Regular Council Meeting
June 21, 2010
The Council of the Village of Riverlea met on the above date at the Thomas Worthington High School, Worthington. The following Council members were present: Mayor Mary Jo Cusack, Scott K. Gordon, Briggs W. Hamor, Eric A. MacGilvray, Kirk M. McHugh and Daniel W. Noonan. Jon L. Ankrom was absent. Also present were Pamela M. Colwell, Clerk-Treasurer, Steven W. Mershon, Solicitor, Jody C. Jones, Web Manager, Lois Yoakam, Newsletter Editor and Michael Jones, Planning Commissioner. Guests of Council were Don Campbell, Mike Blanchard, Janet Brown, Suzanne Butler and Paul Butler. At 7:12 pm the Mayor called the meeting to order.
- The minutes of the regular Council meeting of May 17, 2010 were not read since each member had received a copy. McHugh moved and Gordon seconded a motion that the minutes be approved as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Clerk-Treasurer
- McHugh moved and Gordon seconded a motion to approve the payment of bills and to accept the financial report for May 2010, as submitted by the Clerk-Treasurer. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Report of the Mayor
- The Mayor reported that the Planning Commission issues are not helped when people criticize the Commission. We all need to be supportive. They are following the ordinances and maybe we need to change some of the ordinances. We also need to address the time issue in order to allow residents to do their projects when they need to. When it is a maintenance issue even though the material is different, that may be something the Planning Commissioner can approve without a Certificate of Appropriateness. Let us look into how to improve this and be supportive of the Planning Commission in the meantime.
- The July 4th picnic will start at 2:30. Dan Noonan will be doing the cooking and Carolee Noonan will be handling the games.
- The Mayor included information in the meeting packet regarding the Watershed meeting. They keep scheduling activities on the river and then having to cancel due to rough water. It is the same complaints she hears from the neighbors that the river is not a safe place to canoe.
- The Hi Neighbor signs are OK to put in yards. However, she did not pick a night this year but will try to do so next year.
- She asked Council if they were interested in trying to get sponsors to help with the cost of the July 4th picnic. Worthington does this and she showed Council a flyer. Council did not express any interest.
- The Mayor provided a letter from Matt Greeson, Worthington City Manager, regarding the cut-through as well as a letter 20 years ago from the Worthington City Engineer. This was her response from the last meeting regarding her statements about the cut-through. Noonan stated he did not believe these letters addressed those issues.
- Jim Favret (5690 Olentangy Blvd) would like to pay to have a drain put in at the end of this driveway when the streets and curbs are redone. She asked if Council had any objections and they had none.
Report of the Solicitor
- The Solicitor reported there is a 4.5 mil operating levy adopted in 2005 and this is the last year for the collection of it. Since it is an outside millage levy it will need to go on the ballot, preferably this November. There has been a change in the deadline to get this on the ballot, so we will need to get this done by August 4th. It is a two step process that will require two meetings. We can talk about this later tonight, with this being the first meeting and then the July Council meeting would be the second.
Report of the Planning Commissioner
- The Commissioner reported there was a Certificate of Appropriateness approved for a POD on Olentangy Blvd. The homeowner is in the process of emptying the POD and the Commission went ahead and approved another two weeks.
- A Certificate of Appropriateness for 5806 Crescent Court was approved to replace an asphalt driveway and concrete patio and walkway with pavers.
Report of the Marshal
- The Mayor gave the report of the Marshal. There were 267 patrol checks.
Report of the Street Commissioner
- The Commissioner discussed the 2010 Street Maintenance Program with the assistance of Jim Dippel (Burgess & Niple). The $183,000 project will include sealing cracks, milling bad sections and patching with asphalt, applying a stress absorbing membrane layer on Riverglen and Southington and slurry seal all of the streets. When completed the street surface will have a uniform look. The lifespan of this is five to six years, which should last until we redo the streets entirely. The advertising and bidding will take approximately a month to complete. Council should set up a special meeting after the regular July meeting to discuss the bids.
