program is completed. The Public Works Committee met on December 4 to discuss the scope of the 2003 program and to prioritize projects.
Public Utilities - no report
Capital Improvements – Mr. Danbury said a pre-construction meeting on the CSX grade separation was held at ODOT on November 25. The job has started and will be completed in 2005. Next year they will concentrate on the water main, sanitary and storm sewers, temporary roadway and temporary railroad tracks. The east side of the Springfield Pike streetscape is substantially done. Most of the lights are working. They are starting at the intersection of Kemper and SR 4. It should be substantially complete by the end of this year. The contractor is scheduled to begin construction on the Kemper Road Phase II project next March. The Sharon Road intersection improvements has been closed up until next March.
Finance Committee - no report
Planning Commission - no report
Board of Zoning Appeals – Mr. Squires said they had one item on the agenda. A resident requested a variance to tear down a garage on his property and not replace it for 19 months. There were several factors involved. The variance was granted and the resident has 21 months to complete the garage.
Board of Health – Ms. Pollitt stated they had the final reading of Regulation R2-2002 regarding fee charges. There was also a report on pre-event planning for the smallpox vaccination plan. The Health Department received $2,600 from the Terrorist Infrastructure Grant Contract that was passed down from the federal government. We also have a nuisance animal report and with Council’s permission I would like to tell you that we were over on the budget but I’d like to table conversation on this until next month since we will be doing the budget this evening.
Veteran’s Memorial Committee – Mr. Wilson reported that the committee met this evening and we made some final recommendations as to what the memorial would look like. We looked also at soliciting funds from the private sector.
Mr. Galster said Community Management Corporation, who owns the Wimbledon Plaza, has agreed to allow us a permanent easement of approximately 40 feet into their property to allow the construction of the memorial. Don Shvegzda is putting together a map of the easement we will be obtaining. After we get it, we would like to issue a proclamation thanking them for that donation. We have begun a non-profit fund raising corporation in order to see if we can get some funding from the business and private sector. We anticipate a price tag of $500,000 to $600,000 for the memorial. I’d like to thank Ken Schneider’s office. He has offered to set that non-profit operation up for us.
O-K-I - no report
Mayor’s Report – Mayor Webster said I would like to express the sympathies that all of us felt for Mr. Parham with the sudden loss of his mother the week before last. Our prayers and sympathies go out to you and your family. We also lost one of our business people here in Springdale Friday night, Mr. Dave Hunley, who operates the tow service down the street. He died of a heart attack this past Friday. I’d like to extend our sympathies to his family also.
Mayor Webster continued I have a card from Marietta Brown who is the Sunshine Lady of the Springdale Senior Citizens Group. It reads: "Dear Mayor Webster and Members of Council: On behalf of the Senior Citizens Organization I would like to thank you for the lovely Christmas dinner and party that we enjoyed at the Sharonville Convention Center on December 11th. Even though the weather was cold and rainy we had a full house and everyone was in the holiday spirit. Our membership has grown over the past year by twenty new members. We’re very grateful for all of your help and your continued support for our senior group. May all of you have a wonderful holiday and prosperous new year."
Mayor Webster said I’d also like to report that we had snow that necessitated our crews being out between the first, fourth and eleventh of December. We recorded a total cost to treat the streets of $11,810. That is labor, salt and calcium, etc. This probably approaches, if not exceeds, the entire cost of last winter.
Mayor Webster announced the winners of the 2002 Christmas light awards.
