President of Council Randy Danbury called Council to order on September 16, 1998, at 7:00 p.m.
The governmental body and those in attendance recited the pledge of allegiance. Mr. Knox gave the invocation.
Mr. Knox took roll call. Present were Council members Galster, Manis, McNear, Pollitt, Vanover, Wilson and Danbury.
The minutes of September 2, 1998 were approved with 7 affirmative votes.
COMMITTEE AND OFFICIAL REPORTS
RULES AND LAWS - no report
PUBLIC RELATIONS - no report
PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY & WELFARE - no report
PUBLIC WORKS Ė Mr. Vanover reported that the total citywide curb replacement has been 80% completed. The Rosetta and Silverwood portion of the project with asphalt overlay has had the field layout completed with construction starting September 14. The completion date is projected for September 25. Under the 1995 crack seal program the work has been completed and the 1998 curb ramp replacement program has been completed.
PUBLIC UTILITIES - no report
CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS Ė Ms. Manis said on the West Kemper Road Storm Sewer Phase I project all storm sewers have been installed with the exception of approximately 300 feet of storm sewer on the north side of Kemper in the vicinity of Greenlawn. The completion date is October 2. West Kemper Road Storm Sewer Phase II plans are being finalized this month and the public information meeting is scheduled for October 14.
FINANCE COMMITTEE - no report
PLANNING COMMISSION Ė Mr. Galster stated we had the approval of a proposed sign package at Kemper Square. That was handed over to BZA and was removed from the agenda by a 6-0 vote.
There was a proposal for a tree replacement plan at Wendyís, 400 Northland Boulevard. Wendyís had 14-16 trees planted inside the walkway around their building cut down. They were looking for a plan to satisfy the City to replace those trees. That was tabled until next month so they can come back with a more comprehensible approach.
We had concept discussion of a proposed Tri-County golf center which is part of the Oak Hills Cemetery property at Tri-County Parkway. They have worked out a 25 year lease to begin with. The cemetery doesnít see the need to use the land and this is a Par 3 Executive Course. It was given favorable response.
The next item was the replat of lots 4, 5 and 6 Century Business Park Phase II which is the Vineyard Community Church property. That was approved 6-0.
The last item was the replots of lots 8 and 9 at Tri-County Commons Subdivision. That was approved 6-0.
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS Ė Mrs. McNear said Clifford Garska, 11835 Mangrove Lane requested a variance to allow the placement of a satellite dish on his garage roof. This is a 20" dish that had already been installed. Mr. Garska was not the current owner of the property. He is renting and is in the process of purchasing the home. He did not have permission from the current owner so we tabled this to the next meeting so he could complete the sale of the property or get permission from the current owner.
Skyline Chili, 85 East Kemper Road requested a 48" x 20" double-sided ancillary sign to be added to the structure of the existing pole sign. The purpose was to add an ATM sign. They want to put an ATM in the front of the building. We are concerned about the traffic as it is a very busy area around that corner and they have a small parking lot. We also talked about the fact that we didnít have permission from the trustee who owns the property. We tabled that but from further comments later in the meeting we decided that would be a different use from what we currently have for the restaurant so we referred that to Planning.
Victor Hunter, 12160 Greencastle Drive requested a variance to allow the construction of a 10í x14í shed. By code you are allowed a 10í x 12í. The shed was already constructed. The property owner purchased the house, had not moved in yet but asked the owner if he could start building the shed. This was a large piece of property and we did allow the variance for the shed; however, the shed was built four feet away from the property line and it had to be five feet off. They did build it without knowledge of the City so we said he had 30 days to come into compliance with the side yard setback. The variance was granted 6-0.
Mrs. McNear said I would like to turn the rest of my report over to Mr. Jim Squires, chairman of our board because at the last meeting Ms. Manis had some comments and concerns about how we were proceeding at the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Mr. Squires said Mrs. McNear communicated to us last evening that there were some members of Council that were a bit concerned about some of the things we were doing. The residence that came up was 186 Balsam Court. There is a very large, oversize garage in the rear of that residence. This current Board of Zoning Appeals had nothing to do with the construction of that garage. It is over 700 square feet in size. Our present zoning does not allow that. Weíre not exactly sure when that garage was constructed but it showed up in an aerial photograph in 1986. We can assume it was constructed prior to that because in 1978 the City of Springdale allowed garages to be constructed that were over 800 square feet. The people who owned the property at that time were petitioning the Board of Zoning Appeals for a driveway 8 feet wide and our code does not allow that. We gave them the variance with the stipulation that they would change the design of their driveway and take out some of the concrete structure in front of their home and blacktop it where it could curve around and be more aesthetically pleasing but we had nothing to do with the garage that was already there. The Board of Appeals is not a rubber stamp organization. We are beginning to be quite negative in some of the things that we do. We are holding pretty true to the covenants of the City of Springdale. However, we do not want to create any undo hardships on the applicants. We only granted one variance last evening. That was only with the stipulation that his shed be moved back to the proper distance from the property line. Everyone takes his/her job seriously. No one wants to allow these things that are not necessary. One time the RVs were a big problem to us and they donít come to us anymore because we just arenít going to approve it. We are anxious to communicate with Council anytime any of you have a concern as to what we are doing. I am very proud of the committee I chair. There are two of you on Council this evening. If you have any concerns about anything donít hesitate to communicate with any of us, particularly me and I will endeavor to get the answer to you post haste. Ms. Manis, do you have any concern about that residence at all.
