Council was called to order on March 5, 1997 at 7:05 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.
Minutes of February 19, 1997
Mrs. McNear said on page 5642, third paragraph, 4th line down, "sides" should be changed to "signs".
The minutes were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
COMMUNICATIONS - none
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
Presentation - The City of Springdale Survey
Mayor Webster introduced Kim Downing and an associate from the University of Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati, who is going to explain the methodology used in the Springdale survey.
Ms. Downing said they conduct a variety of surveys. The survey of Springdale residents was conducted in December 1996. Five hundred thirty-six randomly selected City of Springdale residents were interviewed by telephone by professionally trained interviewers at the Institute. There is a margin of error of 4.2%. The households were contacted using randomly digitally dialed phone numbers. We randomly selected the adult member in the household who had the most recent birthday. We had very good response to the survey. Sixty-six percent of all contacts responded. We asked a variety of issues about living in Springdale, quality of life in Springdale and services provided by the City for the citizens. Springdale citizens are very satisfied with the quality of life in their neighborhood. Residents say the reasons they live in Springdale and the things they like about Springdale is that it's the place they grew up; it's a place they consider their home, schools and convenience. It's convenient for shopping, to work, with transportation, roads, etc. We asked a series of seventeen issues of services that the City provides. We asked the citizens how important the services are to the citizens and asked the residents to rate the quality of the services.
The Springdale Fire Department, paramedic unit, Springdale Police Department, clean streets, street repair issues, and snow and ice removal were seen as very important services. All seventeen services we asked about were seen as important. These were top of the list. We followed up with how the residents felt about the quality of these services. Over 90% of the residents gave an excellent or good rating to the Fire Department, Police Department, paramedic unit, cleanliness of streets, snow and ice removal and recreational facilities. All of the services were rated good or higher. There were some that were lower on the list. When we compared quality with importance there are several services that residents would give priority to, that are highly important but not rated as high in quality as other services. Those include controlling traffic and relieving congestion, youth programs for teen-agers, building inspection and zoning programs, senior citizen programs and the yard waste program.
We asked a series of questions about facilities that the citizens used in the City. The services or facilities included the parks, Police Department, Building and Zoning Department, paramedic unit, Health Department And Fire Department, neighborhood parks and the Community Center. Neighborhood parks and the Community Center were the most frequently used services or facilities within the past year. At the Community Center the swimming pool and participation in sports programs offered through the Community Center were the most frequently facility and program at the Community Center.
At the end of the survey we asked Springdale citizens if they would recommend Springdale as a place to live to someone moving to the Cincinnati area. Ninety-two percent said yes. When our interviewers asked those folks why they would recommend Springdale, the responses were it's a safe area; a nice, quiet, clean place to live. It has good City services and it has good schools. Overall, the findings in the survey were very positive. There are many other questions that were asked in the survey. Residents are positive towards their community. They use the facilities in the community and they have a high opinion of City services and rate them highly.
Mrs. McNear said I read through the survey focusing more on the negative things because we are trying to find things we can fix or improve. Was any information given on how we can fix things or how they could be improved?
Ms. Downing replied we didn't ask specifically how they would improve them. We did ask what were the disadvantages of living in the City and the majority didn't have a reason.
Mrs. McNear said 17% of the people don't read the newsletter. How can we get these people to read it because we are trying to inform them of our programs. Also, on the newsletter, it says what else do you want, what can we do, how can we spend your money, how can we do a better job for you? Is there any way to improve on that so the people will be more interested in it so we can make this a better place to live?
Mayor Webster said page 46 is where the numbers are regarding that. Maybe they didn't give us any ideas on what we could do. In this particular case, they told us what residents are least likely to read. People who don't register to vote are more likely not to read, those between 18 and 29 years.
Mr. Galster stated 80% is pretty good readership.
Mrs. McNear said when you ask about different programs and ask what you think, some of the respondents don't know about it. That's why we send the newsletter out, to make people more informed.
Mr. Knox said in the survey, at any time do we have any information on how many people were prepared, knew that the survey was coming? I just wondered how much came off the top of their heads and how much people were prepared.
Ms. Downing replied we didn't ask that question but I know the newsletter did highlight that the survey was going to be conducted. From just talking with our interviewers at the debriefing after the survey was conducted, many of the residents were very open to doing the survey so it's likely that many of them were aware of it ahead of time but we don't know for sure.
Ms. Manis asked you get results like this where the majority are almost all very positive, do you analyze them in a different way than if you had a wider range of responses?
Ms. Downing replied yes and no. For example, the matrix in the report is to give some insight when there are positives and negatives, and the four quadrants are very important. That's a case where it is structured for the results. Your results are very positive. There are issues where some services are not rated as highly as others. What are those cases? In that case we moved analytically the cross hatches so that it was a helpful diagnostic tool, a decision making tool where you could see where some of the things are clustering. These are highly important and also excellent.
Ms. Manis responded we had very high ratings on a lot of the first part. On most of the quality issues the good was around 50% so those were lower over all.
Ms. Downing stated we don't tailor the results. We tailor the presentation of the results. All the respondents were being asked about every one of those services so they were rating some services higher than others. Even though they are all very positive there are some that are not as high as others. The citizens made discriminations between those services on which ones were higher and lower in their minds.
Mrs. Boice said I think that point you are making was brought out so well in the survey when you showed the age breakdowns and the length of time in the community. For instance, people who have been in the community only a year have probably had no interaction with the Fire Department. Naturally we older citizens probably use the paramedics and life support systems more. That matrix you mentioned particularly caught my eye because I spent quite a few hours going over this. When you do get to that breakdown of time in the community and age of the respondent I think it is very very clear where these various opinions are coming from, where your older people are probably not going to be as interested in things at the Community Center or softball activities, etc., versus senior citizen needs. Well done. I really enjoyed the various breakdowns of everything from age to interest. It was very lengthy.
Ms. Downing said it was a lengthy survey. It took twenty minutes on the phone.
Mr. Danbury asked what other communities have you done this for?
Ms. Downing replied the City of Cincinnati, Clermont County and several townships. I have not been in this area that long but at the Institute we have done other political bodies, residential surveys.
Mr. Danbury said there are some areas where we can improve. I think Mrs. McNear hit it on the head, that that's what we are here for, to make it better, tweak it in any way we can. How do we stack up with the overall impression of residents towards their cities?
Ms. Downing responded I don't necessarily want to compare you directly. The questions about government, attitude and whether citizens feel they have access to the local government is higher than I've seen in many of the other jurisdictions I've looked at or even when you use that question in national issues. Part of that I would interpret as your community is one that is accessible. It's also something of leadership and availability by the Council and City services themselves. Was there anything that surprised me? Yes, how high the positives were. I've rarely seen positive ratings on services this high. There is always something that gets in someone's crawl and services they don't like. Everything was good or excellent in the City. Our interviewers said they loved interviewing your citizens. The people liked to talk about their City.
