CALL TO ORDER Mayor Bellman convened the meeting at 7:34pm. ROLL CALL Those responding to the roll call were: Vice Mayor McGowan Councilmember Wernet Councilmember Lucier Mayor Bellman Councilmember Robertson Law Director Hurst Councilmember Minklei Manager Hickman Councilmember Rader PUBLIC HEARING Councilmember Rader made a motion to table the public hearings on Ordinances No. 19-98, 20-98 and 21-98 until the Council meeting of November 18, 1998. Second by Councilmember Lucier. Motion Carried.
A public hearing was held on Ordinance No. 23-98, An Ordinance To Prohibit "Thru-Truck" Traffic Through The Village Of Granville.
Mayor Bellman stated there would be a 2 minute time limit on public comments.
It was noted that Council has a "revised draft" which draws upon Ordinances already in the Granville Codified, which has the same general effect and goals and this is intended to return the Village to a peaceful community as it is thought to be.
Councilmember Rader voiced a concern that some of the traffic traveling through the Village on S.R. 661 is originated by the access of South Cherry Valley Road but also feels an arrangement might be made for shippers to use an alternate route.
Councilmember Wernet noted that this issue was significant in the last campaign. He also stated that such issues were not already addressed as there was hope of reaching a mutual agreement with neighboring communities on infrastructure related issues. He mentioned the lack of response from neighboring communities to resolve infrastructure issues and feels that developers should also pay their fair share of infrastructure improvements.
Mayor Bellman noted that the message sent out by Newark City Council was that they will only do what is good for them and not necessarily for the entire community. Although not the preferred way, it appears Granville will need to solve its own problems in a similar fashion.
Commenting on the disregard for infrastructure, Councilmember Wernet quoted a constituent as saying that "we don’t want to use up all our road capacity to basically benefit development which occurs in a different community."
Bob Howarth, a Columbus attorney representing The Kroger Company, noted that Tamarack Farms Dairy has supplied milk throughout the stated of Ohio for 28 years. He stated that restricting Tamarack Dairy trucks from this ¼ mile section of South Cherry Valley Road could effectively shut down milk distribution in the state of Ohio. Adding that Kroger is a community minded company, he asked that the Council not take away its distribution system.
Clifton Crais, of 234 N. Pearl Street, stated that the voters are asking for legislation to control unwanted truck traffic. He feels this Ordinance would improve public safety by reducing the volume truck traffic on Village streets adding that these streets cannot support large tractor trailer traffic. He feels that the narrowness of Village streets poses a significant risk to Village residents. He noted that legislation enhances public health as diesel emission is responsible for much of the air pollution and disease in this country, and that the control of trucks will reduce noise, pollution, and protect historic homes which are literally being knocked off their foundations. He feels that this Ordinance would enhance the commercial vitality of the downtown area.
Bill Englefield, Chairman of the Board of Englefield Oil Company, residing at 2352 Hankinson Road, agreed that it is commendable to try to reduce truck traffic thorough the Village, however, he feels that prohibiting this type of traffic on that section of Cherry Valley Road will only hurt local business. He feels there is another agenda behind this issue.
Allen Frye, a professional truck driver from Danville, Ohio, noted he has driven over 5 ½ years and has over 500,000 accident and ticket free miles. He voiced a concern with the closing of South Cherry Valley Road as this section is used as an access road to S.R. 16 going east and west and that this closing will not decrease the number of trucks traveling through Granville. He noted that truck traffic traveling out of their way causes more road time and therefore more pollution, adding rerouting would add an additional 1 ½ hours to his route. He also feels that law enforcement would be taken away from the Village area to enforce this ¼ mile section.
Mayor Bellman asked Mr. Frye what route he currently took and what a alternate route might be.
Mr. Frye said he drives out of Mt. Vernon on S.R. 661 to S.R. 16 and Cherry Valley Road. He stated another route would take him from S.R. 13 to S.R. 79 to access his terminal which is located in the area of the Air Force base.
