Council was called to order on Wednesday, June 4, 1997 at 7:00 p.m. by President of Council Randy Danbury.
The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by the governmental body and those in attendance.
Roll call was taken by Mr. Knox. Present were Council members Boice, Galster, Manis, McNear, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
Mr. Vanover said in the minutes of May 21 under Capital Improvements report, Common Creek should be Carmen Creek.
The minutes of May 21, 1997 were approved with 5 affirmative votes. Mrs. McNear and Mrs. Boice abstained.
Letter to Mayor Doyle Webster from George V. Voinovich, Governor of Ohio. Mr. Knox said with your permission I'll synopsize it and get to the high points of it.
Dear Mayor Webster: As you are aware by now, the U.S. EPA is rushing to approve new air quality standards that would dramatically impact Ohio businesses. The governor points out that Ohio has made significant strides in cleaning our air and quotes some of the statistics. He further says the EPA's justification for these proposed standards is inadequate for three main reasons. First, according to U.S. EPA's own estimates, the costs for implementing the proposed standard for ozone exceed the benefits. Secondly, the projected benefits of the proposed standards are minimal. Even the U.S. EPA has backed off from their own modest benefit projections. Finally, regarding particulate matter, there is little reliable monitoring methodology.
Mr. Knox said he has attached a letter from Senator Bumpers, one of the senators from the State of Arkansas also signed by the rest of the Arkansas Congressional Delegation and I'll quote from that letter.
This intense debate has led us to a common conclusion. We currently do not possess adequate information to reach a definitive conclusion on whether these posed air quality standards are necessary, prudent, or supported by sound scientific and reasonable deductions derived from this science. We share a common fear, in light of the sincere disagreements over these proposed standards, that the proposals may attempt to go too far, too quickly.
That's quoting Senator Bumpers. The letter concludes saying that your opposition voiced to Congress would be appreciated. He requests that the Mayor or the City get in touch with the Office of Budget Management and the president over this matter.
Letter addressed to City Council:
Dear Sir, I'm writing about the Springdale Recreational Center's baseball fields. I play for the Springdale Red Dogs, a select A league baseball team. This is our first year when the bases are 90 feet and we pitch from major league distance. Now that we have started our games and we have been to nicer fields with mounds and grass infields I feel that we deserve at least a mound. I'm not asking for the mound just for us. I will be at the high school next year, and hopefully playing for the school, and that means that I will not be playing at Springdale. I would really appreciate it if you would add a mound to a couple of fields this year before the baseball season is over.
I may only get a few games with a mound, but the kids in the future when they begin pitching off of the mound it will benefit the rest of their career. The way I see it is that if they start pitching off a mound as soon as they can then they will be used to it for later careers such as high school, college, and professional league baseball. I thank you for taking your time to read this letter, and I hope you understand what I'm saying, and I hope you consider my request. Thank you, William Krieger, 669 Park Avenue
Mayor Webster said it's a great idea and I empathize with the young man but the reality of the situation is that each league has a different distance so how do you adjust the mound, or the base paths, or the grass infield depending on whether you are A, B, C, D league, etc. Even though we understand the handicap we place those youngsters in when they go to the junior school I don't think there is a whole lot we can do about that.
Mayor Webster said as to the first issue regarding the EPA and some of the things they are thinking about doing, I would like to ask the solicitor to see if any of the other communities have responded with a resolution from all the elected officials and see if we can't do something in concert with those other communities.
Mayor Webster read a letter directed to him.
Dear Mr. Webster: Hi, my name is Nicholas Howard. I'm a special needs student and am currently a junior in the Princeton High School Daily Living Lab. Recently I received my Eagle Scout award. This award is the highest award a Boy Scout can achieve. This has been a goal of mine and with the help and guidance from the leaders of the Springdale Troop 164 I was able to accomplish this. Without the kindness and understanding of people like my leader, Joseph Scott, I would never have made this goal. I'm very proud of my achievement and I just wanted to share my joy with you. Sincerely, Nick Howard, Springdale Troop 164
Mr. Osborn said I also wanted to address Mr. Krieger's letter. As the Mayor points out one of the problems we have with trying to set up an infield is the smaller children start out at a pitching distance of 45 feet. They ultimately expand that distance until they reach the major league distance of 60 feet 6 inches. We also have a lot more softball than we do hardball. Softball does not use a mound and if you've ever watched a softball game, they pitch from 50 feet and as soon as the pitcher pitches, the first thing he starts to do is back up. I think it also important to point out that we have built a mound at 60 feet 6 inches in Ross Park and the Springdale team does play out of Ross Park. It is not a groomed facility like Crosley Field at Blue Ash but it's a well maintained field. I concur with Mayor Webster's observations that we have to accommodate a very substantial range of capabilities, size of people, etc. However, we have provided one field with the mound as Mr. Krieger has requested.
Mr. Danbury said I do have another piece of correspondence that the resident asked be entered into the record. Mr. Knox said the letter was originally addressed to me and then I replied. Then Mr. Danbury received a reply.
Dear Sir, We do have an objection to the apron at 128 Rosetta Court and within writing no later than the 21 days from receipt of attached notice. Therefore our objection is that the apron does "not" violate criteria as written established by Springdale City Council for driveway apron replacement. Our apron does "not" have 50% or more deterioration. And further contend that the apron is flush (level) with the existing sidewalk and even curb. Furthermore, as new residents of Springdale as of 11/96, feel taken advantage of considering and in light of the circumstances, and that City Council members should compare a fine apron to even others (such as 11806 Lawnview Ave.!) The amount in question under existing conditions at 128 Rosetta Court in relationship to per suggested 157.5 square feet is ridiculous, clandestine, reckless, besides outrageous. Suggest to take another reevaluation. Respectively, Mr. and Mrs. B. W. Marlar
Mr. Osborn said as Mr. Knox indicated, when that letter was received, as we typically do when someone has written filing an objection and requested to be on the equalization board, we have the apron reinspected. Mr. Butsch reinspected the apron in the presence of Mr. Marlar. We are convinced the apron does violate the standards and Mr. Marlar was present when Mr. Butsch showed him the dimensions involved, etc. It's our contention that regrettably his apron does exceed the standards and he has the right to make his appeal to the equalization board and our contention will be at that time that his apron does exceed the standards that have been set by Council.
Mr. Knox said my apologies. I didn't see in there where he wanted it read in public. Mr. Danbury said he sent it by certified letter and requested that he wanted it to be read into the record.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE
Pearl Barnett, 11995 Greencastle Drive said in November 1996 I came home from work and the heavy rains and wind had taken a branch off my pear tree that is on the tree line. My husband called the City of Springdale Administrative Office but he got no answer so he called the Police Department non-emergency number. He left a message with them that we needed someone to come up, cut up and move the limb because it was partially on the sidewalk and partially in the street. That's what we thought they were going to do. The tree was 15 or 16 years old. I came home on Friday from work and my tree was gone. We take pride in our lawn. If you come up Greencastle, the second house on the left, we always keep the yard nice and the house nice so we take pride in our property. On Monday I called the Administration Building and asked them who I should talk to about this situation and they told me to contact Mr. Sears on Northland Boulevard; that he was the one who had sent someone out to take care of the tree. I tried to talk with him but I couldn't communicate on the phone so a couple of weeks later when I was on vacation I went to Mr. Sears' office. He said, Mrs. Barnett, I sent a certified man out and he said the tree needed to come down. I said, Mr. Sears, the tree lost a branch. The tree on the other side of the driveway lost a branch off it twice. We didn't cut the tree down. The tree has bloomed back out and is a big tree again. That's what we were anticipating with this one. He said I can get you another tree but it will be 2 1/2" caliper inches. I said I should have a larger tree. That tree has been there 15 years. We probably won't be in Springdale another 15 years. We don't have that long before we retire. Of course, he kept saying what he was going to do. I said no, I'll go to Council and tell them I was wronged. You cut my tree down and I wanted to make it right. When I got up with my purse and my coat he said Mrs. Barnett, sit back down. I want to talk to you. I will help you. I will give you a 3 1/2" caliper tree or larger. I said that's all I wanted. That's why I'm here in the first place. He said I can't do that now because it's too wet but in the spring of the year we will take the old trunk out of the ground and plant another one. He took me outside the building and showed me a larger one outside. He said I have this tree for someone else but I'll plant you a tree this size or larger. The man gave me his word so I didn't say put anything in writing. About a month ago I came in and had a tree about that big (she showed with her hand) and of course, I was upset again because he promised me a larger tree. I called his office and the lady said he was not in and that I should call back later. When I called back later I said Mr. Sears, you told me you were going to get me a larger tree. This tree is small. I took you at your word. He said, Mrs. Barnett, I didn't tell you that. I said Mr. Sears, you told me that you would give me a 3 1/2" caliper tree or larger. I said what did you do, lie to me? He said you called me a liar. This conversation is over and he hung up. I called the Administrative Office and asked the lady who should I talk to. She said Mr. Osborn and I will give you his voice mail and you can leave a message with him. I called him later that afternoon and he returned my call. I told him what had happened, the reason I was calling. He said Mrs. Barnett, I'll get back with you, maybe not today but I will get back with you. A couple of days passed and I hadn't heard from him so I called again and left another message on his voice mail. He returned the call and said he had left a message on my voice mail. I said I didn't get a message. I said did you talk to Mr. Sears? He said yes, I did and I've never known Mr. Sears to lie to me. Mr. Sears said he didn't tell you. I said, Mr. Osborn, Mr. Sears told me he would give me a 3 1/2" caliper tree or larger. If he lied to you about a tree he has lied to you about other things. I said you have a blessed day and I will talk to someone else. Wednesday or Thursday I was off again for vacation and I had time to make telephone calls. I called for the Mayor and he returned my call within an hour. I told him what I wanted. He was already aware of what was happening. He said I talked with Mr. Sears and Mr. Osborn. I knew what happened. I even drove up your street to see the tree on the other side of your driveway. I said why didn't you all bother to contact me to try to resolve this issue. He said I talked to my wife about it. I told her how nice you all were when I was campaigning and she reminded me of my campaign promise but he said I don't think Mr. Sears lied to you. I think there was a misunderstanding. Mr. Webster, it was not a misunderstanding. I understood what he said. My problem is I guess I could live without having a tree there. The problem I have is he lied to me and that was wrong. If he couldn't do it he should have said, I'm sorry, go to City Council. They will have to do it for you. So Mr. Webster, said come to the Council meeting, talk to them and let them make the decision. That's why I'm here tonight because I'm really upset. I've lived here for 21 years. I've never had any problems in Springdale. I thought it was a great city to live in. I never had to come to City Council meetings. I never had to talk to anyone in government. Today I'm here because I'm hurt and I feel I was wronged. I feel they should have at least gave me a larger tree than they gave the other people in the neighborhood. The other people's trees may have died. We bought this one and put it out. We lost a limb but they cut down the tree. That's why I'm here tonight. It's up to you all. If you don't give me another tree that's fine but I want you to hear how I feel and why I feel the way I feel. The tree wasn't really the big issue. I could live without that but to lie to me just to pamper me for the moment or treat me like I was stupid and wouldn't know the difference when he put a smaller tree on my tree line. You make the decision and I'll live with whatever decision you make.