Ms. Manis responded I knew that the garage had been there. My concern is not just with your board. Weíve had the same situation in other respects in the City. People do things without getting a permit and then we just say itís okay. Itís almost like they know if they go ahead and build it then they can probably get the variance. I know itís not the boardís fault and we donít want to create undo hardships. Itís just a bad situation we are all in.
Mr. Squires said one of the biggest frustrations we have on the board is people coming to us to get a variance on a structure that is already built. We wonder why a building permit was not obtained. There was considerable discussion about the fact that we are now on the web site in Springdale and any homeowner can get in touch with the Building Department if they are doing any building at all. If you are a homeowner you would think you would need to get a permit before you do any building.
Ms. Manis said you have one of the toughest jobs in the City and probably are hated by more people in the City than anybody else.
Mr. Squires stated there were two ladies here last night who were not happy that we did not give them the approval of their sign. Some of us were pretty concerned about the ATM machine and thought that should go to Planning. We donít just give in to everything.
BOARD OF HEALTH Ė Ms. Pollitt reported the new part-time nurse, Carole Andrews was introduced. She will be coming to Council for introduction in the near future. We also talked about a regulation for tattoo and body piercing. This is apparently something a lot of communities are facing and we have done some research work. We will be issuing a license with a $100 yearly fee. We will go with state regulations in regulating the shops. Our department will start immunizing infants in January. This was not done in the past. That will go out in the newsletter to inform our residents.
The Board of Health requested that I advise Council that they were not satisfied with the electronic containment ordinance. They did not feel that it adequately addressed the concerns that the board had set forth. Dr. Ketring said he would be more than happy to come in and speak to Council in regards to this.
Civil Service Commission Ė Mr. Coleman said they met September 18. The police captainís exam was discussed and the exam is scheduled for November 17, 1998 at 1 p.m. in the Municipal Building. As we currently have two vacancies in the Fire Department for the position of firefighter, the City of Springdale will be accepting applications for that position from September 21 to October 16. Those applications will be available at the Municipal Building at the receptionist desk. The tentative date for the exam is October 22 at 6:30 p.m. at Springdale Elementary. If that session fills up we will have another one 8:45 p.m. If both of those are full we will also have an exam on October 21. There was a motion to amend Rule 8, Section 5 of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations relating to vacancies in the Police and Fire Departments. It was passed 3-0. There was a motion to amend Rule 8, Section 2 of the Civil Service Rules and Regulations. The motion was passed 3-0. Both amendments are on file in the Civil Service office. We have decided to begin meeting regularly the second Friday of every month at 8:15 a.m., thereby being accessible to individuals who have questions regarding activities of the Civil Service Commission.
Mr. Wilson asked how are we advertising for these positions?
Mr. Coleman replied we have put together an advertisement timeline sequence that will allow us to advertise in the local media and local churches. We anticipate also doing some pre-test exercises as well as passing out literature so the individuals will have a better understanding of what is expected within the responsibilities of the firefighter position. We have already had individuals contacting the Civil Service Office to make application and we havenít even advertised yet.
Ms. Manis asked is this a full-time position? Do we require paramedic training?
Mr. Coleman replied there are two full-time positions available.
Mr. Parham replied we do not require that you have any EMS or firefighter certification. We have decided to treat it just as we treat the patrol officer position. We require nothing but the basics; that you are a high school graduate, of a certain age, etc.
Mr. Coleman stated newly hired firefighters will have the opportunity to become certified in those areas.
Mr. Parham said two or three years ago we began a rather aggressive recruitment process. One of our goals was to have our workforce in the City of Springdale reflect the population in the City of Springdale. We began an aggressive recruitment process throughout the minority population and also for females. In particular, focus has been made for our public safety services, police and fire. We are going to hold we have begun to term as an academy. On October 17 at the Greater Cincinnati Urban League on Reading Road we are going to hold this academy in which we are going to have one of the captains from the Fire Department, the organizers of the test document and me available to answer questions. Weíre going to present the physical agility test which is required as a firefighter in the City of Springdale. As Mr. Coleman indicated, we are once again going to do our flier and submit it to churches throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. We will pass that out to other organizations. Each time we have a recruitment process for a full-time position in the City we contact a number of churches and agencies that serve the minority community in our efforts to try to increase our numbers.
Mr. Wilson said I would like to work with you on these projects. We talked about me going to some of the churches and barber shops and passing out fliers. I want to continue to help both of you with that.
Mr. Danbury said in my daily job I have a lot of contact with businesses and one of the biggest problems right now is that unemployment is at an all-time low. This is an employeeís market so we will have to be aggressive to attract quality people. Newspapers have always been very good. Maybe the internet or job fairs would be good.
Ms. Manis said we have our Explorer base too, donít we?