Don Contini, 315 N. Pearl Street, referring to the speakers before him stated that he pays taxes in Granville and wants maintain the quality of life in Granville. He doesn’t want trucks coming within his historical Village. He stated he doesn’t care if trucks have to go out of their way by driving extra miles and polluting the countryside. He doesn’t want trucks going through Granville Village. He feels that Granville is becoming a truck route.
Deder Herem of Columbus, Principal Officer of Universal Veneer, voiced the same concern as Tamarack Dairy (Kroger). He stated it would be a devastating blow to have to divert truck traffic from Cherry Valley Road. He feels that Universal Veneer has been a good neighbor and can appreciate the comments of support for the Ordinance. He stated that 70% of their production is export and taxes are being paid in Licking County. He feels the economical impact will be severe.
Councilmember Robertson questioned the economic benefit to Granville by the use of that portion of Cherry Valley Road. Mr. Herem stated he would research and provide Councilmember Robertson with a breakdown of economic benefits to Granville.
Mr. Englefield noted that the economic value to Granville is in the numerous employees working for these companies that live in Granville and pay their share of income taxes. He stated that having a business in a community helps the whole community.
Mr. Herem stated that few Universal Veneer trucks travel S.R. 661 through Granville as the majority use the Cherry Valley Road access to S.R. 16 east or west and onto other destinations.
It was also noted that Tamarack’s incoming raw milk comes south on S.R. 661 (from farms around the county) however, no trucks exit through the Village of Granville.
Mr. Englefield stated that less than 2% of truck traffic in the Village belonged to Englefield Oil.
Jeff Wintermute, Sales Manager for Van Wey Sand and Gravel, and also a resident of Granville stated that he pays an extra 3 cents per gallon for fuel tax that goes for roads such as S.R. 661. He stated that the residents of North Pearl Street knew it was a state route before buying there. He noted that truckers aren’t using roads through this Village just because they want to. He also stated that it is not safe to travel West Main Street in Newark as there are two school zones and a hospital zone on that street.
Steve Cramer, of 235 E. Broadway, and pastor of the Untied Methodist Church of Granville, noted that he lives in the church parsonage and had no choice where his family would live. Although he loves the Granville community he didn’t bargain for all the traffic. He feels that by closing Cherry Valley Road it would help the surrounding community see the need to address the North/South traffic issue.
Vivian Ashbaugh, of 121 N. Pearl Street, stated that the maintenance and upkeep of Cherry Valley road is paid by the Village of Granville adding that the taxes paid by those Companies represented here this evening are paid to the City of Newark. She expressed concern with additional traffic that will be generated by the Keny development.
Patty Myers, of 229 E. College Street, finishing Mr. Crais’ statement, noted that large trucks are responsible for the wear and tear which destroys our roads. She asked any member of Council not supporting the substance of this Ordinance to explain why public safety and public health are not important. She stated that most of the truck traffic through the Village has its origin in Newark.
Judy Handle, of River Road, noted that the last time Cherry Valley Road was closed for construction, all the trucks and traffic used River Road. She stated that there are also historical homes on River Road that should be taken into consideration as part of the same community as the Village. She asked that Council exclude this ¼ mile of S. Cherry Valley Road from this Ordinance.
It was noted that the Ordinance allows Council to earmark truck routes.
Ted Handle, also of River Road, is concerned with the way the Keny property was annexed into Newark. He stated the intersection of Cherry Valley Road and S.R. 16 was created and paid for by the State Of Ohio and the only reason Granville has it is because it was annexed. And feels this is going to hurt all the businesses and feels Council is taking a very hard nose to this issue.
John Castle, of 216 E. College Street, expressed a concern with traffic that is diverted onto College Street from Broadway. He stated that the large amount of traffic on College Street is speeding and not stopping at stop signs. He stated that his historical home was falling apart because of traffic.
Ken Blair, of 2545 North Street, stated he had moved here in 1995 because of the school system. He is concerned with the affects of this ordinance in the access of trucks to his farm.