Mayor Webster said for starters I would certainly concur with Mrs. Barnett's own assessment of her property. She and her husband have a very lovely home there on Greencastle. I do remember talking to them when I was campaigning. I don't know that I made any promises that I was going to install 3 1/2" caliper trees. We can get enthralled in who said what to whom but the bottom line is this. We do not have the capability of planting a 3 1/2" caliper tree. A 3 1/2" caliper tree is going to cost us about three times the normal size tree. The tree we put on Mrs. Barnett's apron was the largest Bradford pear tree we received this year. It is a 2 1/2" caliper tree. Most of the trees we put out are 1 1/2" to 2 1/2" trees. This is a 2 1/2". The weight of a 3 1/2" caliper tree is approximately 1,200 pounds. The 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" are 200 pounds; the 2" to 2 1/2" are 350 pounds. In my wildest imagination I cannot imagine Mr. Sears would sit there and make a commitment that he would put in a 1,200 pound tree. Like I tried to tell Mrs. Barnett, I don't think anybody lied to her. I think there was a misunderstanding. I think when you look at a tree outside, above ground, it looks much larger than it is once it's planted. I think Mr. Sears did take her back and show her a tree that he had there. I don't know that he would have even had a 3 1/2" caliper tree on premises. There would have been no reason to have one there. So I think he did show her a 2 1/2" and I believe that is what we put in. As far as us cutting the tree down that was done on the recommendation of a certified arborist, Mr. Darrell Perkins. He inspected the tree and found it was badly damaged. The limb was blocking the sidewalk and laying in the street creating a hazardous situation. It was determined that the tree needed to be removed. Should we have waited until the Barnetts came home to tell them that? You can argue that if you want. The bottom line is it was a hazardous situation. It's a Friday. I think we did the right thing. I think the tree should have come out. The Barnetts probably would have objected if we had told them we were going to take it out so then we leave a dangerous situation there the entire weekend. I don't think that would have been the prudent thing to do. I'm terribly sorry that the situation has gotten to where it has but I really think Mr. Perkins acted in good faith. I think Mr. Sears acted in good faith and if Mrs. Barnett thinks I should have intervened earlier all I can say is I apologize. I thought the process was working and I thought if you were not satisfied with the answer you were getting that you would do the exact thing you did tonight. We're prepared to answer any questions that Council may have.
Mr. Osborn said I agree with Mr. Webster. I think this is more a misunderstanding than anyone trying to deliberately deceive anyone. Mrs. Barnett has indicated they went out into the shop yard and looked at a tree. She saw a tree that looked satisfactory. We haven't had a 3 1/2" caliper tree planted in this City since the tree program started with the exception of a tree that is in the elementary school parking lot. In that particular case we had it delivered by truck and had it off-loaded by the truck operator because they had the equipment to do that. As Mr. Webster indicated, we cannot handle a 3 1/2" caliper tree and there's never been a 3 1/2" caliper tree at the maintenance garage. I'm certain any tree she saw there was a 2 1/2" caliper tree and when she was unhappy and getting ready to walk out I'm certain Mr. Sears was still going to try to mollify the situation and explain to her what his capabilities were. I again would also say if there has been misunderstanding and there clearly has been, that's regrettable and I would apologize for anything the City has done to create that misunderstanding, but we cannot plant 3 1/2" caliper trees. Physically we would have to acquire additional equipment. Costwise if we started putting in trees of that size we would almost triple the cost of our tree program. We believe the personnel in the Public Works Department have done exactly what they should have done in this situation and we certainly regret that there is a situation like this that has lead us to this point.
Mayor Webster stated for a subcontractor to come in and plant a tree that size there would have to be a hole dug that is 60 inches in diameter. You don't have 60" between the curb and the sidewalk. Once it grows underneath the sidewalk that's one thing but to try to plant a tree that size in the apron would be impossible without tearing up the sidewalk.
Mr. Danbury said I think it is misinformation given out. Mrs. Barnett, I can sympathize with you but to imply that Mr. Sears lied to you, I find that very hard to believe. I'm not saying you're lying. I'm just saying it's a misunderstanding. I've known Mr. Sears for a number of years and I think he is a man of integrity. He's been on the force for 26 years. He runs a very tight, efficient ship. Year end and year out when we do budgets his department always comes under. For us to go out and do an expense we don't have budgeted. We've never done these kinds of trees for the residential area. We've never had it. I don't think someone who has been on the job for 26 years
would promise something he can't deliver just to appease you at that point. He would realize that if he were to do that you would come forth like you are tonight and you would be very upset. I just think it's a misunderstanding. I think we've done the best we can. We are giving you the biggest one we are giving anyone. We are trying to be fair to everybody. I just want to go to bat for Mr. Sears and his whole crew because they have been there for years and years. If Mr. Sears says something I believe it. I believe all of our department heads are very very good and honest.
Mrs. Barnett said I assume you all assume I'm lying.
Mr. Danbury replied I didn't say that. That's my opinion.
Mrs. Barnett asked can you describe the difference between misunderstanding, I mean I know the difference. I didn't even know what caliper of trees he had. He's the one who said 3 1/2" caliper tree. I didn't know nothing about what size tree. I just knew I didn't want a tiny tree. He's the one who said 3 1/2" caliper when I said I didn't want a small baby tree. He said we will plant you a 3 1/2" caliper tree or larger. You say he didn't have one. When he took me out back he had a large tree outside of the Maintenance Office. I didn't ask who the tree was for. It really didn't matter since he was going to give me another tree. I guess I should have asked for something in writing. Now I know anytime I want anything from the City of Springdale to make sure I get it in writing because once you get to Council they decide it was a misunderstanding. So next time, anything I want from the City of Springdale, I would ask for it in writing because other than that you are not going to believe me anyway. I knew when I talked with Mr. Osborn, I knew you wouldn't believe me. I'm a black female. He's a white male. My husband said Pearl, don't go down there. They're not going to believe you. They are going to stand behind Sears. I said at least they will know how I feel. You know how I feel regardless of whether you believe me or not. I wouldn't stand here and lie to you. I have no reason to lie about a tree. This is what the man told me. If he hadn't have told me that I wouldn't be here tonight.
Mr. Danbury said first of all, I'm one person on Council. You are addressing Council. You did ask Council. This is my opinion. We may have six people totally disagree with what I just said. The second point is I did not say that you lied. I said there was a misunderstanding. For you to imply that there are different standards for someone who is a woman, it just doesn't happen. If you say it's something because you are black, it doesn't happen. We treat everybody equally. It's basically a misunderstanding. That's the way I look at it. I don't think we should bring up anything that doesn't apply here. For someone to come out and promise you something that we never do, I don't know why he would do that so I think it was a misunderstanding as to what he told you and what you perceived. I'm not placing blame and I'm not saying there is lying going on anywhere. I'm just saying there was a misunderstanding.
Mrs. Barnett said I did hear what I heard. You're saying I heard something that wasn't said or I'm saying something that wasn't said. What are you saying? What do you mean by misunderstanding?
Mr. Danbury replied communication is speaking and not only listening but understanding. Maybe he didn't explain to you what we could do and what we do for everybody regardless of who they are. I don't know, I wasn't privy to that conversation. I wasn't there but communication is understanding what someone says. Obviously that's where we have a problem. I can't get into it because I wasn't there. I was just explaining how I feel.
Mr. Wilson asked what caliper tree was it that was removed?
Mrs. Barnett replied the tree was about 15 years old. It was a huge tree. I knew he couldn't put one in the ground that size but I didn't want that little small tree. Like I said to him, in fifteen years I probably won't be in Springdale. We watched the tree grow. We took pride in the tree and all of a sudden, I come home and the tree is gone. I know he couldn't put in a giant size tree but I didn't want the little, small tree. That's what I told him in the beginning and he said that's the best he can do. When I told him I was going to come to Council that's when he changed his tune and said okay, I want to work with you.