Mr. Osborn replied in all the years we have had the Explorer program we have only generated one firefighter. Weíre at the point right now where we cannot sustain the Explorer program because we donít have the leadership available. Right now the program is in hiatus until we can find some way of providing the leadership that is required to operate a program like that. There are firefighters that have come out of the program and are working in other locations but we have only ended up with one here in Springdale.
Mayor Webster read a proclamation for Fire Prevention Week. The proclamation will be presented to the Fire Department.
The debris removal program continues full bore. We have 22 requests already serviced this month for a yearly total of 235. My phone is still ringing so weíre still issuing compliance letters to the Property Maintenance Code. We have talked about the ability to apply that code to commercial property and we can and have done that but there is a section on parking that we need to enhance. We will be bringing something to Rules and Laws or Council in the future.
Mr. Danbury asked if there is a chain of command for the Police Department since we donít have a captain right now?
Mr. Osborn said the responsibility has fallen to Lt. Hafer. He has been off with some medical problems during part of the summer so it has been shared.
Mayor Webster said if you have not had an opportunity to drive down West Kemper Road I would urge you to do so. Itís really a great improvement aesthetically and from a safety standpoint. I would certainly hope when we kick off Phase II that it will go smoother and faster than Phase I since we have a finished product to point to.
CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTORíS REPORT ĖMr. Knox said the Tax Incentive Fund for which we borrowed $2 million was rolled over and we have the results of the bidding on the interest rate. We were given a premium along with the rate and the combined total of those two means we will be paying slightly less than 3.71% interest.
Yesterday in the mail I received a report from State Senator Janet Howard that has to do with the noise barrier effectiveness. I would like to read her letter.
"Ohio Universityís Professor Lloyd Herman assisted with the first phase of the study to obtain a preliminary assessment of the publicís opinion of noise barriers along I-71. During the second phase a computer model will be developed to better design barriers in the future and then there will be a third phase that will test the hypothesis from the citizensí complaints regarding the noise barriers. The study is expected to be completed in another year. Thank you for contacting my office."
The report is 132 pages long. I can synopsize by telling you that everything you heard in the past is true. The people who live within 100 yards of the highway noticed an improvement. The people who live further away noticed more noise. Overall two-thirds of the people didnít like it, particularly those people who had a barrier across the road from them but no barrier on their side. Apparently the sound was reflecting off the barrier and they were getting both sides. Iím happy to see they are going forward with that. They will be checking into natural barriers which was suggested strongly by this Council. This will be available in the Clerkís office to anyone who would like to read it.
ADMINISTRATORíS REPORT Ė Mr. Osborn said I want to update Council on Metropolitan Sewer District issues weíve been dealing with. Earlier this summer there was discussion of the imposition of the moratorium on several communities in the Mill Creek Valley. That was the case for a short period. Sewer permit tap applications were denied. Thanks to the effort of John Dowlin, County Commissioner and Paul Tomes, Acting Director of MSD, I think an equable resolution of the situation has been brought about. There is a formula system that has been implemented that credits communities and MSD for restoration work done on sanitary sewers or other measures done to reduce the amount of infiltration or flow into the sanitary sewer. Based on this credit system, we believe Springdale has accumulated sufficient numbers to sustain our development for several years. Thatís the short term resolution. A longer term resolution will be the construction of an equalization tank at the point of sanitary sewer overflow 700 in north Reading. The project is presently in a concept level and under review by EPA. The MSD folks feel it will probably take 2-5 years through planning and construction to bring it about and the estimated cost of the facility is approximately $32 million. Once this facility is in place we have been assured that we will have no further issues brought before us in terms of capacity of the sewer system. Hopefully, the commissioners and MSD will follow through on the priority they seem to have given this matter. We have also indicated to MSD and the commissioners that weíre prepared to work with them in appearing before hearings and expressing the critical need for the improvements. In that same vein, you may recall that the 915 sewer replacement is a project that has been going on for more than a decade. The first contract through Evendale and Sharonville is complete with some minor sealing work that has to be done. Contract #2 runs from Kemper Road in Sharonville, passes under Kemper, under I-275 and heads west under I-75 and comes up the same valley as the Carmen Creek area. That project is in the right-of-way acquisition stage and has been designed. We have been reviewing the status of the right-of-way with MSD and it has been confirmed that all the right-of-way required for Contract #2 in Springdale has been acquired and there are only three pieces of right-of-way remaining in Sharonville. Weíre certainly going to press MSD to begin construction of that second contract. In Springdale it comes up the creek through Heritage Hill, under the Tri-County Mall parking lot and under the Tri-County Marketplace parking lot. I might add that the sewer in those two areas were already constructed as a result of negotiations by the City with those developers as the development happened. Similarly, we worked with GE Park to have the right-of-way secured for that area as well. Weíve attempted over the years to help bring about this construction project. Itís encouraging that weíre on the threshold. Contract #3 starts at Princeton Bowl and heads up into Forest Park. We will actively pursue the right-of-way for that contract as well. I do think we need to tip our hats to Commissioner Dowlin and Paul Tomes; Paul particularly. Heís an acting director for MSD. He came over when Tom Quinn left. Paulís real home is the Cincinnati Water Works and heís on loan until they can recruit a replacement for Tom Quinn. He got dumped into the middle of this and after he got his feet on the ground, heís definitely been working to bring about a fair solution.