Maxine Montgomery, of 2450 Newark Granville Road, asked what the implementation and enforcement of this plan might be and if there would be additional costs to enforce this Ordinance?
It was noted that signs would be posted and the identifiable trucking companies would be notified along with several days of warnings issued by the Police Department. It was also noted that there would be additional costs due to increased law enforcement.
Judith Thomas, of 4 Sheppard Place, noted that although she is not affected by trucks she feels this is the right thing to do. She also feels that this is a temporary "stop gap" measure. She also feels that the general idea is to find alternative north/south routes.
Bernie Lukco, of 343 E. College Street, states that he supports this Ordinance. He then asked the trucking representatives in attendance where they have been over the years as this issue has been discussed in the past. He thinks it is time to step up and take action as these trucks are causing damage and problems within our Village.
Melanie Shot, of N. Pearl Street, also feels the truck traffic in Village is excessive and something should be done.
Carl Wildrop, 224 Fairfield in Newark, and owner of a trucking company near Cherry Valley Road, stated that the last thing his company wanted to do was cause problems for any community. He questioned the legality in closing S. Cherry Valley to truck traffic referencing an article he read that deals with trucks being allowed to travel up to one mile off of State Routes.
Constance Barsky, 221 E. Elm Street, supports the Ordinance. She feels that as a society we have been dominated by the automobile and the increase of trucks on roads is due to the inability of the railroad to respond to new technology. She noted that until these businesses have been threatened there has been no willingness to negotiate.
Jeff Wintermute noted that material things are made possible only by trucks. He feels this is being hard on truck drivers and is concerned that this might upset truck drivers which could cause retaliation.
Clifiton Crais noted he found the gentlemen’s threat disturbing but not surprising. He stated that he had called Tamarak Farms and was told there were a number of alternative roads that could be used but Cherry Valley is the most convenient. He feels the argument that businesses will be destroyed is bogus.
Kevin ? , General Manager of Tamarack Farms, stated there were alternative routes however they are inconvenient. He noted that Mr. Crais may have called Tamarak Farms however he hadn’t spoke to him. He again noted that Cherry Valley Road is used by his company for access to east or west S.R. 16, and that only raw milk coming from Licking County Farmers is routed on S.R. 661, where these trucks will continue to use this route whether Cherry Valley Road is closed or not.
Bill Englefield hopes this doesn’t turn into "you against us". He feels what the Village is trying to accomplish is good and the trucking industry should help. He also stated he has been working on S.R. 157 since 1972. He asked that Council consider passing this legislation with the exemption of S. Cherry Valley Road. He stated no one is against Granville, and the truck drivers aren’t mad at anybody.
Bob Howarth asked what Granville had to gain by closing S. Cherry Valley, and how this will help the problems Village streets.
Mayor Bellman noted it is not the intention to hurt businesses whether they are in Newark or not. He questioned why people weren’t asking the Newark City Council why it did not consider Granville by the actions Newark has taken. Newark has said they are going to do what is good for them and that Granville will have to deal with their own problems. With this attitude by Newark, he questioned why we should be overly concerned about the impact of the current legislation on Newark.
Deder Harram questioned how the members of this Council would justify to the River Road citizens the increased truck traffic to eliminating through trucks on S. Cherry Valley.
Councilmember Wernet stated that he does not anticipate that a trucking firm would be reckless enough to take that sort of route.
Ordinance No. 23-98 Vice Mayor McGowan asked the Law Director to expand on his current knowledge of this subject.
Law Director Hurst advised that an individual with the area of expertise in transportation regulation, corridor access, etc., has been contacted. He noted that this individual has agreed to make a comprehensive listing and regulation of the streets and intersections in the areas of concern. He noted that this gentlemen should be able to report back to Council with a list of options and regulations with 2 or 3 weeks.
Vice Mayor McGowan re-iterated that he is more comfortable with getting more than one opinion before casting a vote on something that could be taking us to court on issues or addressing something that could terminate businesses severely. He is not in favor of an emergency dealing with this ordinance.