Mr. Wilson stated we don't want to get into an issue of who said what because none of us here were present and it's a question of what you interpreted and what Mr. Sears said. I don't think any of us are in a position to say who is lying and who is not lying. Obviously it was miscommunication and that doesn't imply that someone is lying. What we need here on Council is to see if we can resolve this to our mutual satisfaction. That should be the issue, not the question of who said what. The problem is the tree was cut down. In the City's opinion it was damaged. In your opinion it wasn't but it was cut down and it should have been replaced. So I think the issue is what can we now do to satisfy our taxpaying resident to make you happy and to make the City happy. I think that's the issue we should be discussing, not a question of whose integrity or whose professional standing or whose color. The issue should be what can we do to satisfy our resident, what we on Council can do. I think that will be the issue here tonight, not a question of who said what. The issue we need to discuss is a tree was removed, a tree was replaced, you're not happy. What can we do to make you happy? That's what we have to do tonight.
Mr. Galster said I want to relate a personal experience. I used to live on the corner of Cloverdale and Rose and I had some real nice walnut trees and a nice, big catalpa tree. I'm not a tree expert myself but these were good sized trees. CG&E was cutting down for power lines and said we're just going to trim them out of the lines. When I came home I had three vee shaped trees. I was just shocked and amazed. I said how could you have done this. I had them come back and round the trees out. It took another five or six years to get back to a tree that looked like a regular tree again. I guess my question is, if the branch is broken and laying across the sidewalk and street, would it have been unsafe to remove the branch and waited on the tree? What made the whole tree removal process happen? The way I understand it we have a tree of pretty good girth and to lose a branch is common. If it got hit by lightning and split down the middle, that's a different story.
Mr. Sears said first of all Mrs. Barnett does have lovely property and she takes care of her property and that's not a question. I've been there and I'm glad she's in the City. She has Bradford pear trees about 8 to 10 inches in diameter. I didn't measure them. The lady across the street has the same type tree. Her whole property is circled with those trees. Bradford pear trees are real brittle. In November we had a wind storm and a large section of the tree fell down. I'm not prepared to say one-third or one-half. I was on vacation at that time. Mr. Butsch was in charge of the department. He sent a certified arborist out to inspect the tree. He inspected the tree and determined that first of all, part of the street and sidewalk was blocked. It was a hazard to the public and he to remove that section of the tree. Without question that section was cut and run through the chipper and the public right of way made safe. The gentleman who inspected the tree determined it was a hazard and could possibly fall over, and in good conscience he could not leave that tree standing and walk off and leave the City of Springdale liable. He made the decision that had I been on staff at the time, I would have made. I trust Mr. Perkins totally. He knows what he is doing. When he applied for his arborist test, he got 96% out of 100 which is quite frankly, unheard of. You usually take it 8 or 10 times. His qualifications are without question. I think he made the correct decision. The law in the State of Ohio says if we had not removed that tree, and I do have a copy of several court cases, then the City is liable. We wouldn't leave the City liable so we cut the tree down. It was an 8-10" diameter tree and there is no way we can replant that size tree. Mrs. Barnett is correct when she said she called me. She talked to me. She came into my office. I told her 2 1/2" caliper tree. We left my office and I took her out back and showed her a tree. I told her this is the size tree we'd be planting. Not only did we try to ensure that we did the very best we could, we got our nursery stock in and checked the type tree she was to receive, picked the largest tree that came in on our shipment and planted that tree. I think we regress when we say Mr. Sears lied or Mrs. Barnett lied. If it would be helpful I will take the blame for any misunderstanding. Rest assuredly, I told the lady 2 1/2" caliper tree in my office. If, and there's a possibility, Mrs. Barnett, standing right here in some conversation I may have said we'll plant you a 2 1/2" caliper tree and you thought I said 3 1/2". There's a possibility that I may have said 3 1/2" or told you unintentionally. We just don't plant that size tree. I don't recall saying 3 1/2" caliper. We never plant those. If there is any blame place it on me but rest assured in my office she was told 2 1/2' caliper tree because quite honestly, I knew she was upset and I asked a gentleman to be there and he witnessed the conversation. I definitely said 2 1/2" caliper trees. The gentleman is sitting here tonight and if there is any apology due Mrs. Barnett, I apologize to you. There's been a misunderstanding. We've done the best we could and believe me, I've worked in this City a long time. I get very upset when people talk color and things of that nature. I don't deal with color. I deal with people and the day I have to deal with color I'll resign. We've done what I think we should have done and I would do it tomorrow.
Mr. Galster responded so just to answer the question the tree was damaged beyond repair. There is not a question it was a hazard. It had to come down. There was not an opportunity because it happened on a Friday to wait, etc. I understand the need to take it down. I'm not questioning that. It's unfortunate to lose a large tree. I've done it as well. I know we have to dig a 60" wide hole in order to get a 3 1/2" caliper tree in but what realistically can we plant there. I'm not talking about what we usually plant in our street tree program, but realistically based on the amount of room that is there, not even based upon what equipment we have because we can contract out, but based on the amount of room that is there, what is the size of tree that can be put down safely and flourish?
Mr. Sears said I don't know the distance between the sidewalk and curb. I would say the standard is 5 feet. Sixty inches is the total distance between the sidewalk and curb. Is it possible to excavate and plant a tree of that size? Yes. Probably within a year or two we'd have to replace the sidewalk. It depends also on what utilities are in place. Let me suggest a solution that might be acceptable to Mrs. Barnett and Council. We're really involved in trees in the City and we work hard to satisfy our residents. We go to the nurseries and select trees that we are going to plant a lot of times. Amazingly enough to me on my first trip to a nursery was that they have all the nursery stock in place and they'll run hoses from one end of the line of trees to the other. They'll have little drip holes and keep the ground soaked. They'll take a little quill, 2 or 3 feet tall and they'll plant those in the ground, and keep it watered and wet all the time. They'll apply fertilizer on a 4-6 week cycle. They increase the size of that tree and cause it to become from twice as big around as a pencil to 1 1/2" diameter tree in a couple of years. A reasonable solution to me would be to fertilize the tree that we've planted. Keep it watered and it will grow very rapidly. To answer your question, is it doable to plant a 3 1/2" caliper tree, yes.
Mr. Galster asked what is the largest tree that can go there without having to tear up the sidewalk and curb.
Mr. Sears replied 2 1/2". When we talk 2 1/2" caliper tree 2 1/2" sometimes can be 2 1/4", sometimes 2 3/4". It's not an exact science. I think we've done the best we could. I recommend from my point of view that in fact that she fertilize her trees. If she didn't I don't mind fertilizing them myself. That's not a problem. It could be watered and grow quick. Whatever Council decides.
Mr. Galster asked Mrs. Barnett, would you be interested in his proposal of making sure it gets fertilized, even if the City has to do it. Would you be interested in having two trees 2 1/2" as opposed to trying to cram a 3 1/2" tree into a space that doesn't really fit? Is there anything that is a reasonably acceptable alternative to where we are at now?
Mrs. Barnett responded I believe there could be a little larger tree planted. Drive by my property and take a look at the tree. It's a small tree. I'm sure they can plant a tree a little larger than that that won't take as many years to grow. That tree is very small. Now he says it is 2 1/2" caliper. I don't know anything about the size of trees but it is a small tree. I think they could have found something a little larger to plant but that's the basic tree they plant in the neighborhood so we just got a basic tree. It's a very small tree. I think there could be a little larger tree put there, maybe not 3 1/2". I don't know how big 3 1/2" caliper would be but I'm sure something bigger could be put in there.
Mr. Galster asked do you have any objection to us having an arborist come out and evaluate what size tree would fit there? I'm willing to plant whatever size tree will fit in the area without tearing up the sidewalk. It's not going to be, according to what I've heard, a 3 1/2" diameter tree because it won't fit because we can't get a hole big enough. But if we can have both of our arborists out there, have them come back with what size tree can possibly fit there, we'll put the largest tree in that we can, given the circumstances and the environment of which the tree is going to be planted.
Mayor Webster said that's a very noteworthy suggestion, Mr. Galster, but I guarantee you Mr. Butsch has been out there along with Mr. Perkins, and I think we have planted the biggest tree we feel comfortable in planting there. I guess the other thought that is going through my mind is what do we do when the other tree comes down? It's a 15 year old Bradford pear. The whole street is lined with those. Those are very brittle trees that tend to break in windstorms, etc. so what do we do? Do you want each one of those issues brought before Council or do you want us to continue to replant and replenish our tree stock the way we have been doing and the way that has been successful in us winning the Tree City U.S.A. award for the last five years in a row.
Mr. Galster responded I understand. We don't necessarily know the tree is down unless we get a phone call. If the resident calls and says he/she has a fallen branch that needs to be taken care of, maybe before we go out we can say if it is determined that that tree needs to come down because it may be a hazard to other residents, maybe we can make that notification ahead of time. My problem is that to come home and not have a tree there and never being informed, I understand her situation. Then she would have know.
Mayor Webster stated let's walk through this logistically. They called the Police Department Thursday evening. The Maintenance Department comes in Friday morning and gets the call from the P.D. that the tree is down. The Barnetts are at work and no one is home. What are we supposed to do? You say we should tell them we may have to take the tree down. When are we going to communicate that to them? We're going to leave the situation over the weekend and communicate with a certified letter. It's all grandiose, let's communicate with them, but I think you have to stand back and look at the situation and timing of it.
Mr. Galster replied I would assume somebody called the Street Department to have the tree branch removed from the public right of way.
Mayor Webster responded the Police Department faxed it down on Friday morning.
Mr. Galster said I think our Police Department knows that the Street Maintenance Department is going to be taking the limb down. Maybe we need to have every department know that so if the Police Department gets the call, that's a possibility. I came home to three trees with 20 foot wide vees in them. It was amazing to me. I knew they needed to cut them out for the power wires but it doesn't mean I understood what that was going to look like. Maybe all the departments need to be aware that that is a possibility.