SPRINGDALE CHRISTMAS AREA WINNERS-2002
1ST PLACE 804 CEDARHILL DRIVE THOMPSON
2ND PLACE 866 CLEARFIELD LANE SVACH
3RD PLACE 805 ASHCROFT COURT SMITH
HM 819 YORKHAVEN ROAD PACKER
HM 826 CLEARFIELD LANE OSTENDORF
HM 797 WEYMOUTH BAUER
HM 674 CEDARHILL DRIVE STRAYHORN
HM 12015 ELKRIDGE DRIVE HENDRICKSON
HM 12025 GREENCASTLE DRIVE BROENNER
1ST PLACE 11850 FAIRSPRINGS COURT JUDY COMPTON
2ND PLACE 11856 GLENFALLS COURT RAMSEY
3RD PLACE 609 GLENSPRINGS DRIVE BARNETT
HM 11817 WOODVALE COURT RICKS
HM 335 GLENSPRINGS DRIVE REED
580 CLOVERDALE AVENUE MICHAEL PLUM
567 SMILEY AVENUE SUNDERMAN
1ST PLACE 693 ALLEN AVENUE SINGER
2ND PLACE 607 SMILEY AVENUE OSTERMAN
3RD PLACE 686 CLOVERDALE RUBY GRANT
HM 700 ALLEN AVENUE PERKINS
HM 517 CLOVERDALE AVENUE HAMM
HM 462 DIMMICK AVENUE WOLF
HM 560 DIMMICK AVENUE SINGER
HM 11712 KENN ROAD GERTH
11551 MADISON AVENUE HECKMAN
1ST PLACE 583 LAFAYETTE AVENUE BRABBS
2ND PLACE 11490 WHALLON COURT WRIGHT
3RD PLACE 565 WEST KEMPER ROAD MILLER
HM 11493 WHALLON COURT FENSTERMACHER
HM 533 WEST KEMPER ROAD GESSLER
HM 577 OBSERVATORY DRIVE FOSTER
HM 11484 WHALLON COURT DAVIS
1ST PLACE 375 CAMERON ROAD STACY
2ND PLACE 482 VISTA GLEN LEACH
3RD PLACE 489 VISTA GLEN WOLFF
HM 444 WEST SHARON ROAD JANZEN
HM 10974 ASHLEIGH COURT SPRINGER
11783 VAN CLEVE SALATOWSKI
1ST PLACE 249 RUSKIN DRIVE SHROYER
2ND PLACE 11718 VAN CLEVE CARROLL
3RD PLACE 11817 NEUSS AVENUE MEYER
HM 118 RUSKIN DRIVE MEECE
HM 11846 RAMSDALE COURT MEYER
HM 202 DISTON LANE SAYEGH
HM 138 SILVERWOOD CIRCLE MORGENROTH
HM 104 ROSETTA COURT MAYWEATHER
HM 113 ROSETTA COURT AMMON
12122 AUDIE COURT RISH
1ST PLACE 12003 MALLET DRIVE WHITAKER
2ND PLACE 829 CRESENTVILLE ROAD ROKISKI
3RD PLACE 705 CASTRO LANE WOLSING
HM 777 CASTRO BARBARA AKERS
HM 12158 AUDIE COURT MONSON
HM 877 TIVOLI LANE FARMER
HM 876 TIVOLI LANE MCKNIGHT
HM 757 LEDRO STREET MOORE
MOST DECORATED STREET – WHALLON COURT
MOST DECORATED SUBDIVISION – ROYAL OAKS
Clerk of Council/Finance Director – Mr. Knox said we received an anonymous communications and we do not read anonymous communications. If the person would identify himself/herself we would be happy to look into it and read it at the next Council meeting.
Mr. Knox said the next item is whether the State will collect municipal income taxes from the 541 municipalities. The Ohio Municipal League, the Ohio Municipal Task Force and many municipalities are dead set against this. There is nothing in writing at this time so it’s very difficult to attack it. I understand we can expect to hear from this and we will report back on it.
Mr. Knox stated tonight we have Resolution R27-2002. We have a final agreement. It has not been blessed by the Hamilton County Commissioners yet. Lastly, about a year and a half ago we passed a resolution requesting that the State raise the limit on what is known as Then and Now Certificates from $1,000 to $3,000. Through the good offices of Mr. Wayne Coates, the outgoing member of the House of Representatives, and his aid, Kathy Wellington, have gotten it through the House with a 90-1 vote. It went through the Senate introduced by Senator Finan and Senator Mallory supported it also. Before January 16 the Governor will sign it.
Administrator’s Report – Mr. Osborn said we received the legislative packet from the Ohio Department of Transportation for the bike path on Sharon Road. This is a project where we had secured 80/20 funding. Based on our engineer’s estimate that would have meant that the Federal Government through the State of Ohio would have put up $85,000 and Springdale would have put up a little over $21,000. In the material we have received from ODOT, they have increased the cost of the project and they are indicating our local share would be $61,252. If we are to do this we have to have a check to them before January 3. I would recommend, given our fiscal situation, that we take another alternative and ask them to delay this project so that we have more time to see how revenues perform in 2003. Initially we can request that the sale date be postponed until May. There may be a possibility that it could be pushed back further. Given our circumstances I would not recommend that we deposit $61,000 with the State at this time. If Council concurs I will write them a letter and ask for an extension.