Mr. Galster asked is there a chain or type of question we should ask to get a little more detail if we were to undertake a similar survey in the future? I think this survey does a pretty good job of telling me what I already knew as far as City services being excellent, etc. It's one of the reasons I live here. Is there anything you would recommend us change or do different if we do this in the future?
Ms. Downing said I would suggest you think of this survey as a baseline, a starting point. Look at some of the same issues again. There are also issues that Mrs. McNear brought up, the whys or what we can improve. Now that you have a listing of those services and how they are evaluated, that would be something you could follow up with questions about those specific services. That is what I would recommend for a future survey.
Ms. Manis said on the question of "how would you rate the quality of programs for senior citizens at the Community Center." We had excellent 19; good 50; but then we also had don't know, don't use which totaled about 20. Are those backed out when you are figuring the results at all?
Ms. Downing replied with the matrix they are.
Mayor Webster said I know in all the years I've been connected with the City I don't think there has been a year gone past that I was not asked this question, "why does the City not have a shuttle bus service to take kids from the communities to the Community Center?" Every year at least one person and sometimes more than one, asks that question. I, for one, was somewhat taken aback of how few people felt that was important, that 73% said no, they wouldn't use it and no, they don't want it. All I can say is that 27% are a very vocal group. On the other side of the coin, I was also very pleased in the number of people who showed an interest in a holiday bus service which is something we just recently threw out. Fifty-six percent said they were either very interested or somewhat interested in a holiday shuttle system between the shopping centers, etc. That might be something we'd want to try on a limited basis. One of the most heartening things about the survey is the high percentage of people who perceived that the City officials valued their opinions and input on issues. I think that says we've all done a pretty good job of retaining a rapport with the people. They don't feel we're off in some ivory tower somewhere making decisions that are not in their best interest. I thought that was very encouraging.
Mr. Danbury said the shuttle bus surprised me. I have heard that a lot too. I think it needs to be pointed out that this is an established and accepted methodology you are using. It's the same methodology that Gallop has used and exit polls have used. It's not your own methodology. We do have a lot of good positives here but there are ways we could tweak it and find some of the areas we need to improve on. A third of the people said they don't see any problem with the City at all. Five percent think we need to fix leaf collection or crime but I think each of us has to sit down individually and decide what's important to us to make the City better. I assume we are going to have a copy out for the public to take a look at.
Mayor Webster replied yes, we will have it available.
Ms. Manis said I think this is a great survey for what it told us. When you sample such a small portion of people these are the kind of questions where you can take the answers and extrapolate them all over the City. When you start asking questions about the more specific things where everybody would have their own ideas of what is important to them, the data wouldn't be as useful in such a small sample. Like the Mayor said, you always hear the people who are unhappy, the vocal ones.
Ms. Downing stated the sample size was chosen so that we had substantial numbers. We wanted 500 so we could do the sub-group analysis, look at age groups, differences between men and women. Five hundred is very good. It is a sample but that's why we randomize it so we do the best to represent the City.
Ms. Manis said you can ask this type of question but when you break it down and there are lots of different reasons why people came here, 15%, 2%, .2%, they get so low. For the questions I thought it was excellent.
Mayor Webster said in regards to Ms. Manis' comment, we are looking at 4.88% population of the City who got interviewed. I think that's a pretty high percentage when you look at surveys. I would venture to gather the City of Cincinnati didn't come anywhere near that high of a percent when they did their survey. I think we did enough to get a pretty good representation.
Mr. Danbury said on recreational vehicles, a lot of people want to continue as is.
Mayor Webster responded that was interesting. Also, it doesn't seem like the citizenry places such a premium on us planting trees as maybe we do. I was really shocked at that.
Mr. Danbury said I thought that was interesting but people like the trees wants they are in bloom. I think the leaf problem is what they are looking at.
Presentation - Community Center Swimming Pool
Mayor Webster said we would like to have Jim Burton, Sharon Casselman and Time Green of CDS talk about some of the improvements we recommended and the Capital Improvements Committee has recommended for the Community Center, primarily the slide. We'd really like to spend some time telling and showing what that slide will look like once it's installed.
Mr. Burton said we have to keep the love fest going and spend some money. We want to answer some of the questions that were generated a couple of weeks ago. Some of the questions I understood did come up were would the slide fit, concerns about landing zones, steps, questions about comparing construction costs and is the pool large enough to serve our current needs? These are all very good questions and questions I think we'll answer for you as we go along. Sharon did put some handouts in you mailboxes this afternoon.
The facility is twenty-five years old. It's important to stay abreast of trends in the industry. We want to address some of the holes in our program. One of those holes has been teen programs. Some of the things we will be doing there will hopefully bolster that up. According to the survey the pool is a very highly participated in activity. Why did we select the items we are presenting to you. The filter house is the most important. We have to keep it operational. You remember, a few years ago we replaced all the main lines that either feed water to or take away from the pool the PVCs. That should be a problem that is under control for a long time. When this project is over here, we'll have new filters, a new boiler and we'll have all PVC pipe in there. The slide is something we feel those from ages six and up can use. I think this is an item that will bring the teen group and young adults back to the pool. I don't want to give you the impression that it is just that group; it's for six on up but we don't have a lot at the pool for the teen group. We are looking at the raindrop or bucket drop for the baby pool. The step down we have proposed for the two foot section is something for all ages. I think it would be particularly nice for young moms with children or for partially handicapped or elderly pool patrons. It's very hard to get in and out of that pool once you are in the 3 1/2 or 4 foot section. This will give you very easy entry and egress in and out of the pool plus it would be a very aesthetically pleasing feature. As a staff I don't think we can justify doing nothing. I don't think we can justify doing more. I believe we can justify these preventative measures and these enhancements which will take us through another 25-30 years of operation.
Tim Green, CDS said I have been putting together construction costs on these different features we wanted to present as well as helping put together some graphics. Mr. Green showed slides of the site plan and equipment. We are looking at options for the placement of the pool slide. Originally we were looking at dumping it into the pool but after reviewing that idea, there were some drawbacks to that. It increases the circulation required for the State Board of Health and the pool slide itself would use up a lot of space. We eliminated that idea and decided to go with a slide with a shut down lane. The slide extends 25 feet in eighteen inches of water which splashes, slows you down and brings you to a safe stop. As well as being a safety feature another advantage is it allows other people who are swimming to enjoy the water activity in the pool. The two options we are looking at for the baby pool are the raindrop or tumble buckets. Mr. Green showed a video of a pool slide, tumble bucket and raindrop.
Mr. Green said you should have some information on the cost of each of these. We compared them with an earlier cost estimate. The raindrop was originally proposed at $15,000-$25,000. Now it's around $50,000. The main reason for that increase is additional state and health requirements. Right now it is grandfathered in but if you add any features to it you have to bring it up to current standards and part of that is separating the pumping and filtration of the wading pool from the main pool.
Mr. Burton said we came real close to having to do that when we had those busted pipes. Any time you get into a pool anymore the State is very cautious and on top of what you are doing. When we replaced those 3-4 years ago we came very close to having to do this thing Mr. Green is talking about. It's an amenity now but it may be something we are faced with doing in the future.