Mr. Osborn said my comments are not directed at Mrs. Barnett but at how we have to operate administratively. Many, many issues come before us routinely and we try our very best to satisfy the customer. But you cannot always satisfy the customer. You can't always make people happy. Mr. Wilson wants to try whatever it takes to make her happy. We don't have that resource. We have to make decisions. As you know we can't make everybody happy. It's just not possible. We have to make decisions sometimes and tell people what they don't want to hear and that's regrettable. I agree with the Mayor that I think we have a program in place that is working very well. We have a size tree that is selected for a purpose. I would strongly recommend that we not do anything extraordinary in this case. What do we do the next time someone down the street wants a tree planted and they say just give me a tree like you gave Mrs. Barnett. What are you going to do? Come back to Council again? I don't see us changing the program. I don't think there was any basis for exceptional action in this case and on top of that I think it sets a really bad precedent for the City in terms of its arborist program. It's regrettable what has happened but I think we should stay by our policy that has been in place for some time now in terms of how we select and plant trees. It's a very popular program and has been very successful. I would recommend that Council think very hard before we start trying to come up with some way to satisfy Mrs. Barnett when, in fact, what we are doing is creating a precedent that we are going to have to live with.
Mrs. Boice said I just want to cite something that happened to me in 1989. I had a beautiful sugar gum maple out on my boulevard. Over the years CG&E had done a fair number on it and they came by one day and said this tree has to go. I said there is nothing wrong with that tree. Then it clicked in and I said you can't do a thing about it because you can't take it off of there until I have a permit from the City. So I called Mr. Sears office. He couldn't get anyone down there right away and the CG&E man is standing right next to me saying the tree has to come down. He proceeded to take the receiver out of my ear and describe the situation to Mr. Sears. Mr. Sears who had not visibly seen the tree but from the description said take the tree down. I wasn't happy about it. I loved that tree. It was beautiful and my husband and I used to sit in the fall in the living room and look out at that gorgeous thing when it turned to bright red. I was absolutely delighted when my permit was delivered. I know all about the tree program but I'd kind of forgotten because I didn't need any trees. Mr. Sears said don't feel so bad. The City will put another tree on your boulevard. I thought this is really neat. I lost a tree I really loved and now I'm getting another tree. I have to be very honest with you. I know how you feel about losing your tree. I think the City did what they had to do. We have replaced another tree. I think the saddest part of all that has gone here for heading into an hour is your statement that your husband said they're not going to believe a black woman against a white man. That saddens me. That doesn't exist in this City and I think statements like that are potentially damaging and very, very dangerous. I think when I leave this hall tonight that about the only thing I'm going to carry from this hall is remembering that over a tree that that statement was introduced.
Mr. Vanover asked what is the normal life expectancy of a Bradford pear.
Mr. Butsch replied typically from a Bradford pear in this area you can get 15 years given the wind, the snow, ice. If you trim it and a lot of people don't because they keep a nice shape by themselves, thin it out so the air can get to the inside and circulate, it will last longer. We lost a lot of them in the snow we had in 1988. We spent a lot of time picking them up. They can get up to 45 feet tall and live for 25 years given the right conditions up against the house and blocked from the wind. Darrell asked me before he took it down what do you want me to do. I said make an attempt. I asked is it a hazard? He said yes, it is. He stood and watched it blow in the wind. When a Bradford limb goes down you can lose half a tree. Bradfords have a poor branching structure and in this situation, I think she can attest that her tree lost two branches. They almost appear multi-stemmed. They lose that central leader. When the branch goes up in a vertical position and has a lot of load on it, it has a tendency to split. When it splits below the crotch it actually affects the surrounding branches. Darrell watched the tree and made the determination. He told me it was a hazard and we could not leave it over the weekend. I guess we could have blocked off the street or blocked off the area and waited but given the situation and the liability that's why we took it down. Back to the original question 15 to 20 years would be the life expectancy of a Bradford pear.
Ms. Manis asked do we plant those trees?
Mr. Butsch replied the type we planted was an Aristocrat. We won't plant a Bradford. The last Bradfords we planted was in 1987. In this area they are a big no-no. The hybrids, the Aristocrats, Red Spires, Cleveland Selects, Trinity Pears, have a better branching structure. When they lose a limb they lose a limb. They don't lose have the tree.
Ms. Manis asked but it's a similar looking tree?
Mr. Butsch responded few people can tell them apart. As they get older I can tell.
Mr. Danbury said the decision, if we are going to make one tonight, is do we do anything out of the norm that we won't do for any other citizen in the City of Springdale. I look at it as an unfortunate incident but you didn't do anything wrong and the City didn't do anything wrong. It was an act of God and that's why it split. Maybe it was just the breed of tree that was there. If we were to increase the size it would mean that our tree service could be going backwards or be stagnate for a number of years because instead of planting new trees in areas for homeowners who don't have trees, we'll be spending more money per tree to replace something that has gone down, especially with these Bradfords. It's unfortunate and I'd love to say yes to everybody but again, as Mr. Osborn said, the hardest part we have to do is say yes or no. I personally think that the services we provide right now are adequate so personally I'm not in favor of doing anything above and beyond the norm.
Ms. Manis said this is the first I'd ever heard of this, tonight. I would like to see the tree myself. I don't know if that will affect anyone's decision but I'd like to drive down her street and take a look.
Mr. Vanover stated I understand the loss of the tree. I have a silver maple on my property and I hate giving up the tree but it has become a real nuisance. I suspect I have some branches that are growing underneath the foundation of my house and that's a bigger concern than the tree. Again, it's a game of semantics with marketing. A 2 1/2" may be 2 1/4" or 2 3/4". A 3 1/2" may be 2 7/8" or 3 3/4". It is amazing with just a one inch jump what is required for the root ball to get into the ground. I don't think we should risk the sidewalk or the curb. If our experts are comfortable where we are now I think Mr. Sears' offer of force feeding it and giving it a super, super growth would probably be the most amenable. We're not going to be able to put an 8" tree in there. We can't put a 5" tree in there. It's unfortunate that it has come to this. I, like Mrs. Boice, am sickened by the implications that certain people carry certain priorities. That has never ever been in Springdale and that's one of the things we have been very proud of. I think we have done the most we can do with the exception of Mr. Sears doing the fertilizing. I think that's where we stand.
Mr. Wilson said having grown up in Philadelphia I have seen what trees do to driveways and sidewalks so I'm not in favor of a huge tree; but Mrs. Barnett, after I have my meeting tomorrow I am going to stop by your property because it is in my district and I'm going to look at the tree. I agree with Mr. Vanover and hopefully Mr. Sears can look at assisting you in another manner with the fertilizer or something to expedite the growth. I don't think we're setting a precedent. This is the first incidence I've heard of since I've been on Council where a person has come to us about an issue like this. Sometimes setting precedents are good and those of you on Planning or Council know how I hate setting precedents but sometimes I think our rules are meant to be bent. Maybe this time we need to take a second look and put aside our feelings.
Mr. Danbury asked do we want to make a decision tonight. I have heard a few people say they don't want to change it. Are there any objections to not changing it? Does Council feel comfortable just staying the course?
Mr. Galster said I'd like to look at it. I'd like to have the arborist tell me if the 2 1/2" is the biggest we can do.
Mr. Danbury replied he did tonight.
Mr. Galster responded the Administration and the Mayor said the 2 1/2" are standard for a reason but I want to say, based on her situation, that that's the biggest tree that can go there?
Mr. Danbury said the issue is not necessarily replacing this tree. If we were to change this right here that is going to be our new norm, because how can you get something and I can't. We had a lot of trees on Ray Norrish Drive. Every year I hear reports about deer coming up hitting them, kids going too fast and hitting them, ice, snow. Are we going to continue to spend money? We have a finite amount of money in our tree fund and we're not getting funding coming in like we used to. If we were to upgrade the caliper of trees, we basically say we are going to keep the same amount of trees we are now. Instead of planting 50 new trees next year we may only plant 20 new because we are going to have to spend 30 replacing others. That's the issue. It's not an issue of what we should do.
Mr. Galster replied with all due respect, Mr. Danbury, that's your take on the issue. Mine may be a little different than that. I have absolutely no problem with planting two 2 1/2" trees for every new tree we plant in the City. If we are going to replace trees that are damaged, maybe in some of those situations if a 3" tree works, maybe that is the thing to do. I haven't made that decision yet. I'd like to have the arborist tell me what tree fits there. I'd like to look at the tree that is there and then make that decision. I don't think it is setting a precedent that is forever, until the end of time, in our tree program. If we look at our tree program, how much of our plantings are new plantings? I would say the majority of them are that way. The replacement trees are a small percentage of the trees we replant. So maybe that is the exception. I would like to look at it.
Mayor Webster said Mr. Wilson, you are exactly right. To my knowledge this is the first situation that has come before Council regarding the size of the tree. I think what all of us need to do is, if you haven't driven through Oxford Hills, you need to drive through there. That entire subdivision is loaded with Bradford pear trees. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Danbury. Whatever you do here is what we will have to do throughout the entire subdivision. You are saying plant the largest tree possible. You have a certified arborist here saying we have done that already. Now you want to go out with the arborist and have him tell you the same thing he is telling you tonight. That's fine. We can do that. If in your opinion we can plant a 3" tree, do we plant a 3" tree? Then as every Bradford pear comes down throughout the City, I think we have to plant a 3" tree. Mr. Danbury's right again. You have to look at the overall cost of it. I've told you that the cost goes from $60 to $175. A $60 tree we can install ourselves. A $70 tree we can install ourselves. We can't install the 1200 pound one. So you are looking at $175. Sharon Nursery currently has a 3 1/2" caliper tree in stock and the price is $275. In addition to that we have to pay them to install it. That's what you are talking about if we can get a 60 inch diameter hole between the sidewalk and curb. You are looking at $275 plus the expense of them to come out and put it in versus what we normally spend at $60 or $70 and our people put the trees in.