Mr. Galster made a motion to request a delay on the project and Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Osborn stated I was informed yesterday that Bill McErlane has been named Building Official for the State of Ohio, I believe. It may be the Southwest Ohio Building Officials Association but he is receiving an award and I would like to have him come in at the next meeting to that have that recognized before Council. Just recently the Springdale Police Department went to the Cincinnati Triple A awards dinner and were given a platinum award for pedestrian safety. Chief Laage’s memo says "This is the highest award a community can receive. It is the first time a local community has received this level of achievement and several Triple A board members from both within this area and outside the region representing other Triple A regions advised that they have never seen another community receive this award. Due to the level of the reward it is reviewed by the national office." I have asked Chief Laage to be present also with Officer Witte who put the material together for the award.
Law Director’s Report – Mrs. McNear said Mr. Schneider will be here later. He gave me his report and said he has a signed contract for the Shipps property which we will be addressing as Ordinance 84-2002.
Engineer’s Report - no report
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
ORDINANCE NO. 84-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT TO PURCHASE WITH DONALD E. SHIPPS AND CAROLE M. SHIPPS, TRUSTEES, FOR THE ACQUISITION OF PROPERTY LOCATED AT THE REAR OF 11530 SPRINGFIELD PIKE, SPRINGDALE, OHIO 45246, AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 84-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 85-2002"SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS ORDINANCE TO MAKE APPROPRIATIONS FOR CURRENT EXPENSES AND OTHER EXPENDITURES FOR THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO DURING THE FISCAL YEAR ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2002"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said we are looking at three funds that we typically separate, the general fund, the health insurance fund and the trust fund as one fund for the purpose of this document because under accounting principals and the way we have to report to the State, those three funds are combined. If you turn to Exhibit A, within those three funds we had certain expenses that went beyond what we expected. As an example, in the Building Department we had $111,000 cash bond that was deposited in $2,000 that we had to refund this year. We have to show additional appropriations within the Building Department. Under Administration, the Claims and Contingencies are expenses that we have incurred in our health insurance trust fund that exceed our original appropriations. The $825,000 below that is to support an advance from the insurance trust fund to the capital improvementsl fund. The numbers you see in brackets are dollars that we are taking away from appropriations within other parts of the budget to offset those three I just described. $675,000 of that advance to the capital improvements fund to the insurance trust fund is being made to protect the City in the event we don’t close on the sale of property to UDF. We have a closing date set up for Friday.
Mr. Knox said Mr. Osborn does a wonderful job on this, and this year was particularly difficult to do, given the source of our revenues and the fact that Mr. Parham was with his family.
Mr. Osborn said for this particular document Jeff Williams did the lion’s share of the work.
Ordinance 85-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mayor Webster said in addition to the appropriate accolades to Mr. Osborn, Mr. Parham and Jeff, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our department directors. The Police Department, just in an appropriations standpoint, has turned back in $250,000; the Fire Department, $133,500; Health Department, $1,800; Parks and Recreation, $125,000; Public Works, $173,000; Finance, $132,900. It just shows that those people were very prudent with the tax payers money.
ORDINANCE NO.86-2002 "TEMPORARY APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE PERIOD JANUARY 1, 2003, UNTIL THE FISCAL YEAR 2003 APPROPRIATION PERMANENT ORDINANCE IS ADOPTED BY CITY COUNCIL"
Ms. Pollitt made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Ordinance 86-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 87-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE CONTRACT OF CDS ASSOCIATES, INC., FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 87-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO.88-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE AGREEMENT WITH WOOD & LAMPING LLP FOR LEGAL SERVICES TO THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mr. Osborn said there is a page missing from the exhibit. It’s actually Ken’s cover letter to the President of Council. We really should make that part of the exhibit. Beyond changing the rates, Exhibit A is also a representation of a change in the body of the agreement between Wood & Lamping and the City. I asked Mr. Schneider to summarize what’s being done here.
Mr. Schneider said I tried to make the amendment again this year and noticed some of the numbers were not consistent with what we had done since 1995 when we did this. Six, seven, eight and nine were not correct. I corrected those and a wording change in paragraph 7 where it says "Springdale shall compensate Wood & Lamping for all other legal services "except for litigation and labor negotiations." I put that in because the next sentence specifically provides "for the services rendered in connection with litigation, labor negotiations shall be performed at $162 per hour. Earlier that had not been included except for litigation and labor negotiations. That just clarified what was in the next sentence.