Councilmember Minklei is convinced that the right thing to do is to pass this Ordinance. She feels this needs to be the start of more discussion and is afraid that if this Ordinance is not passed, everyone will go away and not return as there would be no reason to. She made it make clear that this is not a matter of revenge for what Newark has done with Keny but it is only the ultimate frustration. She also feels there is need for a comprehensive approach to the north/south issue.
Councilmember Robertson stated she was in agreement with Ms. Minklei, however should would like this Ordinance to pass and simultaneously create a committee to review.
There was discussion about enacting the Ordinance and delaying the enforcement of Cherry Valley Road.
Bob Howarth committed Kroger (Tamarack Dairy) and Universal Veneer to this issue and will do his best to contact a list of companies supplied by the Village and invite them to these meetings. He asked for 30 days to put together a committee and some discussion about this issue. He said that this committee will put together a plan. He asked that anyone in attendance could sign up to be a part of an ad hoc committee. He will contact these individuals and to effectuate a plan and return to Council in 2 weeks with a report.
It was noted that the ordinance will not take affect for 30 days. Within that time if a solution to the truck traffic problem is going well the grace period could be extended. It was noted that the need for an emergency clause has been eliminated. Councilmember Robertson moved the question.
Councilmember Wernet made a motion to amend Ordinance No. 23-98 as follows: Delete the title and insert "An Ordinance To Amend Sections 301.38, 301.44 through 301.53, 303.99, 305.02, And 339.02, And To Enact Section 331.44 Of The Codified Ordinances Of The Village Of Granville, Ohio. To Provide Uniform Regulation Of Truck Traffic In The Village Of Granville", make insertion into the Section I to conform with the title, and remove the emergency clause. Second by Councilmember Minklei. All ayes. Motion carried.
Roll call vote to adopt Ordinance No. 23-98: Robertson yes, Minklei yes, Lucier yes, Rader yes, McGowan yes, Wernet yes, Bellman yes. Seven yes votes. Ordinance No. 23-98 is adopted.
Bernie Lukco, of 343 E. College Street, reported to Council on the "Old Middle School" parking issue. He noted that the neighbors have no objection to using this lot as a parking lot but that the area should be defined, graveled so there is no run-off, and that posts with a chain connection be put at the entrance with School Administration responsible for making sure it is locked. He noted that the Board of Education has given the impression that they are not interested in working with this group.
Rochelle Steinberg, of 425 E. College Street, read a letter with concerns. She stated that the site plan approval was given to the School Board by the Planning Commission and the BZBA and that the School Board has not complied to date. She mentioned a "temporary" arrangement which had been agreed to and expressed concern of such an agreement. She feels there is no legal basis to vary from the approved plan which she feels sets a risky precedent for the Village. She asked that until property drainage and proper screening was provided that parking on the lot not be permitted. She also asked that the Police Department be authorized to enforce the no parking policy and ticket/tow vehicles on the lot.
Robin Bartlett, of 410 E. Broadway, also reading a statement to Council, stated she is the most directly affected by a temporary parking lot. She stated that headlights, noise of engines, car doors, and people conversing will be an undue burden to her. She asked that the Village Council visit her property and investigate how important screening is in this situation.
Clifton Crais stated he feels it is a good idea that the Village hire an expert to research traffic issues. He asked that this expert speak with the community for input but be directed to not participate in the ad hoc committee.
Law Director Hurst Rufus stated that this person was not a consultant. He noted that this is a lawyer who will define for only this Council what its regulatory options are, notwithstanding what the various parties wishes may be. He will tell this Council what the law says it can do.
John Castle, of 216 E. College Street, feels other things need to be done in regard to the traffic. He again stated his concern with the amount of traffic on College Street. He suggested signs saying all through traffic must use state routes.