Ms. Manis said (Mrs. Barnett) you were told to come to Council and express your concerns to us. I guess I would like to know why if it's such a rush to do tonight. You have a tree planted and you have concern about it. If we can't take another week or two to go out and assess the neighborhood and talk with Mrs. Barnett, then I don't even know why she was told to come here tonight.
Mrs. McNear said I sympathize with your pain of losing your tree. I think probably all of us have experienced that at one time or another. I'd like you to also think that if you lived somewhere other than Springdale, and I know you are very angry with us this evening about what has occurred with your tree, but you would have had to pay to have that tree removed and you would have to pay to replace your tree. So I think the City has done in good faith what most cities would not do for their residents. Another thing I'd like to ask the Council people to recognize, is that these gentlemen sitting before us are experts as arborists and in their field of business. Do we trust them to run their business and set forth all the things we encharge them to do? We have certain things that we do. They have certain things that they do. If they say it's a danger to the public I think we have to take them at their word. I'd like to accommodate everybody who has a problem but I think we are setting a precedent that is going to cost the City a lot of money. The tree will eventually grow. We'll have a lot of trees that are damaged by storms and I think we have to recognize that. I apologize if there was a misunderstanding about the caliper of tree but I just don't think you can stick a tree that large into a hole like that and not expect damage to either the sidewalk, curb or street, or perhaps even killing the tree because it's too small a hole.
Mayor Webster said in answer to Ms. Manis' question, I guess I am the one responsible for telling Mrs. Barnett to come to Council. I summarized for her the four items she took issue on and she said "I'll just go to Council. When is Council?" I told her when the next Council meeting was and invited her to come. I would make that offer to any citizen who thinks he/she has been treated unfairly by this Administration, or any department director. I would tell them to show up in Council so I'm not quarreling with Mrs. Barnett being here. I think it's the next logical move and I'm also not quarreling with Council not wanting to make a decision. I encourage all of you to drive the subdivision just to make sure you understand the magnitude of the decision you are asked to make.
Mr. Vanover asked do we have any utilities at risk?
Mr. Butsch replied there are underground utilities. I'm not sure what is in that particular location. When we grind a stump as we did at that location, we only grind down 6-8 inches. I think Mr. Sears is correct in pointing out that we have a 60 inch planting strip. That might answer Mr. Galster's question. The root ball of 3 1/2" caliper tree is 40 inches. Typically you dig the hole approximately 50% bigger. In that case it would require a 60" hole from the curb to the sidewalk barring no utilities, 20 inches deep. Again we could be into underground electric cable.
Mrs. Barnett said we just purchased a new electric stove. There is no gas coming to my house.
Mr. Danbury asked what does Council want to do? I've heard comments that some want to look at it or do we want to make a decision and let Mrs. Barnett know tonight?
Mr. Wilson said I make a motion we table this until some of us can look at Mrs. Barnett's property, talk with Mr. Sears and come back with a proposal that can satisfy. I believe we can, Mr. Osborn.
Ms. Manis seconded.
Mr. Osborn said I just want to say we can't. We cannot satisfy every citizen every time. I guarantee you we cannot do it. We sure try. We try 100% of the time to do it but we cannot do It every time. We can make exceptions as you are proposing to do here and we can satisfy this resident but then we have to live with that decision. That's all we are trying to point out here. Sometimes you have to say no and if you are not prepared to say no and you want to try to satisfy the person, keep in mind that you have to live with that decision.
Mr. Wilson said, Mr. Osborn, rational people can always agree. Irrational people can't. I agree with you. In my business alone people come in and they call me a liar about something I supposedly said or coverage I supposedly told them they could have when the coverage didn't exist at the time I wrote the business. Irrational people can't agree but I think if we sit down and talk and say this is what we are prepared to offer. Right now Mrs. Barnett is upset. Okay. We sort of implied that she lied by saying Mr. Sears didn't. That's how she reacted. It may not be our reaction. I know Mr. Sears and I know everybody here seated but Mrs. Barnett is upset. She feels that we implied she lied. Not everybody is rational. I think when the dust settles and we come back at the next Council meeting we'll have the matter resolved. I feel pretty certain that Mrs. Barnett will be satisfied. It may be the same position we have now but maybe because she has calmed down and is thinking rationally and we have put aside some of the comments that were made here, we'll still arrive at the same solution, but she'll be satisfied. We may not have to change our posture. Maybe we'll have to do something over and above what we normally do and it may not cost us anything, or if it costs $10 or $100, then we satisfied our resident. That's what we need to do. That's why I'm not in a hurry to tell her no, we're not going to do it. Let's talk about it. We've done it in other situations.
The motion passed 7-0.
PRESENTATION BY ICRC - Pat Stern
Ms. Stern said since I was here last I want to briefly update you as to what's going on. I want to let you know the City of Oxford joined the cable commission and as of today we were notified the Village of Mariemont joined. We are up to thirty communities right now. We are real excited about both communities joining, especially the City of Oxford because we feel this could mean a great potential for distance learning for our residents so they wouldn't have to drive to Oxford and the University of Miami. Possibly the residents could take classes from their television sets at home through cable. We are continuing to make more improvements in the playback center with our web pages and our character generated messages. The real reason I am here tonight is because there has been some misunderstanding about the access channels and the loss of the Odyssey channel and the perceived loss of EWTN and TBN to the residents of Springdale. We have received a lot of complaints in our office from your residents regarding this matter and I wanted to set the record straight tonight. I know that this was discussed at your last meeting but I wanted to let you know that during the upgrade, Warner came to us and told us they were going to put filler programming on these channels which they did. It consisted of Odyssey channel at that time; TBN and EWTN shared a channel; Mind Extension University; and the program guide. When the change came and those channels were dropped from the cable system, the decision that Warner Cable made, not ICRC, the residents voiced their concerns to the cable operator. In turn the cable operator blamed your community, your city fathers, and the ICRC for this. When we received those calls regarding EWTN and TBN, I immediately made an executive decision that I would drop one of our access channels and put back on EWTN and TBN. This was a channel that was dropped by Warner Cable two or three years ago with large opposition in the greater Cincinnati area, so much opposition that they eventually put it back on the system. To appease those calls and to function, as our office is very small and the calls far exceeded what we were able to take and still operate, we made that decision. We're operating right now with one less access channel which is okay on a temporary basis. Since this occurred I have met with the people from TBN and have learned that Warner Cable receives 10 cents a subscriber per month for the carriage of that system. That's money that your community or the ICRC is not getting. We get a percentage of that through franchise fees but Warner Cable is receiving that money. I also learned through the Odyssey people who met with me two weeks ago, that Warner Cable actually pays Odyssey 3 cents per month per subscriber. That could be one of the reasons for the loss of that channel. In the meantime we are looking for a solution to the problem. We want to make sure that all cable subscribers are happy and that's part of ICRC's responsibility so I have pledged my support to Odyssey, TBN, EWTN. I have met with several folks including the cable operator and we hope to come up with a solution but I wanted to make it very clear tonight that ICRC nor the City of Springdale is responsible for the loss of those channels. We do know that the cable operator can make those choices . We know what happened in the City of New York when the Mayor demanded that a news channel be placed on a government access channel. There was a lawsuit and that channel could not be placed on the cable system on a government access channel. It's not within our legal right to do so. One of the things we are exploring right now that might be within our legal rights is to cite the company in non-compliance of the new franchise because they did not get our permission in writing ahead of time to put the filler programming on those channels. But again, I don't want to create more problems. We want to come to a solution so I pledge to you tonight that I will work my hardest to get this problem resolved so that everybody is happy in the city. I brought along with me, Brad Stapleton who is our manager of operations and he will answer any questions you might have about the access channels.
Mr. Stapleton said I brought a copy of Exhibit B of your franchise agreement with Warner Cable. I would also like to point out that when Warner Cable had the sixty channel system in Springdale, there were five channels dedicated for public access, three full-time and two part-time. Today in the 89 channel system that number has stayed the same. We have not taken over anymore channels. We currently don't need the full amount we are entitled to by the contract but do foresee of the life of the fifteen year franchise that we probably will. There may come a time when the City of Springdale would like to see planning sessions or committee meetings on cable.
Ms. Manis asked if we get Odyssey back and EWTN, then something else will have to be dropped. Is that right?
Ms. Stern said not necessarily. EWTN and TBN are on the system. They have not been dropped. There are no plans to drop them until our programming increases to the point that we would need that channel capacity. With Odyssey the discussion has been if the channel is brought back on, maybe there could be a shared relationship between the religious producers and that channel. Please understand that the carriage agreement has to be with Warner Cable and Odyssey, not ICRC and Odyssey. That is an arrangement Warner would have to make with that channel but we would be supportive.
Mayor Webster said doesn't this really boil down to the fact that there are so many channels available. Contractually the communities banded together to form ICRC and delegated our authority to manage those five channels so collectively all our communities have five channels and Warner is obligated to give you five channels. So they are going to make a business decision and hold on to the most watched channels and give you the other five. It's a pure business decision on the part of Warner, which any of us would probably make if we were king and we owned the network.
Ms. Stern said the only requirement Time Warner Cable has is that the access channels must be on the lowest level of service to the residents. Those channels cannot be placed on a standard level of service. When we surveyed all the people who were calling to complain about the loss of the channels, 9 out of 10 people who called had the standard or upper level of service. If that channel were replaced on another level which it could legally be, those customers would be satisfied. It's just the way the FCC law is written that the access channels can be moved up to a standard or upper level of service.
Mayor Webster said when one of our residents calls Warner and says what did you do with the Odyssey channel and they say your city took it away; well, our city through ICRC demanded the five channels so Warner had to take what they considered a least profitable channel and gave it to us. That's the truth of the matter?