- They also discussed the problem of some manholes that are located in the back yards on the cross streets. This was discovered during the SSES. Two manholes have not been located above ground even though they can be seen underneath when videoing the sewers. Some need to be raised and secured with bolts. Dippel will ask Flowline for an estimate on this.
Report of the Newsletter Editor
- The Editor would like copy for the Newsletter by July 5th. She is preparing a quick update sheet for the directory to be distributed with the Newsletter. The updated directory should be ready in December.
Report of the Web Manager
- She is working on allowing people to opt to receive an email notifying them the Newsletter is available online. They can also opt not to receive the paper version of the Newsletter or to receive both.
- Also, she is working on a community bulletin board on the web site that will only be for residents. It can cover Boys Scouts activities, volunteer information, etc.
Report of Parks and Recreation
- Dan and Carolee Noonan will help organize the July 4th picnic. The tent will be put up on June 30 and volunteers are asked to help set up the tables.
Report of Stimulus Funds
- Jim Dippel will assist with MORPC grants but it won’t happen until about a year or so before the major street construction project is started.
Report of Storm Water Management
- The Village has received a notice of violation from the Ohio EPA for not submitting the 2009 annual report on storm water management. Gordon reported that he submitted the annual report but said there was a lot of it he could not answer and he felt it was incomplete.
- The Solicitor stated that the Village does have an approved storm water plan. Gordon’s report is not incomplete. It simply did not contain all the information requested in the EPA’s reporting format because some of the suggested items did not apply to the Village and so were not included in the Village’s Storm Water Maintenance Program. However, we do not have anyone responsible for implementing our plan now. Jack Schaer used to do it.
- After some discussion, the Street Commissioner said it fell under his jurisdiction and he will take responsibility for the management and implementation of the storm water management.
MacGilvray’s Report on Cut-Through Discussions with MIG Properties and the Butlers
- MacGilvray discussed the possible cut-through on the 142 E. Riverglen Drive property with Mike Blanchard. It made more sense to have it on the east side and along the back of the property. Sinclair next door said it was acceptable. Having the Village buy the house and then sell it after putting in the pathway was not feasible.
- There was a lot of discussion about what the next step would be. There needs to be an appraisal of what the land is worth, an estimate of the cost of the pathway itself and the loss of value to the two properties involved. The Mayor suggested that MacGilvray contact Deborah Edsall for an estimate of the land and cost of the path.
- Blanchard pointed out that none of the potential buyers wanted a pathway.
- The Solicitor said he would be happy to work with MacGilvray on this.
Report on Safe Routes to School Committee
- Hamor and Noonan met with Lt. Mosic to discuss safety issues for walking and biking. Lt. Mosic mentioned MORPC grants via ODOT were available for issues related to biking. He also gave them contacts within the Board of Education to talk to regarding safety issues. He suggested that they come up with a concise list of safety concerns and then seek a meeting with Worthington officials to discuss these.
- Lt. Mosic has a meeting at Evening Street school that Noonan will also attend.
- Besides the physical changes such as lights and crosswalks, the Village should try to set up a volunteer program with parents. Parents could meet at a set time and place to oversee the kids or walk with them. Hamor said that would likely be the next step.
Report of Communications Committee
- Noonan reported on the meeting with the Web Manager, Clerk-Treasurer and Newsletter Editor. The discussion included some of what the Web Manager discussed, as well as having an online form for people to submit content or suggestions for the Newsletter. We are moving forward on paperless meeting agenda packets and having this information as a PDF online. Along with having a community bulletin board on the web site, it would be nice to have a larger bulletin board on the Village circle that is a two sided kiosk where more information could be displayed. Also, one side may potentially be dedicated to the youth of the Village for art displays, announcements or whatever they and we deem appropriate. We plan on meeting again sometime in July to continue our discussions.