Mr. Galster asked how far are the platform steps going to go? Is it the whole width of that shallow area? How much swimming area are we losing?
Mr. Green replied it will be all the way across the width and about halfway up.
Ms. Casselman said I want to go over some of the graphics you have in front of you. The picture marked Exhibit B is a double slide. The white portion of that slide is about 120 feet which is very similar to what we are proposing. The other graphic you see shows the shut down lane which we are proposing rather than emptying into the pool. I know there has been some discussion about whether we can handle a slide with the attendance we have had. When I was first hired in this City in the late 70s into the early 80s, we would see 25,000 to 30,000 in the pool during a season. Now our average seasonal attendance at the pool is probably between 18,000 and 19,000. Last year specifically the total attendance was 18,688 people who came through the pool gate. Our busiest day was June 17 which is typical. June is always heavy for any swimming facility. We had 437 people come to the pool on that day. The numbers I have given you reflect the number of people coming through the pool gate. That is not reflective of the people in the water. When we get to pool capacity we are talking about bather load; how many people can be in our pool at one time. That is directed to us by the state code. The pool capacity at the Community Center pool is 227 bathers at one time. We're nowhere near that capacity. Even if you took our busiest day where we had 151 people come through the gate in one hour, they weren't all in the water at the same time. We probably had a maximum of 100 people in the pool at one time. The bather load capacity is 227 at one time. I know there has been discussion about whether we start over with this pool, expand the pool, build another pool. I cannot honestly recommend or encourage that when we are not at capacity level. I would think before we start discussing that kind of direction we would need to be at capacity levels or beyond. Some facilities have reported that their attendance has doubled and tripled with the addition of a slide. Will ours triple? I cannot tell you definitely. Will it increase? Absolutely. There's no question in my mind. Pool attendance will increase. I would hope memberships would increase but the way we are proposing this, we may see more people in line at the slide than in the water so I don't think we have to be concerned with pool capacity. We believe the addition of these three features will attract all age groups. The slide will appeal to elementary age children, pre-teens, teen-agers, adults, senior citizens. I've had reports from a variety of people I have contacted throughout the state who were surprised at the number of senior citizens who just had a ball going down these slides. A big factor with that is that it doesn't empty out into three of four feet of water. You don't have to be a swimmer to utilize the slide. There is only 10-20 inches of water in that shut-down lane. We feel the slide we are proposing with the shut-down lane meets all of our needs. For someone who has been in the aquatic industry for years, the safety factor is tremendous. I am very comfortable with that. The baby pool feature, whichever we should decide, will obviously attract the toddlers and the infants who probably will not be able to utilize the slide. If there is any age group that cannot utilize the slide I would say it would probably be four and under, five is questionable, six and up certainly. The step down will be a welcome site. Short of a zero depth pool that is our only option. It won't necessarily accommodate individuals in wheel chairs but we do have a lift to use if that service is needed. Then again, for mothers who don't really like to be in the water but want to be close to their children while they are in the pool, there will be plenty of room for them to sit on the steps, stay cool and enjoy the pool.
Mr. Danbury said I was approached about expanding the pool. I've never seen a stand-alone unit like this. Looking at it like this, it makes sense. There will be long lines and I thought it would go into the lanes and cause a problem for the swim team or just for general recreation. I see the advantages of this way.
Ms. Casselman said the advantages of this design and this set-up are great. It has not caught on to municipalities yet. It is widely used in water parks. I think from all indications it's not being used in municipalities because of the additional cost but I think the safety factor far outweighs the additional cost of $10,000.
Ms. Manis asked can we support anything bigger than the proposed slide? How much is another height or another curve, etc.? Is there room for more and does it get too expensive for the size?
Ms. Casselman replied it is around $800 to $1,000 per foot of slide. This slide could end up to be 115 feet - a 98 foot slide and 25 feet of shut-down. We could certainly market it as a 115 foot slide. The platform you would be climbing would be 12-14 feet.
Ms. Manis said the water buckets look neat but based on the slide it looked like it was older kids under it. We have toddlers. We couldn't do that in the main pool, could we?
Ms. Casselman replied there are different versions of that. The tumblebucket and rain tree aren't necessarily exactly what we are going to put in the baby pool. That is just to give you an idea of what is out there. There are so many things available. There are animals that squirt water and wheels where the kids can empty the buckets themselves when they choose to empty it.
Mr. Vanover said I appreciate the work both you, Sharon and Jim, have put in on this. Will we have any problem with insurance carriers and availability on this?
Mr. Parham responded no, we are part of the Miami Valley Risk Management Association and there are a number of other communities within the association that currently have slides in their pools. I think Blue Ash put theirs in a couple of years ago and we haven't had any problems.
Mr. Vanover asked if we are going to be required to have a separate filtration system for the slide.
Ms. Casselman replied yes, separate filtration, chlorination and pump.
Mr. Burton said all questions are good questions and they make us think on the issues. You probably think all that work in the filter house would be much more than what a slide would be. That slide has it's own filter system, drain system, electrical pumping system so there will be much more there than just the fiberglas that brings the bodies down.
Mr. Vanover asked would there be any benefit to extending the life span of the filtration system since we can have a very brutal winter by putting some heat into that building to buffer some of the effects of the cold weather, especially with PVC piping in there?
Mr. Burton replied we have been closing the filter house for a number of years.
Mr. Green stated they are not in use and no damage is caused by the cold.
Mrs. Boice said I was interested in your comments on the baby pool. The little ones really want accompaniment and the dump buckets would be a little much for the smaller ones. I love the rain trees but I've yet to see a real toddler want to attack that. I think something they could handle themselves would be better. The busy things they could do themselves are a good idea.
Ms. Casselman stated what you saw is probably on a larger scale because our baby pool is not as large as what you saw. That was just to give you an idea of what we were looking at.
Mr. Knox asked are we proposing to have tubes in the slides and do people bring their own?
Ms. Casselman replied no, we do not propose it. In the slide we are proposing you do not use a tube and currently we do not allow tubes in the main pool because of safety factors. Also, with the slide we are proposing a parent would not be allowed to carry a young child on his/her lap. You go one at a time.
Mr. Knox asked how to we propose to control the minimum age?
Ms. Casselman responded a lot of places have gone by the height requirement. You can also require the individuals to take a swimming test to show that they are somewhat water safe before we allow them to go down the slide. I must point out, however, when you administer that swimming test, it is usually used for the slides that are emptying into three or four feet of water. We do not have that situation with a shut down lane. We would have a guard posted at the slide.
Mr. Vanover said I think relocating the slide on either side is a big plus. It would definitely put a hindrance on the swim team if the slide were in that area. Has there been any inquiry or thought given to taking out one of the spring boards and going to a diving platform?
Ms. Casselman replied I can tell you from my professional career at Vanderbilt you really want to stay away from that. A lot of places are taking out their boards completely because their depth at the deep in does not meet the requirements. Ours does. We had a three meter but the way the slant comes in is too close. We took it out for safety reasons.