Ms. Stern replied that's correct. The truth of the matter is there really wasn't a choice. The cable operator didn't come to us and say here's 24 channels. Out of these 24 which five on a full time basis and 2 on a part-time basis do you want to override on the system. We had no choice. We couldn't take off any of the broadcast channels, Home Shopping, etc. We were given the channels that Warner wanted to overrride with the exception of Mind Extension University, which we were told by the cable operator that we shouldn't override because that was being held for school use. Each school district has the capability of overriding a channel.
Mayor Webster asked could we as a city, if we were besieged by residents, put Odyssey on?
Ms. Stern responded you could drop an access channel and demand that that go on but you could never get anything in writing from the cable operator because your Law Director would strictly advise you against that. In my opinion, if you could get Time Warner to agree that if you chose not to override that channel ever until the end of the franchise agreement that you would want it in writing, that that would always be a religious based channel. I don't believe the cable company would sign such an agreement and I don't think your Law Director would advise you as such. You could suggest it. Could you demand it? I don't think so legally.
Mayor Webster said assuming we wanted to take that risk, the Law Director said yes and Warner said yes, what would it cost the City to do that? Would we have to have a studio here?
Mr. Stapleton said we'd have to speak with the head engineer at Warner Cable to see what is involved technically to make that happen.
Mr. Osborn said looking at Exhibit B, paragraph A says there have to be 5 channels; paragraph B says there has to be 2 more for a total of seven, two of which are shared with CET. The paragraph that I think has become the crux of the dispute is paragraph C on the second page. Time Warner's representatives were here two meetings ago and indicated that the City through ICRC has control over what is broadcast on the access channels by virtue of the franchise agreement. You all are saying that's not the case, that they really make the decisions as to what is going on there. Let me read this one sentence and you tell me what it says. "Grantee (meaning Time Warner) will have no obligation to provide alternative programming on the public access channels but may, with the prior approval of the ICRC which shall not unreasonably withheld, cable cast other commercial or non-commercial programming of grantee's choice (Time Warner) on the public access channels when they are not being used for the purposes designated by ICRC. It's sort of convoluted but when you get right down to it, it says when they are not being used for purposes designated by ICRC. If you follow the language all the way through, it sounds like it does come back to ICRC as having the control over what goes on these channels. So how is it that you're saying Warner makes those decisions and won't talk to you about it.
Ms. Stern responded Warner made the decision as to what channels could be overridden. ICRC couldn't go to Warner and say we don't want the Home Shopping channel on. We want that to be one of the access channels or we don't want WGN to be one of the channels we override.
Mr. Osborn said but ICRC could say we want to give up one of the seven channels. Ms. Stern said we did and Mr. Osborn asked what did Warner say then?
Ms. Stern said they are continuing to program TBN and EWTN.
Mr. Osborn asked what about Odyssey?
Ms. Stern replied there are a couple of different situations with Odyssey. It is a commercially driven channel. There are commercials on it. There is a problem running a commercially driven channel on a designated access channel. Also, the carriage rights of Odyssey belong with Time Warner and Odyssey. I don't have the right to tell Time Warner to pay three sets of subscribers to carry that channel in as much as I don't have the right to tell Time Warner to collect the 10 cents from EWTN or TBN or any other channels. Those are carriage agreements that are strictly between the cable operator and the programmer.
Mr. Osborn said it says here they can run commercial or non-commercial so I don't know what the problem might be but it does provide for a commercial cablecast in paragraph C. I guess I still don't understand why we can't make the determination as to what is to be broadcast on one of our dedicated access channels. Do you perceive paragraph C differently in that you don't have control over the programming.
Mr. Stapleton says I would like to point out that it says when they are not being used for purposes designated by the ICRC. That channel is being used.
Ms. Manis asked for what? That channel is blank most of the time.
Mr. Stapleton said just this morning we started some government service television network. We just recently began to program that channel so that it's not full-time. As I said we are contractually entitled to two more but we don't have the need for all those.
Mr. Galster said when Time Warner was here I thought they said there were certain channels that were untouchable, like WGN, home shopping, etc. I thought they said we could choose which 5 channels out of eight that we wanted to drop to make our access channels so the community and ICRC does have the ability to pick and choose a little bit within a range. Also they said the City had the ability to be different than what ICRC wanted to do in all communities.
Ms. Stern said you said they gave us 8 channels and told us to pick 5. That wasn't the situation. The channels they gave us were all that Mind Extension and they told us to reserve that for school use.
Mr. Galster said so you are saying that Time Warner said here's your five and you don't have the ability to pick 5 out of 7. They gave me the impression there were a few additional alternative channels which could be chosen from. Home Shopping was not one of them because it is a highly watched show that they want to keep on. It seems to me that there were 1, 2, or 3 more channels than what we have for access of which we could pick our access channels from. Is that true or not?
Mr. Stapleton replied there are two more. One is EWTN and TBN which caused a huge outcry. The other is Mind Extension University which is a possibility I am told. Originally we were asked not to do that by their engineer because it was designated as a switchable channel for educational systems.
Mr. Galster asked if we want Odyssey could we say we want Odyssey and not this one. Do we have that choice?
Ms. Stern stated you always have a choice but I don't think you have the choice to ask for it permanently because you don't sign that carriage agreement.
Mr. Galster responded I understand but you are making the decision that these two channels are on and this one is off. Can we say we don't agree with your decision and say we want these two channels on and this channel off? Granted down the road it may change to where you say we are not carrying any of these three channels, here are the other three channels that are available and we still might disagree with which ones we want to use but do we have that ability?
Ms. Stern replied yes.
Mr. Vanover said from our meeting notes of May 7 quoting "Ms. Mooney replied we offered 7 channels with the lowest viewership and said ICRC, you can pick and the channels were picked. We didn't offer the whole cable system for a good reason. We know the services people watch. We want to keep the most popular programs. We know which services could cause more chaos if we would remove them. We also have a limited number of channels we can't preempt. We have to carry the broadcast channels, PBS, etc. When you get to the core cable products there's not a heck of a lot left."
Mayor Webster said I'm very disappointed in where we are in this whole process. A month ago we had the Warner people in and now we have you in. I was in hopes that after we had had the two of you in the City could put together a statement we could publish in our next newsletter that would clarify this for our citizens so if they called, regardless of whether they called ICRC, City Hall, or Warner Cable, they would get the same answer. I think tonight we are just as far apart on everybody understanding what the devil is going on here as we were prior to the May 7 meeting with Warner. I absolutely demand that you guys get your heads together with Warner and come up with a solution to this and share that solution with our representative so we can properly communicate that to the residents. They are they ones paying the freight here and they are not getting treated fairly. They are not getting the right answers from the right people and I absolutely demand that that change.
Ms. Stern said just to let you know, Mayor, we have worked with the cable operator on the text of what customer service agents are telling the customers. I have approved the text they are supposed to be telling the customer but I have no control as to what the actual customer service agents do say. We test them from time to time to make sure they are getting the correct information. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don't. Beyond approving that text I believe we are on the same page with the company as to what the agents should be saying. Part of what they should be saying is that the cable operator has made the decision as to what channels to override. That was not a decision made by either the City or ICRC.
Mr. Knox said Mr. Vanover quoted the minutes of May 7 where Ms. Mooney said there are limited numbers of channels. I cannot understand if there are limited numbers of channels why are certain stations such as WGN shown on two different channels. They are on channel 7 and 58. Where is the limit they are talking about?
Ms. Stern said some people who are seeing repeated channels or that the preview channel has not been trapped out are on the basic level of service. I don't know why WGN is repeated on the system. That is a decision made by Time Warner.
Mr. Wilson said you approved this text. Do you have a copy we could look at tonight?
Ms. Stern replied I don't have a copy with me but I could get a copy to you.
Mrs. Boice said when we get a copy we all call and ask a question and when they start telling us, we'll say no, no, no, this is what you are supposed to be saying. Maybe they'll get the point that way.
Council recessed from 8:45 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Mr. Osborn said I asked the president for the floor after we came back into session because Mr. Sears and Mr. Butsch want to leave this evening. As much as they enjoy being here they've decided they'd like to go home and see their families and one of the reasons they'd like to do that is they got very little opportunity this spring. I just wanted to express my appreciation to both of them for the work they have done. Springtime is their busiest period. There is a lot of start up, a lot of grass cutting. We are shorthanded because we don't have our summer people in yet. If you think about what we have demanded of that department this year, it's pretty remarkable what they have been able to produce. In addition to the driveway apron program, which was a pretty major effort in and of itself, we've also had them survey all the streets in this City that do not currently have gas main service and identify which individuals want to have service, how much it's going to cost us. You've seen the reports come through. That's on top of everything else they routinely do. Since they were here this evening I just wanted to take the opportunity to publicly recognize the extra effort Mr. Sears and Mr. Butsch are making for the City this year with two very exceptional programs. You are to be commended not only for the quality but the quantity of work you are putting out this spring.
ORDINANCE NO. 8-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, SECTION 94.19 CREDIT FOR TAX PAID TO ANOTHER MUNICIPALITY AND/OR COUNTY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ordinance 8-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 40-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO TO ADD SECTION 30.13 CREATING A CHARTER AMENDMENT REVIEW PANEL AND ESTABLISHING ITS DUTIES AND RULES FOR FUNCTIONING"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Ms. Manis seconded.
Ordinance 40-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 41-1997 "ORDINANCE SUBMITTING TO THE ELECTORS OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, AN AMENDMENT TO THE CHARTER TO REVISE ARTICLE IX, SECTION A.2."