Ms. Manis asked is the pipe buried or exposed through the creek beds?
Mr. Osborn replied the old technique was to put them in the creek bed themselves because that is the lowest point in the watershed. One of the reasons for the delay in 915 is that the original design for the replacement sewer called for it to be in the creek bed but the EPA said no, we want you to move it out of the creek bed for the very point you are making. They were putting it in the lowest point of the flood plain. 915 is redesigned and will actually be out of the creek bed.
LAW DIRECTORíS REPORT - no report
ENGINEERíS REPORT Ė As you heard earlier from some of the committee reports, a lot of the projects are moving along very well. We will be working with the contractors and our goal is to have all of the projects completed by the middle of October.
Mr. Vanover said we have a lot of loose gravel on our street from the crack sealing program.
Mr. Shuler stated what you are seeing is normal. They cover that with the cover aggregate for the crack sealing program. We donít want to sweep it off immediately. We do want to let it set and get tracked in as much as possible. But it will be cleaned.
Mr. Vanover said we have traffic counters on S. R. 747 and on Chesterdale. Are they ours?
Mr. Shuler replied no, they are not ours. Theyíre probably through the Butler County Engineerís Office.
Mr. Knox said he received a communications electronically through our e-mail address which is "admin.springdale.org"
Letter from Rob Hormann, 251 Nelson Lane
"In an article in the Tri-County Press dated September 9, there is an article about cracking down on property maintenance violations. I think that is a good idea with the exception of one item. That item is the garbage cans being seen from the street. I live on a corner lot and if it were not for the bushes on both sides of my home, I would say that over 95% of my yard would be seen from the street. I understand what this code is about; however, some judgment has to be put into it. If it were not for my patio where I keep my garbage cans I would have to keep them in some obscure spot in my yard that would be a real nuisance to take out the garbage to. Again, the code is great to keep garbage out of site so we donít look like a dump but letís keep in mind that those who would have a real hard time hiding their garbage cans due to the location of their home or the age of the residents."
Letter from Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
"To City Council: As part of the effort to upgrade local jails in Ohio, the Bureau of Adult Detention conducted a review of the Springdale City Jail on August 11, 1998. The inspection was based on a group of 17 standards contained in the Minimum Standards for Jails in Ohio focusing on laundry, food, commissary service, work release, and in-mate workers. This is to advise you that the findings have been mailed to Chief Michael E. Laage. If you would like a copy of the findings please contact the bureau. Sincerely, Charles E. Bailey, Jail Inspector."
Mr. Osborn said the report says we passed without any bad marks. This is an annual report and we consistently score well on it. The program we operate is a five day holding facility and I donít think everyone appreciates what we have to do to sustain that qualification. We have to have dietary standards, medical treatment and facilities available. There are a lot of criteria that the Police Department has to meet in oversight of prisoners. I think it speaks well of our Police Department that theyíve been able to consistently retain their classification as a five day holding facility and routinely get these perfect marks.
Mr. Wilson said District 1 will be having a meeting September 23, 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers. Notices will be sent out within 24 hours.
COMMUNITY CENTER EXPANSION CDS Ė Jim Warner
Mr. Osborn said following the July review of the alternatives for the Community Center expansion, Council selected alternate 1. As a result, the Recreation staff and Administrative office have been working with the consultant to try to put more details into a concept plan that will capture all of those features that Council identified as being important and at the same time try to refine a cost estimate that will accurately predict what we can expect to pay for a facility of this magnitude. Mr. Burton is here this evening to answer any questions you might have regarding the process or the details of the site plan or the building schematic.
Mr. Warner of CDS said we have been making an effort to provide all of the amenities and features of Option 1 but also to reduce the cost. Also, there were some issues with Option 1 by having the double gym on the second floor, just the logisitics of getting a large number of people up there. We also had an engineering design challenge of how can we have good acoustics under that gym so we donít hear sounds of dribbling balls in the spaces underneath it. We thought the staff would have more control over the various activities by lowering the building and making it a two story building.
All of the features within the existing building that were present in Option 1 are provided under this option, 1A. It differs in the portion we are adding on. We have basically a one story structure with a second story higher area. We have encroached farther out into the parking lot and have made a lot of changes in the parking lot, especially in lots B and C. The distance one has to travel from the extremities of the lot to the front door of the building is at least as good as what you currently have at the center. We are adding parking lot E below where the Police Department is. We are also adding parking next to the Police Department carports. This layout gets a net add of 45 spaces over what you currently have.
We met this afternoon with Bill McErlane, the Building Official and found that there will be no code issues involved in being able to expand in the future. We will be able to add to the rear of the building or anywhere around the perimeter in the future without having any engineer or design difficulties.
Mr. Warner gave a presentation of the expansion as can be seen in the packet that was given to Council members and the Administration. We have a two story lobby and you can go up the stairs or elevator to a open mezzanine. There will be a hand rail around the mezzanine and running track. There will be a lot of glass around the track so that people using it will will have sight lines to the pool or grove of trees or parking lot area as they go around the track.