Ms. Manis said I use the pool quite frequently with my kids. Towards the end of summer they get bored with the pool and don't want to go as much but they still want to go. The little basketball hoop we got for the pool helped some. That's busy all the time when it's up. I think this addition will benefit everyone. I like it being separate also. Since the pool is one of our biggest users at the center I think anything we can do to make it better is worth the money.
Mr. Danbury said whether we like it or not we are competing against The Beach, Surf Cincinnati and everybody else. The reason we put in the racquetball courts is we wanted to offer an alternative for people who didn't want to play basketball and volleyball. I think this will be a good opportunity to involve more people. I'm sure there are a lot of people like me who had pool memberships last year and never went down. Maybe you can get a different group of people to come down more often. I think it's a good idea.
Mayor Webster said a month ago when we presented the overall list for capital improvements for this year, Council requested some additional information, particularly in the pool area so that's what we tried to provide you with tonight. Our desire is to have a contract awarded and be ready to start construction somewhere around Labor Day. If we can feel safe in getting the work done from the Tuesday after Labor Day until we think the bad weather hits, that's the schedule we would follow. We may want to close the pool the day school opens if we need to close it a little early in order to accomplish this. For us to be ready to start construction we really need to get a contract in place for Mr. Shuler to start the detail engineering. With Council's concurrence we'd like to bring that legislation in at the next Council meeting. If there is some sentiment to go with a 150 foot slide we need input from Council. Right now we are presenting it as a 115 foot slide.
Mr. Green said you could accommodate a 150 foot slide. We said the cost would be $800 to $1,000 a foot but really that includes the pumps and filtration and if you are just going to lengthen it you already have the pumps and filtration.
Ms. Casselman said I've talked to a lot of people in the last couple of weeks about slides. A lot of them wished they had done it differently. Someone put in a 90-100 foot slide because of cost. A couple of years later he was of the opinion that he would have rather robbed Peter to pay Paul in order to get that 150 foot slide.
Mayor Webster stated I don't know if we need a decision tonight but we do need to go ahead with the engineering.
Mr. Burton said thank you for allowing us to make the presentation and thanks to Ms. Casselman for all her work and obviously to Mr. Green. I think the time line is real important because fall is the time to do work on the pools. As you remember, a few years ago we had the line break. We had no choice but to do that in the spring and we ended up opening late. Fall is the time contractors like to work on pools and the weather is usually more conducive. We would like to get back the enthusiasm for the pool.
Mr. Wilson said as chairman of Capital Improvements, we should look at our priorities as are stated here and at what we might or might not want to do because this is over budget. I added up all the plusses and minuses. Bear in mind also that we have a lot of projects on the 97 budget, many of which will not be completed in 97. As aggressive as we might want to be, I'm not sure that all of these will be accomplished by year's end. I just want us to make sure that we as Council members agree with the priorities listed here because when we vote, if we don't make changes, these are the priorities as listed here. I like the idea of the platform steps and raindrop. I would personally place them above the pool slide. From a budgetary standpoint I'm looking at more younger people availing themselves of the pool than adults and teenagers. My priorities would be to put in the raindrop for the kiddies and the platform steps for the mothers and put the pool slide at the end. If everything goes through and we have the money and the time, then we can put the pool slide in also.
Ms. Manis asked if we have breakdowns by age of who comes in. I can tell you from experience that the majority of the kids are between 9-12. There are lots of babies there with their mothers but I think maximum use is going to be from the slide.
Mr. Wilson said I have no problem with the pool slide. I was thinking of the timing. If we don't' have enough time we may want to do the slide last.
Ms. Manis asked if we are proposing to bring in legislation for all of this at the next meeting.
Mayor Webster said we are looking to bring in legislation authorizing CDS to do all the things you see listed here. Regarding the overall flow of cash, I think we have to be aware of that but one of the projects we had on the list was Kemper Road resurfacing from S.R. 747 to Lawnview. That has been put on hold for probably two years because Water Works is going to put in a new water main from S.R. 747 to Rt. 4. That project was scheduled for 1997 so we're going to save $100,000. I don't have all the numbers at my fingertips but I don't think there is going to be a problem in doing all of this this year. I would hate to see us tear up the pool on two or three different occasions. I think we'd be smarter if we did all of this at one time with one contractor rather than piecemeal it.
Mr. Danbury said what hook do we need to get people down there. I think the biggest hook is the slide. The buckets and other things may be popular but they aren't gong to draw people there. Just looking at the slide from a distance will get people interested and will get more bodies in there.
Mr. Wilson said I am not opposed. I just wanted to make sure we all agree on the way they are prioritized.
ORDINANCE NO. 15-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH ROZZI'S FAMOUS FIREWORKS, INC. TO PROVIDE A FIREWORKS DISPLAY DURING THE CITY OF SPRINGDALE'S FOURTH OF JULY FESTIVITIES"
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ordinance 15-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 16-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH ADLETA, INC. FOR THE ROCKCREST DRIVE PROFILE MODIFICATION PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Galster seconded.
Ordinance 16-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 17-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH RPC MECHANICAL, INC. FOR THE SPRINGDALE COMMUNITY CENTER HVAC RENOVATIONS AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mayor Webster said we now have stand alone units in all the club rooms, game rooms, etc. The club rooms at times are absolutely useless because of the noise of the units. They break and they can't get parts for them. It was a huge mistake to put those in but that was a long time ago. We are going to bring those rooms up to state of the art. I was led to believe we could have this done in May this year but now that they've opened the bids it appears it will take 14 weeks to get the materials to do this. That would have them starting construction around July 1. There's no way with all the activities going on at the Community Center that we want contractors in there. We'll probably put this off until after the women's softball tournament which would make it the end of July. It probably will be September or October before we see the benefit of this.
Mr. Vanover said this is an example of one of those projects, in hindsight, we wish we had done differently. Almost everyone of us has been in those rooms and fought with those units. It's definitely not a pleasing scenario.
Ordinance 17-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 18-1997 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE KEMPER ROAD CORRIDOR TRAFFIC AND ACCESS MANAGEMENT STUDY AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Shuler said before the meeting this evening I passed out to everyone a little more detail for this ordinance and the next ordinance. The attachments to the ordinances are just a cover letter with the proposal that did not include the backup detail. The additional detail may answer some of the questions you may have.
Mr. Danbury asked what exactly are we trying to accomplish with this and will we be able to incorporate this information with Forest Park and Sharonville?