Ordinance 88-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 89-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH CDS ASSOCIATES FOR CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING AND OBSERVATION SERVICES IN THE EAST KEMPER ROAD PHASE II PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Ordinance 89-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 90-2002 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH CDS ASSOCIATES FOR CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERING SERVICES IN THE STATE ROUTE 747/CSX GRADE SEPARATION PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Ordinance 90-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE 91-2002 "AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 17-2002 AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO AMEND THE CONTRACT WITH ADLETA INCORPORATED FOR THE 2002 STREET IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Squires seconded.
Mr. Osborn said the additional costs are all related to quantities. We used more material for the grinding and resurfacing of the subdivision streets in the Terrace and Royal Oaks subdivision. At one of our public meetings this year a lady suggested that we pave the area at the underpass on Kenn Road so that the ODOT and City trucks which park there have a paved area to pull off onto. We put asphalt between the curb and sidewalk there.
Ordinance 91-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 92-20002 "AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 65-2001 TO PROVIDE FOR WAGE INCREASES AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Osborn said all non-public safety full-time personnel classifications and part-time firefighter classifications are being advanced by 3%. The rate of compensation for full-time firefighters is being increased by 3.5% under a multi-year contract. The police officers are receiving a 4% increase under a contract with the FOP. That will also apply to sergeants and lieutenants although they are not part of that bargaining unit. It’s been our practice to keep them apace of the patrol officers. In addition to that, based on wage surveys, we felt that the spread between patrol officer and sergeant was not significant enough at 10%. We felt our supervisors were falling behind so this ordinance also provides for an additional 5% spread between patrol officer and sergeant taking it to 15%. The only other change is to alter the assignment of the Chief Fire Inspector on pay table II from grade 2 to grade 3.
Ordinance 92-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 93-2002 "AMENDING CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE SECTION 32.06(c) AND (d) SICK LEAVE CONVERSION AND SECTION 32.18(a) TUITION REIMBURSEMENT AND DECLARING"
Mr. Galster made a motion to amend the ordinance by adding the word "hours" in paragraph c, sixth line after sick leave and Mr. Squires seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Ordinance 93-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R27-2002 "CONSENTING TO JOIN THE NORTHERN CINCINNATI CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, INC."
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Ms. Pollitt seconded.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Knox if we could drop out of this anytime we so desire.
Mr. Knox replied yes, we can leave by resolution similar to the one we are doing.
Mayor Webster said we are not obligating ourselves to pay any fees.
Mr. Knox responded no, there are no fees.
Mayor Webster said our initial concern was that the Board of Directors was made up of the Mayor, Convention Center Director and Safety Service Director of Sharonville. I would certainly hope that once we’ve joined this organization there would be an open election and there would be representation from other communities.
Mr. Knox stated the board will be made up of one person from each community that joins plus some hoteliers. Each community will only have one representative. Everything will be done by majority vote. To your point, the people in the Cincinnati Convention Center did not like the fact that on the Convention Facility Authority, to which we have nominated Mr. Parham to be our representative, there were two people from Sharonville, Mr. Lovitt and Mr. Gryer. They are going to remove Mr. Gryer’s name and put Paul Brehm of Forest Park.
Mr. Danbury said a lot of accolades go around but Mr. Knox has gone way out of his way to get involved and find out all the details on this. He is doing a valuable service.
Mr. Knox said on Monday the Hamilton County Commissioners, who are the third party to the agreement, will vote and right now it appears all three will vote in favor of it. We’re where we want to be and Springdale has a place at the table.
Mayor Webster said I think Ed has done an admirable job with this. He has been involved in this since day one. I tried to nominate Mr. Knox to the Convention Facility Authority. Evidently when the State authorized the counties to raise the motel tax, they slipped a statement in there saying that the board had to be comprised with a certain number of people from the opposite political persuasion. Since all the other communities had Rs behind their name I had no choice but to nominate someone else.
Resolution R27-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
Ms. Pollitt said Mrs. Marcia Sherry was appointed to the Civil Service Commission a few months ago to replace Mr. Coleman. I have had conversation with Mrs. Sherry and she is interested in continuing on. I would like to nominate her for the position. There were no other nominations.