One of the things that changed in this facility is square footage. This facility has 71,669 square feet versus the 70,384 square feet we had in the earlier scheme. Thatís principally in the lobby area. There are more parking spaces. Unfortunately, while the building itself came down in cost by going to a two story building, by pushing out into the parking lot, it increased our site costs. There is reworking and regrading of the parking area. Storm detention costs went up. These are conservative numbers and we plan on bidding it very early in the construction season. As a team we are just starting to get into the details of every system. It will be our goal to value every system by every discipline. We will try to cut money out of the budget.
Mr. Osborn said we were concerned that we not lose that open access and direct connection to the ball fields and concession area. When we have our big events like the Spirit of Springdale festival we have thousands of people who congregate in that area and exit towards the parking lot and street. Right now we have a very inviting panorama that attracts you back in that direction. We asked the architects to design a major pedestrian walk along the rear of what is the existing multi-purpose courts. Those will stay in place but in order to open that vista through there we contemplate taking down one of those concrete back stops. We didnít want the center cutting off what is a very active part of the grounds. We also had to consider that these pedestrian ways also have to be vehicular access for bringing in equipment for festivals or bringing in emergency equipment.
Mr. Galster stated given the fact that it is now a two story building, the only need for the elevator and stairs in the lobby is to get up to the running track. What about creating a ramp and saving the cost of the elevator?
Mr. Warner replied that sounds like it might save money but unfortunately, the ramp would be at a 1-12 ratio and weíd be going up 14 feet. It gets to be an extensive ramp.
Mr. Danbury asked do we have fire hydrants on the far side?
Mr. Warner responded in order to achieve that unlimited classification I mentioned earlier, we have to do that.
Mr. Danbury said in the new concept you have the dance studio next to the meeting rooms. I was wondering if you are factoring in additional acoustics.
Mr. Warner said we plan to have extremely heavy construction between the two rooms, the highest acoustical level we can get.
Mr. Danbury said we had a report earlier from Mr. Knox on the sound barrier walls reflecting and dispersing the noise level to a larger area. Do you think noise projecting back into the residential area will be a problem with the two new gyms and the amphitheater?
Mr. Warner replied Iím not sure you would get sound back into the amphitheater where it would produce a conflict.
Ms. Pollitt asked would you have access from the school parking lot into our parking lot all the way down? Is there is a security reason why we would not have access into the area behind the Police Department.?
Mr. Warner said if you look between lot E and the Police parking lot you will see a fence line created. That was deliberate to have a security area from the police area to the adjacent parking.
Ms. Pollitt asked do you anticipate that the police will need additional parking any time in the near future.?
Mr. Warner said we truthfully donít know. We were going to have discussions with the Police Chief and staff to talk through that issue. We have some operational issues to talk about too.
Mr. Osborn stated we are still working on that internally. Clearly when we have a big event we are going to have the private vehicles for police officers on duty parked in the secure area to free up parking spaces that would be available to the public. We certainly will keep vehicles we are warehousing or storing in this area all the time. The one question that is still not resolved, is are police officers required to park in this area all the time? We have the fire tower not that far from this parking and we sometimes generate ash, dirt, debris and smoke, etc. I donít know if itís appropriate to require people to park their personal vehicles right where they will be exposed to that kind of matter that could accumulate on vehicles.
Mr. Warner said we are underway with engineering for the parking lots to be bid this fall. Our intent is to have that in place before we start construction. That way it wonít be an impediment to residents wanting to use the Community Center while construction is going on.
Ms. Pollitt asked will that green area behind lot C be a picnic grove?
Mr. Warner replied that is the existing grove that is currently there and will remain that way.
Mayor Webster said I would like to congratulate CDS. I think youíve done a fine job giving the concept Council approved. I think it looks great. On the other hand, Iím very disappointed that the cost did not go down. I thought we would see some reduction in the cost. Itís about $50,000 more which says they did a pretty good job of estimating the original one. Iím still concerned about a $7.5 million expenditure and with the soft costs you are up to $8.7 million. We donít not have a financing plan available. We think we are going to do this; we think we are going to do that. I would certainly like to see some thought given to how we are going to pay for it. I donít think we have done that. We are going to issue bonds. Nobody knows how long, how much and what that impact will have on the long term capital improvement program. Itís a nice facility but it gets back to the same old argument. Can we really afford to have the biggest community center of any of the communities in northern Hamilton County. Itís bigger than Blue Ash, Evendale, and Sharonville. And itís the most costly one.
Mr. Osborn said responding to Ms. Pollittís earlier question about the green space. If you are familiar with that area, right now there is a major pine tree that penetrates out into the parking area. We are trying to lay this out so that they protect and build around that evergreen and retain the screening for the tennis courts, but at the same time, open that lot up so that you donít feel like you are in a different parking lot. If you take a radius from the existing front door out to the end of lot A, the front door is actually moving 155 feet to the southwest. If you take that same radius from the new front door location you capture virtually the same amount of parking as you would have existing now. Itís being done by opening lots B and C and eventually D to make them feel as though they are part of the parking immediately in front of the center.