Mr. Shuler replied I'm not sure how we would incorporate it with Forest Park and Sharonville. This project is looking at a quadrant of the City that is bounded by S.R. 747 on the west, the Sharonville corporation line on the east, I-275 on the north and the south corporation line of the City on the south, that entire area of the City that has been developing so rapidly over the last few years. The purpose of this study, first of all, is to develop a baseline of our existing situation. If you want to go to the more detailed part of the letter, the first section, Section 2, is looking at all the existing information out there. We'll put together a base map, probably from the County's CAGIS aerials that shows all the development, the buildings that are there, the parking lots, driveways, etc. In those areas Planning Commission is now talking to people about developing, we will include that information, and in those areas that development has not yet occurred, we will use a representative development of that zoning type so that we can look at that whole quadrant of the City and say our best estimate at this point is that we're going to go from A to B over a certain period of time, as far as additional traffic growth. The real part of the study is the last section, Section 4, where we are going to look at a number of different scenarios to mitigate the traffic concentrations. If we find that there are certain points in that corridor where it's the weak link in the chain, the bottleneck; it's the area where everything is trying to funnel through; it's the one area that is affecting
our overall traffic flow, we're going to look at almost any idea possible to divert traffic around that area or to divide the traffic if there is one key intersection. The Sears/Tri County Parkway intersection is becoming very very busy. During the Christmas season it is almost unmanageable. We're going to look to see if there is anyway to divert e any of the traffic that is now using that intersection to other areas so we can divide and conquer so to speak, and do a better job of managing the traffic that is out there today and the traffic we know is going to be coming in the future. We hope this will be a help to Planning Commission as they are looking at future projects coming in. It will give them something to compare a proposed project against to see what it's going to do. Either it will be an improvement or a detriment to our baseline traffic estimates. It also will give us a better understanding of where the critical points are, that we can work with the developers when they come in, and try to solve those problems at that time.
Mayor Webster said I think Mr. Shuler did a pretty good job of answering your question but you refer to the other communities. This is not a regional thing; it's just for Springdale. If we are going to add four lanes to Kemper Road going east I think we would want to give Sharonville the heads up as soon as possible because that is just going to back up into Springdale anyway. The primary concern is the core area and as you know, we have a lot of things going on there with Dave and Buster's going in. Kemper Associates owns 160,000 square feet of undeveloped warehouse space. We have people coming in on the Paffe estate now wanting to develop that. We have the Vineyard Church across the street. There are a lot of things going on in that core area and we just need to take a very comprehensive look at it. This is no small task. The solutions, if there are some, are probably going to be multi-million dollar price tags.
Ms. Manis said we should have those businesses share that price tag if they want to go in there. I do think we have to look at Sharonville down Kemper Road, all those curb cuts once you get past Chesterdale. The traffic, as soon as you turn from Chester to Kemper, stops there. Once you get into our part it moves slowly. All the people turning into the places between Chesterdale and Chester tend to bottle it up too.
Mr. Shuler said that is why we also called this a traffic corridor study but also an access management study, because we know how much those driveways affect our ability to move traffic on the main line. We will be looking at consolidating driveways or relocating driveways if we find one is creating either a bottleneck or a safety problem. We're also going to be looking at some of the internal traffic circulation on some of the major developments to see if there is a better way to bring that traffic out onto our public thoroughfare as well. It's not just Kemper Road itself. It is all of that land area that was in the area I described before and their ability to put traffic out on the roadway. We'll also be looking at the area from Kemper Road to I-275 on S.R. 747. It doesn't do us a lot of good to manage it well on Kemper if we can't get to the interstate and back.
Ms. Manis said during last Christmas season a lot of people told me that they could not get out of the mall and I said I really don't care. As long as you can move on the streets that's where we want you to move. We'd rather you be backed up in the mall rather than on our streets.
Mr. Shuler stated as part of this we are going to meet with probably all of the business owners along that corridor to get their input.
Ordinance 18-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 19-1997 "AUTHORIZING CDS ASSOCIATES, INC. TO PROCEED WITH THE SURVEYING AND ENGINEERING WORK NECESSARY FOR PHASE I OF THE WEST KEMPER ROAD STORM SEWER PROJECT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mrs. Boice seconded.
Mr. Danbury said I highly, highly urge everybody to do this. If anybody can remember Mr. Knorr sitting in our audience many times, there are some serious serious water problems that we have. It seems that every time there is a major flood his entire back yard is totally trashed and he has been living that way for twenty years. I would highly encourage that we do this. It's not just him; it affects the entire area there.
Ms. Manis asked if this was just for the design work. Are we going to rethink the bike paths based on the survey study. I think we have to do the drainage. It's a major problem over there.
Mr. Shuler said the purpose of this project is threefold. The first one is to try to take care of some of the local drainage problems we're having. The second issue is one we have been facing in a number of locations around town and that's a safety problem of these ditches that drop off the edge of our roads; and the third purpose of this project is to prepare for the addition of bike lanes on Kemper. As you may remember, about 1 1/2 years ago we applied for enhancement funds to repair and resurface Kemper and add bike lanes. The response we got back was that it was a good project but there was too big a percentage of the money going into the storm sewer system and we would have a much better likelihood of achieving success in the enhancement fund application for the bike lanes if we didn't have as much money into the storm sewer project. So we started looking at this project as a stand alone project just to get the storm sewer system in. The project has developed a little bit further than we originally intended. At first we were just going to put some storm sewers in the ditches, cover it over and let it go. When we starting thinking about it though, with the enhancement funding being federal funding, we know we will have to acquire either right of way or easements for the eventual bike lane project. If we did that with the federal funding it would delay that project substantially and add great dollars going through that process with their regulations. We are now looking at putting in the storm sewer system, and at the same time we are putting in the storm sewer system, do that grading for the future bike lanes which means we will be widening out the berms, filling in the ditches, regrading the front yards and redoing the driveways of all those residences. When we apply for the federal enhancement funds to add the bike lanes all that preparatory work will be done, the easements will be in place and we'll have a clean project as far as they're concerned. It should give us a step up on securing that funding and moving that project ahead. So this project has grown as far as dollars because we are now looking at taking it a little further than we originally wanted to but in the long run we believe we're going to be better off because we are not going to get tied up in the federal process of acquiring easements to do the bike lanes in the future.
Mayor Webster said maybe I should leave my seat and go down to the audience because this a personal matter. I own a piece of property there but I was wondering why the project doesn't extend to Rt. 4 on Kemper. Why does it stop at the creek?
Mr. Shuler responded it is going to go to Rt. 4. I was going over this with Mr. Shvegzda today and he did tell me, in fact, that I misquoted the limits of the project; that we are going to be looking at that area. There is limited amount of work that has to be done between the creek and Rt. 4 but we are going to be looking at that entire area so when we do get ready for the bike way we will have that.
Mr. Danbury said the advantages of doing this, if we do put this in and fill it in, whether we get a bike path or not, you're going to see an immediate increase in the safety factor for foot traffic. That's treacherous. I don't think there are going to be any objections.
Ms. Manis said I agree they need to be filled in and do all that but the right of way acquisition and our investigation of plan preparation is $14,000. I know we can't sit here and say what we are going to do with this study when we were first talking about the Kemper Road bike path, we would talking about a whole city-wide bike network and connecting to everybody else. If we back off of that, it seems like a waste of money to do it this way.
Mr. Danbury said it's a waste of money if that is the ultimate objective. The objective I see right now is relief from storm water for that area, erosion in the back yards and the safety factor.
