Infrastructure Committee Meeting

August 11, 2014

The Riverlea Committee on Infrastructure met on August 11, 2014 at 5840 Falmouth Court. The following members were in attendance: Council member Eric A. MacGilvray (Chair), Bill Charles (Street Commissioner), Briggs Hamor, Marc Benevento, and Pamela Colwell. Leah Reibel, Riverlea Solicitor, was a guest. At 7:05 pm the meeting was called to order.

  1. Minutes of the prior meeting were approved. 3 yes, 1 abstention.
  2. Review of water flow testing
    Flow testing was conducted to the extent possible. A second hydrant in the village was found to be out of service, which prevented all tests from being conducted. Bill Charles is evaluating options to have the two malfunctioning hydrants in the village replaced. Flow test results were below the desired level (1000psi), but were higher than the last test, which took place in 2002. Therefore, it was determined that the flow restrictions are external to Riverlea, and due to the zone of our water supply. Alternatives will be investigated.
  3. Discussion of funding options
    Options for repairing the Village streets, curbs, and water lines under evaluation are estimated to cost between $5.4 and $6.2 MM. Leah evaluated efforts in other communities to raise funds for similar projects.Upper Arlington recently formed a citizen task force to look at funding options for projects of this type. This group debated income taxes vs assessment to fund the project, and favored an assessment because it was uncertain if a local income tax would raise sufficient funds.

    By Ohio law, there are three methods by which assessments can be distributed to property owners. There is no standard for selection of the method, it would need to be debated and decided by Riverlea Council. The method by which assessments are attached to property titles should also be evaluated so that any possible impact on property values could be considered. Options for a property tax vs an assessment should also be considered.

    An income tax would be a ballot issue, as it would have to be approved by the voters of Riverlea. Although an income tax would represent a tax increase only for those working inside Riverlea (home based businesses or individuals working in a home office), the amount this would raise, and the appetite for it, are uncertain. The group discussed if there were ways to evaluate either of those issues.

    Ballot issues can be raised in May and November, in concert with general elections. November elections are larger in scope, so ballot issues in May will cost more to conduct as the costs are spread across a smaller base. The Village may also want to consider the timing of upcoming operating levies as infrastructure ballot issues are considered.

    As a next step, the Solicitor will arrange for bond counsel to attend a meeting to provide guidance on issues including the amount that could be raised by an assessment, as well as the mechanics and implications to the Village and it residents.

Meeting was adjourned at 7:58 pm