Mrs. McNear said I just wanted to follow up on what Mayor Webster said about the bonds. The recreation center is moving along. I think we need to find out about that soon. Is anybody checking into it?
Mr. Danbury replied it will be Finance Committee. Do we still have the Mooney rating that we had before when we look into bonding this?
Mayor Webster replied you only maintain the rating if you use it. That was brought up the last time we talked about issuing bonds. There is no reason we wouldnít have a good reason. The only thing that would detract from it is that we have not issued debt consistently over time.
Mrs. McNear said I think it looks very nice also. I too was disappointed that the price tag went up. Sixty-thousand dollars in the scheme of $7.5 million doesnít sound like much but it seems like weíre going in the wrong direction.
Mr. Osborn said the major point of discussion of how we are going to pay for the building I hope will be resolved during the five year budget review. Right now, the time table calls for the submission of the five year budget to Finance Committee on October 2. Weíre in the process right now of updating all of our information on identified projects, projects that are already approved by Council; projects we anticipate coming up in the five year period beginning in 1999. Weíll have to have a financing scheme to conclude that five year budget process.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE Ė none
Presentation on Joint Committee on Transportation Solutions Ė Jim Dygert, Sharonville Chamber of Commerce
Mr. Dygert said Iím here on behalf of the Sharonville Chamber of Commerce and the Joint Committee on Transportation Solutions which was established by the Sharonville Chamber and Southeastern Butler County Chamber of Commerce. Amy Tarango who is the executive director of the Butler County Regional Transit Authority is here with me tonight.
The problem we are talking about is a shortage of employees and the difficulty of businesses in this area filling the jobs that they have open. Part of it is a transportation problem. There are a lot of people in the City of Cincinnati and in the City of Hamilton who can fill these entry level jobs but they have no transportation to get here. The only public transportation available from the Metro System comes into Springdale at Cassinelli Square. Anyone riding that bus from downtown spends a good deal of time getting out of here. A lot of businesses in this area are not close to where that bus line ends.
About a year ago I was approached by Mayor Virgil Lovitt, II. He told me that the city officials there have been concerned about this problem for a number of years. They have been in negotiations with people at the Metro Bus System for years trying to get bus service extended out to Sharonville and other suburban areas. The answer has always been we know your problem and needs but all of our funding comes from the City of Cincinnati and they are not interested in extending bus service to the suburbs. After Mayor Lovitt asked the Sharonville Chamber to look into this problem we talked with some of the businesses in the area. We realized this was a bigger problem than the Sharonville Chamber could take on by itself so we invited the Southeastern Butler County Chamber of Commerce to join with us to see if we could find a solution to this problem. We also invited the Springdale and Glendale Chambers of Commerce. This committee was formed in December 1997. We sent a survey to all of the businesses in the Sharonville, Springdale, Glendale and West Chester areas. We got enough return to indicate that this is a wide spread problem. This ties into making jobs available for people who have formerly been on welfare and are willing to get a job if they could get there. ODOT has awarded a grant to the Metro Bus Service to run a park and ride service to four suburban areas including West Chester during the reconstruction of Ft. Washington Way to alleviate traffic in the downtown area. They are going to work with us and provide us an opportunity to reverse commute. Instead of the busses coming out here empty they will bring workers into this area. Our proposal calls for a shuttle service that would tie into this. We have presented this proposal to the Union Township Board of Trustees and City of Sharonville and to the Princeton Board of Education. We have been given strong indications of support in raising the necessary funding and we are hoping that you too may be able to help us.
Amy Tarango said the presentation being passed out has been given to all of the communities that we hope will participate. Initially the reverse commute will cost $75,000. That would be through a contract with Cincinnati Metro. The van for the Sharonville and Union Center shuttle would cost $58,500 and $60,000 respectively. We had an oversight cost of $10,000 if the Butler County RTA were to oversee the project. There may be a non-profit entity that is established. We would need to obtain rental space for the shuttle pick up locations and thatís estimated at $30,000. Signs and marketing are $16,000; and two shelters at $8,000 each. That totals $265,500.
This is for a one year project. It is probably standard for two years. The cost would bump up when the grant is gone. One van would serve the Sharonville area at this time. This could be expanded. A second van would service southeastern Butler County. The vans would provide circular service and meet the three reverse trips in the morning and in the evening to take the people back and forth. If we could maximize the 14 passenger vans with the three trips per day we could get 42,840 passenger trips averaging about $6.20 per passenger trip. There would be a fare structure and weíd probably charge $1.50. That would leave a subsidy of $4.70.
We are going to be meeting next week and Jim and I said we would bring back any feedback from Councils or townships we have been to.
Mrs. McNear asked have you asked the businesses how much they would be willing to contribute?
Ms. Tarango replied we asked would you like to contribute in kind and there were positive responses to that. In the second question we asked would you consider financial contributions to assist us and most of those were no. There were some suggestions that some businesses might do a payroll withdrawal to assist in obtaining the fares. The committee has tried to think of other ways such as selling advertising to raise money.
Mr. Dygert said some businesses have indicated a willingness to buy bus passes.