Mr. Shuler stated that it's a benefit is true but we really are doing this in preparation for going back for money to get that bike way system started. I don't think there was any intention to back off the bike way system. It's just that that is the highest priority because of the traffic and narrow berms along Kemper. We thought this was an ideal place to start. It would be a highly visible area and really add to safety but I don't think there is any intention of backing off our bike way system.
Mr. Danbury responded I'm not saying the bike way isn't important, but to me the main importance of this project is relief of the water. Then the bike path is just as important.
Mayor Webster asked what is the waste if we improve the drainage and improve the safety of the road, even if we don't get funding or we decide to back away from the bike path.
Ms. Manis replied maybe I didn't state myself clearly. I think this is a great project. I know we're doing extra and above to prepare for the bike ways and maybe we want to back off that part. I still think we need to fill in the ditches. We need to do the storm drainage and all that. I'm just saying there's a lot more money in here just for the bike path, just to prepare for that. Maybe we don't want to do that. And I don't know that we can't still back off from that later.
Mr. Shuler stated we really should know that before we start design because you are right. A good part of the cost will be filling and grading that area when we are done to widen those berms out. Again the reason we were going in that direction was so we could secure the easements and get that grading work done now, before we got that part tied up with the federal dollars later. We just thought it would be money ahead by doing it now.
Ms. Manis said it was just a question based on the results we just got. I know we haven't really discussed them at all and there is some long term planning we have to do. It was just an idea.
Mayor Webster asked what if we did decide to back away from the bike paths and we just want to put a sidewalk in there?
Mr. Shuler replied we are substituting a 24 inch gravel berm that we have now for a six foot asphalt berm which will serve as both a berm and the bike lane on both sides of the street. If we are looking at a sidewalk we'll still need some separation between the travel lanes and the sidewalk and you will have to do that same grading on at least one side, if not both. It's probably more economical in the long run to actually put the bike lanes in and just widen the roads than it would be to build a sidewalk system. It's going to function as both. It will be wide enough that people can get to their mailboxes safely and be able to walk along there without being out in traffic as well as being a bike way.
Ms. Manis asked if you didn't do bike ways would it be wide enough to park on?
Mr. Shuler replied no, because by the time we added a parking lane which would have to be at least eight feet wide, plus a curb or berm and slope, we would probably be outside of existing right of way. We're going to be able to do this project with all of the physical features as far as the roadway, future bike ways, within existing public right of way. All we're going to need is easements from the property owners for grading to grade the slopes back into their yards and probably some permanent storm sewer easements across the front of the property because we believe there are too many utility conflicts out there now to put the storm sewer where the ditches are and get it low enough. We're probably going to look at putting the storm sewer right behind the utility poles instead of in front of them. That's an area that is covered over anyway. No one will know where they are once we're all done. We will be able to get the physical road system within the existing right of way so we won't have to purchase existing right of way, just get easements for that additional work.
Mr. Knox asked are we are going to modify the exhibit to change the terminus on the eastern side from the Presbyterian Church to Route 4 or shall we just leave it as the approximate location. It's referred to in the cover letter in the first paragraph, fourth line, "to the creek which runs through the Springdale Presbyterian Church property".
Mr. Shuler responded you can modify it if you like because both the construction cost and the engineering cost does also include that area between the creek and Rt. 4.
Ms. Manis said the memo states that.
Mr. Shuler said if you'd like I can change the proposal which is the attachment to the ordinance so that it is correctly stated as we understand the project.
Ordinance 19-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 20-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH APPLIED MECHANICAL SYSTEMS FOR HVAC SYSTEM SERVICING FOR SPRINGDALE POLICE STATION, SPRINDALE COMMUNITY CENTER, SPRINGDALE FIRE STATION AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Ordinance 20-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE NO. 21-1997 "AUTHORIZING THE REVISED PRELIMINARY DEVELOPMENT PLAN (PUD) OF PROPERTY COMMONLY KNOWN AS TRI-COUNTY COMMONS (DAVE & BUSTER'S)
Mrs. Boice said when we were discussing the contract about the Kemper Road corridor study Mayor Webster caught me a little off guard when he said "Dave and Buster's comes in here". We're only on a first reading and still have to have a public hearing. When I did pick up my mail and saw that they already have their liquor request in I found that a bit presumptuous. I've indicated this before and I'm going to indicate it again. I am very uncomfortable with this steamrolling approach to this project. Perhaps I'm the only one here who is but I am uncomfortable with it. I really think this is putting the cart before the horse. The way I understand this, it's been granted. There really isn't anything we can do about it. Also in connection with this ordinance to show you the amount of work that has to go in on a plan like this, it says due to the size of this attachment the original plans are on file in the Clerk of Council's office. I really hope that we are all going to review those plans. It just seems to me it is steamrolling so fast. I personally am having some discomfort with that.
Mayor Webster said I apologize, Mrs. Boice. I should have said the proposed Dave and Buster's.
Mr. Galster said I don't know if this will help alleviate some of your fears or apprehensions. I know that Dave and Buster's has met with the City continually. We've asked for special things from them. They've complied. They've worked with us extremely well. We haven't been stuck on issues that sometimes get debated over a course of a whole month's worth of Planning Commission meetings where they've complied with our requests as opposed to debating them. A lot of the main objections have been addressed. We are making special meetings in order to help accommodate their fast track. The amount of work they are putting in to give us everything we need on a timely basis has been tremendous. A lot of times in Planning Commission we'll have this elevation; we won't have a lighting plan; we won't have this package or that. It's complete; it's there. It's making it real easy to go through in complete detail. As far as the liquor request, that is always something they need for their establishment and they can resale it if it doesn't go through.
Ms. Manis said Mrs. Boice, it doesn't really bother me because we can always say no, no matter what they have done.
Mrs. Boice said I am not comfortable with this forceful approach. I haven't seen that type of thing in quite a while. Liquor licenses are easy enough to get in this day and age. I just felt this was extremely presumptuous on their part.
Mr. Wilson said coming from the east coast I'm used to this type of aggressiveness they have. It's not unusual but as Ms. Manis said, we have the last say. No matter what they do, how much money they spend, we still have the last say. I don't feel uncomfortable about the apparent aggressiveness. I just see it as typical for east coast business people. Get the ball rolling. They're just moving as fast as they can. As Mr. Galster said, they've given us just about everything we've needed. They've made a lot of concessions on signages, parking spaces. They've backed down a lot. We have to look at what benefit it will be for the City in terms of revenue and bear that in mind as well.
Mr. Danbury said there is a public hearing scheduled for March 19.
RESOLUTION NO. 5-1997 "CONSENTING TO THE EXECUTION OF AN AMENDMENT TO AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF HAMILTON COUNTY, OHIO; FOPPE THELEN GROUP, INC. AND INVESTORS 8, INC."
Ms. Manis made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Ms. Manis said it's basically a name change or one company bought out another. Is the same agreement still in affect?