RESOLUTION R31-2002 "APPOINTING MARCIA SHERRY AS A MEMBER OF THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ms. Pollitt asked could we have the spelling of her first name corrected.
Resolution R31-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R32-2002 "APPOINTING AS A MEMBER OF THE CHARTER REVISION COMMISSION"
Mr. Danbury made a motion to table Resolution R32-2002 to get clarification of eligibility. Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with seven affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R33-2002 "FINAL RESOLUTION ENACTED BY THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO AS THE LEGISLATIVE AUTHORITY/LOCAL PUBLIC AGENCY OR "LPA", IN THE MATTER OF THE STATED DESCRIBED PROJECT"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to read by title only and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mayor Webster said I don’t see the project called out here. What street are we doing?
Mr. Osborn responded it should be in the subparagraph under the first WHEREAS but it doesn’t call it out. We have strict instructions from the State not to alter the legislation. In the upper left hand corner it references Ordinance 6-2002. That’s when we applied for this funding. We anticipate that the project is going to cost $430,000. We’re posting $226,000 with the State so we anticipate the State’s share to be $200,000.
The motion to read by title only passed with seven affirmative votes.
Mr. Squires made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mayor Webster asked should Mr. Knox read the first paragraph on page 2?
Mr. Schneider replied it doesn’t have to be in the title but someone should explain it so the public knows.
Mr. Osborn said we’re depositing $226,000 with the State of Ohio under the Urban Paving Program which is available for State highways in Ohio. Under this program the State will pay for the resurfacing of the improvement but will not pay for any full-depth repair or other maintenance work that has to be done in preparation for the resurfacing. Under this agreement the City of Springdale is accepting those expenses as local expenses.
Resolution R33-2002 passed with seven affirmative votes.
WORK SESSION – 2003 CITY BUDGET - CECIL OSBORN
Mr. Wilson said hopefully everyone has had a chance to look at the budget. We looked at the five-year to give us a ball park figure. We opted not to spend any time on the five year budget but just have it as a reference. We are going to go by department and, if you have any questions, you can ask at that time. With everyone having read the entire document we will just be entertaining questions by department and see if we can get through this in a timely manner.
Mayor Webster said I suggest that we ask Mr. Osborn to read his December 11th letter addressed to you. All of us see it here and have had a chance to read it but I think it really says a great deal about what’s gone into this budget and what we expect in the upcoming year. I just think it’s important that it be read.
Mr. Osborn said I intended to summarize the cover letter for the budget because it sets the tone for the document.
Mr. Osborn said this is a very austere budget proposal. Early in 2002 we recognized that we were experiencing revenue shortfalls and we adjusted accordingly. The overall expenses for the 2002 general fund have been brought in $1.6 million under appropriations. This was done even though we encountered some very unforeseen but unavoidable expenses such as a dramatic increase in losses under our self-funded health insurance program. Recognizing the trend in our revenues we approached the 2003 budget with that same type of cost saving attitude. The 2003 general fund, proposed at $15,430,000, is 8.5% below our current year budget. We will be spending more than we’re taking in right now and we’re going to have to find ways to cut costs, anticipating that revenues won’t grow.
Mr. Osborn went through the letter of December 11th and the budget.
Police Department -Mrs. McNear said on page 1, account 52580-Hamilton County Radio, rate $14 per detail, does that mean every time they dispatch somebody the City gets a bill for $14?
Mr. Osborn replied that is right. We are looking at 11,700 details this year. The County’s radio system is very worthwhile but also very expensive. In the Fire Department the rate is the same but if there are additional communications we don’t get billed $14 for every communication, just for that detail.
Mr. Wilson said line item 52852-Weapons, I’m looking at the 2003 purchases, Barettas, Smith & Wesson and four shotguns. Are those replacement items and if so, what do we do with the weapons that are now being used?
Mr. Osborn responded the reason the budget for weapons has gone down is that we have completed the purchase of less than lethal weapons. We completed those purchases in 2002. In 2003 we are buying additional weapons. The old shotguns will be converted to beanbag type weapons.
Fire Department-Mrs. McNear said on page 6, last item, Other Contractual Services, the fee for third party administrators to manage our EMS billing program, looking at what it costs, are we recouping more money than we’re actually paying?
Mr. Osborn answered that question was raised at the Finance Committee. Mr. Parham is the in-house manager of that program but we feel we cannot do what the third-party administrator does.