Jim Jump, of 143 Thresher Street, explained that the Manager had asked for his input on Ordinance No. 23-98. He stated he does support consulting a true motor vehicle lawyer. He also reminded that the Licking County Planning Commission has offered to donate $10,000 for a traffic study with regard to the Thornwood project.
Don Contini, of 315 N. Pearl Street, feels this Council should sit down with the School Board to address the Old Middle School parking lot issues.
Jim Harf, a member of the School Board, stated that he was unaware of the magnitude of this problem. He stated that there were things being done, like putting railing up on the entrance, grading, putting cement barriers to define the parking, posts and a chain. He mentioned the possibility of using a snow fence to deter parking. He feels the School Board has acted in good faith in working with the Village Manager and Planner. He noted that Village Police do not have authority to tow vehicles illegally parked in the parking lot. He noted that the Board had instructed the Superintendent that all violators are to be towed. He noted that the lots are to be put up for sale as soon as possible.
Manager Hickman noted that a permit has been issued to allow for a temporary lot with a chain. He suggested that the snow fence be added and they need to be responsible for towing.
David Bussan, of 420 E. Broadway, stated he has 128 ft of property line that is contiguous to where the Middle School used to be. He noted that since the demolition the ground has not been graded away from his property and water drains into the back of his lot. He voiced a concern that the permit allows 2 years before the parking lot must be complete and asked who will be responsible for drainage problems on these lots if they are sold in the mean time.
Jim Harf stated that the School Board would solve the drainage problem to the satisfaction of the Village. He stated that future property owners will be responsible for solving the water drainage on their property. He said the school board is trying to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.
Councilmember Robertson remarked that the lights on the side of the new elementary school were too bright and suggested they be adjusted. She also asked if the new railing was temporary and if it had been approved.
Mr. Harf stated that he would look into the bright light issue. He does not remember whether there was a railing approved.
Don Contini suggested that volunteers put up concrete posts with chains around the lot as a temporary measure to block traffic from parking in the lot. He suggested that the School Board pay for the supplies.
Jim Havens committed to talking to the School Board to get a clearer idea of what is to happen on a temporary basis and work on the problems from that point.
David Bussan, of 420 E. Broadway, noted that the speed limit is not being enforced along E. Broadway.
It was suggested that the Manager get a report from the Chief of Police with regard to E. Broadway enforcement.
Maxine Montgomery also reminded Council and Citizens to remember that there has been a shuffling of responsibilities in the Village Offices. She hopes that Council evaluates that situation closely because if people are spread too thin, money may be saved but productivity is reduced. She then asked if the Law Director had given an opinion on Ordinances No. 19 and 20-98.
Councilmember Wernet noted that Council would take into consideration the Law Directors thoughts on these Ordinances. He also stated that this Council was very please with what the staff has been able to accomplish with reduced cost. He stated that was one of the factors that led to the 1.52% "bonus" to Village employees. He stated that the Personnel Committee has been looking very carefully to make sure things aren’t stretched too thin.
CHERRY VALLEY ROAD
Mayor Bellman questioned why the Village was putting in five lanes on S. Cherry Valley Road if it is going to be consumed by another community. He noted that this section of road was under construction and Council needs to make a decision. He questioned why Granville would build five lanes for other community’s to benefit. He feels that if we’re concerned about overburdening our schools why are we facilitating the sale of those lots (Keny) by improving the road that leads to them.
Councilmember Rader noted that this road improvement was approved by the Planning Commission during the Bob Evans site plan approval. It was noted that it is too late to change that plan.
Manager Hickman noted a provision had been made in next years budget to work with Keith Myers, and others, in the review of traffic patterns and parking. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Councilmember Lucier reported that the Union Cemetery Board met with legal advisers today and are moving ahead on the Cemetery boundary dispute.
She also thanked Manager Hickman for his efforts in organizing the Council picnic, and congratulated Jim Jump for his appointment as chairman of the Joint Economic Development District Committee.
Councilmember Lucier moved to adjourn the meeting at 11:30pm. Councilmember Wernet second. Motion carried.