Mr. Knox said I attended that meeting of the Tax Incentive Review Board last year. At that time, before the name change surfaced, it was found that the Foppe Thelen Group had not met the obligation they had entered into. Therefore, the board recommended and I and the other people, voted in favor of reducing their tax incentive from 75% to 25%. This could be reversed again if they do meet the original goals on that. Right now, in all fairness to everybody involved, to the people collecting the tax and to other organizations like, International Paper, who are meeting their requirements, this has been requested to be reduced.
Mr. Danbury said with the tax incentive at 75%, would that be retroactive to the time that you change it from 75% to 25% or is it starting today?
Mr. Knox replied it starts when it is approved. It doesn't go backwards. But again, to change it, it will take the same length of time if it was increased again so it all evens out in the end.
Mr. Danbury said but for one year they will have the difference between 75% abatement to 25% abatement.
Mr. Knox replied from the date approved, June 29, 1995, so for almost two years they'll have that.
Mr. Danbury said in 1996 they went to 25% from 75%.
Mr. Knox said they haven't until everybody approves it as I understand it. Of course, taxes are collected at a later date so I'm not absolutely certain of those dates as applied to businesses.
Mayor Webster asked Mr. Knox, do you recall the economic impact of this? How many jobs did they commit to and how many did they actually create?
Mr. Knox replied I looked that up last week and I immediately forgot the exact numbers. The amount of jobs they were supposed to generate is not a huge number but I think it was on the order of 25. In fact, their employment number dropped below what it was before. That's what moved the board to do this. Now that they've reorganized, hopefully they will be able to expand again.
Mayor Webster asked, by Council passing this, are we doing anything to undermine what the Review Board has done? Here's a company that has gone through the process, made a commitment, has failed to live up to it and has incurred the penalty from the Review Board, and now they've reorganized and want to start all over again. You're on the board and I am also. Does this send the wrong message? Should we support what the Review Board has done?
Mr. Knox responded this is the recommendation of the Review Board. This has been approved by the County Commissioners.
Mayor Webster replied I thought it is to go to the County Commissioners in May.
Mr. Knox said I'm supposing they took it before the County Commissioners because at last year's meeting they said they were going to do it. Mr. Knox read "whereas the board by resolution on April 10, 1996" which was just two weeks after the meeting that I attended last year. The board, I believe they mean Board of County Commissioners, approved the reduction. That's the date they did the reduction on so we are simply agreeing with the County Commissioners' actions. That's in the next to last paragraph on the first page.
Ms. Manis said I think this is good. All we are saying is you didn't live up to what you told us you were going to do so we're not going to give you the tax exemption for the people you said you were going to have. I think this is a stand we want to take.
Mayor Webster stated if that is what we are saying I totally agree with you.
Mr. Knox said the next meeting of the Tax Incentive Review Board is next week, March 13 and I'm sure they would like to clear this up before then. I'm not trying to force Council's hand but that's a fact.
Mr. Harrison stated that is what it is saying. It is reducing the tax exemption as a result of the non-compliance.
Mr. Vanover said it looks like everybody signed off on it except the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners. Why haven't they signed off on it? All the signatures are there except the County Administrator for the Hamilton County Board of Commissioners.
Mr. Knox said I believe they are waiting for us to pass this resolution but I could check into it.
Mr. Danbury said from my understanding, we make the recommendation, we have to pass it, then the board approves it, then the County certifies by approving it. Mayor, is that the way you see it? Everything is set up so that we're step number one. The board's recommendation was to change the level and we just have to say yes or no and then it goes to the County Commissioners.
Mayor Webster said there are all kinds of dates thrown around in here. If that is what is happening, that's fine. I want to make sure that they didn't get busted down to 25% last year, now they go through a name change and are starting the process over again to get it back to 75%. If that's what they are trying to pull I don't want any part of it.
Mr. Galster said as I look at Exhibit A, "this agreement made and entered into this blank day of blank 1997" means that this is a new document, not from 1996 or 1992 and it's already signed by Foppe Thelen and Advanced Remediation Systems and everybody else that it affects so it's like they are agreeing to it themselves. Maybe that's a concession for getting the name change but it seems to me that it is proper.
Mr. Wilson said we have to approve it and then it goes to the County.
Ms. Manis said it says when they do meet the qualifications of hiring it will go back up.
Mr. Parham said as I look at the legislation and at Mr. Osborn's February 26 memo on updating pending legislation, it seems that they have already been penalized dropping from 75% to 25% but that was under Foppe Thelen. Now they have reorganized and have a new group. They are asking that we consent that the agreement that was granted under the name Foppe Thelen, is now granted under this new name and it's still at 25%. I think the only thing they are asking for is that we now grant them to change from Foppe Thelen and they receive the abatements under the new name.
Resolution 5-1997 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster said I was talking with Chief Posega earlier about our fire protection program and threw out the idea of maybe naming it the Henry Scott Fund to help fundraising. I thought we could also look at establishing different levels of contributors and sending out letters to ask for contributions from the businesses in Springdale to contribute to that fund and when we deliver the smoke detectors leave behind a notice that donations were provided by such and such companies. He seemed extremely receptive to that idea. The other idea was to continue to run on the fire detectors and if we can get enough funding to look at carbon monoxide detectors in the future.
Mr. Danbury said we have some severe problems with flooding here. A number of organizations are looking for donations. Radio stations, Jacor stations are doing a lot of different things. I was talking to the Mayor and we are going to be setting up a distribution center for items to be donated to St. Vincent DePaul. They are the designated place that the American Red Cross said we should be giving donations. I called the Red Cross and they said the things they are most in need of is pampers, baby formula, baby food, baby clothes, regular clothes and cash. It may sound somewhat tacky but cash could help people buy their own food and whatever they need. We're going to set up a drop off point at the Fire Station and Mr. Parham told me tonight it will be in the rear of the building and we'll take it to St. Vincent DePaul. This is the branch that is located in Evendale so people can take it there themselves. I also received a call from Tri-County Mall and the Red Cross is going to have a booth in the mall so people can drop off donations. We're very fortunate because we don't live in a place surrounded by water. I would hope if we ever have a catastrophe that people would help us out.
Mr. Galster said last night I got a visit from the Springdale Police Explorers who were collecting food for that relief effort as well.
Mr. Knox asked who would someone make out a check to?
Mr. Danbury replied you can call the American Red Cross or St. Vincent DePaul. The can tell you.
Ms. Manis said we need to contact the Springdale Community Center right away because I asked Sharon and Jim tonight what their blue ribbons were for. Ms. Casselman said they bought them at Thriftway in support of the flood victims. She said they had had calls from people wanting to know where to donate stuff.
Mayor Webster said this has all happened rather quickly. We are going to attempt to get some directional signs out showing where the drop off point is. We'll make sure the Community Center staff is aware and can send the people up there.
Mr. Danbury said the water is going to go down but the devastation is going to be there for a long time. Those people lost things forever. It's something I would like for us to have ongoing. I am coordinating something where I work and we are going to have commercials run listing Springdale Fire Department and Tri-County Mall, and any other business people need to know is a drop off point. Jacor has taken a really good lead in this and hopefully people will pitch in.