Mrs. McNear said I work in an office in Sharonville and we hire quite a few people. We have over 100 people in that location and it is a problem trying to find good help these days. However, I donít feel comfortable subsidizing businesses to get employees to show up at their place of employment.
Mr. Osborn said this is a sun run off a rush hour commute. We have a sun run in Springdale already that runs along Kemper Road to I-75 and down I-75. What about doing a reverse commute off of that sun run?
Ms. Tarango said there would be an increase in cost. That $75,000 relating to Metro fees would have to be added to service Springdale. Most of the busses start from the Bond Hill station and you would have to pay for the trip to get them downtown first.
Mr. Osborn said we have been working very closely with Metro for a number of years and I was surprised to hear you say they are not interested in bringing routes into the suburbs.
Ms. Tarango said we have been working very closely with them and they are very excited about this project. Iím sorry they were not able to have a representative here today. They are very willing to do suburban transportation. Itís just that there funding source comes from the City of Cincinnati.
Mr. Osborn said thatís not totally true. Their funding source to a great degree comes from the Federal Highway Administration.
Ms. Tarango responded that is true but that amount is shrinking every year.
Mr. Osborn said I think itís going in the other direction with T-21 and the amount of money directed to mass transportation. I really think that they ought to be a bigger player in this in terms of planning and more comprehensively looking at this. I think there is more involved than the transportation from core city out here. There is lateral transportation. I think weíd like to see a commute that would go across Kemper Road through Sharonville, Blue Ash and Forest Park. Thatís the type of network we really ought to see developed by Metro as opposed to trying to use shuttles.
Mr. Dygert said we met with Paul Jablonski, the manager of Metro about a year ago. They had been studying this problem and had a lengthy document on their proposed solution. There solution which we did not think was feasible was to establish transfer points at areas such as Swifton Commons and send vans out from there directly to a particular employer.
Mayor Webster since Ft. Washington Way has been torn up Metro has a sun run that departs at the Tri County Assembly of God. Thatís the one that would be a more direct benefit to Springdale businesses.
Mr. Danbury said I just found out the age for getting a license is being raised from 16 to 17 so those people wonít be able to get to a job unless the parents can take them . I have seen a lot of independent studies and I know a lot of the business that comes into Springdale is retail. The number one zip code for customers coming in here is 45069 which is West Chester. Maybe for us to benefit we could incorporate that area into the run.
Mr. Dygert said one of the long range ideas of this service is to transport seniors to doctors or access to shopping, etc.
Ms. Manis said I think it is a good effort and probably needed. I think itís a bigger issue than the van service and I appreciate your efforts. I think though that the businesses should take a bigger role. I would like to know more about the program and see the businesses and Metro get more involved.
ORDINANCE 59-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE THE SPECIAL COUNTY ARSON TASKFORCE MUTUAL AID CONTRACT AND DECLARING AN EMERGENCY"
Mr. Osborn said we received some communication from the County Prosecutorís Office that the County Sheriff would like to see the text amended so the Fire Chief has asked that we table this ordinance until the prosecutor resolves the amendment.
Ms. Manis made a motion to table and Mr. Galster seconded. The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
ORDINANCE 60-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO ENTER INTO A LICENSE AGREEMENT WITH DAYTON HUDSON CORPORATION FOR THE PLACEMENT OF PRIVATE SANITARY SEWER LINES AND STORM WATER LINES"
Mrs. McNear made a motion to add the emergency clause at Mr. Schneiderís request and Mr. Vanover seconded. The motion passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mr. Galster made a motion to adopt and Mr. Vanover seconded.
Mr. Osborn said this is not an unusual step. We have frequently granted licenses to businesses over the years for such things as private telephone lines, private storm sewers that have to cross the public right-of-way, etc. The reason we want to have a license agreement in place is so that we can define each partyís rights and secure the Cityís interest in indemnifying us from any damages resulting form the sewer being in our right-of-way. Also securing our right to require that the sewer be relocated if it proves to be in our way when weíre moving our road or rearranging the facilities in the public right-of-way. The specific need here is that the nearest available sanitary sewer for the Target Store is on McClellans Lane so they have to run a private sewer across to the east to McClellans and a similar situation for the storm water. The detention basin for this overall sight is on the east side of the new Century Boulevard so the storm sewer will have to pass under Century as well. We consider these private utilities and the responsibility of the developer. We did not want to take them on as public responsibility. In order to maintain their status as private utilities we are granting a license to cross our right-of-way.
Mr. Galster asked is this the digging up that has already occurred across McClellans Lane?
Mr. Shuler responded Iím assuming that is true because obviously, we need to get the deep sewers in as part of their sight work early. We can verify that for you.
Ordinance 60-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
RESOLUTION R10-1998 "AUTHORIZING THE CITY ADMINISTRATOR TO FILE AN APPLICATION WITH THE OHIO PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION FOR STATE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM FUNDS AND AUTHORIZING THE MAYOR AND CLERK OF COUNCIL/FINANCE DIRECTOR TO EXECUTE ALL CONTRACTS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS"
Mr. Vanover made a motion to adopt and Mr. Wilson seconded.