Mrs. Boice said there's just a matter I want to clear up from a couple of meetings ago. Mr. Wilson and I were going back and forth about the time when I appeared before Charter and said I had gotten no response from Charter Revision. His statement was that they had voted on it while I was in attendance. I said no, I didn't recall that. He said the minutes are a matter of public record so I did look up the minutes on that meeting and it was very clear that questions were put forth by committee members to Mrs. Boice which she answered. There was some general discussion involving various members, etc. So the committee agreed to consider the suggestion at the next scheduled meeting and subsequent meetings if needed. It was not voted on that night. On March 6 there was a meeting held and topics to be discussed, should individuals elected to public office be on the Charter Revision Committee. There is no record of that meeting. I have a note from Marty that there are no minutes, no public record of that meeting on March 6 and the only reason I was questioning this was because I know Mr. Wilson, that it had been stated in the paper that they voted 4-0 on that with him abstaining. On the following meeting held in April it says the minutes of the March 6 meeting were approved, but again, they are not on record in this building. There are no minutes available and at that meeting Mrs. Packer submitted two motions dealing with what I had brought before Charter and both of those motions died for a lack of a second. So I just wanted to clarify that because I thought my memory had really been slipping badly when you insisted that I had been there when the vote took place. I don't know that a vote was ever taken according to these minutes by Charter Revision.
Mr. Wilson said it was taken but perhaps you weren't there. I thought you were.
Mrs. Boice said we do not have minutes from the March 6 meeting so I just wanted to make that clarification.
Mr. Knox said let me clarify the issue about the March meeting. A meeting was held but there was not proper notification given to the electorate. Therefore, my position as the Clerk of Council is that no meeting was held and I would not accept the minutes of that meeting.
Mr. Danbury said I'm wondering because that could be a violation. We'll get into it later. That's not to verify any action that is done and I don't know if you have the power to do that.
Mr. Knox said it's very clear in the state law that you shall give proper notification of a meeting. Once informed that the meeting was considered not to be held, that same action could have been taken again. It wasn't. I have no control over that. I'm not a member of that committee. If we want to put that in the meeting minutes I will have to report to the state that it was held in violation of state law.
Mr. Danbury said I'm just wondering on this or any other if you have the right to withhold something that is public and if you are saying it's not an official meeting. I don't want to get into now; it's getting late but we should look into it.
Mr. Wilson said in March 1996 there was a meeting we held and Mr. Webster as Clerk of Council came in and said the meeting was inadmissible because we didn't give due notice and he had a discussion with the president. The one where Pam Packer was president you were Clerk of Council. I don't remember Mr. Knox being Clerk of Council when this issue was brought up. I thought the Mayor then was Clerk of Council. Was it that meeting?
Mr. Danbury said we have an ordinance before us. This could be under Old Business or New Business. Let's continue with Ordinance 41.
Mr. Wilson said subjects are brought up and I want to get them squared away too.
Mr. Danbury said the subject brought up wasn't germane to this ordinance.
Mr. Wilson said so it will be discussed at a later time if he wants to bring it up again.
Ordinance 41-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 42-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, OHIO, SECTION 152.15 GRADING REQUIREMENTS"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ms. Manis said Mr. Osborn, did you say anybody doing this now, the City will replace or fix it?
Mr. Osborn replied I can't say we are going to replace everyone. It's the ones that are creating a problem that we are going to take on at City expense. We want to adopt a law so that future construction will not continue this problem but we will take care of any that are in place at this time.
Ordinance 42-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 44-1997 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE SURVEYING AND ENGINEERING WORK NECESSARY FOR THE SHARON ROAD IMPROVEMENTS AND BIKEWAY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Danbury said I see the construction will be in 1998. Will that be finished in late fall 1998?
Mr. Schvegzda replied that is the anticipated schedule right now.
Ordinance 44-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 45-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE'S PARTICIPATION IN THE MIAMI VALLEY RISK MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION'S WORKERS' COMPENSATION GROUP RATING PLAN FOR 1998 AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Mr. Parham said as I indicated at the last meeting, there are generally only date changes. This time we made other changes. Number one, as I outlined in my memo directed to Council last week, when we first started the program one of the requirements was that you could not have a negative rating or a penalty rating. If you look at the spreadsheet that I provided for you the column titled TM Percentage designates whether you would have a penalty or whether you would have a credit. As you see on this outline there is only one community showing a negative rating. That's the City of Wyoming. In recent years we have changed that to say if you had a 10% penalty you cannot be a part of the program. In the last year or so we have brought on a new third party administrator. Taking a look at the overall spreadsheet process it's a lot of numbers. The key ones you would want to pay attention to is number 1, TM Percentage column, which is the individual community's credit or penalty and the ratio column that precedes it. It talks about each individual community's percentage based on the relationship to the overall group. If you go a little further down you'll see "Annual Pay". That is the annual payroll for each community. The other thing that is key is, if you look at the City of Springdale's numbers, their individual premium would have been estimated at $154,000 that we would pay to the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. As part of being part of this group the group premium shows that our premium would be $85,000. If you just leave this as a peer system without doing some redistributions as we currently perform, you'll see the City of Kettering ends up paying far more being a part of the group than they would if they weren't part of this group. Our enticement to keep them in is that we do a redistribution and on an annual basis some communities will receive a check and some will have to write an additional check. Unfortunately for us a year ago we had to write an additional check to the group of $2,000 to $4,000. This year we received a check for the 1996 program in the amount of $26,000. This just happened to be a good year for us. I don't know in 1998 whether we will have to write a check or will receive a check. Instead of using the TM percentage for individual communities we now use the group percentage. Our third party administrator tells us that number is a real true reflection of what each community brings to the group or how they affect the group so we've made that change. If you have a negative rating of your group ratio, then we do not allow you to participate in the overall program. We will, for one year if you are in the program, allow you to participate in another discounted program with the Bureau to keep you there for consideration in a future year, if your situation improves. If your situation does not improve, we will not let you back in for the following year. If it's a new community, it must come in already in the positive. They can't come in in the negative. The other change to this program is that we no longer ask in the agreement that a community allow us to use their final three years of experience because the Bureau no longer calculates that. In the past, if you are part of the group and you left the group one year, then your next three years remained as a part of our experience. That's no longer the case with the Bureau. We don't want your three years because they may turn out to be a bad three years. If they are a good three years you'll probably be in the group in the first place.
Ms. Manis asked are there people who apply to become part of our group, do we solicit different people or are we pretty much happy with what we have here?
Mr. Parham responded when the program began there had to be a host and you had to be a part of the host organization. In this case the host was Miami Valley Risk Management Association. We had eleven cities at the time and we are up to fifteen now. When the program started you had to be a part of MVRMA to be a part of this Workers' Comp program. In the initial start up of the Workers' Comp pool only eight of the eleven chose to be a part of the group rate for Workers' Comp. Now we are up to eleven communities. We would have had twelve if we had let the City of Miamisburg in which is the primary reason we made some of the changes we made this year about not allowing them in, giving them that grace year in recognition of the time they had been in with us and not just throwing them out. We decided to create this second level for them. You have to be a part of the overall program in order to be a part of the group rating system.
Mr. Vanover said the changes are to ensure the financial liability of the group. Obviously with a debit rating, that pulls everybody down and ends up costing us more. We have been very well benefited by being involved in the organization and I think these are smart moves.
Mr. Parham said even in the years we have to write a check back, if you take this example and say we had to write $10,000 back, we still saved about $66,000 from what the estimated premium would have been.
Ordinance 45-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 46-1997 "AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE, SECTION 93.03 APPLICATION AND CASH DEPOSIT"
ORDINANCE NO. 47-1997 "APPROVING THE REVISED SITE DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF THE TRANSITION OVERLAY DISTRICT FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 11675 AND 11685 SPRINGFIELD PIKE (DOUGLAS G. AND ARLENE S. EADES, BERNICE O. BIDDLE)
First reading. Public hearing June 18, 1997.
Mr. Knox stated some of the attachments are not attached. They are on view in the Clerk's office.
Mr. Danbury said we have the issue of an equalization board before us this evening to deal with the driveway apron situation. The board will be composed of three members and they cannot be a member of any board or commission currently. Anybody who has been on a board or commission in the past is eligible. We will have resolutions to appoint the three members at our next meeting.
Mr. Galster nominated David Strange, Fred Borden, who is in the audience tonight and Roger Stephenson who is also in the audience tonight.
Mrs. McNear nominated Steve Turek. He lives at 734 Cloverdale and has lived in Springdale for ten years. He is a student studying to be a psychologist. He has been very interested in the City and I hear from him often asking about different things in the City. He's very aware of what is going on and would like to be a part of making the City grow and become better.
Mr. Danbury said I know Mr. Turek and have spoken with him on a number of occasions. On this issue here, he is currently a renter so he has no conflict of interest. He's very interested in serving the City and he's very intelligent and open minded.
Mr. Galster said all three people I nominated are residents of the City. Mr. David Strange recently served on the Princeton Strategic Planning Committee and was extremely instrumental in the committee he was on. I think he would be extremely qualified.
Mr. Fred Borden, in the audience, lives on Summerfield Lane in Beacon Hill. He's been a pretty regular attendee to our City Council meetings. He's aware of the feelings of making sure the resident is heard and has the right to have his/her full say. I think that would be a great qualification.
Mr. Roger Stephenson has been a member for 2-3 years on Charter Revision Committee. He's a long term resident of Springdale and I think we have four excellent candidates.
Mr. Danbury said for everyone to vote for three people.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Borden and Mr. Stephenson if they had a driveway apron in need of repair.
Mr. Galster said he check with all three and they don't.
Ms. Manis asked could we have three and an alternate.
Mayor Webster said that might not be a bad idea because there could be a conflict. Someone might not want to hear his next door neighbor's case.
Mr. Wilson made a motion that they make one anonymous vote for all four; that the top three be listed as permanent and the fourth one as an alternate. Mr. Galster seconded the motion.