Comments from Residents on Agenda Items
- Jody Jones grew up here and raised her children here without the use of the cut-through. She pointed out that never has a walker been killed here. Evening Street can be dangerous too and we need to work with Worthington for safer streets. However, she does not want any tax money spent on the cut-through. She wants her tax dollars to go to street repairs and to alternative ways to make our community safer.
- Janet Brown explained that she has been attending MORPC meetings along with the Mayor. The group has decided to schedule some events to appreciate the river. She was shocked to read in the Newsletter that she had invited all these people to park on the street and use her home to get to the river. She wants to set the record straight that she invited a small group of people to come to her home and enjoy the river. It is a private gathering and it is perfectly appropriate for them to park on the street for a short time. If she is not allowed to do this, then her neighbors are not allowed to have barbeques, parties, open houses, etc. She loves the river and wants others to appreciate it too.
- RESOLUTION NO. 2010-17
Resolution No. 2010-17, A Resolution to Express the Intent of Village Council Regarding a Certain Appropriation Proposal. The resolution was read by title for the second reading. No comments were made
- Working with Worthington on Safety
Noonan suggested that we may want to look at other safety concerns and then put together a group from Council to represent the Village in discussions with the City of Worthington. The Mayor stated she has already discussed some of this with the City Manager and will continue to be part of this. Noonan also wants to meet with the City Engineer and Director of Public Safety. He understands that we are asking Worthington to spend their time and money to help with these safety issues but their infrastructure impacts our lives and we should sit down with them to discuss these. He asked Council what they wanted to do. MacGilvray said a resident or two at these meeting would be good. Council would also want to ask the residents what they wanted to do.
- Adoption of the 2011 Budget
Council had some minor questions asking for clarification regarding a few of the items in the 2011 Budget. Most of the funds will go to infrastructure and street maintenance. The Village is spending more than it is receiving in revenues and is therefore using the reserves from past years. McHugh moved and Hamor seconded the motion to adopt the 2011 Budget for the Village. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
- RESOLUTION 2010-20
MacGilvray introduced Resolution 2010-20, A Resolution to Authorize the Village Mayor to Advertise for Bids for the 2010 Street Improvement Program and to Declare an Emergency. Hamor moved and Noonan seconded the motion to suspend the three readings. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0). MacGilvray moved and McHugh seconded the motion to adopt Resolution 2010-20 and declare an emergency. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
- Planning Commission Violations
[5803 Dover Court, 141 W Southington Ave., 5830 Pioneers Court, 138 W Riverglen Drive] There was a long discussion regarding four properties with Planning Commission violations for not doing what they had agreed to do for the Certificate of Appropriateness. The Commissioner expressed his frustration of trying to follow the law and the Village not having a quick way to make people comply. He said it was unfair to the residents who went through the process to get a Certificate of Appropriateness while others ignored the procedures. He felt that Council should support the Planning Commission or change the laws.
Council agreed with the Planning Commissioner and was very sympathetic to his predicament but was concerned about the cost of going to court. As a non-chartered Village we must go to court to force compliance. The Solicitor said it would cost around $3,000+ for each case. Many council members were reluctant to go down that road. They said we need to fix the process while supporting the Planning Commission. There was also the real issue of enforcing the ordinances for all and not just a few. Council was not in favor of taking four residents to court without looking at all other possible ways to resolve this first. There are other costs involve besides monetary.
It was agreed that the process and laws need to be changed in order to help residents improve and maintain their properties. Many times during construction changes need to be made but there is no quick approval process in place to deal with these issues.
The Commissioner proposed that the applicant provide a bond, similar to a street bond, that would be refundable upon completion of the project. Council thought that was a good idea.
The Solicitor asked Council what they wanted to do. MacGilvray moved and Noonan seconded the motion to have the Planning Commissioner and the Solicitor approach each of the property owners to obtain compliance and then make specific recommendations at the next Council meeting. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
- Purchase Adobe Acrobat.