Mr. Parham said around 1994 is when we engaged the services of Medicount Management. We were one of their first customers. Our department transfers a stack of runs to Medicount, who goes through the billing process. They are far more qualified and equipped to deal with Medicare and Medicaid. With the insurance company I think it is a little easier because we have set our rates and they are the rates the insurance company is going to reimburse us. With Medicare and Medicaid you will get the number that they determine will be reimbursable to you. In those instances you may go back against any insurance the individual may have. There are constant rule and law changes under those programs. To have someone on staff would not be feasible as long as we have these people handling it for many other clients. They receive 11% of all sums that are collected plus $2.25 for every advance in basic life support run. When our folks go out on runs they may encounter a patient who is unable to provide all the detailed information for us to complete the documentation. Medicount then has to contact that patient and try to solicit that information. In instances where we are able to solicit and gather that information, there is a credit we receive. That’s not part of the contract; it’s just something they are trying to get us to do to help improve the services. In 1991 we brought in an income of $299,527 and paid Medicount Medicine $37,499. In 2002 income through November 30 is $223,078 with expenses of $34,460.
Health Department – Ms. Pollitt stated I read an article in the paper that infant immunizations are going to be changing with a recommendation that infants be immunized one time instead of the fourteen injections they now get. Do we have a feeling that this will impact our supply cost?
Mr. Osborn replied I read that same article but I haven’t seen the Health Commissioner or nurse since I read that article so I don’t have an answer.
Building Department – Mrs. McNear said on page 14, 52610, $1,850 to cut grass for property maintenance code violations. Do we not recoup those funds?
Mr. Osborn said yes we do, but we still have to show them as an expense.
Mayor Webster said as we get to page 24, we see a total for the general fund. As Mr. Osborn has stressed very vividly, this is a very austere program for budget but I don’t want anybody to leave here with the idea that the City is broke and we can’t provide services. With the cost saving measures we are implementing, we don’t expect to effect the service levels that the people in the City have come to expect. We’re proposing a budget of $15.4 million dollars. Out of that $15.4, providing for safety issues, keeping the roads clean, health and building department, we still have $2 million we can spend on recreation. Push come to shove, if you had to shut something down, I think you would have to rank recreation way down on the list of priorities.
Mayor Webster said on page 36 we still have the Sharon Road bike lane construction in there but that $107,000 was the number we had in hand when the budget was put together. We’re going to push that back but it doesn’t mean we will save $107,000 because that includes the State grant.
Mr. Squires said on page 36, I am looking the proposed budget for 2003, $3,352,900 for the CSX grade separation. Does that include what the State is putting in?
Mr. Osborn replied all of that is state or federal funding. If you look at 2001 you see that we spent $200,000 towards construction. In 2002 of the $500,000 number, $209,000 of that is Springdale money towards construction.
Mr. Squires asked do we still get money on the estate tax?
Mr. Osborn said last year we took in $627,000. We budgeted $300,000 for this year and have actually taken in $476,000. We budgeted $300,000 for next year, but there is a graduated increase in the amount of estate that is protected from taxation. That grows every year for four or five years. The potential for estate tax is still there but not as great as it used to be.
Mr. Osborn said we will be bringing this document into you as an appropriations document on January 8.
Mrs. McNear said thanks to Cecil and everybody in your department who worked so diligently on this as well as the Finance Department.
Mayor Webster said I’m sure Cecil is extremely happy to have this project behind him. He has burned the midnight oil and done a remarkable job. He has had remarkable cooperation from the Finance Department and the department directors. I’d like to thank all those people for a job well done.
Mr. Wilson said if you note on the conclusion, Mr. Osborn lists the department heads and also gives special recognition to Derrick Parham, Martha Brillhart and Marty Holden. These individuals have made extraordinary contributions.
Mrs. McNear said I just wanted to follow up on an item from several months ago. I had spoken about a Ms. Austin who was neighbor of the year, in my opinion, for her pooper scooper abilities, and I just wanted to see if there was an update on a good citizen award.
Mayor Webster said I have not forgotten that.
NEW BUSINESS - none
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Mr. Vanover said the Princeton City School Board had a special meeting Monday night and they are unrolling the facilities plans. There will be a meeting January 15 at the Community Center.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Resolution R32-2002 - January 8, 2003
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED
2003 Budget Appropriations - January 8, 2003
Council adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Kathy McNear, President of Council