The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at Thomas Worthington High School. The following Council members were present: Mayor Eric A. MacGilvray, Nicholas Bartels, Scott K. Gordon, Janet Heidkamp, Leah M. Pyter, Emily Saving, and Dan E. Schlichting. Also present were Leah Reibel, Solicitor, Bryce Jacob, Planning Commissioner, Steven Orenchuk, Street Commissioner and Gregory Bonk, Web Manager. Guests of Council were Worthington Acting City Manager Robyn Stewart, Worthington Financial Director Scott Bartter, and Kyle Dy. At 7:00 p.m., the Mayor called the meeting to order.
Fire & EMS Levy
Robyn Stewart, Acting City Manager of the City of Worthington and Scott Bartter, Financial Director of the City of Worthington, addressed the Council concerning the upcoming Fire & EMS services levy that has been sent to Sharon Township trustees to be placed on the ballot in November 2023. There have been no material changes to the amount collected by the department since the agreement to provide these services was signed in 1994, and in that time the effective millage rate of the levy has decreased from just over 4 mills to just over 1 mill. In that same time, the cost to run the department has more than doubled from $3.5M to $7M. The request to Sharon Township trustees is to increase the rate for these services to 8.1 mills, which would increase the total amount collected from Sharon Township residents from $143K to $1M. Sharon Township is planning to hold public forums to solicit input in January; more information will be distributed closer to the date.
The minutes of the Council meeting of November 21, 2022 were not read since each member had received a copy. Saving moved and Bartels seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion carried (6-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Bartels moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for November 2022 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion carried (6-0).
Report of the Mayor
- The Mayor reported that the luminaria event had been held successfully the previous night. He thanked Kathy McClintock and the social committee for their work in organizing the event.
- The Mayor reported that Sharon Township swept the Village gutters on November 30. Council will decide whether to sweep the gutters again in the spring.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor stated that she is working on several resolutions for the beginning of 2023.
Report of the Street Commissioner
- The Street Commissioner noted that construction has begun on the new house at 131 Southington and that he is working with the contractor on the curb cut for this.
- The Street Commissioner noted that the inspection of a sanitary sewer line blockage at 5718 Olentangy had revealed that the blockage is under the street, which will require excavation of the street and curb. This work is due to begin shortly.
- The Street Commissioner offered to give a tour of the lift station to any Council member who is interested.
- The Mayor notified the Street Commissioner of a noise complaint from the construction on Olentangy of work starting earlier than the permitted 7 am.
- The Street Commissioner stated that there is some concern about the new build on Southington connecting to the sanitary sewer main. The work that was done to reline the main likely covered up the existing wye at that location, and the condition of the wye is unknown.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
- The Planning Commissioner stated that there had been no meeting in November, and that the submitted landscaping plan for the new build on Southington had been tabled pending updated plans.
- The Street Commissioner inquired whether the plans for the fence around the lift station generator needed to be submitted to the Planning Commission. Council agreed that there is likely no requirement for this, but that it would be a courtesy to residents to do so.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
Kyle Dy, resident at 31 W Riverglen Dr, addressed the Council regarding the proposed ordinance to allow parking on West Riverglen to the east of Crescent Court. Mr. Dy expressed his opposition to allowing this parking as this would allow the general public to park there and contribute to congestion at that end of the street. He also felt that this could potentially impact the ability of emergency vehicles to enter the Village.
Gordon asked Mr. Dy if anyone had previously contacted him regarding this issue and he said that a resident of one of the affected apartment buildings had asked him about it the preceding summer and that he had expressed similar opposition.
- Committee on Infrastructure
Schlichting, the Chair of the Committee, stated that there had been no meeting in December and that the Committee is waiting on updated information about the sewer lining project from Burgess & Niple. He stated that the January meeting would likely be held January 9 due to the holiday on the regular meeting date.
- Web Manager
The Web Manager stated that he is updating the dates on the web site for 2023.
- Communications Committee
- Gordon, the Chair of the Committee, stated that the directory is with the printer, that the printer is switching the format to landscape, and that he is making a final push to update the directory for new residents.
- Gordon questioned whether the Village should have a sort of “State of the Village” report from the Mayor to keep residents updated as to the actions of Council and events in the Village. The Mayor said that he would attempt to put something together for this purpose.
