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, Leah M. Pyter, and Dan E. Schlichting. Also present were Leah Reibel, Solicitor, Steven Orenchuk, Street Commissioner and Gregory Bonk, Web Manager. Guests of Council were Sharon Township Trustee John Oberle and residents Fran West, Kyle Dy, and Corey Shields. At 7:03 p.m., the Mayor called the meeting to order.
Election of President Pro Tempore
Pyter nominated Dan Schlichting as President Pro Tempore of Council for 2023 and Bartels seconded the motion. The motion was approved (4-0). The Solicitor swore Schlichting in as President Pro Tempore.
Resolution 2023-01, A Resolution of Council for 2023 and to Provide for Certain Other Organizational Matters was introduced by Gordon. Gordon moved and Bartels seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to have the Council rules in place for the beginning of the year. The motion carried (4-0). Gordon moved and Bartels seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The motion carried (4-0).
Resolution 2023-02, A Resolution to Confirm the Appointment of Steven Orenchuk as Street Commissioner, for a term to begin on April 1, 2023, was introduced by Schlichting and had its first reading.
Resolution 2023-03, A Resolution to Re-appoint Bryce Jacob and Paul Collini as Members of the Planning Commission was introduced by Gordon. Gordon moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to have the Planning Commission in place in a timely manner. The motion carried (4-0). Gordon moved and Pyter seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The motion carried (4-0).
The Mayor appointed Bryce Jacob as Planning Commissioner for 2023.
Resolution 2023-04, A Resolution to Reauthorize the Infrastructure Committee to Support the Work of Village Council and to Appoint Members Thereto, and to Declare an Emergency was introduced by Gordon. Gordon moved and Bartels seconded the motion to waive the three readings of this resolution in order to have the Infrastructure Commission in place in a timely manner. The motion carried (4-0). Bartels moved and Pyter seconded the motion to approve the resolution. The motion carried (4-0).
Fire & EMS Levy
John Oberle, Sharon Township Trustee and Riverlea resident, addressed Council regarding the Township’s plans to respond to the fire & EMS levy proposal from the City of Worthington. Oberle explained that the City took over the Fire Department from the Township in 1994, and that since that time Sharon Township and Riverlea residents have paid about $143k for these services annually. In order to cover cost increases the City is asking to increase this annual amount to $1M via an 8.1 mill property tax levy.
Oberle stated that the Township has until February 1 to decide whether to accept Worthington’s proposal and put the issue on the ballot for the May primary election. To prepare for this date, the Township will be hosting open forums for residents on January 18, 26, and 27. Oberle felt that the Trustees would be likely to make a decision on what, if anything, to place on the ballot at the January 27 meeting. If the Township rejects the City’s proposal, then the two sides will have 45 days to negotiate an alternative.
Riverlea resident Fran West asked Oberle about the percentage of total Fire Department calls that come from Riverlea vs. the other unincorporated areas of Sharon Township. Oberle felt that question would be better answered by the Fire Department, though the Mayor volunteered that the Village averages about 6 calls per month.
The minutes of the Council meeting of December 19, 2022 were not read since each member had received a copy. Bartels moved and Schlichting seconded the motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion carried (4-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
Pyter moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial reports for December 2022 as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion carried (4-0).
Report of the Mayor
- The Mayor reminded Council that 2023 is an election year for the Village and that the Mayor, Clerk-Treasurer, and two Council seats would be up for vote in November. Candidate applications are due back to the Board of Elections by August.
- The Mayor reminded Council that the first Sharon Township open forum for the fire & EMS levy would be the following night, January 18.
- The Mayor stated that he had contacted the Old Worthington Library about the potential of holding meetings there during the upcoming construction at Thomas Worthington High School. Meetings can be scheduled up to 90 days in advance and must be over by 8:45 pm. Council will continue to review the options for alternative meeting locations.
Report of the Solicitor
The Solicitor stated that she is working with the Clerk-Treasurer and Web Manager to update the Village web site with recently-passed resolutions and ordinances.
Report of the Street Commissioner
- The Street Commissioner noted that there had been a clog in the sanitary sewer main on Olentangy in December. It did not require a street cut to fix.
- The Street Commissioner stated that he is trying to find a contractor to repair the entrance light on Southington.
- The Street Commissioner mentioned that there is an issue with the wye in the sanitary sewer main for the new construction at 131 Southington. When the Village lined the sewer main in 2013, this wye was covered up and now needs to be unsealed at an estimated cost of $3-$5k. Schlichting moved and Pyter seconded the motion to approve up to $6k for the clearing of this wye. The motion passed (4-0).
- The Street Commissioner stated that the Village plans to seal the unused laterals in the Village in 2023 and asked whether the Village would be allowed to require anyone who purchases the parcels with these laterals to pay to unseal them vs. having it done at the Village’s expense. The benefits to the Village of sealing the laterals would be to prevent storm water infiltration and inflow into the system. The Solicitor stated that she will research whether the Village is allowed to require this of purchasers.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
The Planning Commissioner was not in attendance. The Clerk-Treasurer reported that the Commission had approved an addition at 225 W Riverglen in January.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
Fran West, resident at 50 W Riverglen Dr, addressed the Council regarding the proposed ordinance to allow parking on West Riverglen to the east of Crescent Court. Ms. West noted that there had been parking violations in the past from residents and visitors of the apartment buildings. She stated that she had concerns with the access to emergency vehicles with this parking and urged Council not to remove the street signs.
Kyle Dy, resident at 36 W Riverglen Dr, addressed the Council regarding the proposed ordinance to allow parking on West Riverglen to the east of Crescent Court. Mr. Dy stated that he feels that this will increase traffic on Riverglen and has concerns that people will violate the ordinances and leave their cars on the street for longer than permitted. He stated that he does not feel that it is the responsibility of the Village to provide the residents of the apartment buildings with additional parking; rather it is the responsibility of the owners of the buildings.
- Committee on Infrastructure
Schlichting, the Chair of the Committee, stated that there had been a meeting in January and the Committee had discussed cutting out the sanitary sewer laterals serving vacant lots throughout the Village when the upcoming sewer lining work is done. It would be much less costly to cut the laterals now than to do so after the fact. The estimated cost would be about $80 per lateral and there are fewer than 10 laterals to be cut throughout the Village. Council agreed to recommend that these laterals be cut.
- Web Manager
The Web Manager stated that he is working on updating the dates on the site for 2023 and noted that there have been many failed attempts from bots to log into the Village web site.
- Communications Committee
Gordon, the Chair of the Committee, stated that the current printer had been unable to change the format of the directory so he is switching to a new printing partner who can do this design work as well as the printing.
- Village Salaries
Council agreed to table this discussion as members Heidkamp and Saving were absent.
- 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 had its second reading.
Pyter questioned why there was a feeling that allowing parking on this section of Riverglen would lead to more parking within the Village. Bartels stated that he felt that making this parking more convenient would lead to people taking advantage of the situation.
Bartels moved and Schlichting seconded the motion to authorize the following expenditures:
$ 814.45 – Franklin County Emergency Management – 2023 Proportionate share
$ 100.00 – Ohio Utilities Protection Service – 2023 Dues
$201.52 – Dan Schlichting – Kiosk repair & replacement
The motion was approved unanimously (4-0).
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, February 21, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at Thomas Worthington High School.
There being no further business, Pyter moved and Bartels seconded the motion to adjourn. The motion was approved unanimously (4-0). The meeting was adjourned at 8:48 p.m.
Joshua C. Mehling, Clerk-Treasurer
Eric A. MacGilvray, Mayor