Gordon moved and MacGilvray seconded the motion to authorize the expenditure of up to $300 for the Clerk-Treasurer to purchase Adobe Acrobat. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
- RESOLUTION NO. 2010-18
MacGilvray introduced Resolution No. 2010-18, A Resolution to Confirm the Appointment of Donald McCarthy as a Member of the Planning Commission and to Declare an Emergency. The Mayor stated McCarthy is in construction and is a long time resident. McHugh moved and Gordon seconded the motion to suspend the three readings. The following vote was recorded on the motion: Yea, 4; Gordon, Hamor, MacGilvray and McHugh: Nay, 1; Noonan. The Motion failed 4-1 because 5 affirmative votes are needed to suspend the three readings. Noonan wanted to know more about the appointee either by reading a list of qualifications or having the appointee attend the meeting to explain why they want the position.
- RESOLUTION NO. 2010-19
McHugh introduced Resolution No. 2010-19, A Resolution to Confirm the Appointment of Karen McElmurray as Village Marshal. Council would like her to attend the next meeting so they could find out more about her.
- Discussion of Developing an Appointment Process for Committees, Commissions and Personnel The Mayor presented Council with the ordinances concerning the authority to make appointments and Council can advise and consent. Noonan started the discussion by stating Council needed more information about the people they approve so that they can make an informed decision. The Mayor knows the individuals she wants to appoint, but Council may not. It seems reasonable to request those individuals to come before Council to introduce themselves and explain why they are interested in the position and what their qualifications are. Gordon thought the openings should be posted on the Web site and put in the Newsletter. The Mayor explained about the time constraints on some of the positions. Council responded that they would at least like some background information prior to them having to vote. MacGilvray said he would defer to the Mayor’s judgment but would not do so blindly. Council needs more information before they can advise and consent. The Mayor said she will invite the two appointees to attend the next meeting.
- LEVY The Village needs to keep an operating levy and the current one will expire at the end of this year. The first step is to pass a resolution requesting the County Auditor to certify to the Village information needed to enable the Village to levy a tax in excess of the ten mill limitation. This will let the Village know how much money the levy will generate. The money collected with this tax stays about the same every year of its term. The mills are adjusted downward when property values go up, so after 10 years our 4.5 mill tax is now about 3.59 mills. We can renew the current tax (4.5 mills) and the term is extended with no more revenue generated. We can replace the current tax with a 4.5 mill levy and start over with more revenue generated back at the 4.5 level. Or we can increase the millage to generate even more revenue.
The Village levies a 2 mill tax inside the 10 mill limitation. The amount collected goes up with house prices. This tax does not have to be voted on by the residents.
Council does not want to raise taxes but they also know that costs have gone up and the streets and infrastructure need a lot of work. They would like to start by finding out what the numbers are under two options.
RESOLUTION No. 2010-21
McHugh introduced Resolution No. 2010-21, A Resolution Requesting the County Auditor to Certify to the Village Information needed to enable the Village to Levy a Tax in Excess of the Ten Mill Limitation (4.5 mills replacement). MacGilvray moved and McHugh seconded the motion to suspend the three readings. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0). McHugh moved to approve Resolution No. 2010-21 and Noonan seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
RESOLUTION No. 2010-22
Noonan introduced Resolution No. 2010-22, A Resolution Requesting the County Auditor to Certify to the Village Information needed to enable the Village to Levy a Tax in Excess of the Ten Mill Limitation (4.5 mills replacement with .5 increase- a 5.0 mill levy). Hamor moved and McHugh seconded the motion to suspend the three readings. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0). McHugh moved to approve Resolution No. 2010-21 and Hamor seconded the motion. The motion was approved unanimously (5-0).
Comments from Residents on Non-Agenda Items
Next Meeting Announcement
The meeting was adjourned at 10:25 pm.
MARY JO CUSACK, MAYOR
M. COLWELL, CLERK OF COUNCIL