- Village Salaries
Council members Heidkamp and Saving discussed the analysis of Village officials’ salaries that they had put together. The first part of the analysis compared Village officials’ salaries to those of other area municipalities, and the second compared the current salaries to what the rates would be if they were adjusted for rates of inflation since they were approved.
Saving stated that she felt that both of the analyses showed that the salaries paid by the Village are lower than they could be. The Mayor said that he felt that given the demands of running a small village, officials are basically donating their time and that any adjustment to the salaries would not materially impact their willingness to serve. The Solicitor questioned whether there had been changes to the responsibilities of these roles in recent years, and it was pointed out that the Street Commissioner’s role has increased and that the Mayor’s role had expanded to include that of the Marshall. The Solicitor reminded Council that the Village’s code requires that the Village fill the Marshall position and said that she would review whether the ordinances could be amended to remove this language.
Heidkamp and the Street Commissioner questioned whether Village revenues would support increases to these salaries. The Mayor explained the Village’s five-year levy process and stated that while expenses fluctuate from year to year, the Village expects to break even on average during the current five-year cycle after the previous period of building up reserves. Increases in salaries could be handled by an increase in the millage collected in the next five-year levy or by cutting expenses, although the Village has few discretionary expenses. Council agreed to review the numbers in the analysis and revisit the discussion at the January meeting
Heidkamp questioned whether Village employees could receive retirement credit from the state of Ohio for their time served as Village officials. Gordon stated that this had been a previous discussion by Council years ago and that Council had decided against it at that time. Gordon stated that he is currently getting information from the state regarding the state retirement system policies and will update Council as he learns more.
- Resolution 2022-13
Resolution 2022-13 – A Resolution Authorizing the Mayor of the Village of Riverlea, Ohio to Contract with the City of Worthington, Ohio and the Worthington Police Department to Provide Police Services in the Village had its second reading. Pyter moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to waive the three readings of the resolution in order to sign and submit the contract in a timely manner. The motion carried (6-0). Bartels moved and Saving seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The motion carried (6-0).
- Resolution 2022-14
Resolution 2022-14 – A Resolution to Approve the Addendum to the Contract to Provide for Integrated Management Services to Reduce Mosquito Populations Within the Village had its second reading. Pyter moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to waive the three readings of the resolution in order to sign and submit the contract in a timely manner. The motion carried (6-0). Bartels moved and Saving seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The motion carried (6-0).
- Ordinance 03-2022
Ordinance 03-2022 – 2023 Annual Appropriation Ordinance (Village) had its second reading. Pyter moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to waive the three readings of the resolution in order to submit the ordinance to the County in a timely manner. The motion carried (6-0). Bartels moved and Saving seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The motion carried (6-0).
- Ordinance 04-2022
Ordinance 04-2022 –Approving an Amendment to Riverlea Code of Ordinances 76.04 PARKING PROHIBITIONS, Schedule 1. Parking Prohibited, to Reduce the Parking Prohibition from High Street West to Crescent Court on West Riverglen Drive was introduced by Schlichting and had its first reading.
Schlichting stated that he has concerns for the residents on Crescent that parking is being forced onto their street by the current prohibition on Riverglen and noted that there is no such prohibition on the east side of High Street for either Riverglen or Southington. The Planning Commissioner questioned how long the current prohibitions have been in place and the Web Manager stated that they have been in place since 1944.
Gordon pointed out that the Ohio Revised Code prohibits parking within a certain distance of the intersection of High & Riverglen and questioned the need for the Village to expand this distance. Bartels stated that he did not feel the need to add any additional public parking within the Village and that this was an issue for the owner of the apartments to deal with. Pyter stated that she would be in favor of allowing parking on one side of the street but not both.
Gordon moved and Bartels seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures:
-$ 1,000.00 – MORPC – 2023 Dues
-$ 137.44 – Josh Mehling – Supplies & postage
-$ 378.00 – Assured Partners – Crime Policy
-$ 55.00 – Gudenkauf Corp – Water & gas line locating
The motion was approved unanimously (6-0).
Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items
There were no comments from residents on non-agenda items.
Next Meeting Announcement
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at Thomas Worthington High School.
There being no further business, Bartels moved and Heidkamp seconded the motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0). The meeting was adjourned at 9:05 p.m.
Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer
Eric A. MacGilvray, Mayor