Mr. Danbury stated we have the liquor permit for Dave and Buster's. Is there any objection to this permit?
Mayor Webster said as far as them jumping the gun on the liquor permit, maybe they are out in front, but this is a new permit that will be issued to them when they open their establishment. If Council decides they don't want this development and reject it, then this is a moot point. The State is not going to issue a liquor permit to an establishment that has been denied.
There were no objections.
Mr. Parham said as you may recall, in December of 1993 a new law went into effect that prohibited disposal of yard waste into the landfill. At the same time, with that legislation there was really no enforcement that could prohibit anyone from disposing yard waste into the landfills. Over a couple of years now we have designed our program under our waste hauling contract, that says Rumpke as our carrier, will collect yard waste separately. Residents would have to place that in a brown paper bag or some designated vessel and place a sticker on that. We administer those stickers to our residents for free. Rumpke has all of the residential contracts for the Greater Cincinnati area. Rumpke has decided they will no longer collect yard waste for independent households, primarily your townships or in communities that do not have a contract that indicates that Rumpke is required to collect them on a separate basis. In fact, there is still a ban called source separated which means if I set it out at the curb and I have one container that is simply yard waste and one that is trash, they cannot co-mingle that at the landfill but they can co-mingle it at the site. I've had some discussion with the Hamilton County Solid Waste District. Our contract indicates that Rumpke must collect them separately as we've designated with the bags, stickers, etc. The County understands that they have no ability to force Rumpke or any other waste hauler to continue the program of collecting the yard waste separately. They are sending out a letter this week indicating that as of April 1, 1997, Rumpke will no longer collect it for those individual households on a separate basis, but they are encouraging residents to use drop off sites, to continue to use composting, and other programs. The City is at a point where we can make a decision as to whether we wish to continue our program as it is or whether we wish to follow the path in which Rumpke is currently heading now and no longer require our residents to place yard waste out separately along with the trash. The basic cost we would be looking at, if we choose to eliminate the program, is to relieve the residents of the purchase of paper bags. For the City we spend $15,000 to $20,000 annually for stickers to provide for the residents. We'll relieve ourselves of that cost and the administrative cost of our personnel who distribute these stickers.
Mayor Webster said as Mr. Parham indicated, we are looking for some direction. Our recommendation is that we abandon the program. We can stand on some moral high ground and say we want our residents bagging this separately but for what. Rumpke is going to take your garbage and mix it with your yard waste so why should we go through that. I think we still need to try to encourage people to do the mulching, composting , etc. but there are no teeth in this law and there never has been.
Mrs. Boice said I had read this in the paper the other day. In fact I read the article two or three times. All of this recycling and all this business we went through about separating, now they're going to dump everything together. How many people ran out and got a mulching mower, went through demonstrations. Now you're saying just dump it. Now you can put it in plastic bags and set it out on the curb.
Mayor Webster responded yes we can; however, I would hope people would continue to buy mulching lawn mowers. We still need to preserve our landfills. We're running out of them. You have done society a great service by buying that mulching lawn mower, Mrs. Boice.
Mrs. Boice said remember when we had Rumpke in here because we had people who were seeing grass being thrown on. You have to wonder, don't you. It's been mixed all the time.
Mr. Danbury said they sat here and assured us that wasn't the case. I think you brought it up.
Mrs. Boice said it's heartbreaking because so many people are so trained in this and so proud of what they have been doing.
Mr. Vanover said it's going to happen. I don't really like this scenario. Are we going to see another legislative move come down the pike to counteract this and are we going to be back to square one again? Are we biting our nose off to spite our face? If it looks like we're going to have another legislative solution back in front of us then we may be re-inventing the wheel again. But if they are going to take it and run with it then fine. Obviously if we don't have to do it, why should we? We lay the cash flow out to do it. Maybe the Waste District has heard or has taken action. Do we know, Mr. Parham?
Mr. Parham replied they haven't indicated as such and I haven't heard of anything that is coming out of the state legislature. Recently we had our Ohio City Managers Conference in which the Ohio Municipal League came before and gave us an update of things coming down the pipeline and there was nothing on this topic. They have been aware of the fact that there was no teeth in the legislation pretty much around the time it went into affect. They signed a memorandum of understanding with all the waste haulers. In March 1996 one of the waste haulers decided it couldn't live like this anymore so they all decided they would no longer live like this. Rumpke will continue to honor the contracts that call for the separation as ours does.
Mrs. McNear asked if we get a refund for the stickers we have in the office.
Mr. Parham said we probably can. In order for Rumpke to get out of this program which is a cost benefit for them, the cost of refunding the sticker price is far better than the cost if they are forced to pick up the yard waste separately.
Mrs. McNear said perhaps we will pick up a few points if we disband this program. People will be happier with the program if they don't have to buy the bags or bag it separately. They can either mulch it or just throw it away.
Mayor Webster said we've already taken away one of the citizens' concerns in the survey.
Mrs. McNear said the night before we had the meeting with them they were on the news because they were caught on tape stuffing everything together. Basically they were lying and cheating so we got a lot of assurances from Rumpke that they wouldn't do that.
Mr. Danbury asked is this effective immediately if we take the recommendation from the Administration to cancel it? We are going to have a lot of people cleaning up dead limbs from the winter, thatching their lawn, etc.
Mr. Parham replied we would contact Rumpke and schedule a meeting with them and implement your wishes. It goes into effect as of April 1 for independent homeowners. For those of us under a contract we can set a date of when it would go into affect for us.
Ms. Manis said I agree totally, why bother. I don't think you necessarily just blame Rumpke for this. Like Mr. Parham said, all the haulers got together and said they're not going to do it. I know lots of people who work at Rumpke and I don't doubt that they were separating it out. If the government is going to back off on it then they're to blame. It still needs to be done and I'm sure if Mr. Osborn were here, he'd be stressing highly that we need to compost.
Mayor Webster said if it is our decision to do away with the program we need to make a separate mailing to every single family home in Springdale to make sure the homeowners are aware they no longer have to buy bags or come up and get stickers. I think the sooner we can set the meeting with Rumpke and then set a date the better off we'll be.
Mr. Danbury said I haven't heard any objections to us abandoning it. For the record, I think people should mulch. I've been using a mulching mower for four years and I haven't had a tenth of the bags I used to have.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Planning Commission March 11, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Health March 13, 7:00 p.m.
Board of Zoning Appeals March 18, 7:00 p.m.
Parade for opening day April 19, 9:00 p.m.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION AND RECAP
Mr. Danbury said at our next meeting we will have a second reading and public hearing for Ordinance 21 dealing with Dave and Buster's. We also have a request dealing with the concrete repair program which is Item 8. We should have a first reading on Item 12 which is the Blue Chip Campaign we do every year for $10,000. There was a request for engineering for the pool features.
Council adjourned at 9:50 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council