Mr. Danbury asked when do you think weíll find out if weíre accepted?
Mr. Osborn replied we should find out early in 1999. We have to have the applications in this fall. They will go through a review process and a decision is usually made by the technical committee and recommended to the County Commissioners. That process is usually culminated in February/March of the following year. The money will not be released on any of these projects until July 1999. The West Kemper Road Phase II project is planned now to start in July. Weíre intentionally not planning to start until July. We can bid it out earlier but we canít enter into a contract and start construction until weíve got the money available to us July 1. Weíll know if weíve been awarded the funds; it just wonít be released until July 1.
Mr. Danbury asked Mr. Shuler do you feel somewhat confident, confident or very confident on us acquiring this?
Mr. Shuler said that is a tough question. We know what the criteria is that they use to judge projects. Weíve tried to break down the funding and design the projects to take advantage of all the points that we can but we never know how many projects are going to be applied for. They rank all the projects, then they fund them starting with the highest rank. Obviously, these types of projects are the kind that qualify and score well.
Mr. Osborn said both of these projects have been floated before the SCIP or Municipal Road Fund groups previously. One of the things we have done to enhance their attractiveness is reduce the percentage of construction costs that we are asking for. On the West Kemper storm sewer project we are only asking for 40% participation by SCIP, and on the East Kemper Road improvement project we are only asking for 50% participation by SCIP. Thatís one of the factors that generates the values scoring a project and itís one of the few we can control.
Mr. Danbury asked how come we didnít include Sharon Road?
Mr. Osborn replied we didnít have time because we built it this year. We applied for MRF funding two years in a row for Sharon Road. We were not successful in either case. If you donít get the MRF fund itís a pretty good indication that youíre not going to qualify for SCIP.
Resolution R10-1998 passed with 7 affirmative votes.
Mrs. McNear said I had a call about the construction of the church on Kenn Road. The land was cleared and it looked like they had laid some concrete and pipe but it doesnít seem like there has been a lot of activity in a while.
Mr. Wilson said I talked with Rev. Pasley. Theyíve had some problems, both financial and with the engineer. Itís my understanding they are in the process of getting another engineer. Weíll know more on Wednesday about the progress.
Ms. Pollitt said Iíve had a couple of people comment about the steps at Tri-County Mall. One set of the steps that lead from the second floor to the first has been removed. I would like to know if they came before any of our boards for permission to remove these steps or did they need to? Is this a safety issue?
Mr. Osborn replied I can check with the Building Department and get back with you.
Ms. Manis stated I would just like you, Mr. Mayor, to pass on to the Police Department, Chief Laage in particular, that the timeliness of the note concerning the stalker was appreciated. The first incident happened last Wednesday morning and the note came home with our kids that afternoon. Do we know anything else and would you keep us informed if something does break?
Mayor Webster responded thank you for your comments. Those are identical to ones I shared with Mr. Osborn. I was extremely pleased to see how proactive Chief Laage with getting that out. We just heard today that Crime Stoppers was going to run that. Weíll be more than happy to keep you posted.
MEETINGS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
District 1 meeting September 23, 7 p.m.
Springdale Chamber of Commerce September 24, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Mr. Parham said the Springdale Chamber of Commerce entered into an affiliation agreement with the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce to introduce joint membership and exchange services. The advantage that the Springdale Chamber offers for the Greater Cincinnati Chamber is the ability to attract local membership. The Greater Cincinnati Chamber provides a great deal of services that, as an infant organization, the Springdale Chamber is not able to provide for their members at this point. On September 24 they are going to have their official hand-in-hand exchange for the signing of the affiliation agreement. A number of individuals have been invited, such as elected officials. There will be light entertainment and light refreshments.
Mr. Danbury asked how many people do we have in the Chamber?
Mr. Parham replied there are approximately 35-40 paid members. Two to three weeks ago they held a phone contact bank where active members from the Chamber did phone solicitations to other businesses. I understand they have received a lot of feedback. If you are a member of the Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce and you pay the membership fee, and you want to be a member of both organizations, you simply inform the Greater Cincinnati Chamber that you wish to be a joint member. They will then rebate the amount of your membership to the local chamber. There are approximately 59 or 60 organizations that have identified that they would like to have joint membership. Bob Ranier is currently serving as a volunteer executive director. They had a young lady here acting as receptionist for them but she has left to go to college at the University of Tennessee. They are hoping to replace her.
Mayor Webster said one of the goals we outlined for the Chamber at the outset was that they had to align themselves with the Greater Cincinnati chapter. Cecil, Derrick and I met with the people in Milford who had already done that, and tried to pave the way as much as we could. We didnít do it, the Chamber members did it and I certainly commend them for that. If they are going to have a successful chamber they need that tie in with the Greater Cincinnati Chamber.
COMMUNICATIONS FROM THE AUDIENCE - none
UPDATE ON LEGISLATION STILL IN DEVELOPMENT
Newsracks - open
Regulating distribution of advertising materials - October 7
County-Wide Arson Investigation Taskforce - tabled
Council adjourned at 9:30 p.m.
Edward F. Knox
Clerk of Council/Finance Director
Randy Danbury, President of Council