Mr. Knox said I would support Mr. Wilson's motion. We have one person already who said the only day she could make the board was on a Wednesday which might conflict with some of the members so to have maneuvering room would be a good idea.
The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
David Strange, Fred Borden and Roger Stephenson were the top vote getters. Mr. Turek was made the alternate.
Mr. Danbury said I would assume with this board that we would have to have some direction from Administration or Mr. Schneider.
Mr. Osborn responded we can provide that resource to them. We can give them some background as to what their responsibilities are and make the Law Director available to answer any questions that may come up as part of their equalization board hearing.
Mayor Webster asked if there isn't a compensation issue for this board. I think the prior equalization boards have been paid. We can research the last board and let you know what that was.
Ms. Manis said the Administration will contact them.
Mr. Knox said at present there are five people who have asked to meet with the Equalization Board.
Mr. Wilson asked how long is this board in office?
Mr. Danbury replied this is a project board.
Mr. Osborn said I want to bring to Council's attention that we redrafted Exhibit A of Ordinance 43-1997. There will be a public hearing and second reading at the next meeting. There were only two minor changes and they were to reflect the discussion we had at the first reading. The proper exhibit is dated 3 June 1997.
Mr. Osborn continued we would like to bring to your attention the results of the gas main surveys we've been doing and the information we have been able to put together. As of this afternoon I tried to summarize what information we have for you in a memorandum that covers and updates Mr. Shuler's memo of 29 May and also provides the most recent survey results. Two of the factors that have developed since our last discussion are pretty critical. One is that when CG&E identified those areas in the City that did not have gas service they omitted the cul-de-sac end of Greencastle. This is pretty critical because it is only a short run, about 700 feet; but it has 17 potential clients on it. In trying to find out from those residents what kind of interest they might have, we distributed a survey by hand Monday and yesterday we got two calls from residents on that street. We only need 7 out of the 17 on that street to break even and then start adding additional taps towards other streets that might not have the ability to cover it on their own. One of the bigger streets we had trouble justifying was Glensprings Drive. Initially CG&E had given us a length of 2,750 feet and we would have to justify that with ten homes, which makes it pretty darn hard at $14 a foot. Mr. Shuler pointed out that the reason that run is so long is because they are looking at closing the gap between Woodvale and Rose Lane. In fact, to cover the distance along the single family portion of Glensprings Drive we only need to see 685 feet installed. We could, if Council should so decide, set aside that portion of Glensprings Drive that runs across the frontage of the condominiums because they should realistically rise and fall on their own. It's pretty high density. Any gas main construction in that area would not only have to be on the street but go into the facility itself. Again, they have a higher density and we could treat that as a stand alone project. We could go to the single family area as part of this program and instead of having to run 2,750 feet, we'd only have to run 685 feet. When you bring those two changes into the picture, if you look at the third page of the memo I gave you this afternoon, you'll see how that changes the figures Mr. Shuler gave you. Instead of going 11,400 feet total, we only have to go 10,125. Instead of costing $160,000 the project would cost $141,000. Instead of having a total taps possible of 172, we have 189 and to break even we only need 102 instead of 115. We have sixty in hand. If I could go back to the second page of my memo to you I think it pretty well summarizes the information that's available. I think Council has to make a consideration whether or not they are prepared to commit for legislation to come forward on this project in two weeks to incorporate all the streets or to pick off those streets that can stand alone. I would suggest that if you consider the consequences, if we just pick off those streets that can stand alone that means there are some streets out there that are never going to get gas. If we package them together as we've discussed, we're getting much closer. The bottom line is we have an $84,000 commitment from residents right now on a $141,000. We have 60 of the 101 taps that we need and we have a pool of 129 residences from which to draw the other 41 taps that we need to break even. I would think that if we would so choose to go forward with the program we could use that time to market it, and also draw additional people into the program. Mr. Shah on Springdale Lake Drive, once he found out about it, went out and solicited his neighbors; and we got a real high percentage from Springdale Lake Drive. We have the same situation on Greencastle. We have a gentleman who is going to go door to door trying to sell this project to his neighbors. I think it's a little bit of a risk but if we would only take those streets that stand alone, we're pretty well condemning those streets that do not have it to never having it without some sort of extraordinary intervention.
Mr. Galster said in reference to the paragraph on McClellans Lane, do you think this is all or none, or do you think it is logical, because of the number of respondents, to back that street out.
Mr. Osborn replied I just raised that point because of the issue that Planning Commission is struggling with right now, the long term land use in that area. The numbers I gave you in that paragraph above include McClellans. As I point out, if we want to postpone McClellans we could reduce the cost of the program to $123,000 and reduce the number of taps required from 101 to 88.
Mr. Galster asked would we be able to enter into a contract for the whole thing, figure out what we are doing there and then back that back out at some reasonable time in the near future?
Mr. Osborn responded it would probably have to be pretty quick, no more than six weeks.
Mayor Webster said I would personally like to endorse this project in its entirety including the McClellans Lane situation. I think we have three people who responded in a positive manner. The future is a little uncertain but I don't think it's fair to exclude them from this project. As Mr. Osborn pointed out, we're close and if any people convert in six years we get reimbursed from CG&E. Sure we're going to put some of the City's money at risk but I feel quite confident that over a six year period we're going to get enough taps to totally justify this cost. I think it's a great benefit to the residents to be able to get gas service. I think we are going to see the day when we have competition when the users have a choice between what electric service they want and what gas service they want but I think the gas is going to be here a lot sooner than the electric choice. I think it would be great if we can give all our residents that opportunity to make that choice.
Ms. Manis said I agree.
Mr. Danbury said I think it is a win win. We may get people who say no now but five years from now they may need a new furnace or new people may move in. I think we'll definitely get the numbers we want. So you are looking for direction?
Mr. Osborn stated we would like to bring forth an ordinance for an agreement with CG&E that would encompass all single family residentials as we've laid them out to you. The only street excluded that we previously had in the program would be Glensprings Drive from the western point where the condominiums are located to Rose Lane.
Mr. Danbury said we have a request from Lykins Stores for an internal liquor license transfer. There were no objections.
Mr. Osborn said there was a bid opening on May 30 for the Ross Park playground equipment. As you will recall, we are in the process of upgrading each outlying park, one park a year. This year we are doing Ross Park. The low and best bid was by Walnut Grove at $16,899. We have budgeted $20,000 for this project so it's well within our budget limit. We would request that legislation come before you at your next meeting authorizing an agreement with Walnut Grove. Secondly, the City Engineer has communicated with you indicating that the Northwest Business Park public improvements have been successfully completed and he has set a bond amount for the surety bond for that street and has recommended acceptance. This will require legislation pending the delivery of the guaranty bond. We would anticipate bringing legislation before you at the next meeting for acceptance of the public improvements in the Northwest Business Park.
We also want to plug our Springdale Bike Safety Program that is being put on by the Recreation and Police Departments. Officer Al Maupin is heading it up in the Police Department and Assistant Recreation Director, Greg Karle, is heading it up from the Recreation Department side. The first event was scheduled this past Sunday, June 1, but unfortunately we had a great deal of rain and participation was relatively low. The second weekend will be coming up Sunday, June 8. There will be two sessions; the first session is at Heritage Hills School at 1:30 p.m. and the second session is at Cameron Park at 4:30 p.m. There will be personnel there from a bike shop that will be able to make a safety inspection of the bicycle and the Police Department will also assist the owners in registering their bikes with the City so that if the bike turns up lost it will have an identification number on it that will help us return it to the owner. I might also point out that the program involves hot dogs, soft drinks and door prizes including a ten speed bike and a Radio Flyer wagon. We're trying to induce folks to come and participate. We're also giving away 100 bike locks to the first 100 participants. I want to thank Officer Maupin and Mr. Karle for their efforts in putting this together and let's all hope for better weather. If the kids missed out last weekend when it was on the west side of town they might try to talk their parents into putting the bikes in the back of the car and trucking them over to either Cameron Park or Heritage Hills School. You don't have to be concerned about it being broken down into geographic areas because we realize we really had bad weather last weekend.
Mr. Knox said for the members of the Equalization Board, when you get the dates set please let the Clerk's office know so we can give people warning. They are supposed to get 14 days notice so the sooner the better, if possible.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission June 10, 7 p.m.
Board of Health June 12, 7 p.m.
Board of Zoning Appeals June 17, 7 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Item 1 taken care of tonight
Item 2 taken care of tonight
Item 3 still waiting on document from Butler County
Item 4 public hearing - June 18
Item 5 hoping to have ready for legislation in July - at mercy of other
agencies in terms of getting authorization to proceed to next step
in design process
Item 6 emergency
Item 7 taken care of tonight
Item 8 public hearing
Item 9 taken care of tonight
Item 10 next meeting
Item 11 next meeting
Mr. Danbury said I spoke with someone from the City of Glendale. He told me that it's looking like we will get signalization and turn lights as well.
Mr. Osborn replied there is a signalization project that is going to happen this summer that will improve the signalization of the intersection but it will not change the geometrics. It won't add any lanes but for left turns, it will provide a lead and lag so that you don't have opposing left hand turn movements. You will be able to turn left and not have any on-coming traffic or anybody turning left at the same time in the opposite direction. It will be a better cycled and much more improved signal system. It's in sync with the signals we're doing on Kemper at Lawnview and McGillard.
RECAP OF LEGISLATIVE ITEMS REQUESTED FOR NEXT COUNCIL MEETING
Request for a resolution dealing with the EPA
Resolution appointing 3 members and 1 alternate to Equalization Board
Ordinance for playground equipment at Ross Park
Ordinance to accept dedication of public improvements at Northwest Business Center
Council adjourned at 10:02.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council